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  1. Backs to the wall win for ten man Caley Jags Lewis Hyde was a late replacement for Inverness with Danny Devine pulling up in the warm up which prompted a reshuffle of the pack with Delaney covering for Devine and Harper dropping back into defence with Hyde going into midfield. Roddy MacGregor and Wallace Duffy missed out for Inverness but Sean Welsh returned to the midfield. Attacking options of Dan Mackay, Aaron Doran and Austin Samuels were on the bench for the Caley Jags. Partick Thistle had sent a strong squad North with the dangerous Scott Tiffoney and Brian Graham the big threats up front. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After a flat calm afternoon, the heavens opened an hour before kick-off and patches of surface water greeted the teams as they took to the field under the floodlights. Inverness got the game underway and the first real action came when a long ball forward from Nathan Shaw after six minutes saw Billy Mckay control then offload a shot from the edge of the box which keeper David Mitchell beat away from goal. Good effort, good save. Mckay looked dangerous on a few early occasions and his persistence up front won him a corner after twelve minutes. From the corner the ball fell to Robbie Deas but his volley was gathered under the bar by Mitchell. Mark Ridgers produced a superb save to deny Brian Graham as Partick cut us open through the middle. The big striker was favourite to score as he opened up his body but Ridgers dived full length to his left to get his fingertips to the netbound ball and tip it round the post. Sensational save! There followed a midfield battle until three minutes before the interval when Ridgers blocked a near post effort from Scott Tiffoney and then David Carson made a crucial clearance moments later. Here's the reason it was goalless at the interval>>>> HALF TIME 0-0 No changes at the break with Inverness now playing towards the North Stand. In the fiftieth minute Inverness broke down some Partick possession in midfield. Jay Henderson skipped forward and his low cross into the box was converted by Nathan Shaw sliding in ahead of the defender. Either way it was 1-0 to the hosts. Mckay combined with Welsh in the box but he never connected properly with the ball and Mitchell's save was made easier. Moments later Welsh was sensationally sent off as Tiffoney took off down the left and Welsh tripped him late. Grant Irvine saw it as a red and Welsh was off. Ridgers saved a ten yard scuffed shot from Graham on the line as Partick went for broke against the ten men. Could be a long night now for the fans and the defence with over half an hour to go. Partick were piling the pressure on the hosts and Ridgers denied a Graham shot at the expense of a corner with fifteen minutes remaining. Despite Partick pressing hard, the Inverness defence held out for the three points, putting bodies on the line when it mattered and MotM Mark Ridgers kept his sheets clean. FULL TIME 1-0 Mark Ridgers was MotM with a confident display including one absolutely superb save from Brian Graham in the first half, and when the backs were against the wall he commanded his area taking the pressure off his overworked defenders. Welsh red card looked to be harsh, not heard the last of that yet. Tremendous workrate by everyone who blocked Partick time after time in a desperate second half. Get in Nathan Shaw>>> Match Reaction Inverness manager Billy Dodds tells BBC Scotland: "We knew we had to win tonight or the playoff dreams were probably over. "We say the word proud a lot in the dressing rooms but I am tonight as we had to win it the hard way. "We started well, then they took control as we just started launching it straight away, I'd have liked us to pass it a bit more. "We had to hang on. "I don't have to [see the red card challenge again], it’s cynical, it’s a trip. "I want to move on from it as we’ve had a lot of hard luck, and I know everyone had but we probably have more than most, and I'd rather move on as if I say something I'll get into trouble. "We’ll be appealing it." Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Updated table after tonight's games 1. Queens Park 30 16 6 8 58 39 54 2. Dundee 29 14 8 7 47 32 50 3. Ayr United 30 14 7 9 56 38 49 4. Partick Thistle 30 13 6 11 49 40 45 5. Morton 29 11 10 8 41 35 43 6. Inverness CT 29 10 9 10 40 41 39 7. Raith Rovers 28 10 8 10 39 37 38 8. Arbroath 29 5 13 11 26 41 28 9. Cove Rangers 30 6 8 16 34 65 26 10. Hamilton Ac. 28 6 7 15 25 47 25 Ayr 3-0 Cove Queens 0-1 Arbroath Caley Jags 1-0 Partick Jags Date: 24/03/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2075 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Hyde (Boyd 90+3), Deas, Delaney, Henderson (Doran 85), Welsh, Allardice, Harper, Shaw (Woods 69), B Mckay (D Mackay 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Samuels Scorers: Shaw (50) Booked: Delaney (14), Hyde (65), Woods (81), Hyde (84) Sent Off: Welsh (55) Partick Thistle: 0 Manager: Kris Doolan Lineup: Mitchell; McMillan, Holt, Brownlie, Milne (Hodson 60), Tiffoney, Turner (Mullen 79) Bannigan (Fitzpatrick 79), Docherty, Lawless (Dowds 56), Graham. Subs (not used): Sneddon; Smith, Muirhead, Owens, MacKenzie Scorers: Shaw (50) Booked: Milne (25) Sent Off: none a
  2. All but ended Sean Welsh was the mystery injured player this week with Dan Mackay starting. Inverness' play-off hopes all but ended at Ochilview after we surrendered a half time advantage once more at the same venue. Both sides had gone close early on before Daniel Mackay drilled home a tremendous low strike from around twenty-five yards after the ball broke back to him off Billy Mckay on the edge of the box. Twenty minutes after the interval the Spiders pressure saw them level when Grant Savoury headed home unchallenged. They went in front some five minutes later when Stephen Eze headed into the top corner, once more unchallenged. Substitute Roddy MacGregor limped off to be replaced by the even lesser spotted Ben Woods. Both sides created opportunities as the game entered the final phase and Duffy and Samuels went close to an equaliser deep into time added on but it was Queens that took a massive step towards the Premiership as we took a massive step back into the Championship pack. Good luck to them. If it's any consolation, Falkirk, our semi-final opponents lost 1-0 at Queen of the South today. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ More match reaction to follow>>> From BBC Sport Queen's Park manager Owen Coyle: "We didn't perform to the level we're capable of first half, but second half we certainly stepped it up. "It's a young group and a lot of them haven't been round about where we are, so there was an edginess to them but at half-time I asked them to relax and get back to what we're known for." Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds: "We didn't set about the second half the way we should. If we had just kept it simple and neat and tidy, I think we would've got them. "We were denied a penalty when Billy Mckay felt he got a shove in the back. But we handed Queen's Park the game." Massively disappointing result for the Caley Jags after the euphoria of the Scottish Cup exploits. Queens can rest easy knowing we have been unable to beat them in five attempts this season, a fact that has not gone unnoticed amongst the Caley Jags fanbase. Anyway, our secretary is better than theirs...... Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Table not looking good for the Caley Jags 1. Queens Park 29 16 6 7 58 38 54 2. Dundee 28 13 8 7 44 31 47 3. Ayr United 28 13 7 8 52 35 46 4. Partick Thistle 29 13 6 10 49 39 45 5. Morton 29 11 10 8 41 35 43 6. Raith Rovers 28 10 8 10 39 37 38 7. Inverness CT 28 9 9 10 39 41 36 8. Cove Rangers 29 6 8 15 34 62 26 9. Arbroath 28 4 13 11 25 41 25 10. Hamilton Ac. 28 6 7 15 25 47 25 Our remaining Championship fixtures. I'm afraid it will take a miracle to make the play-offs. 24th Mar 19:45 - PARTICK THISTLE (H) 01st April 15:00 - MORTON (A) 08th April 15:00 - RAITH ROVERS (H) 11th April 19:45 - ARBROATH (H) 15th April 15:00 - COVE RANGERS (A) 18th April 19:45 - HAMILTON (A) 22nd April15:00 - DUNDEE (H) 05th May 19:45 - AYR UNITED (H) Date: 18/03/2023 Venue: Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir Attendance: 627 Referee: Alan Muir Queens Park: 2 Manager: Owen Coyle Lineup: Ferrie: Oakley (Jarrett 56), Eze, Fox, Robson, Thomas, Davidson, Savoury, Boateng (Longridge (44)), Henderson (Healy 76), Shields Subs (not used): Heraghty; Bruce, McPake, Williamson, Bannon, Biggar, Scorers: Savoury (64), Eze (69) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine, Deas, Harper, D Mackay (MacGregor 61, Woods 74), Carson, Allardice (Samuels 71), Henderson, Shaw, B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Hyde, Doran, Boyd, Scorers: D Mackay (27) Booked: Devine (8), Shaw (65) Sent Off: none a
  3. Welsh Likes a Belter Inverness had their strongest squad of the season for tonight's quarter final against Kilmarnock. Samuels, MacGregor, Woods and Dan Mackay were all on the bench as Dodds went with an unchanged starting XI. Killie had a strong XI with Liam Polworth starting with Armstrong, Donnelly, McKenzie, Vassell and Doidge as attacking threats. As it happened, it was Inverness that eventually dominated proceedings and are in the Semi-Final after goals from Billy Mckay and Sean Welsh ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness got the game underway but two minutes in and from an Armstrong corner the ball ended up in the net behind Ridgers, Vassell credited with the goal after a near post flick on. Disastrous start for the hosts. Billy Mckay forced Walker into a great save from a close range header as Inverness responded in the tenth minute. Sean Welsh skimmed the top of the bar with a header from a superb ball into the box from Jay Henderson. Inverness got the break they deserved though when a Wallace Duffy cross from the right was handled by Joe Wright as he attempted to intercept the ball. Billy Mckay hit the spot kick down the middle as Walker dived to his left, the ball going in off his feet and it was game on. Henderson was played through on goal but his shot was blocked by the now overworked Sam Walker. Carson was harshly booked for bringing Armstrong down as Killie sprung out of defence. Doidge made a hash of a half chance when he found the ball at his feet in the six yard box, but he ran it out of play. Robbie Deas headed over from a corner as Inverness continued to press. Liam Polworth came off second best in a challenge from Deas just before the interval and his day was over. HALF TIME 1-1 Three minutes into the second half Henderson did well to control the ball and get his shot away but it cannoned back off the post. Moments later, with heavy snow falling; he did it again. Sean Welsh picked the ball up thirty yards from goal. He stepped forward and rifled a low shot into the bottom corner from over twenty-five yards. What a strike. We could have gone further ahead, twice. Once when Shaw made space for himself to get a great delivery in but Welsh was just short of connecting with it in the six yard box. Secondly, Mckay did well to wriggle his way into the box but he was halted a couple of times before the defence cleared. Ridgers then flapped at a ball into the box and had to snatch at he ball as it bounced towards the line. A timely snatch if ever I saw one. Austin Samuels almost grabbed a third with two minutes left when running through on goal but his low shot was saved by Walker. Aaron Doran came on as four minutes of added time was shown by the officials. Inverness saw out the game on top and a thoroughly deserved trip to Hampden is now a reality. FULL TIME 2-1 What a performance from the Caley Jags. Heroes to a man and well deserving of their trip to Hampden again. For me, Scott Allardice was tremendous with Jay Henderson having a field day in the first half and unlucky not to score at the start of the second. Sean Welsh does likes a strike against Killie from around twenty-seven yards. On another day we might have scored four or five, but for now, two will do. Big shout out for the young team, great noise all night. Come again please. More match reaction to follow... Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds on BBC Scotland: "I was quite calm. I trusted my players. I thought we were the better team. Kilmarnock put us under pressure with long balls in the second half. "But I just stood back and enjoyed watching my players tonight. I would like a shot in the Premiership. "A lot of my players could do it. I think that's the case. If you do it [beat a top-flight side] once, people say it's a one off. But if you do it two or three times, it's self explanatory. "I want them to enjoy it and realise what they've done. But we still have an opportunity in the league as well. We want to have a wee go of getting to the play-offs, it'll be difficult but we're capable." After full time Derek McInnes was still in his dressing room and BBC gave up on his interview He eventually said: "I'm really disappointed. I expected more from the team. We got off to a good start. "I thought from there on in, we stopped playing. We got too complacent and made too many errors." Highlights from The Scottish Cup Date: 10/03/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2902 Referee: David Dickinson Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine, Deas, Henderson (MacGregor 85), Welsh, Allardice, Harper, Shaw (Doran 90), B Mckay (Samuels 82) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Hyde, Woods, Boyd, D Mackay Scorers: Mckay (24, pen), Welsh (50) Booked: Carson (33), Duffy (69) Sent Off: none Kilmarnock: 1 Manager: Derek McInnes Lineup: Walker; Mayo, Taylor, Wright (Dorsett 76), Chambers (Robinson 77), Armstrong, Donnelly, Polworth (Power 45+2), McKenzie (Murray 76), Vassell, Doidge (Jones 45) Subs (not used): Hemming; Alebiosu, McInroy, Alston. Scorers: Vassell (3) Booked: Vassell (36), Donnelly (75) Sent Off: none a
