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  1. Harper saves the day After last night's result at Firhill, this game took on an even more significant role with far reaching consequences for teams caught up in the collateral damage. To add insult to injury at Firhill, Partick can feel particularly aggrieved after an astonishing display of incompetence by the match officials who should be asked to resign with immediate effect. Brian Graham had two perfectly legitimate goals chalked off by shockingly poor refereeing decisions. I couldn't care less about Graham or Partick, but those decisions could be crucial come the end of the season and neither Arbroath or ourselves will be happy about the end result borne out of sheer incompetence, 3-1 for Dunfermline. Gayfield is a difficult enough place to go to with a full squad, therefore Duncan Ferguson had his work cut out today with a number of players unavailable including the suspended Max Anderson and a depleted bench of four outfield players. However Alex Samuel returned to the starting XI with Billy Mckay dropping to the bench. Arbroath were without Tam O'Brien but top strikers Michael McKenna and Leighton McIntosh were on the bench with new loan signing Charlie Reilly and defender Ricky Little. Plenty of half chances but not enough on target to overly trouble the keepers at the interval with Boruc the busier goalie. Inside the last ten minutes and MacKinnon scored from close range after a corner. It looked like time was running out but Cammy Harper drilled in an equaliser for a deserved share of the points. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A six pointer if ever there was one kicked off on a bright afternoon and Kyle Robinson saw an effort blocked in the opening minutes. Inverness responded and Kerr, Shaw and Gilmour all had shots blocked around the hosts box. Cammy Kerr brought Boruc into action direct from a free kick with twenty minutes gone. Cammy Harper was denied by Boruc at the expense of a corner. Kerr was again denied by Boruc, his low shot was well saved by the keeper after good work by McAllister. The chances were racking up for the visitors and Bim Pepple went very close. The shooting practise continued with Harper firing just over the bar from outside the box fifteen minutes from the break. David Gold shot wide for the Smokies as half time approached and the hosts upped the pressure on Mark Ridgers' box with Innes Murray firing a free kick wide. HALF TIME:0-0 No changes at the interval but Ricky Little replaced Hamilton ten minutes into the half after a clash with Alex Samuel who was booked. Aaron Doran then replaced the injured Gilmour and Billy Mckay replaced Pepple. Arbroath also brought on the big guns with Bird and McKenna joining the play. Substitute Charlie Reilly shot wide and Alex Samuel did the same at the other end. A penalty appeal for Inverness was ignored. Possession was swinging towards the hosts as we entered the final fifteen and yellow cards looked like they were going out of fashion. Arbroath opened the scoring following a corner when Adam MacKinnon, on loan from Ross County, scored from close range. Ridgers saved from Reilly and Alex Samuel had one attempt close and another saved by Boruc as we tried to salvage a point. In a frenetic finish, Nathan Shaw had a shot blocked and Kerr fired wide before Cammy Harper shot home to earn a point, but not before McKenna shot over right at the death. Phew, and breathe! FULL TIME 1-1 We left it a tad late but eventually got the point we deserved with Harper's strike into the bottom corner from outside the box. Boom! More detail and reaction to follow. Highlights from Arbroath FC TV We drew didn't we>>> Date: 24/02/2024 Venue: Gayfield, Arbroath Attendance: 1539 Referee: Kevin Clancy Arbroath FC: 1 Manager: Jim McIntyre Lineup: Boruc; Walker,Teale, Hamilton (Little 54), Stewart, Gold (McKenna 66), MacKinnon, Murray (Reilly 58), Dow, Slater, Robinson (Bird 66) Subs (not used): Gaston; Stowe, McIntosh Scorers: MacKinnon (82) Booked: Slater (37), Little 77), McKenna (80) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Kerr, Carragher, Devine, Savage, Shaw, Gilmour (Doran 58)), McAllister, Harper, Pepple (B Mckay 63), Alex Samuel Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Austin Samuels Scorers: Harper (90+4) Booked: Alex Samuel (49), Kerr (76), Devine (83) Sent Off: none a
  2. KerrPlonkers Inverness boss Duncan Ferguson was without Luis Longstaff, Wallace Duffy and striker Alex Samuel through injury although Austin Samuels was on the bench alongside Nikola Ujdur, Danny Devine, Aaron Doran and Roddy MacGregor amongst others. On paper it was a team bereft of attacking options. (what's new I hear you say). McMillan and Diack missed out for Partick Thistle but plenty of other threats on the park including Graham, Lawless, McInroy and Fitzpatrick. Cammy Kerr opened the scoring half an hour in to open his own account at Inverness, a welcome goal for the home fans, albeit at the South Stand end of the stadium. Be patient I hear you say and we were rewarded with a North Stand goal from Remi Savage ten minutes after the interval. Another ten minutes later and Fitzpatrick shot in from twelve yards to throw Partick a lifeline. Brian Graham converted a penalty but Nathan Shaw restored our advantage two minutes later. Unfortunately, the man we love to hate, Brian Graham, slammed in a volley after some head tennis to end the scoring and Max Anderson saw red in time added on. Meh, some game but a disappointing outcome despite the goals at the home end. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The visitors set the ball rolling and the hosts looked spritely in the opening exchanges with Billy Mckay having an effort blocked. However Partick looked dangerous going forward and Brian Graham had a couple of efforts after quarter of an hour, Ridgers doing well to deny Brian Graham's first effort, the second one was headed off target by the big striker. The corner count and possession had all but levelled off after twenty-five minites with clear opportunities difficult to come by. Having just said that, Cammy Kerr opened the scoring just before the half hour with a strike from distance into the bottom corner. Five minutes later Nathan Shaw fed Mckay on the edge of the box but the striker shot over. Charlie Gilmour was next to have a go but he missed the target as well. As half time approached Jamie Sneddon saved well from on-loan Everton youngster Sean McAllister as he shot goalwards after good play by Mckay. HALF TIME: 1-0 After the break Partick went on to the front foot and Kerr McInroy went close from outside the box after a Partick corner. Doran and Devine replaced McAllister and Mullen and three minutes later a Doran corner was headed in by Savage to double our lead. Aidan Fitzpatrick pulled one back for Partick, shooting home from twelve yards. Another twelve yard effort drew Partick level. This time from the spot after Nathan Shaw had fouled Robinson in the box. Brian Graham made no mistake. Shaw made amends two minutes later shooting home from inside the box. Alas, the scourge of Inverness, Graham, levelled again four minutes from the end as he volleyed into the top corner. FULL TIME: 3-3 BishBashBosh said on CTO: Highlight of first half was a pass back to Ridgers, I think he hit his clearance into their player and ball spun into air on our bye line. Ridgers is now facing the north stand and attempts a hoof of the ball over the stand. Total fresh air kick resulting in him then heading the ball out for a corner. You couldn’t make it up. Anderson red card was straight out of the ref pocket, no second to think. Anderson first touch for a pro footballer was so poor today, the ball rising into the air as he tried to control it many times. That was what happened for the sending off as he raised his boot into the players head to get the ball. The Partick guy went down clutching his head. Once the red was shown he miraculously recovered and didn’t require hospital treatment. Robert on CTO: We started on the front foot, with none of the back and fro passing that’s dominated our recent performances. Kerr’s goal was a cracker, calmly taken after a great pass by McAllister, and we deservedly led at the break although we had some nervous moments. Partick came out flying in the second half and our second was against the run of play, and we were then let down by poor defending for their first and getting caught napping at a free kick and conceding the penalty. I thought we were done for then, but credit to the players for lifting themselves and taking the lead again, and we should have gone 4-2 up but Pepple went alone when he should have played Harper in. We then conceded, meaning its twelve points we’ve lost late in games. Satan won the quote of the day: I am glad we've strengthened at the back Highlights from ICT>>> We scored goals didn't we>>> Date: 17/02/2024 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2215 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Kerr, Carragher, Chilokoa-Mullen (Devine 51), Savage, Harper, Shaw, Gilmour, Anderson, McAllister (Doran 51, Ujdur 90+3), B Mckay (Pepple 68) Subs (not used): C Mackay; MacGregor, Samuels, Brooks Scorers: Kerr (27), Savage (54), Shaw (79) Booked: Shaw (45) Sent Off: Anderson (90+2) Partick Thistle: 3 Manager: Kris Doolan Lineup: Sneddon; Williams (Adeloye 84), Muirhead, Neilson, Milne (O'Reilly 88), Lawless, McInroy (Robinson 68), Bannigan, McBeth, FitzPatrick, Graham Subs (not used): Stewart; Mitchell, Ngwenya, Alston, Stanway, MacKenzie Scorers: Fitzpatrick (64), Graham (77 pen, 86) Booked: Fitzpatrick (65), McBeth (88) Sent Off: none a
  3. Second half collapse Premiership Hibernian were between Inverness and a place in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup. The last time these sides lifted the Scottish Cup was in 2015 & 2016. We dipped our toes in the final last season losing out to Celtic and Hibs lost out to St Johnstone two years earlier. Neither side are taking their respective League tables by storm, so the break for a Scottish Cup encounter might do both sides some good. We had never beaten Hibs in four Cup encounters, including a replay. Alex Samuel was a major doubt with a fractured hand and was missing along with Danny Devine and Luis Longstaff who twisted his knee in training. Here's what happened this time... Having matched Hibs for almost an hour a massive deflection enabled Maolida to open the scoring. Slack defensive play set Martin Boyle on his way to double Hibs advantage before a late goal set up by Boyle saw Youan tap in. Game over but Aaron Doran notched an injury time consolation for Inverness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A North East wind chilled the stadium as kick-off approached but the home support were out in force with a large away crowd also in attendance. A fairly even first half where chances were at a premium with Hibs creating the better opportunites but neither keeper overly troubled. After the interval Hibs eased ahead when a shot from Maolida took a massive deflection to end up high in the net. Tough luck for the hosts but they were the architects of their own downfall at the first and second goals when we failed to clear our lines before Maolida's deflected shot and Boyle scored a second after an attempted clearance by Boyes. Boyle set up Youan for a tap in third. Credit to Aaron Doran for pulling one back with a superb volley but the game was long gone by then. Cammy Kerr hit the top of the crossbar with a looped header at 1-0 but in truth we saw too little action in the opposition box and paid the consequences of that. FULL TIME: 1-3 From BBC Sport: Inverness CT manager Duncan Ferguson: "We obviously knew it was going to be a tough game. "There wasn't much in it at half time and then we gave away a couple of poor goals. I was happy with the performance, but it was a mountain to climb after those two goals." Hibs head coach Nick Montgomery: "It was a comfortable victory in the end. Not an easy place to come, always a difficult cup tie and playing against an underdog. "But I thought the boys executed the game very well and I thought we more than deserved to get through. We created a lot of opportunities at the end, we probably could have had a couple more and I think they had one shot on target and it was a fantastic finish by the boy." We lost didn't we Robert on CTO: No complaints from me about the result. Ridgers kept us in it in the first half, although I thought we competed well and deserved the 0-0 score line. The shot for the first goal took a wicked deflection or otherwise Ridgers would have had a comfortable save. McAllister lost possession in the build up after doing the hard work in winning the ball. Boyes was at fault for the second whilst we seemed to switch off a bit expecting a flag for the third but the player who picked the ball up was onside. Doran’s goal was a cracker, but far too little far too late. I’m not sure about the defensive substitutions as the defence was coping well on the whole. I can only guess that Chilokoa-Mullen and Savage are not fully match fit yet as both have been subbed in all three matches they’ve started for us. Hibs fans at the Caledonian Stadium>>> Date: 10/02/2024 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3837 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Kerr, Cilokopa-Mullen (Ujdur 70), Carragher (MacGregor 90+1), Savage (Boyes 70), Harper, Shaw, Gilmour, Anderson, Harper, McAllister (Doran 70), B Mckay (Pepple 63) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Austin Samuels Scorers: Doran (90+5) Booked: Carragher (28) Sent Off: none Hibernian: 3 Manager: Nick Montgomery Lineup: Marshall; Miller (Cadden 83), Fish, Triantis, Obita, Newell, Amos (Levitt 45), Boyle, Moiah-Welsh (Marcondes 74), Mayenda (Youan 45), Maolida (Le Fondre 62) Subs (not used): Wollacot; Hanlon, Stevenson, Vente Scorers: Maolida (55), Boyle (79), Youan (89) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  4. Spiders close the gap The January transfer window saw seven new players come to the Caledonian Stadium and around ten players try their hand elsewhere. Big outs were Carson, Welsh and Wotherspoon. Cammy Kerr is a known quantity in and Alex Samuel has already notched four goals in two games. The other newbies are promising prospects and only time will tell if they are ready to sample the Championship. Latest signings 'Bim' Pepple and Sean McAllister were on the home bench. Queens had three changes from last week with Sean Welsh suspended Danny Wilson had not materialised for the visitors but they had former Rothes player Callum Happell on the bench with Crole and Scott. Dom Thomas and Ruari Paton were the ones to watch for the visitors. No goals in a turgid first half but plenty of possession without working the keeper too hard. Dom Thomas opened the scoring just after the interval and that's how it ended. We have signed plenty of players, but we don't have a team yet. The only consolation is we actually went up a place in the table as Morton hammered Dunfermline 5-0 at EEP. However, both Dunfermline and Queens Park have games in hand over us. