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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Austin Powers: Man of Mystery Goals Austin Samuels scored twice as Inverness registered their first win of the Championship this season. Aaron Doran and substitute Nathan Shaw opened their accounts with Robbie Leitch tapping in for Cove just after the interval. An ultimately comfortable win for the hosts that bumps them up the table into second spot behind Dundee. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Megginson got the game underway and in the sixth minute Aaron Doran fed Austin Samuels in to score the opener. Thereafter Inverness mostly dominated the first half before losing their way until Samuels restored the two goal advantage. From CTO Robert: I was nervous when I saw the line up with seven players missing (Duffy, Carson, Devine, Ram, Welsh, Walsh and Sutherland) and only three defenders in the team, all left sided. We came out fast and Samuels’ well finished early goal set us up for as good a 45 as I’ve seen in a long time. I thought Mackay’s shot was goal bound but Doran made sure for the second. We could have had more, with the Cove ‘keeper Gourlay making several good saves. Our most nervous moment came when Delaney (I think) tried to head the ball wide but instead forced Ridgers to make a great save to avoid an own goal. Cove started the second half with Vigurs on, and scored in their first attack. Ridgers could only parry a shot towards Robbie Leitch who scored. We were then unable to keep the ball and were looking poor for the next 20 minutes or so, with Cove looking the more likely to score, but we gradually grew back in to the game. Mckay set Samuels up for the third, which steadied things and Shaw got the fourth after Samuels came close to a hat trick but the goalie palmed his effort towards Shaw. 4-1 maybe flattered us a bit, but it was in the main a good team performance, with four Academy products starting. Ridgers had a couple of saves, with one down at the post as well as stopping the potential own goal. He was also talking the defence through the game well. Hyde is not a natural full back and it showed at times, but he acquitted himself well. Delaney and Samuels both assisted him. I thought Delaney did well, playing on the wrong side of the defensive pairing for a left sided player, whilst Deas steadied everything and got forward a few times, coming close with an overhead kick. Harper has improved from last season, both defensively and with his delivery. Allardice was great in midfield, supported well by MacGregor. Dan Mackay had a couple of decent runs, whilst I thought Doran had a very good game. Billy Mckay was very busy and kept the ball well to bring others into the game. The pick, though, was Samuels, who took his goals well and could have had a third. He had the beating of the defence and made a lot of good runs into space, which seemed to be a deliberate ploy today with players looking for him. What a contrast from his performance against Queens Park. Three subs were used late on with Boyd coming close from a free kick and Shaw being in the right place to get the fourth. All in all, a satisfying afternoon, particularly after the wobble early in the second half. Well done to all, and I hope Douglas Ross “enjoyed” the stick he got Thanks Robert, great summary of today's game Good win for the Caley Jags that moves them on to five points, one point behind Dundee who sit top on six points. It was also a good day for Austin Samuels to bag a double, his sixth in total, with Nathan Shaw getting his first goal for the club. Aaron Doran's goal was his 51st goal in 337 appearances. Date: 13/08/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2106 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Hyde, Deas, Harper, Delaney, Samuels, Allardice, MacGregor, Doran (Shaw 83), D Mackay (Boyd 79), B Mckay (Oakley 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson Scorers: Samuels (6, 74), Doran (31), Shaw (90+3) Booked: Samuels (45), Deas (89) Sent Off: none Cove Rangers: 1 Manager: Jim McIntyre Lineup: Gourlay; Logan, Ross, Reynolds, Neill (Vigurs 45), Scully, Leitch (McIntosh 80), Fyvie (McDonagh 80), Masson (Longstaff 69), Dunne, Megginson Subs (not used): McKenzie: Thomas Scorers: Leitch (46) Booked: Scully (60) Fyvie (68) Ross (82) Logan (87) Sent Off: none a
  16. Smokies held in the wind A first half of few clear cut opportunities ended scoreless with Arbroath just shading the territorial advantage. An enforced change at the break saw Delaney replace Duffy. The second half went much the same way as the first with Arbroath creating more but Inverness attacking on the break and holding out for a point on the road. With both keepers on fine form, it was no surprise it ended honours even at Gayfield. This will be seen as a better point for the Caley Jags than the Smokies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Dodds was without five regulars, but Danny Devine was deemed fit enough to start. George Oakley accompanied Billy Mckay up front. Arbroath had Daniel Fosu up front with Bobby Linn the provider. Late signing Deri Cofu, a former Man City youth squad player, was on the bench. Daniel Fosu threatened in the first minute with a header that went wide and George Oakley had a shot cleared away from the goal line by Colin Hamiton after clipping the ball past Gaston as the game opened out. Mark Ridgers saved from Bobby Linn and Daniel Mackay did well after cutting in from the left, his shot saved by Derek Gaston. Billy Mckay and Michael McKenna tested the keepers before Mckay dragged an effort wide after twenty minutes from the edge of the box Ridgers made a double save to deny Bobby Linn's cross come shot and the follow up from Daniel Fosu, McKenna involved in the mix as well. The whistle blew to halt the move for offside, nonetheless