  4. Red Oh Daire Three points would have been a welcome diversion from off-field issues for the Caley Jags. Inverness missed Cammy Harper from last week and Austin Samuels dropped to the bench as Billy Mckay returned from suspension. Frankie Musonda was on the Ayr bench and 15 goal striker Dipo Akinyemi led their attack with Josh Mullin and Ben Dempsey backing him up. At the end of the day it was Inverness that picked up a valuable win. First Half Billy Mckay was keen to get going again after his suspension and he hit one from distance in the opening moments but it went over the bar and he followed that with another that went wide after seven minutes. Ten minutes in and Sam Ashford replaced the injured Josh Mullin and two minutes later Dipo Akinyemi scored his sixteenth of the season to put United ahead. The lead lasted just seven minutes when Sean Welsh scored after a Jay Henderson cross fell to him in the box to level the game. Charlie Albiston was quick off his line to deny the eager Mckay as he honed in on goal and five minutes later he was close to getting on the end of a Shaw cut back after Albiston made a mess of a clearance. Before the half hour Daire O'Connor was sent off for a challenge on Wallace Duffy. Duffy then shot over before Mckay had an effort deflected over the bar and Duffy headed the resultant corner over as well. Just on the break the keeper saved well from a Duffy shot into the top corner, just after Paddy Reading had gone close at the other end. Half Time: 1-1 Ayr began the second half on the front foot with McKenzie and Akinyemi shooting wide before Billy Mckay was blocked in the box at the other end and Scott Allardice fired one over. Ashford shot over on the hour after some good possession from the hosts and Duffy shot wide after finding himself in an advanced position again. More profligacy from the visitors as Henderson missed the top corner after a burst into the box. Welsh was blocked then had another effort deflected behind for a corner with twenty minutes left. The chances eventually paid off when Henderson connected with a Nathan Shaw cross at the back post to fire home. Mckay then shot wide after being played through ten minutes from the end. Inverness saw out the game to put themselves on the outer fringes of a play-off spot. Full Time 1-2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness got a vital three points on the road against 10 man Ayr United to move up a place in the table as Partick beat Raith Rovers 3-0. Wallace Duffy was the pick of the bunch today finding time to get forward and help out in attack, ably assisted by David Carson and Jay Henderson. RIG on CTO: At times we played some nice football. Most of the threat seemed to come down the right especially after Henderson and Shaw rotated and, with the extra man, Duffy and Delaney started pushing further up the pitch to offer support. Ayr tended not to double up on the wide men so it meant that Henderson or Shaw had to beat just one man and they had a chance to get a cross in. Henderson in particular was tormenting the Ayr defence and he had the best chance for us before we scored when he wriggled through a ruck of players at the edge of the box and lashed an effort over the bar. Some solid performances from us to win that one today with Duffy, Carson and Henderson probably the pick of the bunch. Duffy was helped out by Mullin going off injured and also the fact that Ayr played a lot of the game a man down. Carson took a bit of time to adapt to the 10 position but he carried the ball forward well and could have had a goal himself had he been more selfish and taking a shot instead of passing to a team mate. Date: 04/03/2023 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1820 Referee: Scott Lambie Ayr United: 1 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; McAllister (Musonda 72), Kirk, McGinty, Reading (McGuire 84), O'Connor, Mullin, McAlear, Dempsey, Akinyemi, McKenzie (Hewitt 84) Subs (not used): McAdams; Bilham, Ashford, Smith, Bryden, Houston Scorers: Akinyemi (12) Booked: McAllister (35), McGuire (89) Sent Off: O'Connor (29) Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Bily Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine, Deas, Delaney, Carson, Welsh, Allardice (Doran 63), Henderson, Shaw (Boyd 90), B Mackay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Thompson, Cairns, Hyde, Harper, D Mackay, Samuels Scorers: Welsh (19), Henderson (74) Booked: Deas (49), Welsh (77) Sent Off: none a
  5. Dens Point Inverness were without the suspended Billy Mckay and still had five players on the crocked list. However, David Carson is made of stern stuff and took his place at right back. Zak Delaney returned to the defence with Cammy Harper in midfield and Austin Samuels as striker. Dan Mackay dropped to the bench alongside Robbie Deas. Dundee had Zach Robinson back from Wimbledon on loan, and he is still their top scorer with nine goals, as they looked to bolster their challenge for top spot in the table whilst Inverness were now looking over their shoulders at the three teams below them. Robinson and perennial nuisance Paul McMullan were in the Dundee starting XI and striker Alex Jakubiak was on the bench along with midfielders Ben Williamson and Max Anderson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First Half The hosts got the game underway and first action was an early booking for captain Sean Welsh followed by Legzdins saving a deflected Jay Henderson cross/shot. Cammy Harper had an effort saved and Ryan Sweeney saw Mark Ridgers save his header soon after. Alas, Danny Devine fouled Zach Robinson in the box and Robinson himself took the penalty to score his tenth of he season and put Dundee in front with Devine yellow carded. Harper shot from a tight angle after a break forward on the left but Legzdins was alert to it. Paul McMullan went close to a second after he had won a corner, the ball bouncing just past the post. Robinson was close to connecting with a cross into the area after good work by Cammy Kerr and Lyall Cameron. We managed to get to the break without any further damage and Nathan Shaw sent a drive at Legdzins which he held comfortably as half time arrived. Half Time: 1-0 Fortune favours the brave, and ten minutes after the break Inverness drew level. Carson, Shaw and Henderson combined well down the right, and when Henderson cut infield to feed Harper his low drive from the left corner of the penalty box took a big deflection off Sweeney to end up in the net leaving the keeper wrong footed. They all count! Billy Dodds made a triple substitution thereafter bringing on Robbie Deas, Steven Boyd and Dan Mackay with Devine, Harper and Samuels going off. Ridgers denied Josh Mulligan as he shot from inside the box and then blocked the follow up with twenty minutes to go. Bowyer did his own triple sub: Triple sub for Dundee - Clampin, Hannant & McCowan for Marshall, Mulligan and McMullan. Shaw shot over and with five minutes remaining a McGhee header came off the top of the bar and over. Cameron hit the bar as well with a looped header as Dundee pressed for a winner with Inverness defending desperately. Fortunately we saw out the game for a valuable point on the road. Full Time: 1-1 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A battling performance from the Caley Jags earns a point at Dens Park. That keeps Inverness ahead of the relegation battle with Cove and Hamilton losing and Arbroath drawing with Partick. Queens Park stretch their lead at the top after that 4-1 win at Accies. How do they do it? Six bookings for Inverness as we defended our lines. Way to go! The downside for Dodds is the fans have not forgotten how rank rotten we have been lately and chanted his name throughout. Match Reaction to Follow>>> Table after todays games Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Battling draw for the Caley Jags as Queens stretch their lead. 1. Queens Park 26 14 5 7 53 35 47 2. Dundee 25 12 7 6 41 28 43 3. Ayr United 25 11 7 7 46 32 40 4. Morton 25 11 7 7 37 29 40 5. Partick Thistle 25 11 4 10 43 38 37 6. Raith Rovers 26 9 8 9 33 33 35 7. Inverness CT 26 8 9 9 36 38 33 8. Cove Rangers 26 6 8 12 33 53 26 9. Hamilton Ac. 26 6 6 14 25 45 24 10. Arbroath 26 4 11 11 24 40 23 Arbroath 0-0 Partick Thistle Dundee1-1 Inverness CT Hamilton 1-4 Queen's Park Morton 2-1 Cove Rangers Date: 25/02/2023 Venue: Kilmac Stadium, Dens Park Attendance: 4447 Referee: Chris Graham Dundee FC: 1 Manager: Gary Bowyer Lineup: Legzdins; Kerr, Ashcroft, Sweeney, Marshall (Clampin 79), McGhee, McMullan (McCowan 78), Mulligan (Hannant 78), Cameron (Anderson 88), McGuire, Robinson (Thomas 88) Subs (not used): Sharp; Tolaj, Williamson, Jakubiak Scorers: Robinson (13 pen) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine (Deas 59), Delaney, Henderson (Doran 90), Welsh, Allardice (Hyde 88), Harper (Boyd 59), Shaw, Samuels (D Mackay 59) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Thompson, Cairns Scorers: Harper (56) Booked: Welsh (7), Devine (13), Allardice (54), Boyd (73), Henderson (89) Carson (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  6. Mid Table Draw Morton were looking for their third win over Inverness this season but were on a run of seven games without a win. Inverness had started the new year in fine form but were looking for three points to create a gap between the two sides in mid table. Sean Welsh was missing for Inverness but Scott Allardice and Cammy Harper started. New signings Calvin Miller and Calum Waters started for Morton, but there was no sign of George Oakley. The curse of the Caley Jags was having an effect. It ended all square with young Inverness substitute Ethan Cairns rescuing a point with his first touch of the ball when it looked like Morton were going to take all three points. On Loan Calvin Miller picked up a loose pass from Delaney in the fifth minute to drive forward and drill the ball into the bottom corner from just outside the box for the opening goal. Great strike and a great start for the visitors. Aaron Doran was at it again when one on one with the keeper, and like last week he got his feet in a tangle and the chance was lost. Calum Waters volleyed just wide of the post after twenty minutes as the visitors dominated the opening quarter of the game. Mark Ridgers saved from Miller as he cut in from the left with Inverness struggling to make any impact on proceedings until the half hour when Billy Mckay shot and then Zak Delaney failed to hit the target after Jay Henderson recycled the ball. Henderson fired a free kick into the keepers arms as the play became more even but it was Morton that led at the interval as their hosts flattered to deceive. Half Time: 0-1 Nathan Shaw replaced Aaron Doran and Lewis Hyde replaced Zak Delaney at the interval as Inverness were looking for a way to turn the game around. Both keepers were called into action in the opening minutes of the half through Cameron Blues and Dan Mackay and Scott Allardice shot over. A brighter start for the hosts and they were soon level just after Henderson had shot over the bar. Billy Mckay knocked in a rebound from the keeper after a long range shot from Allardice fell to him inside the box. Good pressure from the hosts leading up to the goal but Morton were far from finished with O'Connor and Blues having efforts saved by Ridgers. Dan Mackay turned and volleyed over with twenty minutes left. Blues and Miller had more efforts with the keeper denying Miller as the game entered the final ten minutes. In a frantic finale, Robbie Muirhead restored Morton's lead after holding off Duffy to slot through Ridgers but substitute Ethan Cairns knocked in another equaliser three minutes later with his first touch of the ball a minute after coming on. Cairns did well to find the net after Shaw's cross had been headed on by Boyd for him to hook home from a tight angle. Still time for Muirhead and King to go close but it ended all square and a point apiece. And breathe.... Full Time: 2-2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A scramble to get a point in the end but we still gained a point on Partick Thistle. Great to see Ethan Cairns get his first goal for the club, and a vital strike it was. Billy Mckay (93) also edged closer to Dennis Wyness' all time scoring record (102). The countdown is on. From BBC Sport Inverness CT head coach Billy Dodds: "It was a hard watch at times but I don't want to be too negative because my players found a way to find something from the game. "We weren't good enough first half. The goal we gave them in the second half was a gift again and they've got to stop. But we are still hanging in there." Greenock Morton manager Dougie Imrie: "It was tough with the wind but I thought we played really well. The first 15-20 minutes of the second-half we weren't at the races, we were a bit nervous. "But we dug deep and got the second goal. Unfortunately we lose a poor goal at the back post. Three points would have been great but we didn't manage to see the game out." Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Queens Park stretch their lead as all around them falter and Raith go above Inverness. 1. Queens Park 23 13 4 6 46 30 43 2. Ayr United 23 11 6 6 46 31 39 3. Dundee 22 11 6 5 37 26 39 4. Partick Thistle 23 10 3 10 42 38 33 5. Raith Rovers 24 9 6 9 32 32 33 6. Inverness CT 23 8 8 7 34 32 32 7. Morton 22 8 7 7 31 26 31 8. Cove Rangers 23 6 7 10 31 47 25 9. Arbroath 24 4 9 11 23 39 21 10. Hamilton Ac. 23 4 6 13 19 40 18 Date: 04/02/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1852 Referee: Calum Scott Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine Delaney (Hyde 45), Henderson (Boyd 75), Allardice, Harper, D Mackay (Cairns 84), Doran (Shaw 45), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Strachan, Thompson Scorers: B Mckay (57), Cairns (85) Booked: Carson (65), Hyde (67) Sent Off: none Morton: 2 Manager: Dougie Imrie Lineup: Schwake; O'Connor, Grimshaw, Baird, Waters, Blues, Gillespie, Quitongo (McGrattan 61), Miller, Crawford (King 77), Muirhead (Roy 87) Subs (not used): Green; Pignatiello, Ambrose, Garrity Scorers: Miller (5), Muirhead (81), Booked: Crawford (45), McGrattan (83), Gillespie (86) Sent Off: none a
  7. Spiders out despite win on the night *** Breaking News. Queens Park ejected from Scottish Cup for fielding an ineligible player*** Seventeen days after their Championship no scoring draw at the Caledonian Stadium, Queens Park and Inverness battled it out in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup with a tie away to Livingston the unglamorous reward for the victor. This game was originally scheduled for the 21st of January but a serious dump of snow and frost put paid to that. After a day of heavy showers the game would get underway with the threat of strong winds building from around kick-off. Big news before kick-off was that Simon Murray has joined Ross County and will not be in the Queens Park squad. Scott Allardice and Cammy Harper started for Inverness and Queens had new signing Euan Henderson starting in Murray's absence. And that may yet be their downfall. The rules clearly state that a player has to be signed before the date of the original tie. That was 21st of January. Henderson was only signed on the 27th of January and came on as a sub against Dundee in the Championship the following day. In all honesty Queens Park deserved to go through but as they say, thems the rules. Maybe the Spiders will be caught in their own web of deceit. Queens Park started the liveliest and Stephen Eze fired over after fifteen minutes with Sean Welsh replicating a minute later at the other end. Jay Henderson struck the post from just outside the box as Inverness got up to speed and Cammy Harper tested Ferrie in the visitors goal. New signing Euan Henderson broke clear and brought Mark Ridgers into action and the keeper did well to keep the scores level. Queens shoot on site policy meant Ridgers was the busier keeper and he would deny Henderson again as half time approached followed by a save from Tommy Robson and then Dom Thomas as Queens pressed for the opening goal. Louis Longridge was next up to have a go and Ridgers was there once more to ensure it stayed level at the break with Queens having the better of the first 45. HALF TIME: 0-0 Aaron Doran replaced Cameron Harper at the interval and seven minutes later he passed up a good opportunity as he lost his footing when fed through on goal by Billy Mckay. The two Henderson's had efforts shortly after with Ridgers blocking Euan's with his legs when through on goal before Jay shot over. He would shoot over again after 65 minutes. The dangerous (and ineligible) Euan Henderson was replaced with twenty minutes remaining. Thomas saw Ridgers save his effort and Danny Devine headed just wide after a corner. Thomas would not be denied though and he curled Queens Park in front with an excellent strike from outside the box after a loose pass out of defence was intercepted. Minutes later, Scott Williamson was next to be denied after hitting the post with a header as Queens looked to kill the tie off. Billy Mckay latched onto the ball in the box but Callum Ferrie was equal to it. Mckay then scooped a ball from Welsh over the bar as the game slipped away from Inverness. With five minutes remaining it certainly did just that as Williamson swept home number two after outmuscling Devine. A poor night for the hosts defensively who never really got to grips with the pace of the game. FULL TIME: 0-2 Result pending the outcome of enquiry regarding Queens Park fielding Euan Henderson who was ineligible according to the rules. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Spiders were too good for a sluggish Caley Jags even without Simon Murray. Mark Ridgers was the busier keeper throughout and kept the score down. A really disappointing night in the Highlands as the wind started to get up ended with Queens Park heading for Livingston in the next round unless the fielding of Henderson sees them knocked out of the cup. That's life! Back to the drawing board for Inverness who can now concentrate solely on the league table. More match reaction to follow>>> From BBC Sport Euan Henderson joined on loan from Hearts after the tie was postponed on 21 January, but Scottish FA rules state that only those registered before the initial date are permitted to play. It remains unclear what the punishment might be but it could render this victory, earned with goals by Dom Thomas and Scott Williamson, moot. Queen's Park thought they had set up a tie at Livingston but it may be that the top-flight side will welcome Inverness Caledonian Thistle instead next weekend. Inverness CT head coach Billy Dodds: "Queen's Park had a lot of possession and a few chances. But we had really good chances - if we take the lead then it's a different game. "We made two big errors and lost two bad goals and you are never going to win games if you make those type of errors." Queen's Park manager Owen Coyle: "Inverness are a very good team. I think that's three times we've been up now this season and there's not many teams leave unbeaten over the three games. "Our level of performance was excellent tonight. We scored two very good goals. We thoroughly deserved to win and to move into the next round of the cup." As it stands, this is the draw for the fifth round of the Scottish Cup. However, as we all know now, Euan Hendersons participation might change that. <<<Hmmn, we should know on Friday who will face Livi. *** Breaking News. Queens Park ejected from Scottish Cup for fielding an ineligible player*** Official Statement This means that Inverness will play Livingston next Saturday 11th February in the 5th round of the Scottish Cup. From BBC Sport: Queen's Park president David Hunter said: "An error was made regarding the eligibility of a player who featured in Tuesday night's game with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and we have accepted the SFA's decision. "It is a regrettable mistake. One we will learn from. Our team put on a tremendous display on Tuesday to win the tie and obviously today's result is a hugely disappointing outcome. As upsetting as this matter is, it's vital that we put this behind us quickly, move on and focus on our league campaign." Oh well, another few of these errors and the cup is ours once more. Date: 31/01/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 869 Referee: Chris Graham Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine, Delaney, Shaw (D Mackay 65), Welsh, Allardice (Hyde 65), Harper (Doran 45), Henderson, B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Strachan, Boyd, Scorers: none Booked: Duffy (39) Sent Off: none Queens Park: 2 Manager: Owen Coyle Lineup: Ferrie; Davidson (Bannon 77), Longridge (Biggar 89), Eze, Fox, Robson, Boateng, Thomas, Henderson (Williamson 69), McPake, Savoury Subs (not used): Heraghty; Kilday, , Healy Scorers: Thomas (74), Williamson (84) Booked: Longridge (81) Sent Off: none a
  8. Spiders draw a blank League Leaders Queens Park came North in fine form to face Inverness who had also started the new year well. Simon Murray had scored four in his last game against Cove; that's 18 for the season, and Billy Mckay had put three past them the week before. Who would come out on top today? All will be revealed at ten to five. A great afternoon for a game of football saw an even first quarter with half chances at both ends. Calum Ferrie denied Billy Mckay with a great save from a close range header as the hosts forced the pace of the game. Aaron Doran lashed a great opportunity to score on the half hour just wide of the target. Ridgers saved at the back post ten minutes before the break as the visitors began to show more intent. As half time approached the game was now more even. H/T 0-0. Ten minutes after the restart Danny Devine blocked Simon Murray and at the other end Ferrie saved well from Billy Mckay, he would save from Mckay again ten minutes later. Plenty of effort and plenty of half chances, but with 18 goals between them over the last two games, alas this one ends goalless. No major damage done with only Accies winning today, but maybe an opportunity missed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness had new signing, midfielder Ben Woods in the squad and Nathan Shaw returned after injury, but both started on the bench. Daniel Mackay was fit enough to start. Queens had made eight or nine changes to their Championship squad for the midweek Challenge Cup defeat by Raith Rovers, but it was business as usual for the Spiders as they looked to consolidate their lofty position in the Championship. Overall a draw was just about right with both clubs believing they could have won it. Henderson squandered an opportunity off a long ball out from Ridgers missing the opportunity to lob the keeper on the first bounce and there was a massive save from Ferrie to deny a Billy Mckay snap header from six yards. Dan Mackay was also denied by Ferrie with a full length diving save. Aaron Doran flashed a half volley wide from the right side of the box whilst Inverness were on top. Queens Park came back into the game before the break with Simon Murray prominent and Josh McPake was a constant threat on the wing. Davidson might have done better with his header at the back post but Ridgers got across his line to block his weak effort. McPake saw an inviting ball across the box cleared just before the interval. In the second half Ridgers thwarted Murray on a break forward as he shot from the right edge of the box. Ferrie saved with his legs to deny Billy Mckay as he burst into the box at the other end and Danny Devine produced a timely block to deny Queens. Ridgers pulled off another couple of good saves before the comedy moment arrived when Lee Kilday stood on the ball five yards out with the goal at his mercy, Kilday ending up on his arse instead of scoring. Mckay shot high into the keepers gloves from a great position on the edge of the box as play swung back and fore and Kilday produced another ground swallowing moment when he scooped the ball over from eight yards with the goal at his mercy after a defensive lapse. Lewis Nicolson had the final half chance when his volley from twenty yards brought out another fine save from Ferrie. Fitting maybe the last close thing was dealt with by a goalkeeper as both on display were in fine form to deny high scoring strikers at both ends. Like Billy Mckay, Simon Murray is in fine scoring form. Mckay covered every blade of grass and Murray was quick to offload when an opportunity came along. Different style of strikers, but both know where the goals are. Ridgers and Ferrie were imperious and Devine, McPake and Boateng the pick of the rest. All to do again next week in the Scottish Cup at the same venue. From Queens Park TV Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts TABLE AFTER TODAYS GAMES (Dundee v Partick postponed) 1. Queens Park 21 12 4 5 44 27 40 2. Ayr United 21 10 6 5 41 29 36 3. Dundee 20 10 5 5 33 25 35 4. Partick Thistle 21 10 3 8 42 36 33 5. Morton 20 8 6 6 28 22 30 6. Inverness CT 21 8 6 7 30 28 30 7. Raith Rovers 22 8 5 9 28 29 29 8. Cove Rangers 21 5 7 9 30 42 22 9. Arbroath 22 3 9 10 20 36 18 10. Hamilton Ac. 21 3 5 13 17 39 14 Date: 14/01/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2038 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine, Delaney, Henderson (L Nicolson 83), Welsh, Hyde (Boyd 71), Doran (Woods 71), D Mackay (Shaw 45), B Mckay (Oakley 80) Subs (not used): C Mackay, Strachan, Thompson, Cairns Scorers: none Booked: Delaney (21), Welsh (56) Sent Off: none Queens Park : 0 Manager: Owen Coyle Lineup: Ferrie; Davidson, Kilday, Fox, Robson, Thomas, Thomson, Savoury, Boateng, McPake (Jarrett 67), Murray Subs (not used): Heraghty; Naismith, Longridge, Biggar, Williamson, Healy, Bannon, Eze Scorers: none Booked: Kilday (50) Sent Off: none a
  9. Smokies Smoked Both clubs had big wins in the first games of 2023 and it was Inverness that continued in style with a 4-1 win at Gayfield. Billy Mckay, who scored a hat-trick last week, opened the scoring at the back post in the ninth minute but Ben El-Mhanni levelled fifteen minutes later when he slotted into the bottom corner. Jay Henderson put us ahead just before the break as he lifted a shot high into the net from inside the box. Twenty minutes into the second half Dan Mackay shot into the bottom corner to double our advantage. Substitute Lewis Nicolson concluded the scoring in the 86th minute with a header from sub Steven Boyd's cross. Great win on the road for the Caley Jags that moves us into sixth place in the table, eleven points behind table toppers Queens Park who we face next week. Great start to 2023 for the Caley Jags with two big wins on the bounce. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wallace Duffy returned to the starting XI after suspension and Zak Delaney showed no adverse reaction to continue at left back. Jay Henderson played his second game for the club. No other returnees and Max Ram looks to have been added to the still extensive injury list. Arbroath had four new signings in the squad with Ben El-Mhannie, Balde and Adarkwa all starting. Arbroath got the game underway but it was the visitors that took an early lead. Good work by Lewis Hyde down the right and his low cross saw Dan Mackay take a swipe at the ball. He sclaffed it somewhat but one again it was poacher extraordinaire Billy Mckay who reacted best to get to the ball at the back post to knock it in from less than a yard. Great start for the visitors. Sean Ardarkwa cut in from the left but his curling shot from the edge of the box dipped just over the bar. However the hosts were level when the tidy Yasin Ben El-Mhannie met a low João Baldé cross into the box to slot home from around twelve yards, his first goal for Arbroath after two great assists last week against Dundee. Inverness almost regained the lead immediately but for Thomas O'Brien with a goal line clearance from Billy Mckay. Five minutes before the interval the bustling Ardarkwa shot just wide across the face of Ridgers' goal with the keeper scrambling across his line to cover his far post. Just on the break Jay Henderson opened his Caley Jags account after a corner fell to him around the penalty spot. It appears that his knee made contact with the ball and it lifted into the top of the net above the floundering defenders. Maybe Inverness could consider themselves slightly fortunate to go in ahead at the interval, but thems the breaks. HALF TIME: 1-2 After half time it was encouraging to see Inverness looking to build on their first half advantage. Sean Welsh fired a free kick at Gaston, the keeper gathering the curling ball at the second attempt. Gaston did brilliantly to deny Billy Mckay from six yards after Aaron Doran flashed a low ball into the box from the right side. From the resultant corner, Gaston again did brilliantly to deny Mckay as tried to divert Sean Welsh's header into the net, the keeper clawing the header away from danger. Inverness looked likely to run away with the game early in the second half. Dan Mackay gave us the cushion to do just that as he slotted home a through ball from Welsh after we broke play up in the right midfield area. Unfortunately Mackay was replaced by Lewis Nicolson with fifteen minutes remaining after taking a sore one, hopefully just bruising as hinted at by Billy Dodds after the game. Ben El-Mhannie drilled a shot just the wrong side of the post as Arbroath tried to respond, but it was a bit of too little too late and Aaron Doran did well down the left before drilling a dangerous low cross into the box that was heading for a tap-in before a defender sliced it over his own bar. The last goal was the icing on the cake when substitute Lewis Nicolson nudged a header back across the six yard box and into an unguarded net. Mckay and then Steven Boyd combined to set up the chance which Lewis executed exquisitely, his second goal for the club enjoyed muchly by the 143 away fans at Gayfield. FULL TIME: 1-4 Downside of this win was another injury for Dan Mackay. Great to see Jay Henderson and Lewis Nicolson getting amongst the goals and another for Billy Mckay as he chases Dennis Wyness' scoring record of 102 goals. Billy is now on 91. Arbroath is never an easy place to get a win, never mind a big one, we'll take that. Date: 07/01/2023 Venue: Gayfield, Arbroath Attendance: 1803 Referee: Gavin Duncan Arbroath: 1 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Oakley (Linn 67), Bitsindou (Hilson 67), O'Brien, Hamilton, Ben El-Mhanni (Dow 77), Mckenna, Gold (Little 45), Balde, Stewart, Adarkwa Subs (not used): Gill; Hoti, Allan Scorers: El-Mhanni (26) Booked: Gold (35), Hamilton (55) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine, Delaney (Strachan 88), D Mackay (A Nicolson 75), Welsh, Hyde, Doran (Boyd 84), Henderson (Thompson 88), B Mckay (Oakley 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Cairns Scorers: B Mckay (9) Henderson (45), D Mackay (65), L Nicolson (86) Booked: Devine (16), Duffy (33), Henderson (61), Sent Off: none a
  10. Happy New Year Inverness began 2023 with a crushing win against Cove. Two first half strikes from Billy Mckay and one from Danny Devine countered the opening goal from Jack Sanders. Two quickfire own goals within five minutes of the restart put the hosts 5-1 ahead. Mckay notched his hat-trick from close range as we ran away with the game. Big win to start the year, just what we needed. Jay Henderson started in his first game for the Caley Jags after signing on loan for the rest of the season. Zak Delaney returned after injury but he was the only returnee with a sparse bench, Oakley and Boyd were the only senior outfield players on it with returning loan youngsters. Gilmour and Logan missed out for Cove who had Iain Vigurs on the bench. After a minutes silence for the legend that was Pele, the game got underway on a crisp afternoon in the Highlands. Billy Mckay struck the post in the first minute from twenty yards. Megginson flicked a header just over five minutes later and Longstaff shot over after fifteen minutes as Cove got to grips with the pace of the game. Doran has a shot blocked by McKenzie and Billy Mckay put the rebound just wide. Hyde then saw McKenzie block with his legs as Mckay put him through on goal. Jack Sanders headed in the opener after twenty two minutes. Doran went close soon after, his deflected shot sliding past for a fruitless corner. Just after the half hour Billy Mckay drew Inverness level with a diving header from six yards after a Sean Welsh cross. Danny Devine put Inverness ahead five minutes before the break with a half volley into the bottom corner, Sean Welsh again the provider. A minute before the half time whistle, it was 3-1 when Billy Mckay netted from the spot after hand ball by Jack Sanders. Just after the interval a Dan Mackay shot/cross ended up in the net via Kyle McClelland. It's raining own goals now and Scott Ross was next to put through his own net. Mark Ridgers denied Fraser Fyvie and Luis Longstaff with excellent saves and Dan Mackay went close on the hour. Billy got his hat-trick and Dan Mackay went close to number seven. The three returning youngsters came on for the final ten minutes and more followed as we saw out the game. Who saw that coming??? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not many saw that result coming, probably not even Billy Dodds but it's a badly needed flying start to 2023. Six goals and a hat-trick for the evergreen Billy Mckay. As much as we have criticised the team on here, surely nobody can have any complaints after that result, our biggest of the season. Good to see Mark Ridgers back between the sticks and Zak Delaney back after injury. Billy Mckay, poacher extraordinaire back to his best. That's his fourth Hat-Trick for the Caley Jags. What's not to like! Happy Days are here again... Hat-Trick Hero... it's my ball All the Goals Date: 02/01/2023 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2052 Referee: Craig Napier Inverness CT: 6 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Ram (Strachan 85), Devine, Delaney, Doran (Nicolson 81), Welsh, Hyde, D Mackay (Boyd 73), Henderson (Thompson 81), B Mckay (Cairns 81) Subs (not used): C Mackay; L Nicolson, Oakley Scorers: Mckay (32, 44 pen, 64), Devine (40), McClelland (50 og) Ross (52 og) Booked: none Sent Off: none Cove Rangers: 1 Manager: Jim McInally Lineup: McKenzie; Ross, Sanders, Reynolds (McClelland 45), Scully, Longstaff, Yule, McIntosh, Fyvie, McDonagh (Masson 34), Megginson Subs (not used): Gourlay; Towler, Vigurs, Leitch, Dunne Scorers: Sanders (22) Booked: Ross (33), Sanders (44), Scully (69) Sent Off: none a