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A brisk and blustery afternoon like something from Winnie the Pooh greeted the players as the game got underway with news from Somerset Park that Ayr United opened the scoring against League leaders Dundee United within two minutes. Not much happening early doors in the Highlands as the teams got to grips with conditions and team mates names. Alex Bannon headed wide after fifteen minutes for the Spiders. Chilokoa-Mullen saw a yellow after twenty minutes and Ridgers was brought into action from Ruari Paton's free kick. Alex Samuel shot wide but it was poor value for money so far and Cammy Kerr also dragged his shot wide five minutes later. The attempts were starting to rack up now and Charlie Gilmour was next to miss the target before Max Anderson saw Ferrie save his effort. Shaw was denied on the break and from the recycled ball Samuel shot wide. Plenty of possession from the hosts but no breakthrough at the interval. HALF TIME: 0-0 No changes at the break but we came out quicker and Billy Mckay was denied by Ferrie before Nathan Shaw had an effort blocked. Alas, it was a false dawn as Dom Thomas opened the scoring for the Spiders five minutes after the interval. Alex Samuel will be disappointed not to have levelled the game five minutes later with a close range header but Ferrie saved to keep the visitors ahead. Sean McAllister came on for his debut as he replaced Anderson ten minutes after the interval. Cammy Kerr cut inside from the right and offloaded but Ferrie kept the ball out and Inverness won a corner. Ujdur headed over as the home side looked to get back into the game, and Ridgers was back in action to save from Ruari Paton with fifteen minutes left. In stoppage time and another effort from Gilmour misses the top corner. Harper fired a free kick over at the death and that was it. Over and out! FULL TIME: 0-1 Same sh!t different day - Reaction on CTO: Went to the game with optimistism, Anticipation and confidence... left with a feeling of De ja vu. That was a tough watch, as has been the case so often. I thought we started poorly but then largely dominated the first half but couldn’t score. We were too tippy tappy yet again in the final third when shots were on. We came out strongly in the second half but conceded against the run of play and never looked like getting back in it after then. For comparison Dodds in the Championship averaged 1.5 points per game, Ferguson is on 1.35. I think I would have been better going shopping .........You've taken that too far Highlights??? We lost didn't we>>> Date: 03/02/2024 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1962 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Kerr, Devine, Chilokoa-Mullen (Ujdur 51), Harper, Shaw, Gilmour, Anderson (McAllister 56), Savage (Longstaff 74), Samuel, B Mckay (Pepple 75) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Boyes, Doran, Brooks Scorers: none Booked: Chilokoa-Mullen (19), Ujdur (88) Sent Off: none Queens Park: 1 Manager: Callum Davidson Lineup: Ferrie; Tizzard, Bannon, Thomson, Robson, Bruce (Carse 60), Turner, McKinstry (Scott 60), McPherson (Longridge 68), Thomas, Paton (Crole 90+6) Subs (not used): Kane; Williamson, Reid, Mauchin, Haspell Scorers: Thomas (50) Booked: Tizzard (53), Scott (71) Sent Off: none a
  5. Happy Gilmour Inverness met Broomhill FC for the first time ever in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup at a defrosted Caledonian Stadium. We put Cowdenbeath out of the Cup in the last round, but Broomhill have been busier putting Cumbernauld Colts, Beith Juniors, and Cumnock out, scoring three times on each occasion. This week we dipped our toe into the January sales and borrowed striker Alex Samuel from Dingwall yesterday and he started up front with Billy Mckay on the bench. Aaron Doran also got a rare start and Cammy Mackay took the gloves for this one. Captain for the day Charlie Gilmour opened the scoring just on half time with a low strike from the edge of the box as we mounted a bit of a flurry as the interval approached. After the break, Samuel had a penalty saved as Broomhill were reduced to ten but he got his goal after the hour. Adam Brooks curled in a third with twenty minutes left and he added another two minutes from time with a cheeky back heel. Into the fifth round we go. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Image from Caleyjags.com as Duffy deflects Dorans shot. <<< Wallace Duffy had the first effort in the seventh minute but it went narrowly wide as Inverness, predictably dominated the early possession. Duffy had already contributed to an offside goal when he deflected Aaron Doran's shot into the net a minute earlier. However, twenty-five minutes gone and our lack of penetration is a worry as Broomhill saw a bit more of the ball. On the half hour Boyes fed debutant Alex Samuel but his powerful shot cleared the bar. A timely reminder for the hosts saw Darren Miller bring Cammy Mackay into action as he saved Miller's shot from distance. Up the other end and Doran dragged an effort wide after Charlie Gilmour fed him on the edge of the box. Just before the break we had our first attempt on target when Scullion saved from Duffy at the expense of a corner. After the corner Max Anderson brought out another save from Scullion and Samuel's effort on the rebound resulted in another corner with Scullion blocking bravely. From there Gilmour broke the deadlock to put Inverness ahead with a low strike from the edge of the box, only his second goal for the Caley Jags. HALF TIME: 1-0 Five minutes after the break and it all happened. Michael Miller brought down Aaron Doran in the box, penalty given, Miller red carded and then Alex Samuel saw his penalty saved by Scullion. (he was probably feeling low as news filtered through that Partick Thistle were 3-0 up in Dingwall). He would not be denied a debut goal though and on the hour he turned the ball in to put us two ahead. Nikola Ujdur headed wide from a corner as Inverness continued to dominate. Substitute Adam Brook scored a super curling third but Cammy Mackay had to deny Darren Miller at the other end. Brooks scored another two minutes before the end to round off the scoring and put us into the hat for the next round draw. FULL TIME: 4-0 Robert on CTO: We got the job done, which was the main thing seeing what happened in some other games. I thought we started well and were trying to utilise the pace of Samuel, but after the early disallowed goal by Doran, we reverted to slow build up play and taking passes when shots were on for most of the first half. Gilmour’s goal was needed as otherwise the first half would have been one of our worst 45s this season. We showed a bit more urgency at the start of the second half and should have been 2 up with the penalty. I felt the red was a bit harsh but he was wresting with Doran for about 10 yards! Samuel’s kick was saved comfortably but he made amends a short time later with Carragher getting the assist. We failed to capitalise until the late double from Brooks added gloss to the score line. MacKay also pulled off one fine save to maintain the clean sheet. We started as a 3 5 2 with Duffy and Longstaff as wing backs, with all of Anderson, Carson and Gilmour in central midfield. We switched to 4 at the back late on after Ujdur went off, with Longstaff at left back. He did ok, but I felt Duffy was the more dangerous of the wide players. Carson had a quiet first half but made some decent passes after the break. It was good to see Doran and MacGregor get game time, along with Samuel and Brooks being amongst the goals. So job done with a good result after a largely unconvincing performance. Date: 20/01/2024 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 0983 Referee: Craig Napier Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: C Mackay; Duffy, Ujdur (Thompson 75), Carragher, Boyes, Carson (MacGregor 75), Gilmour, Anderson (Shaw 69), Longstaff, Doran (Brooks 57), Alex Samuel (B Mckay 70) Subs (not used): Ridgers; Davidson, Harper, Devine Scorers: Gilmour (45+1), Samuel (62), Brooks (73, 88) Booked: none Sent Off: none Broomhill FC: 0 Manager: Stephen Swift Lineup: Scullion; McNight, M Miller, Moy (McPhie 70), Ellis, Roberts (Smith 68), Kennedy (O'Donnell 53), Murphy, McCrystal (Higgins 53), Grehan (Hunter 63), D Miller Subs (not used): Barr; Ben Wright, Max Wright, Chalmers Scorers: none Booked: Scullion (20), Grehan (24), McKnight (86) Sent Off: Michael Miller (50) a
  6. Late winner for United A lot happened ahead of this one. David Wotherspoon will sign for United shortly and didn't feature for either side tonight. New signing, centre back James Carragher started. Released today, Sean Welsh has left Inverness with immediate effect and will be moving to Queens Park having played a total of 143 games, scoring 16 goals. Defender Zak Delaney has also left. Harry Hennem has departed as well. Lewis Hyde has gone to Brora on loan for the rest of the season. United added Alex Greive from St Mirren to their squad this week and he starts tonight. Craig Sibbald is suspended after his 88th minute red card against Morton. Archie Meekison made the bench but Declan Gallagher and Ross Docherty will miss out. Louis Moult who was a doubt missed out altogether. A late Tony Watt tap-in ruined all of Inverness' good work and United take the three points to go back on top of the table overnight at least. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness set the ball rolling kicking towards the South Stand housing the United fans. It was a more than cagey opening fifteen with Inverness in no hurry to leave their own half of the pitch, opting for the sideways movement instead which made for a ponderous start to the game. Midway through the first half and surely one of the most boring games ever televised with Inverness going sideways and United unable to break the hosts down. On cue, twenty-five minutes in, a wee foray forward for Inverness ended with Billy Mckay winning a corner after his effort was deflected wide. A second corner led to the ball being headed clear off the United line by Jordan Tillson when Danny Devine met Cammy Harper's corner, the keeper well beaten. A David Carson ball into the box found Luis Longstaff but he was shut down by the time he got his shot away and the chance was gone. Glen Middleton took a knock as the ball was crossed in but continued after lengthy treatment. Another ball into the box fell to Mckay but the sting was taken out of the strike enough for Walton to gather the blocked shot. Tony Watt was looking for a penalty as he landed on the turf but Alan Muir was not interested and giving a goal kick as the ball bounced over the line. Good Inverness pressure just before the break but it ended all square at the interval with the hosts seeing the better of the possession and United offering nothing so far. HALF TIME: 0-0 Rain met the sides after the break and five minutes in Watt headed over at the far side of the box. A well worked move saw Carson find Max Anderson in the box and his low effort was well saved by Walton, Charlie Gilmour's follow up shot from the recycled ball was sliced well wide. United were showing a bit more intent after the interval although in truth play was still a tad untidy. United had their best opportunity of the game as they worked an opening for substitute Archie Meekison but Ridgers was able to hold his low volley well on the greasy surface. Possession had evened out now with fifteen minutes left. Out of nothing with Inverness failing to retain the ball for any length of time a deflected cross from the left made it's way to Watt for a tap in. Minutes later substitute Cillian Sheridan failed to connect with a Harper cross when he looked favourite to get his head on the ball. Inverness were denied what looked like a penalty as Grimshaw handled in his own box. A late flurry from Inverness came to nothing and it was a disappointing result at the end of the night where United were there for the taking. FULL TIME: 0-1 Inverness manager Duncan Ferguson told BBC Scotland: "I thought the first half we were the better team. "We could have maybe gone one-up. In the second half we didn't do as well, Dundee United pushed the play without really creating anything."I think everybody saw in the stadium the big moment - but the referee never made the decision." Dundee United manager Jim Goodwin: "I think there will be people writing into the BBC looking for their licence fee back after that performance. "It was a really poor game of football. I am not making excuses but we have a lot of players struggling with knocks. I think we are very lucky to have won the game. "I am not going to stand here and say we deserved it but throughout the course of the league campaign you are going to get games like that. "It was not pretty but sometimes the result is worth more than the performance and I think tonight was one of those. It is a huge three points." On the handball claim at the end, Goodwin added: "We were denied a stonewall penalty last weekend but tonight we probably got away with one." Date: 12/01/2024 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2662 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Carragher (Sheridan 90), Boyes, Longstaff (Doran 93), Gilmour, Anderson, Harper, Shaw, B Mckay (Brooks 79) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Davidson, Duffy, Ujdur, Thompson, MacGregor, Scorers: none Booked: Boyes (57) Sent Off: none Dundee United: 1 Manager: Jim Goodwin; Lineup: Walton; Grimshaw, Graham, Holt, McMann, Fotheringham, Greive (Meekison 69), Tillson (Glass 88), Middleton, Watt, Mochrie Subs (not used): Newman; Denham, Freeman, Duffy, MacLeod, Cudjoe, Petrie Scorers: Watt (87) Booked: Tillson (61), Watt (94) Sent Off: none a