Ridgers kept the ball out. The half time whistle ended an untidy spell where Oakley picked up a yellow card after half an hour. This game needed someone to put their foot on the ball and show some composure, sadly nobody did that in a frantic first forty-five Half Time: 0-0 Zak Delaney replaced Wallace Duffy at the interval. Hamilton headed over from a corner after fifty-two minutes as the hosts tried to make the breakthrough now playing with the wind early in the second half. The same player headed over minutes later after a couple of corners in quick succession as Inverness lived dangerously. Austin Samuels almost beat the offside trap but a marginal decision saw his 'goal' chalked off after he sprinted clear onto a great ball from Dan Mackay. Scott Stewart fizzed a wind assisted strike just wide from thirty-yards as Arbroath forced the play with the wind behind them, Inverness by now content to hit on the break. Mark Ridgers did well late in the game as he stood tall to deny Kieran Shanks who was through on goal and he reacted quickly to scoop the loose ball clear as the ball bounced towards goal with Shanks lurking. Shanks went down in the process amidst big shouts from behind the goal for a penalty. Full Time: 0-0 A draw was probably about right given both sides were on the ascendency with the wind at their tails. Nothing new in these fixtures, one of the most daunting on the calendar. A lack of clear cut chances and some good blocks and saves resulted in a point apiece. Mark Ridgers probably mostly responsible for the point in his 201st game for the Caley Jags. Date: 06/08/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1861 Referee: Colin Steven Arbroath: 0 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Gold, Little, Hamilton, Hancock, Stewart (Shanks 76), Donnelly (Craigen 68), Low, Linn (Corfe 68), McKenna (Hilson 68), Fosu Subs (not used): Gill; Jacobs, Paterson, Scorers: none Booked: Fosu (51) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy (Delaney 45), Devine, Harper, Shaw, MacGregor, Allardice, D Mackay (Boyd 67), B Mckay (Doran 75), Oakley (Samuels 56) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Scorers: none Booked: Oakley (29), Carson (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  17. Queens make their point. Queens 39 year hiatus from this tier of football ended as they ventured into the Championship, and it all started well when Jake Davidson opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute. In a half of many chances, Billy Mckay levelled the score a minute before the interval. That's how it stood until the final whistle with neither side able to make the breakthrough despite numerous opportunities at both ends with thanks to Calum Ferrie and Mark Ridgers and some wayward finishing. Queens Park showed they are not here just to make up the numbers and were good value for their point. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For the hosts, Robbie Deas was suspended for two games and George Oakley and Nathan Shaw dropped to the bench with Billy Mckay, Austin Samuels and Steven Boyd starting. Dom Thomas and Simon Murray started up front for the Spiders. The visitors were first to test a keeper when Mark Ridgers was called into action in the first minute to deny Simon Murray. The hosts responded well with the eager Steven Boyd having three attempts, one blocked and two off target and in the eighth minute Calum Ferrie denied Roddy MacGregor. Queens opened their Championship account in the thirteenth minute when Jake Davidson ran through unchallenged from the halfway line and his early snapshot was not dealt with by Ridgers, the ball slipped under his hands and body and rolled into the net. Five minutes later and Simon Murray shot narrowly over the bar as Queens grew in confidence with Daniel Mackay doing likewise at the other end. After a few blocked efforts at both ends of the park, Dan Mackay saw Ferrie save his shot from distance in the bottom corner and Boyd went close with another effort that was near the top corner. Josh McPake was denied by Ridgers when one on one with the keeper as Queens responded yet again in a see-saw game. A minute before the break Billy Mckay squared matters when he got on the end of a loose clearance of a Boyd cross to drill home from just inside the box with a low shot into the bottom corner. Charlie Fox almost restored Queens advantage just on the interval but he headed narrowly wide. The early goal from Davidson had rocked Inverness and we still had plenty work to do after the break. HALF TIME 1-1 The second half saw Inverness more in control and numerous chances came and went. Ferrie made a tremendous save to deny Billy Mckay, diving to his right to palm the strikers shot away. Queens Park were not so prominent after the interval but were still dangerous on the break, McPake once more forcing Ridgers to block with just the keeper to beat after he dribbled into the box, Ridgers did well to deny him. A scramble in our box saw another effort blocked as we lived dangerously, Grant Savoury pouncing on the loose ball after a corner. Ferrie clawed a corner away from under his crossbar and smothered a low shot from Doran. The same player would sting his palms later in the game with a ferocious thirty yard effort. Biggest sinner though was George Oakley who miscued from a great position twelve yards out and his shot stayed in play on the right side. In golfing terms; a shank. Naismith took one for the team when he pulled MacGregor back as he burst over the halfway line picking up the only booking of the contest, and that ensured the score stayed level. FULL TIME 1-1 Another disappointing result after the poor game against Cove Rangers. Queens Park looked the sharper side in the first half but Inverness were busier after the break. Mark Ridgers in his 200th game for the club will be disappointed