  11. Xmas Grinch's Inverness went to Glasgow for their pre-Xmas fare looking for three points for their Xmas stocking. In the end we were stuffed like Turkeys and got our chestnuts roasted. We looked like Turkeys in the first half as Partick knocked in two simple goals through Brian Graham and Kyle Turner. Meanwhile Inverness were at sixes and sevens as they tried to stem the flow without success whilst failing to make an attacking contribution to the game. After the interval McKinnon and Muirhead added early goals like the Grinch to completely ruin Xmas for the Highland folk. Doran nicked a consolation but Mullen added a fifth immediately. To add insult to injury, Duffy was red carded, probably too embarrassed to wait until the end. A few more should have walked with him. Embarrassing stuff from Inverness. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Dodds was still without a squad of injured players as we went to Firhill on the Friday before Xmas hoping for a wee present from the West End. Sean Welsh, Zak Delaney and Billy Mckay returned after injury but Danny Devine, Cammy Harper and Nathan Shaw were now missing and only five on the bench including Mark Ridgers who is still on the naughty boy step. Sounds like plenty of work for our new director, alphabet man, to contend with. For Partick, Scott Tiffoney has been out for a couple of months and has been missed as Partick floundered. Still, a strong squad with a full bench for the Maryhill Magyars. Inverness were in their red'nblack away strip for this one as Partick kicked off in a mostly yellow kit. There appeared to be a false dawn following good pressing by the visitors in the opening exchanges but it was Partick that forced the first corner where Brian Graham snatched at his opportunity and hit it wide into the side net at the back post. That was just a warning. Who else but Brian Graham tapped in the opener after an Aiden Fitzpatrick cross picked him out inside the six yard box. All too easy for the big striker. Almost a second from a similar break down the left five minutes later but the defence scrambled it clear. It had been all Partick since the opening five minutes as Inverness failed miserably to build anything whatsoever, totally devoid of any attacking intent. As if by magic, Dan Mackay managed to get a cross into the middle where Billy Mckay spun but his shot from the edge of the box was weak and easily gathered by Sneddon. Dan Mackay was looking our man most likely to succeed with the limited time he was having on the ball, but his moments were fleeting to say the least. The replica second goal came from Kyle Turner after a tremendous diagonal ball from Lawless found Harry Milne whose low cross was turned into the net by Turner five minutes before the interval. HALF TIME: 2-0 Aaron Doran came on at the interval replacing the ineffective Steven Boyd. Mind you, they were all ineffective, or maybe just defective. Max Ram continued where he left off in the first half, in fact he went one better picking out absolutely nobody for a throw in to Partick out of nothing. Men against boys as Partick scored a third after Graham unselfishly knocked down a ball for Cole McKinnon to drill home from fifteen yards. FFS, a fourth followed minutes later after a corner was met early by Muirhead at the near post and planted firmly behind the keeper to surely loosen the shoogly peg holding Dodds' coat. We have been an absolute shambles for seventy minutes here and it will get worse. We got a consolation goal from Aaron Doran but that just angered Partick who went up the park and scored a fifth goal through Danny Mullen moments later. Wallace Duffy saw red when he tugged back a player bursting forward. Just what we needed on top of all our injuries. To be honest it could have been more as we failed to participate in the game. A late goalline clearance denied Partick number six as the game petered out. As it was, that was our heaviest defeat by Partick Thistle who didn't need to be anything other than competent. FULL TIME: 5-1 Match Reaction from Alsy: ICTFC playing like a team assembled from random characters found in the car park 20 minutes before kick off. What’s going on here? From CTO: 5-1 is embarrassing, and now down to 10 men. Something is beyond wrong. It can’t all be blamed on injury and bad luck, surely it is managements job to manage and motivate ???? That’s what’s lacking Here's a cutting assessment from the Immortal Howden Ender Any match report simply has to focus on the 109 supporters who had to suffer this total embarrassment. Even if 10-20% left before the final whistle which in itself is a rarity and basically sums the whole night up. I did stay until the final whistle just to ensure that I had witnessed the worst ICT performance ever. I usually include comments on the tactics and the formation but I couldn’t suss out who was playing where and what their roles were. The main one to confuse me was Carson as he appeared to be just roaming around the midfield area and rarely where the play was taking place. Welsh meanwhile was the man looking for the ball to be played to him but usually lobbed the ball forward to Billy McKay surrounded by four defenders!! It may be cruel but Ridgers is the biggest miss of the lot. MacKay looks to have lost all his confidence and that evidently affects the defence in front of him. And add to that the system of holding a line is unknown as is pressing the ball. Who scouted Barrett who makes Djebi-Zadi look like Carlos Alberto. Duffy was unfortunate to get a red but probably looked at it as a blessing. Billy McKay tried but he simply looks fed up as does Dan. He intermittently held his hamstring and he must have been hoping that it will keep him out for a few weeks. And why were our players slipping so often and why was Oakley kept on the bench and why were there more of a smattering of the kids who apparently did us proud at Hamilton. At least Doran showed glimpses of his old self. I am going to stop as I could go on and on. It is absolutely obvious that Dodds has lost the dressing room and the support. Sure there are injuries but selection and tactics are non existent. We will survive but is that enough? It may cost to get rid of Dodds and his supporters but a deal has to be done sooner than later as the support will surely dwindle. To me seeing fellow supporters and the social aspect is what will keep me going at the moment. At this time of year Dodds is Ebenezer Scrooge and we need a Jacob Marley to haunt him as soon as possible, OR, we will all be stuffed. Merry Christmas to you all - well apart from?? From CTO: I think it's not unreasonable to say that was probably the weakest starting XI the club has ever put on the field (recent Hamilton game aside) and I'm including 3rd division days here. A number of these guys are simply not professional footballers, and these are Dodds' signings. 9-1 on aggregate from our two visits to Firhill this season is quite the statistic yet Gardiner and Co. will do nothing. The club is in terminal decline and we need radical change NOW! Cringe... Date: 23/12/2022 Venue: Firhill, Partick Attendance: 2243 Referee: Peter Stuart Partick Thistle: 5 Manager: Ian McCall Lineup: Sneddon; McMillan (Holt 62), Brownlie, Muirhead, Milne (MacKenzie 68), Turner, Bannigan, McKinnon, Lawless (Mullen 68), Graham (Weston 80), Fitzpatrick (Lyon 79) Subs (not used): Mitchell; Smith, Stanway, Dowds Scorers: Graham (16), Turner (39), McKinnon (53), Muirhead (57), Mullen (74) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Barrett, Duffy, Ram, Delaney, Boyd (Doran 45), Welsh, Carson, Hyde (Strachan 80), D Mackay, B Mckay Subs (not used): Ridgers; Bray, Oakley Scorers: Doran (73) Booked: none Sent Off: Duffy (77) a
  12. Banana Skin Avoided A potential banana skin encounter was made all the more plausible given the 2015 Scottish Cup winners permanent injury crisis. Stirling Albion are on a roll at the top end of League Two whilst we are struggling to get players on the park recently. With that in mind we made a late swoop into the transfer market to snap up right back Ryan Barrett on a short term loan until January. He was thrust into the squad for this Scottish Cup game having been training with the squad this week. Dale Carrick scored a first half brace with Wallace Duffy and Max Ram replying for Inverness who only woke up after the opening goal. After the break Aaron Doran restored the hosts lead and we held on to go into the draw for the fourth round. Not pretty, but we got there. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ New loan signing Ryan Barrett was on the bench alongside Dan Mackay who was reappearing after injury. Sean Welsh was given more recovery time. Dale Carrick would spearhead the Binos attack and hot prospect Kai Fotheringham would be one to watch. One change from last week as Harrison Clark comes in to replace Ross Davidson. Robert Thomson returns to the bench after serving his suspension. Cammy Clark remains suspended. After the heavy rain and wind earlier in the week it was a pleasantly calm and mild afternoon for a kick-about. Thirteen goal striker Dale Carrick was prominent early on as he shot wide, but it was a low key start to the game. Kai Fotheringham sliced wide after twenty-five minutes with the hosts not really threatening. A couple of corners for the visitors brought about the opening goal when Carrick bulleted a header high into the net after Fotheringham had chipped a ball into the box. No surprise really given our negative start to the match as we have offered very little so far. Was there a shock on the cards? Maybe not, the lead lasted little more than five minutes as Wallace Duffy levelled the tie from a Nathan Shaw cross with an excellent headed goal of his own, his downward header bouncing high into the net. Fotheringham and Aaron Doran exchanged efforts with Currie called into action to deny Doran before Max Ram put us ahead five minutes before the interval as he shot into the bottom corner from close range assisted by Billy Mckay. We can't hold on to the lead either and Dale Carrick scored his second of the game in stoppage time before the whistle as he slotted the ball past Cammy Mackay from close range after a defensive blunder by the recovering Devine. HALF TIME 2-2 A couple of early second half corners came to nothing for the hosts. Ten minutes after the break the tricky Fotheringham went close again with an effort from outside the box. The Bino's were fancying this one with Inverness not looking particularly threatening. George Oakley replaced Steven Boyd on the hour and Dan Mackay replaced Billy Mckay soon after. His first contribution was a header that went wide, which was more positive than Oakley who conceded a foul inside a minute of entering the park. Inverness retook the lead when Aaron Doran scored from close range with twenty minutes left, Shaw again with the assist as he cut along the byeline before picking out Doran. Mackay saved from Fotheringham, tipping the ball over as Stirling looked to stay in the tie and Harrison Clark had an effort blocked as we struggled to contain the Binos who were forcing their hosts onto the back foot as they gave away more corners. It was going to be a long last ten minutes for the home fans. Ryan Barrett made his debut with ten minutes to go with Max Ram giving way and still we looked fragile as Stirling tried to force an equaliser with Mackay denying Davidson's deflected shot and Carrick. Obligatory booking for David Carson as we clung on to what we had. And we just got over the line... MotM for Inverness was Nathan Shaw once more with Cammy Mackay also ensuring we went into the hat for the 4th round draw. Date: 26/11/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 738 Referee: Dan McFarlane Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Duffy, Ram (Barrett 81), Devine, Harper, Shaw, Carson, Hyde, Doran, Boyd (Oakley 60), B Mckay (D Mackay 64) Subs (not used): Ridgers; Strachan, Cal Mackay, Nicolson Scorers: Duffy (32), Ram (40), Doran (69) Booked: Ram (71), Carson (87), Harper (90+2) Sent Off: none Stirling Albion: 2 Manager: Darren Young Lineup: Currie; McGeachie, McLean, McGregor, H Clark (Cooper 82), Dunsmore, Leitch (Moore 72), Banner (Davidson 22), Denholm (Thomson 72), Carrick, Fotheringham Subs (not used): Law; Burns Scorers: Carrick (27, 45+1) Booked: Davidson (88) Sent Off: none a
  13. Shaw shank redemption Nathan Shaw earned Inverness an unlikely point as he scored his second of the game with three minutes left. That levelled the score after Dipo Akinyemi had put leaders Ayr United ahead with his 14th goal of the season less than ten minutes from the end. Shaw had given the hosts an early lead which they held until the 66th minute when Mark McKenzie bundled into the net from close range. This was a better point for Inverness who still had nine players missing although Danny Devine came into the back four before going off after being injured with fifteen minutes remaining. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ayr came out of the blocks quickly and had a couple of early half chances through Daire O'Connor and Dipo Akinyemi, Cammy Mackay saving the first well and Dipo heading over from the resulting corner. However, it was Inverness that got off to the perfect start when Nathan Shaw put them ahead in the sixth minute firing home from the heart of the box into the bottom corner after stepping round the keeper. It started with a long ball forward from Danny Devine which possibly got a flick on before Shaw controlled and beat the keeper brilliantly. David Carson shot over and Sam Ashford brought Cammy Mackay into action once more saving his effort from distance. After half an hour Akinyemi saw Mackay save his header as Ayr looked to get back on level terms. Before the break Nick McAllister also had a header saved by Mackay who was looking assured in the hosts goal. Just before the interval a game changer for Ayr as Logan Chalmers was met with the obligatory boos as he replaced the injured O'Connor. HALF TIME: 1-0 The introduction of Chalmers was the boost Ayr had been looking for as he relished the chance to have a go at his former team mates. He continued from where he left us with his shoot on site policy and his intentions were there for all to see as Mackay stopped his first shot five minutes after the interval. Akinyemi dragged a shot wide but at the other end Aaron Doran went closer when his shot from around twenty-five yards hit the top of the crossbar with the keeper beaten and went behind. Chalmers again went close when he tried to find the top corner and just when Inverness looked to be getting up to speed in the second half Ayr United equalised when Mark McKenzie knocked in from close range after good work by Chalmers. Danny Devine seemed to take a knock and was replaced by Lewis Hyde with fifteen minutes remaining which disrupted our defence again. Steven Boyd and Akinyemi exchanged misses, but Akinyemi would get another chance immediately which he buried into the back of the net. Good strike from the powerful front man to give United the lead with around ten minutes left. George Oakley came on for one final push as we looked to salvage a point and was instrumental in the assist for Nathan Shaw to shoot early across the keeper into the corner with three minutes plus remaining. Still time for Chalmers to be denied once more by Cammy Mackay and that was the last effort in a decent game where we deserved our point. FULL TIME: 2-2 Well done to Nathan Shaw who had said ahead of the game he was looking forward to it. He has been one of the more positive players in recent weeks. Cammy Mackay did well and denied Ayr a winner at the end and Danny Devine was a welcome returnee after weeks out until he was replaced towards the end after taking cramp. Given our circumstances many would have bitten your hand off for a point before the game started. Ayr's goals were possibly avoidable, but in Akinyemi they have the top scorer in the league and he doesn't need a second invitation. There's him, complete with croakey voice... From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle head coach Billy Dodds: "It was a collective but there were some good individual performances. "I was delighted with the spirit and the quality. We had to ride our luck at times in the second-half. I thought we deserved more out of the game but we'll take a point." Ayr United manager Lee Bullen: "I think there were spells where both teams felt they weren't going to get anything out of it. "When you go 2-1 up with six, seven, eight minutes to go you hope to see it out. But it didn't happen that way. To be honest with you, it would have been harsh on Inverness." Date: 19/11/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2066 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Duffy, Ram, Devine (Hyde 76), Harper, Shaw, Carson, Welsh, Doran, Boyd (Oakley 84), Mckay Subs (not used): Ridgers; Strachan, Nicolson, Calum Mackay Scorers: Shaw (6, 87) Booked: none Sent Off: none Ayr United: 2 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; McAllister, Kirk (Ecrepont 90+3), McGinty, Reading, Dempsey, Murdoch, Ashford (McKenzie 61), Mullin (Young 61), Akinyemi, O'Connor (Chalmers 44)) Subs (not used): McAdams; Bilham, Bangala, Bryden, Smith Scorers: McKenzie (66), Akinyemi (82) Booked: McAllister (78) Sent Off: none a