  7. Ayr Raid by the Boyes It's hotting up at the bottom end of the table after Queens Park grabbed their first win in sixteen games to close the gap on Inverness to just one point ahead of the visit to Somerset Park today. Charlie Albinson was back in the gloves and Sean McGinty was back at the heart of the Ayr defence with Anton Dowds, Jamie Murphy and Logan Chalmers the main threats up front. Danny Devine and David Carson were fit enough to start for Inverness but Nikola Ujdur was dropped to a bench which didn't inspire the Caley Jags faithful. A couple of early saves from Ridgers denied Ayr before Billy Mckay benefitted from an error by Albinson to open the scoring after half an hour. After the break a Morgan Boyes double put Inverness in the driving seat but Logan Chalmers reduced the deficit immediately. A couple of late chances at the end but Inverness held on to record their first win in six. Much better all round, so credit for that after a difficult month. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness kicked off in bright sunshine with the far side of the park looking like a building site. Seven minutes in and Logan Chalmers benefitted from an awkward ball that bounced across the face on the eighteen yard line, his curling effort tipped over brilliantly from a back pedaling keeper. A minute later he pulled off another save from distance as Ayr forced the play, Jack Young with a rasping shot well saved by Ridgers. After that early flurry the ball was like a hot potato with neither side able to stamp their authority on proceedings. Out of nothing, Billy Mckay opened the scoring on the half hour after Albiston was caught short with the ball at his feet. Max Anderson rolled the ball to Mckay and he rolled the ball into the net. Ridgers pulled off another important save soon after the opener when Chalmers burst into the box but the keeper got his angles right to deny the eager forward at the expense of a corner. Albinson saved from Nathan Shaw as the game approached the interval but it was Mckay's goal that separated the sides at the break. HALF TIME: 0-1 No changes at the interval. Good pressure around the home box almost resulted in an opening for the visitors. At the other end Ayr put the ball in the net but the flag was up which stopped any celebrations. Ten minutes after the break Morgan Boyes nodded in a beauty from a superb Cammy Harper cross after good away pressure. Boyes added a third with another header with referee Gavin Duncan adjudging the ball was over the line before being cleared but that lead was short lived as Logan Chalmers gave the hosts a lifeline, scoring from a tight angle two minutes later. Ridgers kept that cushion saving from close range as Ayr looked certain to pull another goal back through Anton Dowds. With ten minutes remaining Harper rattled the bar from just inside the box when he should have been hitting the target after we missed a couple of opportunities to finish off the moves. Amartey burst into the box and his shot was tipped onto the bar and over by Ridgers as Ayr pushed forward in time added on but it was Inverness that jumped up to seventh in the table above Ayr United as they held out for all three points. FULL TIME: 1-3 More Match Reaction to follow Great win on the road for Inverness after a poor run of results. Plenty of hard work done to make this possible and Mark Ridgers pulled off two or three excellent saves to keep us in touch at crucial stages. Two goals from Boyes was a bonus and good work going forward by Cammy Harper. All in, a decent performance. Top quote on CTO: So, 2 wins in our last 8 matches, both achieved when our manager was in the stand? Both Managers spoke to BBC Sport Ayr United manager Lee Bullen: "Nine times out of 10, the team that's better in both boxes wins the game of football and that's what happened. It just wasn't our day. It could've been easy just to throw the towel in at 3-0 but they kept going, Logan scores a wonderful goal. We had opportunities to maybe even get something out of the game." Inverness CT manager Duncan Ferguson: "It was a six-pointer. We've managed to jump above Ayr. It's a massive game for us. Moments in the game went for us. We created an awful lot of chances, particularly in the second half. [Mark Ridgers] was fantastic. A really great goalkeeper. Maybe one of the best in the league if not the best in the league." We won didn't we>>> Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Table looks healthier after todays games 1. Raith Rovers 20 13 5 2 37 26 44 2. Dundee Utd 19 12 5 2 42 10 41 3. Partick Thistle 20 10 5 5 41 32 35 4. Airdrieonians 20 8 3 9 19 23 27 5. Morton 19 7 4 8 23 26 25 6. Dunfermline 19 6 5 8 24 24 23 7. Inverness CT 20 5 6 9 23 24 21 8. Ayr United 19 5 4 10 25 38 19 9. Queens Park 19 4 5 10 24 38 17 10. Arbroath 19 5 2 12 23 40 17 Date: 06/01/2024 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1826 Referee: Gavin Duncan Ayr United: 1 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; Ahui, McGinty, McAllister, Stanger, Reading, Dempsey, Chalmers, Young, Smith (Bryden 61), Murphy (Amartey 74), Dowds (McKenzie 86) Subs (not used): Mutch; Watret, McAllister, Syla, Rose, Senga, Scorers: Chalmers (65) Booked: Chalmers (54), Young (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine, Boyes, Welsh (Longstaff 69), Gilmour, Anderson, Harper, Shaw, B Mckay (Brooks 82) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Ujdur, Davidson, Thompson, Doran, Sheridan Scorers: Mckay (29), Boyes (55, 63) Booked: Duffy (38), Welsh (50), Carson (80) Sent Off: none a
  8. Stalemate in the Highlands Inverness were along familiar lines of late with Welsh, Carson and Macgregor on the bench. Morton were without the suspended George Oakley, with long throw specialist Lewis Strapp in there for a reason other than just defending. Steven Boyd started for Morton. Alas there was no goals to cheer in a dismal affair as the last game of the year ended a point apiece. Have a good & safe New Year ********************** A chilly afternoon up North saw Inverness look for an early breakthrough with Max Anderson and David Wotherspoon having early efforts blocked en route to goal. Wotherspoon had another one blocked from close range twenty minutes in, however clear opportunities were at a premium. Five minutes before the break Charlie Gilmour had a pop from distance but Mullen was able to save comfortably. Disaster for Inverness minutes later as chief playmaker Wotherspoon went off injured to be replaced by Luis Longstaff. A poor first forty-five ended goalless. HALF TIME: 0-0 No changes at the break and five minutes into the second half Nikola Ujdur put Billy Mckay through but his effort from a tight angle enabled Mullen to deny him. Gilmour shot over as the tempo increased and Robbie Muirhead shot just wide at the other end when he might have done better. Substitute Lewis McGrattan won a corner with a blocked shot but it came to nothing as both sides made more changes. Claims for a late penalty went unanswered as Danny Devine went down in the box. David Carson missed a late chance to win it and that was your lot for 2023. FULL TIME: 0-0 Stalemate in the Highlands in a poor game to end the year with David Wotherspoon possibly having made his last appearance for the Caley Jags coming off injured before the break. Meh! A selection of comments on CTO: Shocking performance. Could have played for weeks and not scored, Some players were awful, Shaw needs to be dropped and Gilmore needs shooting practice. The subs that came on showed how poor our squad is. As Ferguson says we're def.in a relegation battle. Dreadful, dreadful stuff. One of the worst football matches I've ever suffered. We are going to be worryingly looking over our shoulder if this is the level of output until May. Scrappy game in which we tried to walk ball into net.We need to take more chances and shoot for goal. I think we needed more balls in from the wings and great to see Carson come on. Good we kept the back door closed, just a pity we were no sharper up front. Neither side shone today and if we don't up the tempo and get sharper at passing the best we can hope for is to stay in this league. Hopefully we will see positive moves in January tansfer market. Just about the worst game I have ever had the misfortune to attend. Embarrassing lack of quality, no excitement whatsoever, freezing cold, no wonder attendances are falling away. We really are a grim watch these days. Mind-numbing stuff! Sideways passing, then backwards, followed by some more sideways passing. Zero entertainment! Was Derek Adams right? We drew didn't we>>> Date: 30/12/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2114 Referee: Colin Steven Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Davidson (Carson 73), Ujdur, Devine, Boyes, Shaw, Gilmour, Anderson, Harper, Wotherspoon (Longstaff 40), B Mckay (Brooks 71) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Macgregor, Thompson, Welsh, Sheridan Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Morton: 0 Manager: Dougie Imrie Lineup: Mullen; French (O'Connor 74), Broadfoot, Baird, Strapp, Blues (Bearne 84), Power (Gillespie 72), Crawford, Wilson, Boyd (McGrattan 61), Muirhead Subs (not used): MacDonald; O'Boy Scorers: none Booked: Muirhead (55) Sent Off: none a
  9. Merry Xmas Danny Devine was fit enough to start and Jake Davidson again replaced the injured Wallace Duffy at right back. Otherwise no surprises in the Inverness starting XI or bench. As per normal, Brian Graham will present our defence with a robust challenge with Fitzpatrick and McInroy able and willing elfs. 205 visiting fans were on hand to check out this one and at the end of the day Status Quo was maintaned as all five games ended level this weekend. Max Anderson and Jack McMillan were the scorers today. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ooooooft, having got the match underway, it was an early start for the visitors who caught Partick cold as Max Anderson's weak effort found the net after an assist from Billy Mckay, long before all the bums had landed in their seats. 22 seconds apparently! The fast start continued in the third minute as Cammy Harper shot over from the left side. Alas, Jack McMillan squared the game after quarter of an hour scoring from close range. Fitzpatrick shot wide after twenty minutes and Ridgers was then brought into action to stop a long range low effort from Ben Stanway. Ten minutes before the break Wotherspoon bounced a shot just wide from the edge of the box as we ventured forth. A free kick in a promising position for the hosts ended when Graham shot over from just outside the box. Charlie Gilmour had the final effort of the half in stoppage time but it was well wide of the target. Partick with the bulk of the play but it remained all square at the interval. A late goal for Arbroath on half time meant that Inverness had gone from 8th to 5th to 9th over the course of the first forty-five. Meh! HALF TIME: 1-1 The hosts set the ball in motion for the second half and they were quick to avoid a repeat of the first minutes of the match as they went straight onto the front foot winning a couple of early corners before Aderson went close to his second of the game as the visitors wenr up the park. Devine did well to deny McMillan his second as he cleared his effort away from goal and Ujdur was booked for fouling Milne moments later. Partick were first with the changes after the hour. Ujdur took a knock but was able to continue and almost got on the end of the ball during a melee following a corner with fifteen minutes remaining. More corners followed but nothing doing before Longstaff saw his shot blocked five minutes before the end. Harper went down in the box but big appeals for a penalty went unanswered. It ended with a point apiece at a difficult venue. FULL TIME: 1-1 A good point at a difficult venue and one which keeps us in eighth place after a late goal for Dunfermline scuppered the Smokies. After the last two defeats, this was a welcome performance and point for the 205 hardy souls who braved the weather to keep away from the Xmas shopping. Have a great Christmas. From BBC Sports Partick Thistle manager Kris Doolan: "Inverness are a good team and a point is probably fair. It was such a freak goal to give away but the way we react is key. We get on the front foot and Jack McMillan scores a fantastic goal." Inverness CT manager Duncan Ferguson: "We couldn't have started any better. We created chances and could've had a couple of goals. "Everyone could see our attacking play which is lovely to watch, and on another day we could've had a penalty - we're not getting any 50-50 decisions at all. But we're really happy." Mantis saw it like this: That turned out to be a valuable point thanks to the Pars late equaliser. Both sets of players deserve nothing but praise considering the awful conditions. We totally dominated the opening 15 minutes and had a couple of half chances to double the lead which appeared to deflect off a defender and trundle in. Partick scored with their first attack of the game and it was a case of tragic failure to clear the ball. Never would have happened with Robbie Deas in there. We’re playing with 3 centre backs and nobody seems to know what their job is. We went to pieces after that and Partick murdered us for the rest of the half. Going by previous visits to Firhill we feared the worst for the second half but it never materialised. We really dominated the last half hour and had very few clear cut chances but it was like the Alamo with Partick defending scrambles in their six yard box and we must have had about 8 corners. However we’re still trying to walk it into the net with nobody trying to take a risk. Graham was substituted having had very little influence for once. So was Billy, for Longstaff, and he must have been frustrated trying to pull down long balls from Ridgers all day with big Muirhead breathing down his neck. Two shockers from Grainger the ref. He booked Ujdur for a clash of heads where the Partick player came off worst, and he missed a stonewall penalty when Cammy was hauled down late on. A draw away at Partick is not to be sniffed at against a team that has 29 points and a decent squad with Milne, Graham, Lawless and Alston. Date: 23/12/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3326 Referee: Graham Grainger Partick Thistle: 1 Manager: Kris Doolan Lineup: Sneddon; McMillan, Muirhead, Neilson, Milne, Stanway (Robinson 62), McInroy (MacKenzie 82), Lawless, Alston (Bannigan 62), Fitzpatrick, Graham (Adeloye 82) Subs (not used): Mitchell; Williams, Williamson, Lyon, Diack, Scorers: McMillan (15) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Davidson, Ujdur, Devine, Boyes, Shaw, Gilmour, Anderson, Harper, Wotherspoon (Sheridan 90), B Mckay (Longstaff 75) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Bray, Thompson, Welsh, Brooks Scorers: Anderson (22 secs) Booked: Devine (43), Ujdur (57), Gilmour (88) Sent Off: none a