with his contribution for the opening goal. Again substitutions disrupted the flow of the game and Queens were quick on the counter. Both keepers had work to do in the second half and they ensured it would be point apiece. David Carson reached a milestone as well, 100 not out for David. Highlights from Queens Park TV Owen Coyle Date: 30/07/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1993 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Bily Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Delaney (Devine 72), Harper, Samuels (Shaw 63), Allardice, MacGregor, D Mackay (Doran 74), Boyd (Oakley 62), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde Scorers: B Mckay (44) Booked: none Sent Off: none Queens Park: 1 Manager: Owen Coyle Lineup: Ferrie; Davidson (Bannon 73), Kilday (Naismith 78), Fox, Robson, Brown, Thomson (Jarrett 45), McPake (Longridge86), Savoury, Thomas, Murray (Williamson 78) Subs (not used): Heraghty, Moore, Bruce, Nicol Scorers: Davidson (13) Booked: Naismith (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  18. Group G Sorted Inverness played the first of five scheduled meetings with Cove Rangers today in the last of the group G qualifiers for the knock out stages of the League Cup. Inverness won the penalty shoot-out 5-3 after Fraser Fyvie saw his weak effort saved by Mark Ridgers. Inverness will now face an away tie at Motherwell in the knock-out stages. Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game after twenty minutes and it stayed that way at the break. A relatively uneventful second half saw the game go to penalties to decide the bonus point but as it stood, Inverness topped the group G to enter the knock out stages. ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ Our reward for qualifying is an away tie at Motherwell in midweek. Not the most romantic of games, however given their poor performance against Sligo Rovers, then anything is possible. This season is taking the same shape as thirteen years ago. A bright afternoon saw George Oakley Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw start for the hosts with Mark Ridgers back between the sticks. Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game when he scooped the ball behind Ridgers after twenty minutes. Just after the half hour Daniel Mackay turned and shot from the edge of the box, but the keeper saved low to deny Dan. George Oakley was put through by Robbie Deas but Kyle Gourlay pulled off a good save just before the break. HALF TIME: 1-1 After a slow start to the second half, Megginson headed over following a corner and at the other end Cammy Harper put a free kick just over and then Deas diverted a Leighton McIntosh effort wide of the target. Billy Mckay went close to a winner but it went to penalties after ninety minutes and the Caley Jags prevailed 5-3 on penalties with Ridgers saving a weak spot kick from Fraser Fyvie From Robert on CTO Our goal was excellent. Good play by Oakley to put Shaw free and a great cross for MacGregor to score with a rare header. Cove’s equaliser came when we were temporarily down to ten as Duffy took a heavy knock and we seemed disorganised at the back as a result and it was too easy for the Cove player to hit the target. Cove had the best of the early part of the second half but we finished more strongly. I felt we just about shaded it but a draw was probably fair enough. It was good to at least win on penalties. Unfortunately that was not enough and we will be unseeded in the draw. I was disappointed with Cove’s approach. They approached the match in a cynical manner, trying to buy free kicks with play acting. They also tried to run the clock down when even. We have enough teams like that in the Championship already and I had expected more from them. I think our medical staff had to give treatment to players at least four times, generally due to the aggression of Cove. Some of their big names were worst, such as Logan and Fyvie, so justice was done when Fyvie‘s penalty was saved by Ridgers. Shortly after Samuels was harshly booked, a Cove player blatantly dived to try to get him sent off. The ref gave a foul but at least did not produce a red card. Of the new signings, I thought Oakley’s holding up play and distribution was good. Shaw was lively and could develop into an important player for us. Delaney is a calm defender despite playing on the wrong side for a left sided defender. Boyd had a couple of efforts when he came on. At times it felt like a pre-season game again, so hopefully when the league starts next week we get off to a winning start. Date: 23/07/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1020 Referee: Alan Newlands Inverness CT: 1 (Pens 5 Boyd, Samuels, Harper, B Mckay, Allardice) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy (Doran 73), Deas, Delaney, Harper, Shaw (Boyd 79), Allardice, MacGregor, D Mackay (Samuels 67) Oakley (B Mckay 67) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Cairns Scorers: MacGregor (13) Booked: Oakley (66) Sent Off: none Cove Rangers: 1 (Pens 3 Megginson, Leitch, FyvieLogan) Manager: Jim McIntyre Lineup: Gourlay; Logan, Ross, Reynolds, Towler, Scully, Vigurs, Leitch, McIntosh (McDonagh 78), Megginson, Fyvie, Subs (not used): McKenzie; Neill, Thomas, McAllister, Scorers: Megginson (19) Booked: Megginson (6), Fyvie (55), Ross (60), Towler (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  19. Rovers Return Deja Vu Albion Rovers last visit to the Caledonian Stadium thirteen years ago ended in a 4-0 League Cup defeat. It went the same way this time, another 4-0 thumping. An early header from Billy Mckay was added to before the interval by a super free kick from Cameron Harper. Rovers were not without their moments in the first half but Cammy Mackay was equal to the occasion. Wallace Duffy added a third just after the restart following a corner and Harper got his second minutes later. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It had been hot and sticky for a couple of days but an hour before kick-off the heavens opened to dampen the pitch. Ach well, the garden was needing it. Biilly Dodds went with a strong starting XI against League 2 Albion Rovers. Wallace Duffy returned to action at centre back and Daniel Mackay made his home debut for the season with Cammy Mackay getting his chance between the sticks as Mark Ridgers tested the bench. Before the bums were planted firmly on their seats, Billy Mckay opened the scoring after just two minutes when he followed up his first header from a Daniel Mackay cross to head home the rebound from the keeper after he made a brilliant save. It was just the start that Billy Dodds would have wanted, but Rovers came back at their hosts and Cammy Mackay had to look sharp to deny Kyle Fleming and Scott Roberts. Austin Samuels shot across the face of the goal after sixteen minutes in a lively opening to the game with the visitors looking dangerous going forward and just before the half hour Mackay saved an effort from Callum Wilson. Roddy MacGregor went close and Mckay shot over after a corner as Inverness pressure mounted before the break. That pressure paid off after Samuels was fouled outside the box. Up stepped Cammy Harper and he sent a beauty of a free kick into the top corner to double the advantage five minutes before the interval. Leighfield saved another shot from Billy Mckay before the ref blew for half time. HALF TIME 2-0 Similar to the first forty-five, Inverness came out of the blocks fast and Wallace Duffy scored inside a minute of the restart, firing low into the net following a corner. Harper did likewise seven minutes later with his head as he beat a stranded Leighfield to the ball and that was 4-0 and game over. That brought about a couple of substitutions and Duffy and Samuels were replaced by youngsters Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw. Lewis Hyde then replaced Allardice ten minutes later as heavy rain fell once more. A bit of a let off for the hosts as Rovers hit the post and bar when Devon McCall shot off the post and Kieron Dolan followed up to hit the bar from close range. McCall then had a header saved as Rovers looked to get on the scoresheet. Substitute Lewis Hyde had a deflected shot from outside the box strike a post at the opposite end of the park and Nathan Shaw and Robbie Deas had efforts over the bar in the closing stages. Aaron Doran saw an effort blocked in the ninetieth minute and that endeth the action as Inverness reach nine points at the top of group G, three ahead of Livingston. FULL TIME 4-0 Date: 19/07/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 871 Referee: Gavin Duncan Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Carson, Duffy (Delaney 54), Deas, Harper (Nicolson 70), Doran, Allardice (Hyde 63), MacGregor, D Mackay (Cairns 70), Samuels (Shaw 54), B Mckay Subs (not used): Ridgers; Boyd, Oakley Scorers: B Mckay (2), Harper (41, 53), Duffy (46), Booked: none Sent Off: none Albion Rovers: 0 Manager: Brian Reid Lineup: Leighfield; Fernie, Fagan, Sonkur, McGowan, Reilly (Testa 75), Leslie, Wilson (Duncan 71), Fleming, Roberts (McCall 71), Paton (Dolan 66) Subs (not used): Smith; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  20. Lions Tamed Livingston had the better of the opening exchanges and Nouble had the ball in the net but was flagged offside. Ridgers was the busier keeper early on but a swift counter attack saw Austin Samuels open the scoring after 37 minutes. Inverness held that advantage until the break. Daniel Mackay bundled in a second shortly after Max Stryjek was sent off for felling Austin Samuels in the box. Jason Holt pulled a goal back late on then proceeded to miss a penalty three minutes later as Inverness saw out the game to win 1-2 and go top of Group G. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without half a dozen regulars and no defenders on the bench: Sounds familiar. Devine, Duffy, Welsh, Walsh and Sutherland were the main casualties with Saturday's scorer George Oakley benched. Jason Holt was tasked with getting the game underway as Livi kicked off this Premier Sport cup tie. Joel Nouble puts the ball into the net for the hosts but was adjudged offside. The bustling forward who was a nuisance at Arbroath last season will be a nuisance again tonight. Former Hearts player Esmael Goncalves did well to fire a ball across goal for Scott Pittman, but he was unable to get on the end of it. Three minutes later the powerful Nouble and Goncalves combined well but Mark Ridgers saves well on his line. All the early pressure came from the home side but in the nineteenth minute a Cammy Harper free kick was met by Robbie Deas and his header looped beyond Stryjek and the ball came back off the bar before Phill Cancar cleared at the expense of a corner. Stryjek was called into action minutes later when Daniel Mackay bent a shot goalwards and the keeper pulled off a diving save to deny the Caley Jags forward. Ten minutes before the break Ridgers did brilliantly to tip a Nicky Devlin shot from his own half onto the crossbar at full stretch. Two minutes later and Austin Samuels gave Inverness the lead. From twitter @ASutherland1983: Woooof! Scintillating counter attack from Caley Thistle. Starts on our own goal line featuring a stunning pass from Allardice to get MacKay away and he crosses to the back post for Samuels to tuck it away from close range. Just before the interval Jack Fitzwalker was booked for a late challenge on Scott Allardice. HALF TIME: 0-1 Again, Livi came out of the blocks fast without over troubling Ridgers. The main topic of conversation happened on the hour when keeper Max Stryjek did some sort of Kung Fu on Austin Samuels. RIG on Twitter: Livingston are down to ten