  14. Dumped in Ochilview We ended up with the short straw, a 5:30pm kick-off at Ochilview Park to face Queens Park. Ayr United, Dundee and Morton had already won prior to kick off and we needed the three points to stay in touch, so did Queens Park. The visitors opened the scoring after twenty minutes when Billy Mckay scored into the bottom corner. Charlie Fox headed the Spiders level five minutes after the interval from a corner. Patrick Jarrett hit the post and Aaron Doran volleyed just over from a Nathan Shaw cross as Inverness ventured forward. Queens took the lead through Simon Murray at the back post with around twenty minutes left. and that was the end of the scoring, but not the pressure on the weary Inverness defence. Queens Park thoroughly deserved the points in another poor performance from the Caley Jags. The stats have apparently revealed that we had less than 20% of the possession. That's incredible given we were playing Queens Park, not Real Madrid. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Dodds was only able to call on a similar squad to the one which threw points away against Arbroath last week with no new players returning from injury. Queens Park had a full bench, something we can only dream about just now and a pair of Boateng's. Simon Murray was denied an early chance when one on one with Cammy Mackay, the keeper doing just enough to divert the ball for a corner. Sean Wesh headed wide before Billy Mckay put Inverness ahead when Welsh's ball into the box was driven home by Mckay. Talk about a false dawn.... There then followed a procession towards the visitors end of the pitch with Murray and Davidson working the keeper. However, for all their possession, Inverness were coping, just. Ferries saved from Mckay ten minutes before the break and we managed to get to the interval with our lead intact. HALF TIME: 0-1 A headed 'goal' by Kilday was chalked off for an infringement but the warning was not heeded. Mackay saved well from Simon Murray five minutes after the break. More pressure applied to our defence and from a corner Charlie Fox rose high to head in with little defensive objection. It was only a matter of time before the Spiders would make their superiority count. Patrick Jarrett turned in the box and hit the post as we survived a bit longer. Grant Savoury crossed to the far post and that wily poacher Simon Murray turned the ball into the net to give Queens Park a deserved lead with around twenty minutes left. Aaron Doran went close with a couple of efforts but it was mainly backs to the wall stuff and Savoury should have added another but he dragged his shot wide. Jack Thomson hit the post as the game drew to a close with Queens well on top and Inverness looking somewhat battered and bedraggled. FULL TIME: 2-1 We can count ourselves fortunate to get off so lightly. On another day we could easily have shipped six. Somethings wrong that's not right with many fans wondering if it's time for change. We are certainly in a depression and few can see a way out of it with very few prepared to roll up their sleeves. Meh! Highlights from Queens Park Match reaction from Billy Dodds: It's a Q&A session...WTF Scathing Match reaction from CTO, lots of unhappy bunnies: Enough is enough! We were absolutely garbage yet again and this situation simply cannot be allowed to continue. I get the fact that we have a depleted squad but the manner of the performances are completely uncceptable and we are categorically never getting out of this league with Dodds in charge. I would love our esteemed CEO and Manager to illuminate us as to why we chose not to bring in loanees at the end of September when we were already facing a lengthy injury list. The fact that we're also naming 16 and 17 year olds on the bench when we have a number of slightly more experienced players out on loan is a similar mystery to me. Time to go! Dodds out..... Kellacher out...... Robertson out..... Wilson out! Time for fresh ideas or I say all fans should boycott the club don't go yo any more games stop spending money. Gonna be part time next year at best anyway Just thinking, with Queens having been unable to fulfil the fixture at it’s scheduled time, maybe the team should have turned up at 3pm and played Syngenta instead - might have got a point! Absolute garbage! Total lack of cohesion. Unable to string passes together. Unable to keep possession. Unable to score more than one goal per match, and usually less. No tactics. No fight. And frankly, I don't buy this "huge injury list" thing - that's been the excuse for the last 3 seasons now. Anybody playing for ICT must have achieved a certain standard before getting in the door. The players on the pitch all have the required individual skills - they just don't seem to be working in the same direction. I've been reluctant to criticise so far, but tonight's shambles just tipped me over the edge. We never looked like winning, even when we were one-up. When I pay to see a game I expect some kind of entertainment for my money. This season I just feel I'm being ripped off! Date: 12/11/2022 Venue: Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir Attendance: 593 Referee: Scott Lambie Queens Park: 2 Manager: Owen Coyle Lineup: Ferrie; Davidson, Kilday, Fox, Robson, Thomson, M Boateng, Jarrett, McPake (Savoury 70), Thomas, Murray (Williamson 83) Subs (not used): Heraghty; Naismith, Longridge, Kenny, Bruce, Connolly, D Boateng, Scorers: Fox (50), Murray (73) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Carson, Duffy, Ram, Delaney (Hyde 81), Shaw, Welsh, Harper, Doran (Nicolson 81), Oakley (Boyd 65), B Mckay Subs (not used): Ridgers; Strachan, Cal Mackay Scorers: B Mckay (18) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  15. Defensive Lapse Inverness dropped to fifth in the table after a defensive lapse cost them all three points. Bottom club Arbroath had their task made easier with Dodds dropping Mark Ridgers to the bench. In a first half of few chances McKenna hit the post with a curling effort for the visitors with the keeper stranded. Doran curled a similar effort just over with Gaston stranded as Inverness grew into the game before the interval. Despite some home pressure, the final pass was always a touch too many and it was goalless at the break. Nathan Shaw opened the scoring after he met a flick on at the back post. Having worked hard to get ahead we gifted Arbroath a leveller after a wayward defensive header left Kieran Shanks through on goal to drill past a helpless Mackay. Gaston pulled off some tremendous saves from Harper, Duffy and Mckay and Arbroath finished with a wee flourish, but we held on for a point. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Dodds was still without a raft of injured players and he added Mark Ridgers to the list by dropping him to the bench after the Morton mayhem. What a slap in the face for Ridgers, and a bigger slap in the bollocks for the paying public. Scapegoat springs to mind. Arbroath were without Tam O'Brien, Scott Binsindou and Scott Stewart. Kieran Shanks started up front with Dale Hilson on the bench. Inverness set the ball rolling shooting towards the North Stand on a sodden pitch, which became evident as the number of players losing their footing increased as the game went on. It was a slow opening to the game before Cammy Harper had a low shot turned behind for a corner, the keeper taking no chances as the ball neared his right hand post. Billy Mckay was next to have a pop but it was too easy to stop his shot from the edge of the box. A neat bit of interplay from the visitors allowed Michael McKenna to bend a shot from eighteen yards onto Cammy Mackay's right hand post, but with the keeper beaten the ball cannoned off the outside of the post to safety. Aaron Doran had a similar effort at the other end as he shaped to curl his shot goalwards with the keeper in no mans land. Unfortunately it drifted just over the bar, but that was our best moment so far with twenty-five minutes gone. Mckay then shot wide and had a header comfortably saved by Gaston in the visitors goal. Inverness were ending the half on top with George Oakley close to connecting with a Harper delivery. HALF TIME: 0-0 We opened the second half on the front foot and Mckay found the keeper with another header from a Nathan Shaw cross. Shaw was warming to the task and was one of our main threats going forward. Seven minutes after the break it was Shaw that opened the scoring when he came in late at the back post to knock home a head flick from Mckay after a great cross in from the left side. Good reward for the young wide player. We almost grabbed a second as Oakley bustled down the right and stabbed the ball across the face of the goal from a tight angle. It was kept alive by Mckay on the left who found Harper but his shot from just inside the box was well saved by Gaston. Out of nothing Arbroath equalised. We looked to have broken down a foray forward on the left for Arbroath. However, it appears to have been Carson who headed the ball into the path of Kieron Shanks who needed no prompting as he stepped onto the ball and slotted it behind the exposed Cammy Mackay. Poor goal to lose and it came when we were well on top. With twenty minutes remaining, Wallace Duffy was unlucky not to score as Gaston spread himself well to block his drive with his feet before picking himself up to spectacularly deny Billy Mckay in the top corner, tipping the ball behind. There followed a spate of substitutions from the visitors which seemed to tighten things up for them and regain some control in the middle of the park. Daniel Fosu had a header picked out of the air by Cammy Mackay as Arbroath looked for a winner in the final ten minutes. Dylan Tait saw his shot saved under the bar as we regressed with the Smokies adding to their corner count with every ball into the box making it an uncomfortable ending to the game. FULL TIME: 1-1 A game we should have won slipped out of our grasp. Missed chances, good goalkeeping, wrong decisions, passing the buck, after you Claude, one glaring error and it all adds up to points dropped and down to fifth in the table, albeit only three points away from leaders Ayr United. Disappointing result after starting the second half brightly. Shaw did well to tuck the ball in at the back post but the equaliser was avoidable as we failed to clear the ball away from the edge of the box. Shaw worked hard and took his goal well. Billy Mckay was tireless once more against towering defenders. We probably should have won after going ahead but Gaston saved the Smokies on a few occasions. Cammy Mackay was rarely tested and could do little about the goal. Date: 05/11/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1847 Referee: Calum Scott Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Carson, Duffy, Ram, Delaney, Shaw, Welsh, Harper (Hyde 87), Doran, Oakley (Boyd 79), B Mckay Subs (not used): Ridgers; Strachan, C Mackay, Nicolson Scorers: Shaw (52) Booked: Ram (41), Harper (85) Sent Off: none Arbroath: 1 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Oakley, Little, Hamilton, Tait, Allan (Fosu 76), Gold (Hancock 78), Jacobs, Linn, McKenna, Shanks (Hilson 69) Subs (not used): Gill; Isiaka, Corfe Scorers: Shanks (60) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  16. Morton Madness An injury hit Inverness side went to Cappielow with expectations low and they didn't disappoint. Muirhead opened the scoring against the run of play in the fifth minute after Ridgers allowed a shot to go through him. A second soon followed after a soft penalty award when Ambrose went to ground in the box. Gillespie scored from the rebounded penalty. Worse was to follow when David Carson inexplicably headed a corner behind Ridgers under no pressure. Blues added a fourth with twenty minutes left despite Inverness dominating the ball. Defeat by a wekened team against the form team on a run is bearable, what is more difficult to grasp is the substitution of your keeper at half-time and the silence that followed it. More to come over the next week or two methinks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Much had been made of the injured Caley Jags players as Inverness went down to Greenock to face one of the form teams over the last five games. However had Doddsy pulled a fast one as Wallace Duffy came back into the defence with Austin Samuels managing a seat on the bench after weeks out? Morton had new signing Efe Ambrose in defence and the dangerous Quitongo and Muirhead up front. Wet and blustery was the outlook as Inverness got the game underway with fresh optimism. That would soon disappear in Morton's first attack. Disaster for Inverness after a bright opening as Robbie Muirhead looked to have opened the scoring after a blunder from Mark Ridgers allowed the ball to squirm under him. He clawed it back but it appeared to be over the line before Cameron Blues followed up to stab the ball into the net. Efe Ambrose went down in the box under a challenge from Max Ram. Colin Steven pointed straight to the spot much to the surprise of everyone including Ambrose. Ridgers blocked the spot kick from Gillespie but he scrambled in from close range when it looked like we were about to clear it. Almost a third after some miscommunication and tentative defending from the makeshift defence but we managed to swipe it clear before Muirhead got his shot away although he will maybe wonder why he never headed it in the first instance. Boyd was looking lively but his shooting was wayward as he fired over from a good position. Muirhead found himself running into the box on the inside right area and got his shot away across Ridgers, however the keeper managed to stop this one at full stretch at the second attempt. Billy Mckay won a corner when his close range shot was charged down by Ambrose as Inverness looked to reply before the interval. It's another shambles at the back as David Carson stooped to head a corner into his own net five minutes before the break. Not sure we deserved to be three down, but every mistake has been punished. HALF TIME: 3-0 Dodds hooked Ridgers at half time. Lets just say he didnt look injured. Another bright start to the second half for the visitors and a Billy Mckay snapshot from the edge of the box just cleared the bar. Around the hour a great turn and run by Boyd ended with his shooting letting him down again as the ball cleared the bar once more. Billy Mckay found the side netting after being slid through by Nathan Shaw as Inverness dominated the second half. However it was the hosts that extended