  10. Looking Down With both sides losing in midweek, this game took on more significance for Big Dunc's side and Jim McIntyre was also looking to get away from the bottom of the table after he replaced Dick Campbell. David Wotherspoon was fit enough to start and good to see Keith Bray return to the squad alongside Robbie Thompson. Arbroath came North with only four on the bench with Michael McKenna and Ricky Little still out injured and O'Brien suspended. As it turned out we are now looking down the table instead of up after back to back defeats to the two teams who were below us only four days ago as Arbroath won 2-1. That was new manager Jim McIntyre's first win and it moves Arbroath off the bottom of the table. one point behind Inverness. All the goals came in the first half from Jay Bird, Billy Mckay and two minutes later David Gold. Looks like a few will be going cheap in the January sales. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was another miserable day in the Highlands as the teams took to the field with swirling wind and rain plentiful. Nathan Shaw had an early effort saved by Gaston after a give and take with David Wotherspoon and Arbroath came back with David Gold inside the box but he shot over from twelve yards. Leighton McIntosh missed the target following a corner as the visitors pushed forward in the early exchanges. Arbroath took the lead after half an hour when after a throw in, a deflected cross landed nicely for Jay Bird in the box and he rifled a shot behind Ridgers. Wotherspoon almost levelled a minute later but his shot was just wide, followed by Jake Davidson doing likewise. Five minutes before the break Billy Mckay squared the game from a Cammy Harper cross that evaded the defender before Billy volleyed home the bouncing ball from twelve yards. Having done the hard work to get level Arbroath took the lead again when Gold headed in from a corner. Slack defending again costing us at the back. Ridgers made a good stop just on the break as we continued to offer opportunites at the back, the keeper saving a shot from distance by Bird. Defensive lapses our downfall. I'm sure Big Dunc will be having a word in their ear over their half time cuppa. HALF TIME: 1-2 Defender Nikola Ujdur was replaced by Luis Longstaff at the interval as Dunc rang the changes. Ridgers saved a header from Gold on the line at the start of the second half as Arbroath continued to create and an Inverness burst forward was ended when Mckay fouled Gaston, or was it Gaston conning the refereee. Longstaff saw a header blocked after a corner. Spoony shot over from a free kick as we tried to get back on level terms with half an hour remaining. Davidson failed to get the ball under control and shot over as we increased the intensity. Some last ditch defending in the visitors box denied Inverness an equaliser from Davidsons cross. Charlie Gilmour missed a good opportunity when he headed wide and it all became a bit rushed without creating the clear cut opportunity required. Massively disappointing result that has dragged us right down into the mire. FULL TIME: 1-2 For cod's sake! Inverness slumped to an embarrassing defeat as Arbroath stunned Ferguson's flops at the Caledonian Stadium. Arbroath with big players out and only three outfield players on the bench proved too good for an overrated Inverness bunch of haddies who were easily beaten by the Smokies. More match reaction to follow>>> Dunc disappointed>>> But not as disappointed as Deek>>> Date: 16/12/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1842 Referee: Iain Sneddon Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Davidson (Brooks 90), Ujdur (Longstaff 45), Devine, Boyes, Shaw, Gilmour, Anderson, Harper, Wotherspoon (Sheridan 90), B Mckay (Lodovica 90), Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Thompson, Bray, Welsh Scorers: B Mckay (39) Booked: Ujdur (21) Sent Off: none Arbroath: 2 Manager: Jim McIntyre Lineup: Gaston; Steel, Stewart, Norey, Hamilton, Lyon (Jacobs 61), Gold (Stowe 71), Hylton, Slater, McKintosh, Bird (Dunnwald-Turan 75) Subs (not used): Adams; Scorers: Bird (29), Gold (42) Booked: Gold (17), Bird (35), Stowe (82) Sent Off: none a
  11. Hampden Success Danny Devine had recovered from the knock that saw him limp off against Raith Rovers on the hour last week. Sean Welsh and Luis Longstaff were on the bench. Grant Savoury, Charlie Fox and Craig Napier missed out for the Spiders. Jack Turner put Queens Park ahead early in the first half before Max Anderson levelled the match ten minutes later. Jack Thomson hit the bar, Mckay deemed offside when putting a loose ball into the net after Wotherspoon's header was saved and that prompted some words of comfort for the referee for which Big Dunc eventually ended up in the stands at the break. After the interval Inverness eased themselves up into sixth place in the league with goals from Nikola Ujdur, his first for the club, David Wotherspoon and a Billy Mckay penalty. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the eerie atmosphere of a sparse Hampden crowd, Billy Mckay had an early effort deflected behind for a corner which came to nothing. However it didn't take long for the Spiders to get their noses in front when Dom Thomas' delivery into the box was turned in by Jack the Turner. The visitors hit back on twenty-one minutes when Max Anderson met Nathan Shaw's cross to fire the ball behind Calum Ferrie. On the half hour another ball in from Shaw saw Ferrie save from Mckay. A minute later Mckay turned provider but defender Nikola Ujdur's effort was also stopped by Ferrie in the home goal. Ujdur and Mckay almost linked up again but Mckay was just short of getting on the end of his shot. Touch wood, but it was Inverness that looked most likely to get the next goal with Mckay adjudged offside after Wotherspoon's header was saved then Shaw and Anderson made Ferrie work for his money. Touch wood was appropriate as Jack Thomson struck the bar before Ridgers then saved from Stuart McKinstry as the Spiders came back to life just before the break. Duncan Ferguson also spaked into life just on the interval and was sent to the stand by referee Craig Napier for a second yellow. Settle down Dunc! HALF TIME 1-1 Tit for tat opening to the second half with Paton blocked at one end and Ferrie saving from Wotherspoon at the other end after a counter attack with Cammie Harper. Anderson saw an effort put behind for a corner, and from that corner Nikola Ujdur headed Harpers ball into the box behind Ferrie to put Inverness ahead. Better was to come after seventy-five minutes when November's Player of the Month David Wotherspoon scored his fifth goal for Inverness to put us 3-1 ahead on the day. Spoony then earned us a spot kick when he was taken down by substitute Cameron Bruce, and who else but Billy Mckay scored from the spot with a low shot into the bottom corner. The play was broken up after this by a spate of substitutions and that was our first win over Queens Park in six games. FULL TIME: 1-4 Happy Days! Our biggest win of the season, first goals for Anderson and Ujdur, with Spoony and Mckay also hitting the back of the net. All this with Ferguson sent to the stands at half time. Plenty room for him there in an empty National Stadium. Inverness move up to sixth in the table and we play Morton at Cappielow on Tuesday night where a win would see us jump another place to fifth. More match reaction to follow>>> Highlights from QP>>> The Goals >>> Here's Naughty Boy Dunc>>> Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Morton v Inverness on Tuesday night - Arbroath v Raith Rovers Wednesday night 1. Dundee Utd 14 10 4 0 34 6 34 2. Raith Rovers 14 10 3 1 26 17 33 3. Partick Thistle 15 7 4 4 31 25 25 4. Dunfermline 14 6 3 5 18 15 21 5. Airdrieonians 15 5 2 8 14 21 17 6. Inverness CT 14 4 4 6 17 16 16 7. Ayr United 14 4 2 8 17 26 14 8. Queens Park 14 3 4 7 19 31 13 9. Arbroath 13 4 0 9 17 27 12 10. Morton 13 3 2 8 14 23 11 Date: 09/12/2023 Venue: Hampden Park Attendance: 1203 Referee: Craig Napier Queens Park: 1 Manager: Robin Veldman Lineup: Ferrie; McPherson, Bannon, Reid, Robson (Bruce 70), Thomson (Longridge 60), Spong (Tizzard 70), Turner, McKinstry (Hepburn 61), Thomas, Paton Subs (not used): Kane; Healy, Jarrett, Mauchin, McCormick Scorers: Turner (10) Booked: Turner (17), Bannon (66) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy (Davidson 84), Ujdur , Devine, Boyes, Shaw (Longstaff 81), Gilmour (Welsh 90+1), Anderson, Harper, Wotherspoon (Lodovica 83), B Mackay (Brooks 83) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Sheridan, Thompson Scorers: Anderson (21), Ujdur (59), Wotherspoon (75), B Mckay (80 pen) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  12. Just Like Buses None for 23 years then two in a row as Raith came from behind to win with a time added on penalty converted by Jamie Gullan. Billy Mckay had opened the scoring with a header on the hour but a late surge by Rovers won it. Lewis Vaughan four minutes from the end then the penalty to take the win at the death scored by Jamie Gullan. We should have had a penalty of our own after that, but Mr Williams chose to ignore it. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and that one hurt. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Second top with only one defeat, Raith had been flying high before this one. Big Dunc has turned the fortunes around of a once jaded looking Caley Jags, unbeaten in seven. Something was going to give and it did, Dunc's streak came to an end. Ferguson was without the usual long term injured and David Carson was expecting . Harper and Boyes were struggling through the week but made the starting XI. Raith Rovers defender Ross Millen missed this one through suspension and Liam Dick had been missing lately through injury but was fit enough to start this one. The games at Ayr, Dunfermline and Morton were all frozen off. Only Inverness and Maryhill escaped the big freeze ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Temperatures were hovering around freezing as the game kicked off in bright sunshine. The visitors were first to settle and enjoyed the early pressure with Inverness comfortably mopping up most attacks. However we failed to find an outlet with a lot of misplaced passes from defence and the midfield were struggling to get to grips with the game. Closest to a goal in the first half was when the ball bounced off a surprised Ridgers' shins onto the post and he cleared it at the second fumble. In truth we were equally as poor as we were the week before against Cowdenbeath. Slow out of the blocks, sluggish all over the park and misplacing passes like nobody's business. Little surprise it was goalless at the break. HALF TIME: 0-0 The second half was played at a better pace and we were more in Raith's face. Raith managed a shot and couple of headers from Hamilton as they still looked the most likely to score, but neither keeper was overly troubled. On the hour we broke well down the left before we found ourselves outside the box on the right side. Wotherspoon lifted a cross into the box and Billy Mckay did well to make it his ball and headed low into the bottom corner of the net. With twenty minutes left Longstaff should have done better after a sweeping move down the left saw Shaw find him at the far side of the box. It all happened in slow motion thereafter and Longstaff's weak shot was easily saved by Dobrowski. Longstaff then turned provider but Anderson's effort from the cut back cannoned back off the crossbar. That would have given us a decent cushion. Alas it all went pear shaped in the final ten minutes. We began to look nervy in defence and sat deeper and deeper. Ujdur and Wotherspoon missed the target when we did go forward but we paid the penalty with five minutes left when Vaughan turned in the box to drill home through a ruck of players. Worse was to come deep into stoppage time when Longstaff brought down Sam Stanton. Game over as Gullan smashed the ball high into the net to win the game. Longstaff again was involved in the final effort of the game after Sheridan was getting the shirt pulled off his back, but the ball fell just behind him and a decent opportunity just became another clearance and that was it. FULL TIME: 1-2 That was a sore one after putting in a much better second half performance. Maybe Dunc will sort out why we are so ponderous at times compared to other sides, even Cowdenbeath broke quicker than we did. Poor first half again followed by a great header from Billy and one off the bar from Anderson. Then we regressed. Danny Devine going off injured didn't help and taking Mckay and Wotherspoon off doesn't seem like such a good idea now. Hey ho! We could have broken up play in time added on by using our last two substitutes. Instead we gifted a penalty and lost the game. Meh! Best for Inverness were Mckay, Wotherspoon and Ujdur and maybe Longstaff if he had a bit more belief in himself. The rest need to go back to basic passing. Our throw ins are as bad as ever and whilst I'm at it, we have no outlet when defending a corner. Stick someone on the halfway line Dunc. Closest to a goal in the first half was when the ball bounced off a surprised Ridgers' shins onto the post and he cleared it at the second fumble. Plenty of talk after the game about this scramled effort early in the game. I thought at the time it was fortunate but the whole ball did not cross the line. What is it with us and the woodwork just now? Video shows the ball never crossed the line. Close though! How about this tug on Sheridan after Raith's penalty. Shouldn't have been too difficult for Mr Williams to see from only twenty yards away. Consistently poor refereeing throughout this game. Where do we find these guys? Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts 1. Dundee Utd 13 9 4 0 33 6 31 2. Raith Rovers 13 9 3 1 22 14 30 3. Partick Thistle 14 7 4 3 28 21 25 4. Dunfermline 13 5 3 5 16 14 18 5. Airdrieonians 14 5 2 7 13 19 17 6. Ayr United 13 4 2 7 17 25 14 7. Inverness CT 13 3 4 6 13 15 13 8. Queens Park 13 3 4 6 18 27 13 9. Arbroath 12 4 0 8 16 25 12 10. Morton 12 2 2 8 12 22 8 Robert was philosophical on CTO: That’s a sore one to take but in reality we were outplayed until we took the lead against the run of play. If Raith had had their shooting boots on, they’d have been out of sight by half time. We were much better in the second half, but the goal was a surprise when it came. We then had our best spell and created several chances, coming very close when Anderson (by then playing in a more advanced role) cannoned one off the post. Then the late equaliser meant we looked like getting a point (which we’d all have taken at half time) but the stoppage time penalty was a sickener. Losing Devine meant a change of shape to 4 at the back, but I felt we played better with two wide players than we had with Duffy and Harper being wing backs. I’m not blaming the changes as Mckay and Wotherspoon had worked their socks off, and it seems to be the norm that they give us 100% for 70 minutes before being taken off. It is maybe the reality check we need, as our results have been better than our performances. If we had to lose our unbeaten run, I’d rather it was today than in any of the next three against the teams below us, Queens Park, Morton and Arbroath. Date: 02/12/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2143 Referee: Duncan Williams Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers, Duffy, Ujdur, Devine (Longstaff 63), Boyes, Gilmour, Anderson, Wotherspoon (Welsh 80), Harper, Shaw, B Mckay (Sheridan 79) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Davidson, Delaney, Thompson, Lodovica, Brooks, Scorers: Vaughan (86), Gullan (90+4 pen) Booked: Devine (34), Gilmour (83) Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 2 Manager: Ian Murray Lineup: Dabrowski; Dick, Corr (McGill 84), O'Reilly, Connolly (Smith 73), Mullin, Easton, Stanton, Byrne, Vaughan (Hannah 90+2), Hamilton (Gullan 73) Subs (not used): Thomson; Masson Scorers: B Mckay (61) Booked: Corr (75), Gullan (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  13. Wood you believe it? Big Dunc was looking to remain unbeaten in six, but Inverness were without half a dozen long term injured players including more recent casualties, Jake Davidson, Austin Samuels and Aaron Doran. Captain Sean Welsh was on the bench after a recent back injury. Dunfermline have their own long term absentees but had Deniz Mehmet back between the sticks after his head knock last week and Machael O'Halloran was fit enough to make the bench, with Alex Jakubiak and Craig Wighton as strong back-ups. Best early moments saw Dunfermline hit the post four times inside a couple of minutes but fortune favoured the visitors. Make that six hits on the Inverness woodwork, but Danny Devine showed them all how to hit the net two minutes before the break as tempers flared at the end of the half. More woodwork in the second half and Dunfermline salvaged a point with three minutes left through McCann...... in off the post! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Floodlights on from the start as the visitors set the ball rolling at 15:00 on a rather grey day. First corner of the game to the Pars but it came to nothing as did the Caley Jags' first corner minutes later. Lewis McCann had the first serious attempt but his header was poor and it bounced into the ground without troubling Ridgers. Nathan Shaw was blocked at one and immediately Danny Devine thwarted Matty Todd at the other end as he tried to break through on goal. Owen Moffat dipped a shot over after twenty minutes with Ridgers watching closely. The Pars hit both posts when McCann turned and shot and the ball bounced perilously close to the line before being cleared after hitting the other post. Moments later Hosler slid in and hit the post once more and the rebound came off Devine to hit the post again. After an Inverness corner, Billy Mckay had a low effort blocked in a crowded box. Ridgers saved from Ritchie-Hosler, then on the half hour Cammy Harper missed what is generally described as an open goal at the back post after a Mckay sclaff found it's way to him but he sliced wide. Wood you believe it! Incredibly the Pars hit the woodwork another twice after Morgan Boyes played a loose pass back. McCann hit the inside of the post then Moffat's effort came off the bar from the rebound. From another home corner a Boyes header went agonisingly close to opening the scoring. Danny Devine showed his strikers how to do it a couple of minutes before half time as he drilled into the net. Amazingly, the visitors made it to the interval without conceding, the posts, however, were battered and bruised as were Gilmour, Harper, Chalmers and Hamilton after a clash with yellow cards dished out in a frantic ending to the half. HALF TIME: 0-1 If anything the rain was heavier as the second half kicked off with no alterations to either side and Inverness making some early headway to no avail. Harper fired a cross into the box which David Wotherspoon almost connected properly with but it went wide. Touch wood, but it was a much more positive start to the second half for the visitors. Harper did well to clear away a dangerous McCann cross with substitute Jakubiak lurking with intent. Inverness survived another cafuffle in the box involving Jakubiak again and minutes later he was looking for a penalty under a Devine intervention. A seventh strike off the woodwork saved the visitors again from a thunderous Otoo effort from distance. Lewis McCann levelled the game with three minutes left. Unfortunately the post helped the Pars this time as McCann's effort went in via the post. FULL TIME: 1-1 An incredible game with Woodwork named as MotM with seven tremendous saves and one assist at the end as the Pars got the reward their endeavour deserved. Great finish from Danny Devine for the opening goal, scoring like a Pro. Nobody could grudge Dunfermline their leveller although it came at a time when we looked most comfortable and likely to see out the game for all three points. It's a funny olde game as they used to say. Date: 18/11/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5034 Referee: Euan Anderson Dunfermline: 1 Manager: James McPake Lineup: Mehmet; Fisher, Hamilton, Otoo, Ritchie-Hosler (O'Halloran 70), Allan, Todd (Jakubiak 60), Chalmers, Edwards, McCann, Moffat (Wighton 70) Subs (not used): Sharp; Little; Fenton, Comrie Scorers: McCann (88) Booked: Chalmers (45), Hamilton (45+3) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Ujdur (Duffy 65), Devine, Boyes, Harper, Gilmour, Anderson, Wotherspoon (Welsh 84), Shaw, B Mckay (Longstaff 65) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Lodovica, Thompson, Brooks, Sheridan Scorers: Devine (43) Booked: Gilmour (45+2), Harper (45+3), Duffy (74) Sent Off: none a
  14. Dunc on the Up Inverness added Sean Welsh to the ever expanding longer term injury list suffering from a recurring back injury, but Luis Longstaff was fit enough to make the bench. Ayr United had Logan Chalmers, Jamie Murphy and Anton Dowds as a triple threat up front. Despite this, Inverness cruised home without having to get out of second gear. Three goals inside the last ten minutes of the first half ended the game as a contest. Two from David Wotherspoon and a penalty from Billy Mckay. Ayr got a consolation penalty in a poor second half, but it was an important three points for the Caley Jags and Big Dunc ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A bright and calm afternoon saw the teams take to the pitch with a growing army of disciples watching from the stands. As kick-off approached, a shrill whistle from the referee saw the crowd fall impeccably silent to commemorate those that made the ultimate sacrifice during the conflicts...... lest we forget. An early injury to birthday boy Cammy Harper was a worry for Duncan Ferguson but that wasn't enough to keep Cammy from his own party. In truth we gave a mediocre Ayr United too much respect. That was until David Wotherspoon tapped in from one yard after we opened the Ayr defence inside their own box. He added a second with the aid of a deflection as we looked to kill the game and the icing was on the cake when Billy Mckay buried a penalty after Reading tripped Charlie Gilmour in the box in the final act of the first half. HALF TIME: 3-0 The second half was the epitome of an anti-climax. After the opening ten minutes of the second period when we toyed with Ayr and looked likely to run up a Rugby score, neither keeper was over exerted and the game deteriorated as a spectacle. With Ayr looking unlikely to breach our defence they were awarded a stonewall penalty when Rose was brought down by Ridgers as he raced onto a ball into the box. Murphy drilled home the resultant spot kick. In fairness to both sides, the damage was done in the last few minutes of the first half which took any urgency out of the game, especially for Inverness. FULL TIME: 3-1 As comfortable as it was it was still a poor second half where we should have gone on to put Ayr to the sword. As it was, the result was huge in the context of our season and we can overlook the turgid performance in the light of three excellent points and a step up the table to eighth place with games in hand over some teams. More Match Reaction to Follow>>> Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Big Dunc is on the march 1. Dundee Utd 13 9 4 0 33 6 31 2. Raith Rovers 12 8 3 1 20 13 27 3. Partick Thistle 13 6 4 3 26 20 22 4. Airdrieonians 13 5 2 6 12 17 17 5. Dunfermline 11 4 2 5 12 13 14 6. Ayr United 13 4 2 7 17 25 14 7. Queens Park 13 3 4 6 18 27 13 8. Inverness CT 11 3 3 5 11 12 12 9. Arbroath 11 4 0 7 16 22 12 10. Morton 12 2 2 8 12 22 8 Robert on CTO: The first half hour was pretty even but we had an explosive 15 minutes before half time which settled the game. Wotherspoon is proving a real asset and I hope we extend his contract beyond January. Mckay did brilliantly to start the build up to the first goal. Wotherspoon squeezed his second in from a very tight angle and Mckay buried the penalty. None of us saw that all coming after 30 minutes. We were pinned back for most of the second half and Ayr’s penalty made it slightly nervy but we saw it out. My only complaint is that we invited Ayr on to us too much in the second half. However, Ridgers did not have much to do. We lost Anderson at half time, presumably to injury, but hopefully a precautionary change. The picks for me were Wotherspoon, Mckay and Boyes. Credit also to Harper who nullified Chalmers to the point we didn’t see Chalmers after the break. 11 points out of 15 and up to 8th. If we can win at Dunfermline in our first game in hand next week we will be 5th. Well done guys! Date: 11/11/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2259 Referee: Iain Snedden Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Ujdur, Boyes, Devine, Harper Carson (Duffy 57), Gilmour, Anderson (Longstaff 45), Wotherspoon (Brooks 89), Shaw, Mckay (Sheridan 78) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Thompson, Delaney, Lodovica Scorers: Wotherspoon (32, 43), B Mckay (45+2 pen) Booked: Anderson (27), Brooks(90+2) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 1 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Mutch; McAllister, Stanger (F Ecremont 12), McGinty, Reading, Chalmers (Rose 45), Syla, Senga (Amartey 69), Murphy, McKenzie (McGeady 79), Dowds (Young 69) Subs (not used): O Ecremont; Smith, Bryden, Scorers: Murphy (61 pen) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  15. First Home Win Duncan ferguson was looking for his first home Championship success as the Diamond's visited the Caledonian Stadium. He would be without some key players. Unfortunately Welsh, Duffy, Doran, MacGregor, Nicolson, and Samuels were all out with Devine, Boyes, Ujdur, Harper and Carson all struggling to make this one. New signings David Wotherspoon and Cillian Sheridan were in the squad. As it was, Carson, Ujdur, Devine, Harper and Wotherspoon all started with Boyes and Sheridan on the bench. Airdrie had Gallagher and Todorov up front with Player Manager Rhys McCabe on from the start. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Decent afternoon for a game of football and Airdrie took advantage of the good conditions to control the early possession although they never troubled Ridgers, one shot clearing the North Stand into the car park. The next one went five yards over the bar. The best Inverness could offer was a blocked shot on the edge of the box after our best move of the game. We came more into the mix and David Wotherspoon spooned a shot over the bar from five yards after Keeper Josh Rae had saved from Billy Mckay. He really should have scored but he made amends five minutes before the break with a tremendously calm finish. He showed real class unlike the open goal he missed earlier. The move began on the left with Longstaff then when it came to Wotherspoon in midfield he flicked it deftly to the right side where Gilmour fed Shaw. He drove down the wing before cutting the ball back to Spoony who turned in the box to roll the ball into the unguarded corner of the net from twelve yards after making the space for himself. Class! HALF TIME: 1-0 After the interval Airdrie retained the ball better but we threatened when Gilmour went down after a challenge in the box. Shaw picked up the loose ball but his shot was charged down as he tried to pick out the top corner from the edge of the box. A spate of substitutions disrupted the flow of the game and the visitors made a late push to salvage a point. However, we defended well despite half of our back four being substituted with Ujdur dominant. The big defender made a couple of crucial blocks, one in particular as Frizzell pulled the trigger, the ball deflecting over the bar. Despite the late pressure from Airdrie, Ridgers was not overly exerted although he made a couple of crucial catches and punches clear to hold on to the clean sheet and more importantly all three points. FULL TIME: 1-0 The fabulous execution of his goal was a great introduction for David Wotherspoon but for me the Man of the Match and new version of Bobby Mann was Nikola Ujdur. The Aussie defender is solid, strolled through the game unflustered and can pick a pass. Good graft in midfield but Sheridan and Big Harry need some work done. Shaw picked up a booking at the end when Big Dunc sent him back onto the pitch to get treatment Robert on CTO: This is what Saturday evenings should feel like! The second half was a hard watch at times, but we got the job done. Ridgers dealt with everything and a few timely blocks and some poor finishing helped too. The first half was quite even and we scored at the right time as Airdrie seemed to be getting on top. It was a great, calm finish by Wotherspoon which more than made up for the one he skied earlier (in his defence I thought it came on to him very quickly). I also thought the referee did us a big favour early in the second half. On a different day Anderson would have been penalised and a penalty awarded. However I thought we should have got one shortly after too. It’s nice not to be gifting goals although we did have some squeaky bum moments in defence, with Airdrie’s right wing back causing a lot of problems. Mckay and Wotherspoon worked their socks off. Longstaff and Shaw tried to push forward but also helped the full backs well. Anderson and Gilmour are developing a good partnership. But the biggest credit must go to our walking wounded. Last night all of our starting defenders were on the injury list, and Carson and Devine cannot have been fully fit when they were subbed in the second half. Udjur was not