men as goalkeeper Max Stryjek is sent off for a late challenge on Austin Samuels inside the box! Samuels is released by a quick ball from Ridgers and the Livingston keeper is sent off for a late challenge on the ICT striker.RIG saw it like this: The drama kicked off when a long clearance downfield by Ridgers got Samuels in behind the Livi defence and Stryjek came rushing out and leathered him in the face Street Fighter style. Out came the red card and Livi were down to 10. Cammy Harper was denied from the free kick as sub keeper Konovalov saved brilliantly in the top left of his goal. RIG: A piece of MacKay magic saw us extend the lead. A raking pass sent Mackay away and he ghosted past Devlin using some kind of elastico type skill that had us on our feet. He drove into the box and stabbed an effort towards goal which looked like it may have gone in possibly with a touch off a Livi defender. It was a stunning piece of skill that I hope we get to see back again. Inverness looked comfortable until the final few minutes when Livi got a lifeline. Substitutions maybe played a part in this as we looked disjointed with the incoming players getting up to speed. The final few minutes suddenly became uncomfortable after Jason Holt reduced the deficit with six minutes left after he turned on the edge of the box and drilled a shot into the bottom corner of Ridgers' net. He missed a great opportunity to level the game three minutes later as he ballooned a penalty high over the bar after Oakley was deemed to have pulled Scott Bitsindou to the ground. Game over as we saw out the remainder of the time. Inverness were best served by the three D's. Delaney, Deas and Dan. Sounds like an Irish Showband If you can keep up with the ball, here's some highlights...Worms eye view form Tony Macaroni At home to Albion Rovers next Tuesday night No game on Saturday. Date: 12/07/2022 Venue: Almondvale, Livingston Attendance: **** Referee: Alan Muir Livingston FC: 1 Manager: Lineup: Stryjek; Devlin, Fitzwater, Cancar, Penrice, Kelly (Bitsindou 74), Pittman, Holt, Bahamboula (Konovalov 61), Goncalves (Anderson 46), Nouble (Shinnie 74) Subs (not used): Longridge, Brandon, Montaño, Omeonga, Mullin. Scorers: Holt (84) Booked: Fitzwater (44), Kelly (56) Sent Off: Stryjek (59) Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Deas, Harper, Delaney, D Mackay (Doran 72), Allardice (Oakley 77), MacGregor, Hyde, Shaw (B Mckay 63), Samuels Subs (not used): C Mackay; Oakley, Cairns Scorers: Samuels (37), B Mckay (67) Booked: MacGregor (21), Delaney (69), Oakley (88) Sent Off: none a
  21. Inverness stay put It was a winner takes all game tonight after a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Caledonian Stadium on Friday night. Inverness were bolstered by the return of Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy to the squad after their harsh dismissals at Arbroath. A big following went down to Perth, alas after a tremendous first half where we created the better opportunities, it was all undone within a minute of the restart by substitute Stevie May. A second goal killed any lingering hopes from a deflected MacPherson shot. The final two goals from Hendry & Rooney mattered not when the game was being chased and the dream ended, but the memory lives on. Fantastic endeavour from the Caley Jags and a magnificent following on the night. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy started at McDiarmid Park with Aaron Doran dropping to the bench from the side that drew 2-2 at Inverness. St Johnstone went unchanged. It was a much more positive Inverness that took to the park amid a tumultuous welcome from both sets of fans and with only one minute on the clock Logan Chalmers had an effort on goal but it did not trouble Zander Clark. Danny Devine headed over and Sean Welsh saw a shot blocked as the visitors took the game to their more fancied opponents. In the twentieth minute Billy Mckay tried his luck from distance but his shot was too straight at the big keeper. A minute later saw the hosts first half chance when Murray Davidson headed wide of Ridgers' goal frame. A Wallace Duffy header was blocked en route to goal and at the other end Daniel Cleary headed wide as he Saints came marching on. As in the first leg, Austin Samuels' pace was causing all sorts of problems down he right and Chalmers was having some success down the left. Clark pulled off a good save to deny Samuels as he cut into the box on the end of a Mckay pass. Possession began to level out as we approached the interval, but it was the visitors who had the better of the first forty-five and left Callum Davidson with plenty to think about. HALF TIME 0-0 Davidson brought on Stevie May at the interval for Middleton who had taken a knock in the first half. That was unfortunate for Inverness as inside a minute he pounced on a loose ball in the box after the keeper pushed out a header from Hallberg to knock the ball high into the net. What a body blow for Inverness who had defended so well in the first half just to see all the excellent work undone in a flash. Worse was to follow in the fifty-third minute when Cammy MacPherson took a shot from outside the box. Ridgers moved to cover it but the ball deflected off Sean Welsh to leave the keeper stranded. 