their lead. Cameron Blues ran onto a ball forward and slotted it behind the keeper for number four. Boyd was at least trying and he managed to get one on target but Schwake saved low down. Shaw had done well when he came on and whistled a powerful shot just wide in the dying moments. FULL TIME: 4-0 A not unexpected defeat although the margin of it was disappointing. Our lack of a cutting edge was obvious. We could have played for a fortnight and not scored, that's a worry. Morton got the early breaks with the goals and were solid defensively and thoroughly deserved the points. We need to lick our wounds and regroup. Lowlights from Ton TV Dodds when asked about the Mark Ridgers substitution on BBC Sport snapped back "that will remain private" That's no a happy face Billy... From BBC Sport Morton manager Dougie Imrie: "I'm delighted. We want to make Cappielow a fortress. I'm so proud of my boys and everything they've given, so hopefully we keep that going." Inverness manager Billy Dodds: "We were well beaten. If you defend the way we did and you don't take chances when you put the ball in the box you're not going to win any games." Good overview from Doofers Dad on CTO: The combination of defensive errors was a bit freakish, but missing Deas and Devine we can expect to be vulnerable at the back, especially with Allardice missing as well. If we are vulnerable at the back, we have to be more incisive and clinical up top, and that is where we struggle at the moment. We have only scored 4 goals in our last 6 games. We huffed and puffed tonight with good possession but very rarely threatened. Often when it looked like we might threaten, we turned back and played a safe ball which only served to allow Morton's defence to get back in position. And when we did shoot, our shooting was woeful with only 2 shots on target and their keeper never seriously tested. You don't win games by keeping possession, you win them by scoring goals. Yngwie waited a day before making this observation: The morning after the night before. I had fully expected us to lose, with such a depleted squad and makeshift team, against a form side. The scale of the defeat was really down to uncharacteristic individual errors, mainly at the back, but not helped by some poor finishing too. However, the thing that troubles me is the now very public rift between Dodds and Ridgers. We know from recent experience that an unhappy dressing room doesn’t win matches, and it can take a long time to heal. Concerning. Date: 28/10/2022 Venue: Cappielow Park, Greenock Attendance: 1516 Referee: Colin Steven Morton: 4 Manager: Dougie Imrie Lineup: Schwake; Grimshaw, Ambrose, Baird, Strapp, Blues, Crawford, Gillespie (Pignatiello 85), McGrattan (King 82), Quitongo (Kabia 56), Muirhead Subs (not used): Hynes, McGregor Scorers: Muirhead (6), Gillespie (12 pen), Carson (og 41), Blues (72) Booked: Blues (37), McGrattan (65) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers (C Mackay 45); Carson, Duffy, Ram, Delaney, Boyd, Welsh (Hyde 80), Harper, Doran (Shaw 66), Oakley, B Mckay Subs (not used): Callum Mackay, Strachan, Samuels Scorers: none Booked: Delaney (58) Sent Off: none a
  17. Majestic Deas Earns the Point Injury ravaged Caley Jags were without at least nine players and down to the bare bones. Once the mist cleared we could see that Rovers had pulled a fast one before a ball was kicked and stunned everyone by appearing in pink. WTF. Sam Stanton opened the scoring after Raith hit the post from distance. Ridgers made a superb save from a flick towards his top corner soon after. Robbie Deas scored a tremendous header into the top corner off a pacey cross from Zak Delaney, and that's how it was at the interval. Ridgers pulled off a worldy save at the start of the second half from Ngwenya. Man of the Match Robbie Deas was helped off the pitch near the end suffering from a leg injury, but Inverness held on for their point. Given the circumstances, a decent point, and it was enough to put us top of the table for now with Partick being hammered 4-0 by Queens Park. Happy days if it were not for the news that Deas has broken his leg. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was a case of who's who as Raith emerged from the tunnel bedecked in pink. Took a minute or two to work out what was going on as we also played towards the North Stand in the first half. Raith were well aware that we were seriously depleted and took the game to their hosts, forcing a couple of corners early on which were defended positively. Aidan Connolly shot wide and then Sam Stanton got a header on goal when it popped up in front of him but couldn't get any purchase on the ball and Mark Ridgers was able to grab the ball comfortably at head height. However a minute later, the 13th, was unlucky for the hosts as Raith deservedly took the lead at this stage of the game. A shot which appeared to take a slight deflection cannoned back off the post and just when it looked as though we might have got away with it, the ball was knocked back in from a tight angle and bundled behind Ridgers for a scrappy opener, Stanton claiming the goal. All a bit untidy and possibly preventable. Kyle Connell and Dylan Easton had shots saved by Ridgers as Raith continued to dominate against the makeshift Inverness XI but we were gradually beginning to get to grips with the pace of the game and Nathan Shaw did well to forage further forward but his shot was too high. Ten minutes before the break Ridgers puled off a tremendous save to deny Easton and two minutes later we were level. Zak Delaney who had been starting to drive forward on the left did just that. He delivered a crip swinging cross into the area and Robbie Deas met it fifteen yards out to divert the ball with his head into the top corner despite a despairing dive from Jamie Macdonald. What a cross, What a dive, what a goal. Stanton almost replied immediately but again Ridgers was up to the effort and tipped the ball out for a corner followed by more activity around the Inverness box just before the break. HALF TIME: 1-1 After the interval Shaw got a shot away after winning the ball midway on the left before driving forward but it never troubled Macdonald. The same could not be said at the other end as Ridgers pulled off a brilliant save to deny Ngwenya who had burst into the box on the left side, the keeper managing to somehow keep the ball out of the net at the expense of a corner. There followed a distinct lull in the proceedings with both sides appearing to have settled for a point. Defences were on top for the next forty minutes right up until Deas went down injured after a clash for the ball in midfield. It's not like Robbie to stay down and it was clear something was amiss. After five minutes he tried to walk unaided off the park but he could not put weight on his leg and crumpled to the turf a couple of times. We would find out the next day why. He has broken his leg. Mathew Strachan replaced Robbie for the remainder plus five minutes of time added on and he did well. Getting an early defensive touch, breaking forward and looking assured as he swung a dangerous ball in from the left side. Alas there were no takers. Right at the end he denied Raith a winner as he diverted Stanton's close range volley wide of the goal when it looked like Sam had got the winner. FULL TIME: 1-1 Disappointing to have to add Robbie Deas to the extensive injury list, but what a performance from the centre back today. Absolutely immense. Mark Ridgers made three or four crucial saves and in general there were good performances throughout. Mathew Strachan came on in the 88th minute. In the remaining time, he swung a tantalising cross into the box and prevented a goal at the death with a timely block to deflect a goalbound shot wide for a corner.Top of the league just now is an unexpected bonus. Raith had plenty of half chances, but with Deas imperious, we did just enough for our share of the spoils. Good to see Sean Welsh get off the bench for a few minutes as well. Let's hope he stays clear of injury. Date: 22/10/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2225 Referee: Mathew MacDermid Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Ram, Deas (Strachan 88), Delaney, Boyd (Doran 67), Hyde (Welsh 75), Harper, Shaw, Oakley, B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Calum Mackay, Bray Scorers: Deas (38) Booked: Carson (78) Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 1 Manager: Ian Murray Lineup: Macdonald; Dick, Millen, Spencer, O'Riordan, Easton, Stanton, Brown, Connell (Coulson 90+1), Connolly (Mathews 77), Crocodile Subs (not used): Thomson; McBride, Mahady, Masson Scorers: Stanton (13) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  18. Winter comes early Inverness failed to stretch their unbeaten run to six League games and in the process failed to top the league on their own whilst Accies lifted themselves off the bottom with this win. With a raft of injuries, it was always going to be a difficult task to maintain our recent run of wins. Andrew Winter opened the scoring from close range in a dour first half. No further scoring left the home fans disappointed with events on the park where injuries were the only winner. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Caley Jags were without seven players athough Sean Welsh was on the bench. Oakley replaced Billy Mckay who was also on the bench after the bruising encounter at Cove along with three youth players. It went from bad to worse before kick-off as Duffy was injured in the warm up and was replaced by Max Ram. Hamilton were unchanged from their defeat to Partick Thistle at the weekend. The first attempt of note came from Aaron Doran in the tenth minute but he fired it wide. Lawson won a corner for Accies after Andrew Winter went forward with menace a couple of minutes later. That warning was not heeded and Winter opened the scoring from close range in the 22nd minute, his fifth goal of the season after a great assist from Andy Ryan. That had been coming from the start with Hamilton looking the better side against an injury ravaged Caley Jags. Zak Delaney drove into the box on the left but his shot was saved by Fulton as Inverness tried to get back on level terms. In a half of few chances, Robbie Deas headed over ten minutes before the break and Winter shot wide at the other end. Another run forward, this time by Boyd, won a corner which Max Ram headed for goal with Fulton making the save. However, Accies survived the mini fightback and they went in one ahead at the interval. HALF TIME 0-1 Dario Zanatta shot wide after the break as Inverness struggled to break down Accies and Oakley shot wide following a corner. Billy Mckay entered the field, replacing Aaron Doran after the hour, but it was Accies that threatened again with Mark Ridgers denying Scott Martin. Soon after Dan Mackay pulled up injured to be replaced by Nathan Shaw. Ridgers conceded a corner after Winter forced his way into the box to keep us within touching distance and Doyle headed over. A late surge from the hosts saw a Harper shot blocked and Lawson cleared twice before Boyd shot over the bar. FULL TIME 0-1 A disappointing result which had more to do with missing players and time wasting than Hamiltons skill and dexterity. Dan Mackay, Wallace Duffy and Max Ram might well be added to the casualty list as well which is a massive worry. Table after tonights dismal showing Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts 1. Partick Thistle 10 6 2 2 23 13 20 2. Inverness CT 11 6 2 3 14 10 20 3. Ayr United 10 5 2 3 20 13 17 4. Dundee 11 5 2 4 19 16 17 5. Morton 11 5 2 4 15 13 17 6. Queens Park 11 5 2 4 15 19 17 7. Raith Rovers 10 4 0 6 11 12 12 8. Cove Rangers 11 3 2 6 14 18 11 9. Hamilton Ac. 11 2 4 5 9 19 10 10. Arbroath 10 1 4 5 7 14 7 Date: 18/10/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2052 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Ram (Strachan 90), Deas, Delaney, D Mackay (Shaw 67), Hyde, Harper, Boyd, Doran (B Mckay 63), Oakley Subs (not used): C Mackay; Calum Mackay, Bray, Welsh, Scorers: none Booked: D Mackay (60) Sent Off: none Hamilton: 1 Manager: John Rankin Lineup: Fulton; Doyle, O'Reilly, Easton, Shiels, Ngandu (One 78), Lawson, Martin, Zanatta (Tiehi 63), Winter, Ryan Subs (not used): J Smith; L Smith, Virtanen, Mimnaugh, Brown, Owens, Newbury Scorers: Winter (22), Lawson (89), Martin (92) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  19. Cove kept at Bay Our first visit to Balmoral Park on League business ended with a hard fought win, our fifth on the bounce. Inverness opened the scoring after twenty minutes through Steven Boyd, his first of the season. However Roddy MacGregor was helped off the pitch after being injured in the build up to that goal. Allardice stayed in the dressing room at the interval to be replaced by Lewis Hyde. Ridgers did well to deny Cove after the break and right at the end Cove were reduced to ten men as McIntosh was sent off. Still joint top as Partick also win with Dundee and Morton leading the chasing pack. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Dodds named an unchanged side from the one that beat Partick Thistle last Friday. Roddy MacGregor would make his 99th appearance fot the Caley Jags, but that would be cut short, and Billy Mckay would be looking for his 86th goal since he first played for Inverness back in 2011. Jim McIntyre had Iain Vigurs on the bench. In a previous life Vigurs had scored 24 goals in 147 appearances for the Caley Jags. Inverness got the game underway in their Kingsmills strip on a bright afternoon in Cove. Within five minutes the two Mckays had efforts wide of the Cove goal, Billy going closer than Daniel. A warning for the visitors in the tenth minute when Megginson headed into the net but was adjudged to be offside. Cove were monopolising the early pressure though and Cieran Dunne went close with a shot from outside the box. However, it was the visitors that drew first blood from a less familiar name when Steven Boyd slotted home after great work by Billy Mckay. Unfortunately during the build up to the goal Roddy MacGregor was injured and had to be helped from the field with what looks like a nasty injury to be replaced by Aaron Doran. Five minutes before the interval Doran combined with Harper but his shot was too high and went over the bar. HALF TIME 0-1 Lewis Hyde replaced Scott Allardice at the interval and Cove replaced Dunne with Leighton McIntosh. Early corners for Cove at the start of the second half came to nothing and Boyd forced Kyle Gourlay into making a save to deny him from outside the box. Cove responded through dangerman Megginson but Mark Ridgers was equal to it to deny the striker from inside the box with a crucial save. Cove had their tails up and Ridgers then had to look lively to keep out a header from Jack Sanders. Play was opening out though and Dan Mackay saw a shot blocked at the other end. image from CaleyJags.com Ridgers saves from Megginson After the hour Connor Scully headed goalwards but Ridgers denied him with another save. Into the final ten minutes and substitute Gerry McDonagh was next to test Ridgers from six yards as Cove upped the pressure in search of an equaliser. Nathan Shaw had an effort saved by Gourlay as the clock ticked down after Doran fed him through on goal. Right at the death Leighton McIntosh was red-carded for violent conduct as Cove finished with ten men. FULL TIME: 0-1 Mark Ridgers was in tremendous form to keep Cove at bay and well done to Steven Boyd for opening his account with the all important goal. Cove fans were not happy about the offside decision. Downside of this game, which was a brutal contest, is more injuries to contend with which will likely see Allardice and MacGregore miss the Hamilton game in midweek. More match reaction to follow Date: 15/10/2022 Venue: Balmoral Park, Cove Attendance: 1071 Referee: Graham Grainger Cove Rangers: 0 Manager: Jim McIntyre Lineup: Gourlay; Logan, Reynolds, Sanders, Johnston, Longstaff (Leitch 79), Yule, Gilmour (McDonagh 79), Scully, Dunne (McIntosh 45), Megginson Subs (not used): McKenzie; Ross, Towler, Neill, Vigurs Scorers: none Booked: Johnstone (41), Sanders (74) McDonagh (90) Sent Off: McIntosh (90+1) Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers, Carson, Duffy, Deas, Delaney, D Mackay, Allardice, MacGregor (Doran 21), Harper, Boyd (Shaw 79), B Mckay (Oakley 75) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Ram Scorers: Boyd (20) Booked: Boyd (34), Doran (55), Deas (66), Oakley (89) Sent Off: none a