quite as composed today but did what he had to, whilst Harper had a bit of a torrid time defensively at times but credit them both for getting through the game. Sheridan could prove an asset when he is fully match sharp, with one defensive tackle standing out for me today. Lodovica and Brooks still do not convince me though. We may lose ground on Tuesday when some of our opponents play and Saturday will be a big test at Tannadice. But let’s enjoy the moment. It’s long time since we’ve had a home win to kick start a Saturday evening. OCG: Eye bleeding at times but we were able to grind out a win! We need points at moment and pretty football can wait. Good to see us becoming a bit more streetwise under Ferguson eg keeping ball in corner as long as we could in last couple of minutes. Full Highlights from ICTFC Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts 1. Dundee Utd 10 7 3 0 28 4 24 2. Raith Rovers 9 6 2 1 14 9 20 3. Partick Thistle 10 4 3 3 19 16 15 4. Airdrieonians 10 4 1 5 9 14 13 5. Arbroath 9 4 0 5 15 17 12 6. Ayr United 10 4 0 6 12 18 12 7. Queens Park 11 3 3 5 14 22 12 8. Dunfermline 9 3 2 4 9 10 11 9. Inverness CT 9 2 2 5 7 10 8 10. Morton 9 2 2 5 9 16 8 Date: 28/10/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2218 Referee: Calum Scott Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carson (Davidson 78), Ujdur, Devine (Delaney 78), Harper, Longstaff (Brooks 62), Gilmour, Anderson, Wotherspoon (Sheridan 68), Shaw, B Mckay (Lodovica 67) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Boyes, Thompson, Scorers: Wotherspoon (37) Booked: Lodovica (90+1), Shaw (90+3) Sent Off: none Airdrieonians: 0 Manager: Rhys McCabe Lineup: Rae; Megwa, McCabe (Aiken 67), Watson, Fordyce, Hancock, Frizzell, McStravick (McGregor 69), Telfer, Todorov, Gallagher (McGill 77) Subs (not used): Hutton; Taylor-Sinclair, O'Connor, McMaster, Dunlop Scorers: none Booked: Frizzell (53) Hancock (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  16. Thistle be the day This will be the day that Duncan Ferguson made his bow to the Caley Jags fans. The weather might have dampened the atmosherics, but inside the stadium it was a warm welcome for Big Dunc. He was without the long term absentees (MacGregor & Nicolson) plus more recent victims in Sean Welsh, Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy. After the first win last week, it was an unchanged starting XI that took to the sodden turf. Partick had our olde foe Brian Graham up front. Enough said ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ Heavy overnight rain made for wet conditions on the park and around the Highlands. Both sides made heavy weather (no pun intended) of a tedious first half where neither keeper had to earn their corn. Partick started liveliest without threatening before we got to grips with the game. Ujdur headed tamely wide from a Harper corner as he couldn't get any purchase on the ball. Shaw made a clumsy touch from a Gilmour cross from the left side and the chance was gone as Sneddon snapped up the loose ball. A loose ball forward allowed Partick a shooting opportunity but Ridgers gathered comfortably. After the break the visitors cut along the byeline and it ended with Fitzpatrick rolling the ball onto the post before being cleared. Doran was looking for a penalty after being upended in the box but nothing given. From an Inverness corner, Partick broke forward at pace and it ended with Ridgers saving a low twenty-five yard drive from Graham. Shaw made a tremendous tackle to win back the ball before Gilmour was eventually set up for a shot but he dragged his low effort a yard wide. Billy Mckay turned on the edge of the box but his curled effort drifted over the bar with Gilmour looking for a return pass as he ran into the box. Milne rode a couple of challenges before slicing his parting shot wide from eighteen yards. Best chance of the game fell to the visitors three minutes before the end after Ridgers parried a swerving shot from McInroy. It fell to Adeloye but he blazed his hooked effort well over the bar from five yards. Inverness mainly looked comfortable without overly troubling keeper Sneddon and it ended all square in a very wet Highlands. FULL TIME: 0-0 Neither side can complain about a point apiece but Partick will now know that they can not expect to pick up easy points against us. In fact had Gilmour placed his shot within the bounds of the posts then we could have taken all three points. Meh! Another step in the right direction for Inverness who matched high scoring Partick Thistle all over the park. Best for Inverness were the tricky Longstaff, the unflustered Ujdur and the driving force of Gilmour, with Ridgers doing his bit at the end Date: 07/10/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2374 Referee: Dan McFarlane Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Ujdur, Boyes, Harper, Longstaff, Gilmour, Anderson, Shaw (Brooks 86), Doran (Samuels 65) B Mckay (Lodovica 86) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Davidson, Delaney, Hyde, Bray, Thompson Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 0 Manager: Kris Doolan Lineup: Sneddon; Ngwenya, Muirhead, Neilson, Milne, McInroy, Robinson, Bannigan, Lawless, Graham (Macdonald 74), Fitzpatrick (Adeloye 73) Subs (not used): McGinley, Alston, Williamson, Stanway, Mitchell, Williams Scorers: none Booked: Bannigan (72) Sent Off: none a
  17. Dunc get's off to a flier Dunc's reign of apprehension got off to a promising start at Gayfield as Inverness opened the scoring in the tenth minute through Luis Longstaff who scrambled the ball into the net after a Nikola Ujdur header was not dealt with by keeper Gaston. Longstaff then turned provider as Aaron Doran turned his driven cross into the net after half an hour. Other chances came and went: Nathan Shaw not catching his shot plumb from the edge of the box making it comfortable for Gaston to flop on the ball and save and Billy Mckay not making the most of a great break forward, his low shot a bit of a dolly for the keeper to block. HALF TIME 0-2 Billy Mckay added a third just after the interval lobbing Gaston perfectly with an assist from his own keeper Mark Ridgers. At 3-0 Shaw again might have done better when one on one with Gaston but he chose the wrong option and took himself too wide and the chance was gone. Arbroath came back into it with strikes from Ross Stewart and Michael McKenna to set up a grandstand finish. Stewart's goal was as massive a fluke as you will see. Ujdur attempted to thunder the ball clear on the edge of his own box. Unfortunately Stewart anticipated this and turned his back on the defender expecting him and ball to go flying forward. Alas it looks like it cannoned off his arse and it floated over the despairing flail of Mark Ridgers and into the net. Unbelievable, you couldn't write it, however, I just did. McKenna's goal favoured the hosts as it bobbled off a couple of bodies before he despatched it behind Ridgers off his near post with a tidy finish. With much biting of fingernails, Dunc got off to a winning start after a lengthy period of time added on and that means that we are no longer bottom of the table (just). Phew! FULL TIME: 2-3 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ferguson was without the services of Roddy MacGregor, Lewis Nicolson, Sean Welsh, Wallace Duffy and Danny Devine. Nikola Ujdur made his debut last week and looks like a solid unit and both he and Aaron Doran started. Ricky Little returned after suspension for Arbroath with Jay Bird relegating Dünnwald-Turan to the bench. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ More match reaction to follow>>> The fans were looking forward to this one with a mixture of fear, trepidation, apprehension, pessimism, optimism and excitement in equal proportions. Dunc has certainly got the fans talking again and there's a feelgood factor lurking just round the corner. Rome wasn't built in a day, however Ferguson was not the foreman. Time will tell if this will be a successful appointment, but he has the full backing of the fans at the moment. Arbroath were off the back of a four game winning run. We were on downward spiral since the start of the season, the reason why Dunc is here now. As it happened, we escaped with all three points... Speaking to BBC Sport, Inverness CT manager Duncan Ferguson: "I thought my players were magnificent, we really should have had a lot more goals on the counter attack. "To a man, the players put their bodies on their line for the club. They gave 100% effort and showed a lot of resilience, we just need to be a bit braver on the ball. "To deliver a win for the fans, it was a great moment for myself and the team." From CTO: Great to get the win but that was hard work to watch in the second half. From cruising at 3-0 to hanging on for dear life and looking like we might easily lose in the space of a few minutes, we still look fragile. Well done to the boys for steadying a bit towards the end and hanging on. And top marks to big Dunc for coming over to the fans and showing his delight at the end Full Highlights Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Off the bottom at last 1. Dundee Utd 7 5 2 0 16 3 17 2. Raith Rovers 7 5 1 1 12 8 16 3. Partick Thistle 7 4 1 2 17 9 13 4. Arbroath 8 4 0 4 15 11 12 5. Airdrieonians 7 4 0 3 7 10 12 6. Dunfermline 7 3 2 2 9 8 11 7. Queens Park 8 3 0 5 11 19 9 8. Ayr United 7 2 0 5 9 16 6 9. Inverness CT 7 1 1 5 6 10 4 10. Morton 7 1 1 5 8 16 4 Date: 30/09/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1723 Referee: Don Robertson Arbroath: 2 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Steele, Little, O'Brien, Stewart, Dow (Stowe 63), Slater (Balde 70), McKenna, Gold, Hylton (Dünnwald-Turan 85), Bird (Mcintosh 63) Subs (not used): Adams; Lyon, Norey, Jacobs Scorers: Stewart (69), McKenna (79) Booked: Slater (47) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Ujdur, Boyes, Harper, Longstaff (Davidson 75), Gilmour, Anderson, Doran (Samuels 55), Shaw, B Mckay (Delaney 64) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Thompson, Bray, Brooks, Lodovica Scorers: Longstaff (10), Doran (31), B Mckay (48) Booked: Gilmour (88) Sent Off: none
  18. Record Breakers Never had there been a better time for Raith Rovers to break the Caley Jags hoodoo! Inverness, without a win in their last eight games, and Billy Dodds and the management team under fire. A 23 year run of games without a win for Raith Rovers was brought to an end today when Jamie Gullan smashed home from 15 yards with five minutes left. It was harsh on Inverness who dominated for long spells earlier in the game, but it leaves the management with some tough decisions to make. There will be dancing on the streets of Raith tonight! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Dodds was without MacGregor, Nicolson, Welsh, Duffy and the suspended Lodovica. Robbie Thompson started and Anderson, Devine and Billy Mckay returnrned to the starting XI. Rovers looked to have a strong line-up and were looking to consolidate at the top end of the table. Inverness dominated the first half with Raith keeper Dabrowski making three or four great saves to deny Anderson, Boyes and Gilmour with Billy Mckay also being blocked close to goal. Danny Devine did have the ball in the net, but his header was adjudged to be offside. HALF TIME: 0-0. Almost a goal at the start of the second half but Raith survived the scare. Raith grew into the game after the break and Ridgers was eventually called into action with a double block, scooping the ball away from danger. The inevetable happened with three minutes of normal time left when Gullan thumped the ball home after a poor clearance fell to him. Carson was then turned and Gullan hammered home to end the hoodoo. That got the monkey off their backs. Adam Brooks had an opportunity to level the game in time added on but never got enough purchase on the ball and MotM Dabrowski saved comfortably FULL TIME: 1-0 Despite a promising first half where Raith would have had no complaints had we gone in at the interval three ahead, the hosts stuck at it and sneaked a goal in the last few minutes to put them top of the league on their own. A much improved performance from the visitors where the defence did not look like conceding.... and then it happened. More details to follow>>> Highlights from RRFC Date: 16/09/2023 Venue: Stark's Park, Kirkaldy Attendance: 2846 Referee: Chris Graham Raith Rovers: 1 Manager: Ian Murray Lineup: Dabrowski; Millen, Watson, Murray, Dick, Vaughan (Mullin 64), Smith (Easton 64), Stanton (Gullan 85), Brown, Hamilton, Byrne Subs (not used): McNeil; Connolly, Arnott, Hannah, Masson, Scorers: Gullan (87) Booked: Dick (62) Watson (90) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Boyes, Harper, Longstaff, Anderson, Gilmour (Brooks 87), Shaw, Thompson (Bray 71), B Mckay (Samuels 82) Subs (not used): Mackay; Davidson, Delaney, Hyde, Doran Scorers: none Booked: Gilmour (8), Devine (84) Sent Off: none a