2-0 and virtually game over. A great chance for the dangerous Samuels on the hour but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Clark, alas nobody was on hand for the rebound and the defence cleared. Them's the breaks you have to take, but when you need them, they often don't go your way, unlike the opening goal for Saints. We went for broke with a spate of substitutions but it was never going to end well, especially after Aaron Doran missed a glorious chance from seventeen yards when he sliced his shot wide when a goal looked a better option. More substitutions late in the game and we were always going to be caught out on the break as we went gung ho. And so be it when Callum Hendry ran through onto a great ball from Hallberg to finish with aplomb. During the ensuing exodus, who else but Shaun Rooney did the same to dink Ridgers to complete our downfall. Booked as well for an over enthusiastic celebration. Hey ho. FULL TIME: 4-0 If ever there was not a 4-0 scoreline, then this was it. But left chasing the game after two adverse moments then who could blame the guys for dropping their guard momentarily. Better team for forty-five, beaten team over ninety, no disgrace and they did their fans proud against a battle hardened St Johnstone who made flares fashionable again. I thought the back four for Inverness were superb with Danny Devine immense. Wallace Duffy had a tremendous first half and Kirk Broadfoot can be proud of his last game for the Caley Jags. Robbie Deas was solid as he has been all season. David Carson had an eventful night and not even an early booking would stop him from playing his own game. Great effort from him with Sean Welsh also prominent. Up front Austin Samuels was the most effective with his bursts of power and pace. Overall, heads held high after a gruelling six game schedule in a season that could have been. From BBC Sport: St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "Probably relief more than anything else. It's a fantastic achievement from the players. We were in a really dark place November, December. The chairman backed us and we managed to bring some players in. "All credit to everybody involved. This is probably a bigger achievement than winning the cups. It's mentally really tough when you're losing games. Big thanks to my staff, my players and everybody involved." Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds: "Proud and disappointed. Proud of the players for the season. Disappointed the way it turned out. We played really well first half. I thought we had them. "The goal changed the game. When they get the goal and then the deflection, we had to chase and then we're open and they catch us. I think 4-0 was harsh on my boys. We gain experience from it and get ready for next season." That's it for another season from CTO Editorial Team. Grateful thanks to Iain for all the PotY Polls and Eric, who despite being unwell has worked tirelessly behind the scenes updating the stats. A truly mind numbing task, especially with nine subs now to be added. With these guys working mostly in the background that enables me to churn out Previews and Reports. If you enjoyed them, I'm tm4tj, if not then I'm CaleyD (Disclaimer. Only joking) See you next season. 283763016_998965004103204_147483247694216505_n.mp4 Date: 23/05/2022 Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth Attendance: Lots&Lots Referee: Nick Walsh St Johnstone: 4 Manager: Callum Davidson Lineup: Clark; Rooney, Cleary, Gordon, McCart, Brown, Hendry, Davidson, Middleton (May 45), MacPherson, Hallberg Subs (not used): Parish; Mahon, Sang, Gilmour, Craig, Ciftci, Butterfield, O'Halloran Scorers: May (46), Macpherson (53), Hendry (87), Rooney (90) Booked: MacPherson (5), Rooney (90) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Carson (Harper 74), Broadfoot, Devine Hardy (82), Deas, Samuels, Welsh Allardice (82), McAlear, Chalmers Doran (65), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde Scorers: none Booked: Carson (20), Broadfoot (71) Sent Off: none a
  22. What a turnaround An understrength Inverness struggled badly for an hour against a solid St Johnstone who took a two goal lead into the interval. Shaun Rooney and Melker Hallberg put the Saints in the driving seat. However, step forward Reece McAlear and take a massive bow. A thumping strike off the underside of the bar and an exquisite curling free kick levelled matters and gives us something to play for in the return leg at Perth, where we should have Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy back after suspension. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After seeing off Partick Thistle and Arbroath, The Caley Jags faced St Johnstone in the first leg of the Premiership play-off final at the Caledonian Stadium. Unfortunately the final has already been influenced by other factors. Injuries to Tom Walsh, Shane Sutherland and Roddy MacGregor have been added to by the incompetence of referee Willie Collum at Gayfield where he wrongly sent off Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy. What that means is that Inverness will be short on players in an already wafer thin squad. Youngsters Mathew Strachan and Calum Mackay made up a six man bench. Tony Gallacher Chris Kane, David Wotherspoon and Craig Bryson are all long term injuries for St Johnstone who rested six players for their final league game, a 4-0 loss to Hibs. Rain an hour before kick off dampened the atmosphere at the Caledonian Stadium and made for great conditions on a good pitch with Inverness getting the game underway. A breathtaking save from Mark Ridgers denied Glen Middleton as he unleashed a ferocious shot after cutting across the outside of the box in the fifth minute. Ridgers diving high to his right to pull off a fantastic one handed save. As expected, the visitors playing in red and white striped shirts, were making most of the early play and Ridgers was brought into action again to save a low shot from Shaun Rooney after fifteen minutes with a more routine save. St Johnstone opened the scoring after eighteen minutes when Rooney powered in a header after an inviting cross into the box, probably from the area where Danny Devine would normally have been. After a scramble in the home box when Ridgers pushed away a shot from Callum Hendry the ball was eventually forced over the line by Hallberg to double Saints lead. Inverness were finding it difficult to make any headway against a robust looking