  20. He scores when he wants A first half where defences were on top offered little opportunity for either side to create the clear cut chance required until the half hour when Robbie Deas pounced on a loose clearance within the box. His header was bundled away from goal a yard from the line by two defenders with Mitchell floundering. A couple of minutes later and Mitchell was called into action to scramble the ball away low down at his post from a Duffy header. Billy Mckay clipped one over the bar after a tremendous turn and run by Daniel Mackay. Kyle Turner was red carded for what appeared to be a slightly high tackle on Roddy MacGregor and Inverness ended the half knocking on the Partick door. Cammy Harper brought out a super save from Mitchell with 65 minutes gone, diving high to his top left corner. Ten minutes later Billy Mckay opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season, drilling home from twelve yards after good work by MotM Dan Mackay. Kevin Holt came close to an unlikely equaliser with a low shot across the face of the goal ten minutes from the end, but Partick rarely threatened. Oakley had an effort kept out on the line acrobatically by Holt as Inverness looked to close out the game. However, Inverness saw out the game to go joint top of the table after their fourth win in a row. That'll do nicely. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No surprise really, but Ian McCall is bumping his gums big time about a penalty shout in the first half for Partick, blaming the ref for two big calls. That and the sending off. Should've gone to specsavers! Danny Devine was missing (on crutches) as were Sutherland, Walsh, Welsh and Samuels. Duffy was immense as a replacement for Devine. Billy Mckay covered the whole park and Dan of the Match was in spritely form, skinning as and when required. What the managers said on BBC Sport: Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds: "I was really happy with the first half, but we got sloppy in the second half I thought, despite them being down to 10 men. I asked for patience and we'd get our chance and they showed it. What a finish from Billy Mckay too. "They still went at it with 10 men, but I thought we deserved our victory. I'd have liked more goals, but tactically that's what I wanted and I got it." Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall: "There were two pivotal moments. The penalty kick's the clearest you'll ever see. Docherty has his toe over the ball then he's taken out. "I can understand the sending off, yes, but it's a 50-50. It's very, very soft. Second half, I was delighted with how we defended, but the referee, I don't think I've seen him before, looked way out of his depth for this level of football." Reaction on CTO: Mantis: A really significant win, with Samuels still to come back. No failures last night, a real team effort against the media darlings. Nice to see Allardice coming back to form and Cammy continues to grow in confidence, as does Delaney. Ridgers could have watched the game on the telly for all he had to do. Even as the clock ticked past the 70 minutes I felt the goal would come. Dan still pulling off the tricks he's done several times this season and panicking dumplings like McMillan into rash fouls. I was yelling at him to skin Akinola and skin him he did. It was like the old days of us telling Stewartie to lob Hutchison. Roddy is a real gem and I rated him higher than Dan before he left for Hibs. Just needs to follow Dan's example and bulk up a bit. Duffy was decent considering his lack of experience and who he was marking. Deas may well depart in the next window but what a rock, although running around like an angry Rambo makes him (apparently) the most booked player in the league. But finally a word for the legend that is Billy. His 33 year old legs covered every blade of grass on the pitch and given one sniff he took it as you knew he would. Maybe he'll catch Denzil yet. MoogThurso: Duffy has not been first pick for a centre back spot from our management team and has filled in at right back, maybe to his detriment resulting in much derision. Today he put Brian Graham in a cell, winning all of his aerial duels in the first half, having many successful challenges and also covering Tiffoney very well 3 times Carson was out of position or Tiffoney slipped inside. Today he talked all game correcting the position of everyone around him and leading the back line. Robert: Partick created a few early chances but we then kept them very quiet until after we were ahead, and Ridgers didn’t really have any saves of note to make. Our attitude was spot on and I thought everyone played their part. We kept Tiffoney quiet and they sacrificed him at half time: well done to Carson, with help from Boyd, for that. We kept Graham under control: well done to Deas and Duffy for that. Delaney, other than one or two slack passes late on impressed again, and was always looking for the ball. Our midfield was competitive, with Harper having one great effort on goal and Allardice is getting back to how he performed before his injury. Some of the touches from Mackay and MacGregor were excellent, whilst the work rate of the front four was immense. Special mention to Mckay who ran his socks off and took his goal very well. Ridgers did what he needed to without any fuss. Date: 07/10/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2354 Referee: Scott Lambie Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Deas, Delaney, D Mackay (Hyde 83), Allardice (Ram 89), MacGregor (Doran 63), Harper, Boyd (Shaw 63), B Mckay (Oakley 84) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Scorers: B Mckay (75) Booked: Shaw (80) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 0 Manager: Ian McCall Lineup: Mitchell; McMillan (Akinola 73), Holt, Turner, Milne, Tiffoney (McKinnon 45), Bannigan (Fitzpatrick 83), Lawless (Smith 82), Docherty, Muirhead, Graham (Dowds 83) Subs (not used): Brownlie, Hodson, Weston, McCready Scorers: none Booked: McMillan (19), Lawless (41), Muirhead (90+2) Sent Off: Turner (40) a
  21. Ayr Pressure not enough Ayr started the day three points ahead of Inverness. They would end the day level. Plenty of pressure from the hosts in a dominant first half but the nearest they came to a goal was a Mark Mckenzie header that came off the bar and the same player missed from six yards after being set up by Dipo Akinyemi. Inverness would be relieved to get to the interval on level terms. Cammy Harper glanced in a header just after the break to open the scoring. That's how it ended after a difficult ninety minutes but it's three wins on the bounce on the road. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ayr were one of the early leaders ahead of the visit from the Caley Jags. They strengthened their push for promotion by adding the man with the sweet left foot to their squad ahead of this encounter, Logan Chalmers, and he started on the bench today. Inverness were still without a handful of players although Max Ram played for an hour last week against Brechin City and he and Roddy MacGregor were on the bench after a few weeks out with injury. Ayr got the game underway and forced two early corners before Andy Murdoch shot wide in the third minute. Inverness responded with Steven Boyd winning a corner from a deflected shot and Ayr cleared the ball effectively. In the twelfth minute, a Mark McKenzie header hit the bar and out for a goal kick after Josh Mullin had crossed into the box. Big let off for the visitors. Quarter of an hour gone and the two Mackay's combined before Daniel brings out an excellent save from Albinson at his near post and Murdoch's looped header cleared Mark Ridgers' crossbar as Ayr went forward again. Billy Mckay sliced wide after Dan Mackay's shot from the left side was blocked and fell for Billy on the volley. More Ayr pressure saw a Mullin effort blocked and Musonda headed over the subsequent corner midway through the half. Ayr were racking up the corners in the first half with half an hour played, one every three minutes and counting with Sean McGinty next to head wide. Ten minutes before the break a rare foray forward saw George Oakley and Billy Mckay interact but the latters cut back was cleared by the defence and five minutes before the interval McKenzie should have done better but he shot wide from six yards after good work by Akinyemi. We went in level at the interval but Ayr were knocking on the door with some intent. HALF TIME: 0-0 Having been on the back foot for most of the first forty-five, Inverness stunned Ayr by opening the scoring through Cammy Harper with a glancing header into the bottom corner two minutes after the break from a Boyd cross. Photo from caleyjags.com shows Harper wheeling away after scoring the only goal of the game. What a start to the second half from the visitors and Oakley had a header saved by Albinson ten minutes later when he met David Carson's cross at the back post. Could easily have been two up. Substitute Jayden Mitchell-Lawson went close two minutes after coming on, shooting just wide from eighteen yards and Brad Young forced Ridgers into making a save from his header. Dodds replaced Dan Mackay with Aaron Doran with some twenty minutes left but it was Ayr substitute Logan Chalmers that shot over soon after with Jordan Houston following suit. A Dempsey corner looked to be cleared away from the line as Ayr pushed for an equaliser with three minutes remaining and the same player shot over in the dying ember, but that was it as Inverness held out for their third win on the bounce away from home. Another tremendous result on the road for Dodds' men, now level on 14 points with Ayr and third equal in the table. FULL TIME: 0-1 Ayr will feel aggrieved that they never took anything from that game having created a raft of chances but Harper took his chance well and Oakley could have added a second. Great clearance off the line near the end and a muted penalty appeal from Ayr and I doubt Billy Dodds will be complaining about the result. Good to see Roddy MacGregor getting a few minutes on the park. Onwards and upwards we go. Date: 01/10/2022 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1866 Referee: Colin Steven Ayr United: 0 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; Houston, Musonda, McGinty, Reading, Ashford (Chalmers 61), Murdoch, Dempsey, Mullin (Lawson 61), Akinyemi, McKenzie (Young 61) Subs (not used): McAdams; O'Connor, Smith, McAllister, Kirk, Bangala Scorers: none Booked: Akinyemi (58) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Devine, Carson, Deas, Delaney, D Mackay (Doran 69), Allardice, Harper, Boyd (MacGregor 85), Oakley (Shaw ), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Ram, Hyde Scorers: Harper (47) Booked: Carson (65) Sent Off: none a
  22. Brechin pay the Penalty Prior to today, Brechin had only won twice at Inverness in ten encounters. This was a close one that went to penalties to decide who went into the hat for the fourth round draw. Inverness got off to the perfect start through George Oakley in the fifth minute to open the scoring. However, Kevin McHattie levelled the score with a great strike into the top corner after half an hour. Ten minutes before the break Oakley caught the side netting after being fed through by Duffy. A couple of minutes later Nathan Shaw put the hosts back in front. Half Time 2-1. Oakley scored from the spot just after the break, but it was far from job done. Two late strikes from Grady McGrath and Euan Spark took the game to penalties where Inverness just got over the line 4-3. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The first meeting between the sides since 2018 had a low key approach to it. Inverness had Max Ram back in for a start after an early season injury in the League Cup against Kelty Hearts saw him miss the next two months. Billy & Bazza made a number of changes to the side that beat Dundee a week earlier. Cammy Mackay came in for Mark Ridgers with Nathan Shaw, Lewis Hyde and Dan's younger brother Calum all starting. Keith Bray and Mathew Strachan were part of a strong bench for the hosts (Ridgers; Carson, Deas, Allardice, D Mackay, B Mckay, Boyd, Strachan, Bray). Andy Kirk's Brechin had former Inverness players Kevin McHattie and Anthony McDonald in their squad and will be in confident mood after scoring ten goals in their last two games, both away from home. Good to see both these players back performing well on the park after careers disrupted by serious injuries. Aaron Arnott makes his debut for City after coming in on loan from Raith Rovers and Michael McArthur comes back into the starting XI after missing out last week. McHattie started with McDonald on the bench. An early tap in from George Oakley after a great save by keeper Wilson from a Max Ram header set Inverness up nicely but former Inverness defender Kevin McHattie levelled the scores after half an hour with a great curling strike into the top corner from twenty yards. Ten minutes before the break Nathan Shaw put Inverness ahead after Oakley pressurised defender Nathan Cooney into making a costly error before passing to Shaw to score his second goal for the club and that's how it stood at the interval. HALF TIME: 2-1 Oakley converted from the spot 3 minutes after the interval when Duffy was fouled in the box by Cooney. Shaw did well on a couple of occasions after the break but it was Brechin that pulled a goal back through Grady McGrath when he slotted in after Scott set him up with twenty minutes remaining. With ten minutes left they were level after Euan Spark knocked home following a corner. Inverness searched for a winner but time ran out and it went to penalties. Cammy Mackay made a crucial brilliant save from Ryan McInnes in the shoot out then Robbie Deas blasted home his spot kick, and that was the difference. FULL TIME 3-3 Penalties: Brechin City: Bain, McGrath, Loudon, Inglis, McInnes - 3 Inverness CT: B Mckay, Oakley, Boyd, Allardice, Deas - 4 The opening goal was Oakley's 20th goal for the Caley Jags. Incidentally, his first goal was also against Brechin City in a 3-0 league cup win in July 2017 in the 57th minute. Credit to Brechin for making a come back when heads could have dropped just after the interval when Oakley scored his second goal. By all accounts a miserable performance by a side without a number of first picks starting. The only consolation is that we are in the next round, but performances like that won't see us go far in this competition. School report: Must try harder It's no pretty, but we're in the next round From CTO: Awful performance. At 3-1 I thought like most that it was game over despite our midfield setup being so poor. But to concede 2 goals and almost another was criminal, I can't even think apart from Oakley any player that deserved a pass mark! Lethargic, Clueless wrong tactics and player choice made it difficult viewing for the fans.... Well that was painful. 