  19. Smoked by the Smokies A visit to Arbroath in the SPFL Trust Trophy saw both sides make a few changes from their Championship personnel. It would appear that Arbroath were taking this more seriously than Inverness although Campbell made four changes to the starting line up this week with Adams replacing Gaston in goals and Jacobs, Hylton and Baldé starting in place of Slater, Dow and the injured Bird. Inverness made eight changes to their side in the spirit of the competition and rested Billy Mckay, Max Anderson and Danny Devine with Doran in for his experience along with youngsters Brooks, Bray and Thompson with Big Harry on the bench. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Little to talk about in the opening exchanges but Arbroath were looking the hungrier side and trying to create with the visitors lacking penetration. David Gold opened the scoring ten minutes before the break smashing the ball in from a Hylton cross. A second followed just before the break after Cammy Mackay produced a spectacular save to deny a Turan header, but from the corner Tam O'Brien tapped in at the second attempt after a scramble in the box. That prompted a rapid response from Inverness when Adam Brooks replied for the visitors two minutes later after goog possession and a cross from Longstaff. Before the whistle Wallace Duffy left the field to be replaced by Cammy Harper in stoppage time. Half Time: 2-1 Charlie Gilmour replaced Austin Samuels at the interval but it was the hosts that went straight onto the front foot. On the hour Doran hit the crossbar after he got on the end of a Longstaff cross to volley from six yards. Big Harry and Nathan Shaw were introduced with Bray and Doran making way with around half an hour remaining. Harry's game was short. He was sent off a couple of minutes after coming on for a reckless challenge on McKenna, lordy lordy Ross Stewart restored the two goal cushion with a vicious strike from just outside the box in the 70th minute. Aaron Steele knocked in the fourth in another melee in the box as we struggled to stop the rot. The smokies could have had a fifth when substitute Slater beat Mackay from eighteen yards but his shot bounced off the post and across the face of the goal. Lewis Hyde reduced the deficit in the final minutes with a header off a Harper free kick to end the scoring. An eventful but unsuccessful afternoon for the Caley Jags. Do I hear the word untennable being passed around? Full Time: 4-2 Regardless of the eight changes made, it was another poor day at the office... The stats don't lie no matter what team you put on the park. That's now seven defeats and one draw in our last eight big boy games (excluding the Inverness Cup Final). Where does Billy Dodds go from here? Most fans, if not all, are bringing out the untennable option. And along with Dodds, is it time for the whole board to resign. By the end of October, it should be clearer. We face Raith Rovers (a), Dundee United (h) and Arbroath (a) again. If we take nothing from these games, then there will be only one option. Date: 09/09/2023 Venue: Gayfield Park, Arbroath Attendance: 780 Referee: Steven McLean Arbroath: 4 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Adams; Steel, O'Brien, Little, Stewart, Jacobs (Slater 72), Cande Balde (Dow 58), Hylton (Stowe 72), McKenna, Gold (Norey 79), Turan (McIntosh 72) Subs (not used): Gaston; Scorers: Gold (34), O'Brien (41), Stewart (70), Steele (84) Booked: O'Brien (75) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds/Barry Wilson Lineup: C Mackay; Davidson, Duffy (Harper 45+4), Boyes, Delaney, Thompson (Hyde 74), Doran (Shaw 61), Bray (Lodovica 61), Longstaff, Brooks, Samuels (Gilmour 45) Subs (not used): Ridgers; Scorers: Brooks (43), Hyde (90+2) Booked: Boyes (83) Sent Off: Lodovica (63) a
  20. Diamond geezers do it again Inverness were without Aaron Doran and Sean Welsh but Danny Devine returned to the defence and Keith Bray started. Hat-Trick Harry was on the bench with young Adam Brooks. Airdrie had new signing Gavin Gallagher on the bench alongside Nikolay Todorov but Colin Telfer missed out with player manager Rhys McCabe. Top scorer Calum Gallagher is the man to keep an eye on. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WTF! Inverness went behind in the first minute when Cammy Harper scored an own goal. So much for cutting out errors at the back. We chased the game thereafter without creating too much and Calum Gallagher doubled our deficit after half an hour to make our task even more onerous. Austin Samuels hit woodwork and another shambles of a half closed at 2-0 for the hosts with Frizzell booked on the whistle. Depressing stuff from the visitors with no cutting edge. Five minutes after the break Airdrie were reduced to ten men when Adam Frizzell received his second yellow card. Nathan Shaw scored to half the deficit with twenty minutes remaining. We threw everything at Airdrie but Rae was equal to all our efforts and we slumped to our sixth defeat in a row. What now Billy? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WTF! Inverness go behind inside the first minute when Cammy Harper tries to cut out a deflected cross from Lewis McGregor but knocks it into his own net under challenge instead. So much for cutting out errors at the back. Wallace Duffy responded in the third minute but his drive went high and wide and sinner Harper put a good cross into the box but Keeper Josh Rae did well to gather confidently. The hosts were looking for a penalty when Aiken went down in the box and Gallagher fired wide. Nothing given. Keith Bray got on the end of a Nathan Shaw cross but his effort was blocked as we looked to get back on level terms. Just after the half hour Bray was close to getting on the end of a David Carson through ball. Surprise surprise! Chasing the game from thirty-five seconds in, we lost a second goal when Calum Gallagher shot into the bottom corner from inside the box, Danny Devine culpable this time, although the pass from Jake Davidson caught him unawares. Is there no end to our error strewn defending? Austin Samuels hit woodwork, Taylor-Sinclair had blocked his effort onto the post as we struggled to get a foothold in this game with half-time approaching. A great run from Gallagher almost added a third and Samuels was booked as his frustration showed five minutes before the interval. Charlie Gilmour curled over after Rae's clearance fell to him and Shaw missed the target as we desperately searched for a way back. HALF TIME: 2-0 Luis Longstaff replaced Jake Davidson at the break and Billy Mckay was denied by Rae at his near post five minutes into the second period from Longstaff's cross. From the resultant corner Devine's header came off the post and was saved by the keeper then Moments later Frizzell was red carded for his second bookable offence, a late challenge on Bray, having been booked in time added on at the end of the first half. Mckay went close again but was blocked as Inverness looked to take advantage of their superior numbers. Airdrie re-jigged after the sending off with Todorov and O'Connor entering the field. McGregor brought Mark Ridgers into action and likewise at the other end with Shaw on target. Shaw did pull a goal back from close range after seventy minutes when Longstaff's shot came back off the post as we went for broke. Ridgers cut out a cross from Aiken as he broke forward with ten minutes left. Airdrie were living dangerously and Shaw went close again with five minutes left on the clock and he was denied by Rae a minute later. In time added on Sub Robbie Thompson was denied by Rae as he kept Airdrie ahead. Despite a big effort in the second half it ended with Airdrie taking all three points. FULL TIME: 2-1 Chasing the game after more defensive blunders, we squandered numerous opportunities to get back into it before Shaw scored. Alas, Rae was in good form and a combination of him and poor finishing means we are now bottom of the league on our own after six successive defeats, (three in the league), and the errors keep coming. All this against ten men for near 40 minutes. The long knives are well and truly drawn... Date: 26/08/2023 Venue: Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie Attendance: **** Referee: Dan McFarlane Airdrieonians: 2 Manager: Rhys McCabe Lineup: Rae; Ballantyne, Watson, Fordyce, Taylor-Sinclair, Frizzell, McMaster, Aiken, McGregor (Hancock 82), McGill (O'Connor 58), C Gallagher (Todorov 58) Subs (not used): Hutton; McCabe, Dunlop, Cassidy, G Gallagher Scorers: Harper (35sec og), C Gallagher (32) Booked: Frizzell (40+2, 50), McMaster (90+3) Sent Off: Frizzell (50) Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Davidson (Longstaff 45), Duffy, Devine, Harper, Samuels (Brooks (59)), Carson (Delaney 72), Bray (Thompson 83), Gilmour, Shaw, B Mckay (Lodovica 72) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde Scorers: Shaw (70) Booked: Gilmour (28), Samuels (40), B Mckay (66) Sent Off: none a
  21. Tears of Pride Celtic were big favourites to lift the Cup and with it complete the Treble. Inverness have been here before and have put Celtic out of the Cup on three previous occasions. However, it's a big ask and the bookies agree with Celtic's favourites tag. Scotland's number one side against this seasons eighteenth best side. It was pretty much a clean bill of health for Billy Dodds after a month of relative inactivity for his squad with just long term casualties Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh missing. Celtic were without Aaron Mooy and Cameron Carter-Vickers but such is their wealth of talent it would matter not a jot. At the end of the day Celtic would win the treble and lift the Scottish Cup. Inverness stuck to their game plan and battled hard, but it was one scalp too many. However there was only tears of pride at the end. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After the pre-match entertainment enjoyed by the fans the game kicked off in bright sunshine. Celtic got the game underway in 21° Celsius. Could anyone outdo Man City who had earlier scored in 12 seconds in the FA Cup Final. The answer was an emphatic NO. A tentative opening from both sides as Inverness tried to play their way into the game with Celtic trying to force the pace. Fifteen minutes gone and the pattern remains the same with Celtic forcing the pace but over eager with their final ball. O'Riley bounced a volley wide in the first half chance of the game with almost nineteen minutes gone. A defensive misplaced pass offered Celtic an opportunity but Jota ran out of space as the defence recovered to shut him down. Ten minutes before the break Ridgers made his first save as he dropped on a low strike from 15 yards. A minute later Celtic went in front when Kyogo smashed in from eight yards. He almost added a second five minutes before the break but he chipped wide of Ridgers right hand post as Celtic turned the screw. Half Time: 1-0 Inverness were looking to get forward more at the start of the second half but Celtic were still dominating possession although Nathan Shaw was a half yard away from getting on the end of a low ball into the Celtic box. However Celtic were starting to flow better and the danger signs were there for Inverness. In the 65th minute Celtic doubled their advantage. They rode a couple of rash challenges before Abada stroked the ball into the net. VAR took a look and after some deliberation the goal was given, by mm looking at VAR. It was tight, but 2-0 it was. Ridgers made amends for a botched clearance when he clutched a shot out of the top corner from O'Riley. Cue plenty of substitutions with the game seemingly safe. Inverness got a lifeline with five minutes to go and it was a replica goal from Dan Mackay from a Wallace Duffy cross (think semi-final v Falkirk). Absolutely tremendous bulleted header again from Dan. Ridgers saved with his legs as Celtic looked to finish the tie off through Haksabanovic. They did moments later when Jota scored from close range after good work by Abada. Game over, maybe Ange's last one in charge but Celtic march on and we head back to the Championship with our heads held high. Full Time: 3-1 Best for Inverness on a difficult day was Wallace Duffy. What an invitingly sumptuous cross for Dan Mackay to power in a diving header. Cammy Harper on the other flank was equally impressive against Celtic's wide players and in midfield David Carson and Sean Welsh battled hard to stem the possession that Celtic were always going to dominate. We struggled up front working off scraps but substitute Dan Mackay scored that brilliant late power header to give us hope, albeit only fleeting. In general our defence stood firm for large parts of the game, seemingly working to a plan. Much better than many Premiership teams fared this season. Nobody hid in this game but we were restricted to what we could do by a quality treble winning side. Blood, sweat and tears of pride. As the season draws to a close we will not see so many of these guys here next season, but it has been an abstract pleasure reporting on our once again rollercoaster of a season. See you all back refreshed for 23/24. Duplication Dan, what a cross, what a goal! Stunning! Here's Dodds What they said on BBC Sport Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: "I'm very proud. It's been an extraordinary season by the boys. We caught people by surprise last year. It's always hard defending things. The challenge was, 'can we be better this year and we push on?' "We've won the trophy that eluded us last year, so it feels great, it's the last day of the season. It's an occasion and it was nice to finish it off that way." Inverness Caley Thistle manager Billy Dodds: "I was always going to have a go but we lost goals at bad times. I'm so proud of the boys. They gave me everything. "Talks are ongoing (on a new contract) and we hope to get things tied up, so we'll see what happens over the next few days. I love working with these players and you can see the team spirit we have." Date: 03/06/2023 Venue: Hampden Park Attendance: 47247 Referee: John Beaton Celtic: 3 Manager: Ange Postecoglou Lineup: Hart; Johnston, Iwata, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate (Haksabanovic 76), O'Riley (Turnbull 76), Jota (Forrest 90+2), Maeda (Abada 45), Kyoga (Oh 59) Subs (not used): Siegrist, Bernabei, Ralston, Welsh Scorers: Furuhashi (38), Abada (65), Jota (90+1) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine (Delaney 75), Deas, Harper, Henderson (D Mackay 68), Carson, Welsh, Allardice (MacGregor 81), Shaw (Doran 81), B Mckay (Samuels 75) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Woods, Boyd Scorers: D Mackay (84) Booked: Carson (43), Duffy (70) Sent Off: none a
  22. Scottish Cup Warm-Up This hastily arranged kick-about ahead of the Scottish Cup Final on June 3rd was an effort to keep the season jaded legs turning before we head to Hampden Park on June 3rd to take on another Irish outfit, Glasgow Celtic. The Swifts were also needing a run out as they may yet have a relegation battle to play out, depending on the outcome of the Warrenpoint appeal. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ahead of the meeting, here's the tidy playing field @ Stangmore Park Inverness would start with a strong selection. Robbie Deas was on the bench along with Dan Mackay, Aaron Doran, Nathan Shaw and Roddy MacGregor. Zak Delaney will fill Robbie Deas left centre back position. Mark Ridgers started in goal and Wallace Duffy and David Carson were on at the same time with Austin Samuels also starting. It turned out to be a worthwhile exercise at Stangmore Park with all the players getting a run out after the interval. Inverness were quick out of the blocks and were two up after 16 minutes through Cammy Harper and Wallace Duffy. Ridgers saved from Ethan McGhee as Swifts looked to hit back and Billy Mckay had an effort blocked on the half hour. 2-0 at the interval and that was the cue to get some subs on. Steven Scott pulled one back ten minutes after the break but Austin Samuels restored our two goal lead two minutes later. Play was broken thereafter with all the players getting some game time and it ended 3-1 to the visitors. Full Time 1-3 A good workout for all involved in the build up to the Scottish Cup Final and great to see Roddy MacGregor getting some twenty minutes on the park. Austin Samuels got back on the scoresheet after his lengthy lay off with Harper and Duffy scoring in the first half.