premiership side and all the half chances were falling to the visitors. When one did come our way Sean Welsh snatched at it and volleyed high and wide. Ten minutes later makeshift central defender Welsh took a knock but continued after treatment with five minutes to go before the interval. Plenty to do for Inverness in the second half with St Johnstone cruising. HALF TIME: 0-2 Dodds replaced Doran and Hardy with Chalmers and Samuels. Early second half pressure saw another scramble in the home box however this time we managed to keep the ball out. St Johnstone were all over us like a rash. If that was not bad enough we made a number of basic errors that led to more opportunities for the Perth side. Scott Allardice replaced Lewis Hyde as we looked to get back into the game, but it was a long shot with the midfielder just back after serious injury. Just after the hour, Middleton went close with a low shot that Ridgers looked to get a fingertip to, however a goal kick was the result. Best effort for Inverness was a run down the left by Billy Mckay where his cross was cleared for a corner. From the corner Welsh volleyed high over again. Chalmers was showing some great touches and turns and he also knocked a dangerous ball into the box but there were no takers. Out of the blue Samuels went down the right and cut the ball back to the edge of the box where Reece McAlear smashed a superb shot into the roof of the net via the underside of the bar from fifteen yards. Game on! Ten minutes before the end McAlear won a free kick about twenty five yards out. He picked himself up and curled a beauty into the top right corner of Zander Clarks goal. What a strike from a man who doesn't do tap ins against a 6ft 5" keeper. Another great burst forward by Samuels almost resulted in a third for Inverness but Mckay was blocked out for a corner at the front post. FULL TIME: 2-2 What a turnaround from Inverness after a torrid first hour. The second half substitutions were crucial to the outcome of this one and has reignited the Premiership flames for the Caley Jags. MotM was Reece McAlear with two absolute belters. On to McDiarmid Park on Monday night and the tie is still very much alive. From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds: "I had to change it at half-time, I had to do something. Luckily it worked but it wasn't just the changes, it was because of the desire of my players. "We really played well second half, once we got our goal. The subs were good. Two great goals from Reece McAlear. "We just want to go to McDiarmid with a fighting chance and put some pressure on because pressure tells in football. We've still got a big ask, we have to play better from the start than tonight but I think they realise they're good enough now." St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "It's a poor refereeing decision for their first goal. It's two yards offside and it was a head knock. Two really poor decisions let them back in the game. They got a little bit of momentum. "For the first 60 minutes, we were outstanding. It's probably a little bit disappointing we didn't score more goals. It goes back to McDiarmid and it's up to us to win the game. "We need to go and perform like that on Monday. If we do, we'll be confident we can win the game. It's one game so let's go." More match reaction Date: 20/05/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4811 Referee: Bobby Madden Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers, Carson, Broadfoot, Deas, Harper, Doran (Chalmers 45), Welsh, Hyde (Allardice 56), McAlear, Hardy (Samuels 45), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Strachan, Calum Mackay Scorers: MacAlear (73, 80) Booked: none Sent Off: none St Johnstone: 2 Manager: Callum Davidson Lineup: Clark; Rooney, Cleary, Gordon, McCart, Brown, Hendry, Middleton (May 69), MacPherson, Davidson, Hallberg (Butterfield 69) Subs (not used): Parish; Mahon, Sang, Gilmour, Craig, Ciftci, O'Halloran Scorers: Rooney (18), Hallberg (24) Booked: Middleton (52) Sent Off: none a
  23. Caley Jags through We did it! If you thought the first half at Inverness was poor, then step forward the first half from Gayfield. Shockingly poor forty five from both sides as Inverness struggled to get out of their own half into the face of a stiff breeze. On the other hand Arbroath did absolutely nothing either. The second half saw Danny Devine sent off, Shane Sutherland stretchered off and later on Wallace Duffy sent off as we ended the game with nine men. Farcical stuff. However, we got through to the play off final after a 5-3 penalty shoot out win. Bobby Linn of all players having his spot kick saved by Mark Ridgers and Kirk Broadfoot with the final winning penalty after that save. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After a goalless draw in the first leg, the Caley Jags went to Gayfield to conclude the Premiership play off semi-final. The prize in a winner takes all game was a crack at St Johnstone in a two leg finale to the season and promotion to the Premiership for the victor. Logan Chalmers and Austin Samuels came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first leg in a game of limited opportunities. Who will prevail? All would be revealed around 10:00pm on Friday the 13th. Billy Mckay was benched for this one after cutting a lone figure in the first leg. Aaron Doran replaced the striker in the starting XI. Arbroath were unchanged from Tuesday night. A big crowd greeted the teams onto the pitch with similar conditions to the first leg prevalent. Inverness kicked off into the wind and that was the highlight of the first forty-five, apart from Aaron Doran breaking into the box but unable to dig the ball out from under his feet and Scott Stewart firing over the bar from the edge of the box. The only other thing of note was a booking for David Carson . Some things never