3-1 up and we throw that away. The whole attitude was wrong today. They thought they just had to turn up. No drive,energy,tempo or hunger to win. Passing woeful. This was a great chance for the fringe players to show what they could do and they blew it... Here's Bazza Date: 24/09/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 832 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 3 (4 pens) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Duffy, Devine (Allardice 45), Ram (D Mackay 62), Delaney, Shaw, Hyde, Harper (Deas 45), Doran (B Mckay 83) Callum Mackay (Boyd 62), Oakley Subs (not used): Ridgers; Carson, Strachan, Bray Scorers: Oakley (6, 47pen), Shaw (38) Booked: none Sent Off: none Brechin City: 3 (3 pens) Manager: Andy Kirk Lineup: Wilson; McHattie, Cooney, Northcott, Spark (90+1), Scott (Inglis 90+2), McArthur (Loudon 25), MacLeod, Cruickshank, Arnott (Bain 67), McGrath Subs (not used): Easton; Thomson, McDonald, Naglik Scorers: McHattie (28), McGrath (72), Spark (78) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  23. Harper stuns Dundee The first meeting of the sides this season ended in victory for the visitors. Dundee took an early lead through Sweeney but Cammy Harper levelled almost immediately with a curling shot from outside the box. Austin Samuels day was over five minutes before the interval. Just on the break Billy Mckay scored from the spot to put the visitors ahead after Harper had been fouled. Paul McMullan made it all square ten minutes after the interval although that goal has now been attributed to Joe Grayson. However, man of the match Harper restored the visitors advantage from twenty-five yards with seven minutes left. That ended the scoring and sealed the points before Sweeney was sent off for a second bookable offence as the game slipped away from Dundee. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without Sutherland, Walsh, Duffy, Welsh, and MacGregor but Austin Samuels was deemed fit enough to start with Aaron Doran making the bench. New Dens manager Gary Bowyer had Zach Robinson as the main attacking threat with thorn in our side Paul McMullan one of the providers. Zak Rudden was on the bench. A minutes silence was held prior to kick-off as a mark of respect for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. An early corner for the hosts saw Billy Mckay brilliantly clear the ball off his line whilst lying on the deck with a double block. The corner had been headed towards goal in a crowded box by Ashcroft and flicked on by Robinson two yards out. Mckay kept the header out and as he went to ground Robinson reacted quick to hook a left footed shot goalwards. Miraculously Mckay was in the right place at the post to keep the ball out. Incredibly one Dundee player claimed the ball was over the line. That's remarkable eyesight from thirty yards away in a crowded box. The opening goal would come from another corner in another crowded box minutes later. Grayson's corner may well have come off an Inverness player before entering the net. Difficult to spot with around fourteen players inside the six-yard box. Sweeny given the credit at the moment. Inverness responded three minutes later after a clearance from a corner was miscued. The ball was then laid back to Cammy Harper by Robbie Deas to the edge of the D where Harper curled a precision strike into the keepers top right corner via Sharp's fingertips. What a strike! Yet another corner for Dundee caused problems in the Inverness box as the rugby style scrum rush saw Ashcroft's header tipped over the bar by Mark Ridgers. Austin Samuels was replaced by Aaron Doran five minutes before the interval and Sweeney got his first card for crudely upending Mckay who was skipping past him on the right wing after sucking the defender in. Harper created and won a penalty after bursting into the Dundee box only for keeper Sharp to rashly bring him down. Mckay was faultless from the spot as Sharp went the wrong way and that was half time. HALF TIME: 1-2 We almost went two ahead just after the break after Harper caused problems with a drive into the box, When the ball came back in a massive scrambulation ensued with Doran amazingly unable to turn the ball into the net as bodies threw themselves between him and the goal line three yards away before Sharp grabbed the loose ball. Dan Mackay was getting forward well and he fired a shot just over the bar from the left angle of the box after cutting inside. Billy Mckay would go even closer from a tighter angle on the left as he hooked a volley just over from ten yards. Dundee levelled the game when McMullan shot for goal after a corner was retrieved and it appears that Joe Grayson was the last to stab the ball into the net. McMullan saw an effort saved comfortably by Ridgers as Dundee looked to get back in front. We had our own melee in our box as Dundee went on the front foot, a couple of blocks and timely interventions keeping them at bay. Inverness went back in front again and it was that man Harper once more with another tremendous strike from twenty-two yards. Doran held the ball well down the left side. When he played the ball inside up stepped Harper to drill a low shot across the keeper from the edge of the D into Sharps bottom left corner. Exquisite! The game was now slipping away from Dundee and when Sweeney clumsily brought down Delaney on a seventy-yard run it was game over for Dundee and Sweeney who was given a second yellow and a red card for an early bath. FULL TIME: 2-3 A fabulous result for Inverness after a couple of lacklustre performances with Cammy Harper outstanding. Two tremendous goals and an assist for the penalty. Much more belief and much more passion on display. Defending from front to back with strikers willing to put their bodies on the line for the cause CTO Mantis: Dundee dominated but tbh Ridgers never had a lot to do. Deas and Devine won nearly everything they could throw at us from their many free kicks and corners. McMullan was probably their best player. Looked a bit ominous when they were able to throw on players like McGinn, Rudden and McGowan but after the red card we just took the p1ss. Delaney looks like being a player MotM Cammy Harper Date: 17/09/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4396 Referee: Peter Stuart Dundee FC: 2 Manager: Gary Bowyer Lineup: Sharp; French, Sweeney, McGhee, Marshall, Ashcroft, Mulligan (McGinn 70), Robinson (Rudden 70), McMullan, Williamson (McGowan 56), Grayson Subs (not used): Legzdins; Kerr, Sheridan, Strachan, Cameron, Anderson Scorers: Sweeney (12), McMullan Grayson(55) Booked: Grayson (16), Sweeney (42), Williamson (57), Sweeney (89) Sent Off: Sweeney (89) Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Deas, Delaney, D Mackay (Hyde 86), Allardice, Harper, Samuels (Doran 40), Boyd, B Mckay (Oakley 75) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Ram, Shaw, C Mackay Scorers: Harper (15, 83), B Mckay (45+2 pen) Booked: Deas or Devine (5), Ridgers (56) Sent Off: none a
  24. More rubbish than the streets of Edinburgh The fans turned up looking for a reaction after the feeble attempt at Firhill last Friday. They would leave disappointed after 95 minutes with lots of questions unanswered as they slumped to a second defeat in a row to a bang average Morton side who had previously only ever won three games at the Caledonian Stadium in nineteen encounters. Goalless at the break, Grant Gillespie slotted home a penalty with five minutes remaining after Duffy handled in the box. Woeful stuff from Billy Dodds and his hapless team. Simply another inept performance from the Caley Jags who are now six points behind early leaders Ayr United. It could have been worse but for Mark Ridgers who saved well from Jaze Kabia's twenty yard volley and another great save from a Jai Quitongo effort. Steven Boyd had the first serious attempt in the tenth minute but it was comfortable for the Morton keeper and Austin Samuels shot high and wide as Inverness looked for an opening. However his game ended after 24 minutes through injury with Nathan Shaw replacing him. Roddy MacGregor had a close range effort saved and it was looking promising without being too critical, but in truth we were still too pedestrian with clear chances at a premium in the little goalmouth action there was on display, Morton looking more intent on not conceding than scoring one for themselves. Kabia produced the first bit of decent play followed a second later by the next, a great save in the top corner by Ridgers to deny Morton the lead five minutes before the break. Half Time: 0-0 An untidy opening to the second half came to a close when Ridgers did brilliantly again to deny Quitongo on the hour, tipping his 12 yard volley onto the bar and over for a corner, as we huffed and puffed without doing anything. Nothing noteworthy happened until Duffy handled, Gillespie scored and the fans were left frustrated once more as they could see all this coming a mile away. The decision was maybe a tad harsh as the ball was being knocked out of the box some 18 yards from goal and hit a flailing arm, but penalty was given. Hold on, the referee was Nick Walsh, maybe that explains it. A MacGregor header over and a Dan Mackay shot were all we could muster as the game petered out and another defeat it was. Full Time: 0-1 Well well well, where do we go from here. The two year olde question of where is our right back has not been addressed. Where has our desire gone is also a mystery. Where is our ability to take throw ins, (wait, we never ever had that), where is our ability to attack at pace. Gone are the days of swashbuckling moves late in the game to salvage something, we are now down to punting hopeful balls forward waiting for something to happen instead of making it happen. Below is a selection from the unhappy bunnies on the forum here on CaleyThistleOnline Match Reaction from CTO Well, that was horrendous. I really believe now that Dodds has no idea how to set up and inspire a team. There was no energy, no pace, no desire, no leadership, no tactics, unless you count the hopeful hoofball that the team likes to play. We keep hearing that their all happy campers but that is not what it appears like. You get the impression that something is upsetting the applecart. Battered by Partick mugged by Morton....and not a glove laid on either.... Was like watching a training exercise... no urgency, no creativity, no pace, no tactics, no inspiration, no imagination, no skill, and no heart! Looking at that team today, there's nothing there. There's nothing that says to me that this team can challenge for the title. And the winner is: Two blokes stranded on a desert island, with no way of contacting the outside world. "Caley Thistle got beaten again!" "How do you know?" "Back home, it's ten to five on a Saturday." Date: 27/08/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1924 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Deas, Harper, Samuels (Shaw 24) Allardice, MacGregor, Boyd, Oakley (D Mackay 67), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Delaney, Devine, C Mackay Scorers: none Booked: Allardice (38), B Mckay (50), Boyd (73) Sent Off: none Morton: 1 Manager: Dougie Imrie Lineup: Schwake; King (Strapp 67), O'Connor, Baird, Pignatiello (Hynes 81), Muirhead, Blues, Gillespie, Crawford, Kabia (McGrattan 80), Quitongo Subs (not used): Green, Lyon, Lithgow. Scorers: Gillespie (pen 85) Booked: Crawford (86), Gillespie (90+2) Quitongo (90+5) Sent Off: none a
  25. Firhill Flops A Brian Graham double gave Partick a first half lead. For the first the defenders got the wrong side of him, the second a gift from the Inverness defence with a loose pass across the box. It was a lacklustre performance from the visitors in the first forty-five with Billy Mckay having the best effort after an Aaron Dorran lay off, but David Mitchell was equal to the shot to deny the striker from twelve yards. We almost gifted a third early in the second half with a short header back, but Ridgers stood tall to deny Graham his hat-trick. A third did come from the spot after Carson was alleged to have brought down his man. Kevin Holt kept his cool to slot home. Anton Dowds bulleted a header home with five minutes left to add to our miserable night. George Oakley powerfully headed a consolation in time added on, but that won't detract from the rubbish on show tonight. Embarrassing night for the Caley Jags, and on national TV too! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without half a dozen regulars for this fixture. Out were Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh on long term injuries. Sean Welsh and Max Ram are in recovery mode with Danny Devine struggling. Wallace Duffy and David Carson are both nursing injuries and were on the bench. Scott Tiffoney and Brian Graham started up front for Partick with Steven Lawless. From the off it was clear that Partick were up for this clash, the inexperienced Lewis Hyde being thrown to the wolves in this one. It's a difficult enough task for an official right back to try and contain the trickery of Scott Tiffoney, but without a go to right back, Billy Dodds hung young Lewis out to dry on TV at Firhill. Already skinned a couple of times in the opening minutes an opportunity arose for Cole McKinnon at the back post but he screwed his effort wide. Perennial thorn in our side Brian Graham also shot wide after eight minutes just after Delaney sliced a clearance over his own bar from another Tiffoney moment. Five minutes later and Steven Lawless brought a save out of Mark Ridgers. The opening goal came after a tremendous reverse pass from Lawless released Mckinnon on the right side for him to cross to the front post where Graham got in front of his marker to score high into the net from a few yards out. Good strikers goal, poor defensively from Inverness. We grew into the game after this and Aaron Doran chested down inside the box for Billy Mckay to get a shot away, but his controlled effort was well saved by David Mitchell in the Partick goal. Moments later a long ball forward was closely watched by Robbie Deas. He cut the ball back across the box to the safety of keeper Ridgers. Unfortunately the first person to spot this move was Tiffoney who nicked the ball away from Ridgers which allowed Graham to step forward to score his second goal. HALF TIME: 2-0 Doran and Hyde were withdrawn at the interval, but the damage was already done, with Carson and Oakley replacing them. The alterations saw a flurry of activity in the opening minutes of the second half, but that would change around the hour. Graham almost notched his hat-trick courtesy of another error when substitute Carson was shorts with a headed back pass but Ridgers stood tall to snatch the attempted lob out of the air. Before the hour Graham was upended as he latched onto a loose ball in the box by the over eager Carson who was booked for his protests. Harsh, maybe, penalty, maybe, goal definitely. Graham was denied his treble though as Kevin Holt took the spot kick calmly slotting into the opposite corner from the keeper. The game was put to bed with six minutes remaining as Anton Dowds stooped to bullet a header behind Ridgers to compound our misery. We ended the game firing in long range efforts from all angles which has probably skewed the statistics somewhat, but lets not beat about the bush, even before our consolation, we were well beaten. George Oakley scored the consolation goal in the 92nd minute to round off the scoring and close the book on a poor night for the Caley Jags as he headed in from a corner. FULL TIME:4-1 One of our worst ever results at Firhill. Our second 4-1 defeat there beaten only by a 4-0 on December 13th, 2014. We were set up wrong and reacted too late to make a difference. Billy Dodds needs to take this one on the chin. Yes we were without some regulars, but that will be the same for big parts of this season. Second to every ball, lack of cover for young defenders, lack of bite in midfield, lack of quality where it was needed. I'm afraid there was only ever going to be one outcome, and frankly, we got off lightly. Meh! Highlights from Partick Thistle FC Date: 19/08/2022 Venue: Firhill, Glasgow Attendance: 2632 Referee: Grant Irvine Partick Thistle: 4 Manager: Ian McCall Lineup: Mitchell: McMillan, Holt, Milne, Tiffoney (Fitzpatrick 74), Bannigan, McKinnon, Docherty (Turner 45), Lawless (Weston 85), Hodson (Brownlie 45), Graham (Dowds 69) Subs (not used): Sneddon; Akinola, Lyon, Mullen Scorers: Graham (21, 35), Holt (pen 59), Dowds (84) Booked: Bannigan (13) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Hyde (Carson 45), Deas, Delaney, Harper, Samuels, Allardice, MacGregor (Shaw68), Doran (Oakley 45), D Mackay (Boyd 62), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy Scorers: Oakley (90+2) Booked: B Mckay (33), Carson (58) Sent Off: none a
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