  23. Ayr never read the script The final game of the regular season would decide who went into the play-offs and who ended their league campaign now. It couldn't be tighter across the Championship on Winner Takes All Weekend. David Carson was a surprise omission from the starting XI after his Cup suspension with Wallace Duffy retaining his place at right back. Billy Mckay was hoping to be a record breaker as he searched for his 101st goal for the Caley Jags. Only a win would be good enough for Inverness who could finish third or sixth, depending on results elsewhere. A win would end speculation and put Inverness in the play-offs. As it turned out we ended the season in sixth place and Ayr, Queen's Park and Partick Thistle will battle it out in the play-offs for a Premiership place alongside Champions Dundee. Ayr United never read the script properly and deservedly took the plaudits in a 2-1 win at the Caledonian Stadium. A first half goal from Josh Mullin who looked close to being offside and Nathan Shaw in a crowded box with ten minutes left looked to be enough for the Honest Men. However Mark McKenzie ensured it would be Ayr's night with an 88th minute strike to shatter our hopes after such a strong finish to the season. Alas we fell at the last hurdle and now have a month to wait for a Scottish Cup Final appearance. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On a perfect evening for a game of football, Inverness failed to turn up for the first forty-five which Ayr totally dominated. Ayr had numerous efforts that went close from distance or Ridgers was able to fend away and they should have scored but for a timely if unintended block inside the six yard box. They did open the scoring though when Josh Mullin was given the benefit of a marginal decision to run through on Ridgers and tuck the ball away. No more than Ayr deserved to be honest as we were not at the races in the first half. With Carson and Samuels on in the second half, we were instantly more aggressive and had a number of efforts. Samuels had a half blocked shot cleared off the line by Musonda. He was also close to connecting with a low ball into the box. Carson did connect with one but volleyed it a couple of yards wide. Shaw slotted in after good pressure in a crowded box as we saw a glimmer of hope. Delaney headed over from ten yards following a corner as we pushed for a winner. Alas it came at the other end when O'Connor teed up Mark McKenzie to slot home from twelve yards as Ridgers moved to cover the other side of his goal line. Samuels had the ball in the net after Albinson pushed away a shot, but he was adjudged offside by a less than impressive standside linesman. Game over, too little too late and another season in the Championship incoming. Meh! FULL TIME 1-2 Inverness paid the price for a jaded looking first half as Ayr went about their business with intent. The benching of Carson was not the most popular decision Dodds has ever made and he should carry the can for that. We could not muster anything of note in a shocker of a first half and Ayr could have been three up at the interval. Nathan Shaw offered us some hope but it was too little too late and we suffered a late sucker punch as Ayr celebrated. Looks like our heavy schedule eventually took it's toll or did we really look like a team that wanted to go up a league? Much better second half with Carson and Samuels getting stuck in, but half of the team in that first half could have sat in the stands and watched. Maybe they did as Ayr were all over us like a rash in the first forty-five. Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts After the dust settled, Dundee go up & Cove go down and we slip to sixth. Meh! 1. Dundee 36 17 12 7 66 40 63 2. Ayr United 36 16 10 10 61 43 58 3. Queens Park 36 17 7 12 63 52 58 4. Partick Thistle 36 16 9 11 65 45 57 5. Morton 36 15 12 9 53 43 57 6. Inverness CT 36 15 10 11 52 47 55 7. Raith Rovers 36 11 10 15 46 49 43 8. Arbroath 36 6 16 14 29 47 34 9. Hamilton Ac. 36 7 10 19 31 63 31 10. Cove Rangers 36 7 10 19 38 75 31 RiG summed up pretty accurately: Ayr fully deserved that win last night. All over us from the get go and looked better all over the pitch for most of the game. We did get on top for a period in the second half but even then they still looked a threat on the break. Thought at the time the opener may have been offside but the videos above clearly show he was on. Bizarre from Dodds to watch us shell long balls forward to Mckay (but most of the time it was no one) and think this was okay. So many players fell flat at a time when we needed them. Worst was Allardice who had an absolute nuke of a performance. Taking on Woods instead of Doran was laughable. Just more bizarre Dodds moments that sum up our season. As I've said before results recently have been good but performances have been poor for a good number of weeks. We were able to shitfest our way past jobbers like Cove but when a decent team like Ayr comes along we're found wanting. The league next season could be the most difficult in a while and it's hard not to feel we've missed our best chances to get out of here now. Lee Bullen, Ayr United manager on BBC Sport: "I think both teams played a massive part in that game, [it was] an emotional rollercoaster. I do feel for [Inverness manager] Billy [Dodds], yes obviously we are absolutely delighted to get there. "But his team in that second half, I thought we controlled the first half, but his team in that second half deserve a lot credit." Date: 05/05/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3435 Referee: Don Robertson Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy (Carson 45), Devine (Delaney 73), Deas, Harper, Henderson, Welsh (Woods 79), Allardice (Hyde 73), Shaw, D Mackay (Samuels 45), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; MacGregor, Boyd, Doran Scorers: Shaw (81) Booked: Henderson (17) Sent Off: none Ayr United: 2 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; Hewit, Musonda, McGinty, Reading (O'Connor 86), Mullin (McKenzie 76), Dempsey, Murdoch (Brydon 86), Ashford (McAlear 64), Maguire (Mitchell-Lawson 76), Akinyemi Subs (not used): McAdams; Smith, Jenkins Scorers: Mullin (35), McKenzie (88) Booked: Albinson (90+4) Sent Off: none a
  24. Semi-Final Joy It was an early start for most Inverness fans on the Saturday morning as they headed to the National Stadium to get behind the Caley Jags. The first train out of Inverness saw some weary eyes on the 05:30 to Queen Street. Wiser ones went down the night before to savour the occasion. Falkirk fans? Well they were subject to a gruelling half hour journey before the scheduled kick-off time of 12:15pm. Alfredo's was a popular choice for pre-match aperitif's before heading in the direction of the National Stadium. Hampden Park was less than a quarter full as these two teams met once again in the Scottish Cup. The winner will go on to the final where either Rangers or Celtic will be the prize for getting there. Inverness were in their first choice home strip and the Bairns were in their dark blue on a brisk but dryish Saturday lunchtime. With a VAR assisted penalty, Billy Mckay opened the scoring early in the first half. Dan Mackay headed in the second from an inviting Jay Henderson Cross. Falkirk had their moments, Callumn Morrison hitting the post after some defensive indecision on the edge of the box. However, we did our own post hitting and Billy Mckay wrapped up the victory in the second half with a well taken finish, his 100th goal for the Caley Jags. That ensured our progress into the final. Nathan Shaw was unfortunate twice off the post and Falkirk were denied a consolation by some dogged defending. All in, comfortable in the end and Hampden calling once more. Key moments: 6th minute: Jay Henderson's cross from the right deflects off the hand of defender Leon McCann. VAR went into action and after a quick check Nick Walsh pointed to the spot. Billy Mckay stepped forward to send a clinical penalty high to the keepers left. 1-0 10th minute: A lofted ball over the head of Devine makes him chase back towards Ridgers. Burrell in hot pursuit forces Devine and Ridgers to hesitate and the keepers clumsy clearance falls to Callumn Morrison. He rolls the ball goalward from outside the angle of the box but it bounces away from goal off the base off the post before Duffy and Deas block and the finger wagging begins in the Inverness defence. 24th minute: Maksym Kucheryavyi heads into Mark Ridgers midrift from the centre of the box. 34th minute: Jay Henderson curls a sumptuous cross into the box and Daniel Mackay heads downwards emphatically into the bottom corner. Spectacular cross and finish. 2-0 57th minute: All over bar the shouting. A long diagonal ball to the far post from Dan Mackay picks out a supercool Billy Mckay who calmly guides the ball behind Kinnear for another superb goal. That's 100 now for Billy Mckay. 63rd minute: Nathan Shaw smacks the post with a deflected shot that has the keeper beaten. Unfortunately it bounces clear. 65th minute: Comedy defending as Inverness try to help Falkirk to a consolation goal. Robbie Deas was short with a pass back as he tried to knee the ball back to his keeper. Gary Oliver picked up the loose ball but his cut back was blocked. It came back to him on the byeline but his second effort was headed clear by Danny Devine who was already lying full length on the deck, his head on the byeline to knock the ball away. 68th minute: Nathan Shaw weaved his way into the box and opened up his body to curl a low shot goalwards. It beat the keeper but bounced off the same post before agonisingly rolling along the line and clear of goal. 77th minute: Last throw of the dice from the Bairns saw Ridgers make a comfortable save from Ola Lawal to keep a clean sheet and the wind was now well and truly out of the Bairns sails. 93rd minute: Nick Walsh closes the game with a few peeps of his whistle. Game over at 3-0, Final v Celtic to come on June 3rd after they beat Rangers 1-0 on the Sunday. Highlights can be seen on BBC Sport Falkirk manager John McGlynn: "You can't give Inverness a goal start. They are the type of team that lap that up. But you can't legislate for such a soft goal as well. I'm not the first to be in this situation [with VAR]. "We had opportunities. I'm proud of the way the players played. But we didn't have the quality Inverness did." Inverness CT striker Billy Mckay: "We're delighted, it couldn't have gone much better. Roll on June. I thought we were ruthless. It's a weird feeling because we could've been out. Now we're in the final. "I knew [the third goal] was my 100th [for the club]. I wanted to stay on for my hat-trick. All round it's a pleasing day." Whist we were at Hampden, some important Championship games were played out. So, it's all to play for in the final league games of the season next Friday night. Friday night: Dundee 0-0 Cove Saturday 3:00pm: Ayr Utd 1-0 Raith Morton 2-1 Queen's Partick 2-0 Arbroath Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Couldn't be tighter at both ends of the table 1. Dundee 35 16 12 7 61 37 60 2. Queens Park 35 17 7 11 60 47 58 3. Partick Thistle 35 16 8 11 63 43 56 4. Ayr United 35 15 10 10 59 42 55 5. Inverness CT 35 15 10 10 51 45 55 6. Morton 35 14 12 9 51 42 54 7. Raith Rovers 35 11 9 15 44 47 42 8. Arbroath 35 6 15 14 29 47 33 9. Cove Rangers 35 7 10 18 37 73 31 10. Hamilton Ac. 35 7 9 19 31 63 30 Friday night 7:45pm Arbroath v Accies Cove Ran v Morton Inverness CT v Ayr United Queen's v Dundee Rovers v Partick Date: 29/04/2023 Venue: Hampden Park Attendance: 12877 Referee: Nick Walsh Falkirk FC: 0 Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: Kinnear; Williamson (Yeats 67), Donaldson, Mckay, McCann, Henderson (Lawal 77), McGinn, Kucheryavyi, C Morrison (Wright 61), Burrell (Oliver 61), Kennedy (Nesbitt 61) Subs (not used): P Morrison; Rowe, Allan, McGuffie Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy (Delaney 79), Devine, Deas, Harper, Henderson (Boyd 84), Welsh, Allardice, Shaw (Hyde 85), D Mackay (Doran 73), B Mckay (Samuels 78) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Ram, MacGregor Scorers: Mckay (7 pen, 57), D Mackay (37) Booked: Deas (45+1) Sent Off: none a
  25. As you Were Dundee came North looking to all but wrap up the title. Inverness were on a six game winning streak and looking to force their way into the play-offs with this late run. There was a blow for Inverness with influential captain Sean Welsh missing, although defender Wallace Duffy was the mystery returnee this week. Jay Henderson returned after suspension with Austin Samuels, Dan Mackay and Aaron Doran on the bench with Duffy. Dundee had their big guns out for this one with perennial pest Paul McMullan on the bench. Strike pairing of Jakubiak and Robinson would be a handful. A magnificently observed minutes applause for Tommy Cumming set the scene on a dry but breezy afternoon. As it panned out it ended all square. Dundee were quick out of the blocks and pestered Mark Ridgers early on without creating the clear cut chance to open the scoring. Level at the break, the Dark Blues continued in the same vein after the break and made the breakthrough on the hour when Lyall Cameron scored. However we have been resilient of late and substitute Austin Samuels earned us a point with fifteen minutes remaining as we came back at Dundee to quieten their raucous support who firmly believe Billy is a short rotund person born out of wedlock! Morton and Cove were the only winners today, so as you were at the top of the table as we hang on to third place. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dundee started briskly and forged an opportunity in the opening minute when Luke Hannant's cross was not dealt with convincingly and the ricocheted shot from Luke McGowan had to be caught at the second attempt by Mark Ridgers. Alex Jakubiak should have done better when Zach Robinson sent an inviting low cross into the box but Jakubiak almost fresh aired and the ball trundled well wide. Dundee were in the ascendency with Inverness mostly firefighting and reacting to the waves of attacks. Despite their dominance, Ridgers was rarely troubled. In a rare foray forward Robbie Deas tried to improvise a shot from eight yards out but Legzdins pounced to catch the ball and the defenders head at the same time. Just before the interval Robinson headed a couple of yards wide from a good position. HALF TIME 0-0 The second half started similar to the first, Dundee using pace and passing, Inverness using last ditch tackles and blocks to keep the eager visitors at bay. On the hour we lost possession twenty-five yards into the Dundee half. They transferred it swiftly forward through Robinson and Jakubiak. When the latter's shot was blocked the ball fell behind Lyall Cameron who had the presence of mind to step over it before backheeling into the net. Dodds made some game saving substitutions thereafter which paid off as all three were involved in the eqalising goal. It all began in our own penalty box from Ridgers. The main ingredients were Dan Mackay who turned well before driving thirty yards forward then delivering a dangerous ball into the box. Wallace Duffy who had already been involved two or three times in the move seemed to flick it towards the back post where Austin Samuels had arrived to tuck it behind Legzdins with his second touch. A superb team goal which was in stark contrast to the shelled balls Billy Mckay had been expected to deal with over the first hour. Ridgers made a save low down from a miscued clearance and Samuels turned and shot but it was straight at Legzdins and both sides had to settle for a point apiece. Temwork works>>> FULL TIME 1-1 From BBC Sport: Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds: "Dundee edged the first-half without glorious chances. They looked the hungrier, we looked a bit jaded. "We go a goal down and then there's another fightback and we finish quite strongly for a team that are quite tired. We finish with a flourish. My subs made an impact and that's what I want. " Dundee manager Gary Bowyer: "We dominated the first half, but we needed to be better with our final pass and the decision making. We didn't work the goalie enough. "The second-half the game became a bit scrappy but we scored a good goal. We had the domino effect of mistakes for their equaliser. It's something for us to keep working on and improving." Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Table after todays games 1. Dundee 34 16 11 7 61 37 59 2. Queens Park 34 17 7 10 59 45 58 3. Inverness CT 35 15 10 10 51 45 55 4. Partick Thistle 34 15 8 11 61 43 53 5. Ayr United 34 14 10 10 58 42 52 6. Morton 34 13 12 9 49 41 51 7. Raith Rovers 34 11 9 14 44 46 42 8. Arbroath 34 6 15 13 29 45 33 9. Hamilton Ac. 35 7 9 19 31 63 30 10. Cove Rangers 34 7 9 18 37 73 30 Date: 22/04/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 3822 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine (D Mackay 68), Deas, Delaney, Boyd (Samuels 62), Allardice, Harper, Henderson (Doran 76), Shaw, B Mckay (Duffy 62) Subs (not used): C Mackay, L Nicolson, Hyde, Woods, Scorers: Samuels (75) Booked: Delaney (56), Duffy (88) Sent Off: none Dundee FC: 1 Manager: Gary Bowyer Lineup: Legzdins; Mulligan, Sweeney, Ashcroft, Marshall (Clampin 81), McCowan (McMullan 68), Maguire, Cameron (Williamson 85), Hannant (Reedy 81), Jakubiak (Thomas 81), Robinson Subs (not used): Lawlor; Fisher, Byrne, Kerr Scorers: Cameron (60) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
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