change. HALF TIME: 0-0 Billy Mckay replaced Austin Samuels at the interval. Shane Sutherland got the break of the ball and burst into the edge of the box on the left side but his shot rippled the side netting. Carson shot over the stand minutes later as the visitors pushed forward. Better spell for Inverness and a wee melee in the box saw Arbroath clear the danger. Out of nothing, Danny Devine was red carded for next to nothing as he challenged for a high ball with Jack Hamilton. What a joke decision that was. Worse was to follow when Shane Sutherland left the field on a stretcher after looking like he has damaged his knee when pulling up. Hardy dribbled forward into the hosts box after the ninety but as the tackle came in his shot was lifted over the bar. A flurry of activity round our box in time added on as the nine men tried to hold out for extra time. We did that so on to another thirty minutes. 0-0 after ninety minutes. Inverness were back up to ten men with Lewis Hyde coming on in extra time. Mark Ridgers kept Inverness in the game when he blocked an effort from Jack Hamilton as he went one on one with the keeper. Colin Hamilton went close with a header after Low recycled a corner back into the box, the ball going just the wrong side of the post. Inverness wasted a free kick and corner just on the break and it was still 0-0 with the final fifteen minutes coming up. Wallace Duffy was given a dubious second yellow and we were back down to nine men for the final five minutes of extra time and Michael McKenna drifted a shot wide after a corner. A Nicky Low cross saw Colin Hamilton head across goal and the ball came back off the crossbar as Arbroath went for the jugular, and after yet another corner was cleared, blundering referee Willie Collum ended the tie and it's on to penalties. FULL TIME (after extra time): 0-0 Penalty Shoot Out B Mckay , Hardy Welsh Harper Broadfoot McKenna Low Colin Hamilton Linn Inverness through to Play Off Final after 5-3 shoot out win. Brilliant save from Mark Ridgers From BBC Sport Arbroath manager Dick Campbell: "Anybody who knows anything about football knows we were way, way in front. But I've seen it happen in the play-offs. We had 600 passes, they had 300-odd. "We're not ones to feel sorry for ourselves. The whole season has been a fairy tale, it'll be memorable. We were close to immortality. We've got to repeat that next year. Christmas has come early for Inverness tonight I wish them all the best." Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds: "It wasn't about us getting through tonight, it was the circumstances we did it in. I have my feelings - I'm just keeping quiet because I'll get myself into trouble. "My boys gave me absolutely everything. We had to work our socks off That's the best bunch of boys I've worked with. I would have been proud of every one of them if we lost the penalty shootout tonight." Date: 13/05/2022 Venue: Gayfield Park, Arbroath Attendance: 5154 Referee: Willie Collum Arbroath: 0 (3 pens) Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Thomson (Donnelly 90), Little, O'Brien (Henderson 105), Colin Hamilton, Stewart, Low, Chris Hamilton (Gold 105), McKenna, Craigen (Linn 76), J Hamilton (Wighton 111) Subs (not used): Antell; Swankie, Ford, Bakare Scorers: none Booked: Colin Hamilton (55), Chris Hamilton (73), Wighton (120) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 (5 pens) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Broadfoot, Devine, Deas, Samuels (B Mckay 45), Welsh, McAlear (Duffy 74), Chalmers (Harper 68), Doran (Hardy 60), Sutherland (Hyde 90), Subs (not used): C Mackay; Allardice Scorers: none Booked: Carson (27), Duffy (95, 113), B Mckay (115), Hyde (118), Deas (120) Sent Off: Devine (66), Duffy (113) a
  24. All to play for at Gayfield Arbroath were up for this one shutting Inverness down high up the pitch in a poor first half. Logan Chalmers was nearest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the bar with a rasping shot from close to thirty yards. Inverness upped the pace after the break but it was too little too late. Sleeves will need to be rolled up on Friday from the start if we are to get through. The whole of the first half passed Inverness by as Arbroath were in our faces. That needs to change on Friday and it might work in our favour if Arbroath decide to have a go which will give us more space to exploit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Premiership Play-Off 1st leg paired Inverness with second place finishers Arbroath, everyone's favourite wee team. Could Inverness upset the apple cart and take a lead down to Gayfield for the return leg on Friday? All would be revealed at a breezy Caledonian Stadium. Tom Walsh and Roddy MacGregor were missing for Billy Dodds as he went with the same team that started against Partick Thistle with Wallace Duffy added to the bench along with just six others. Dick Campbell unsurprisingly made eight changes from his last game against Morton and managed a full bench of nine. Arbroath set the ball rolling in between the showers on a blustery evening and as the visitors pushed forward in the fifth minute, Mark Ridgers produced a vital tip away from a deep cross with Nicky Low about to head into the net. It was a typically cagey start from the hosts. Kirk Broadfoot gave away the ball and when Arbroath transferred it into the box a half chance presented itself but the ball was knocked high over. The Smokies were in our face and we were struggling to make any headway with fifteen minutes gone. Any football that was being played was coming from the visitors. Twenty minutes gone and the Caley Jags had not started yet in a scrappy affair. Maybe they thought it was a 7:45 kick off. A long free kick into the box almost found Ricky Little on the lunge but it just evaded him and out for a goal kick. On a rare jaunt forward, Austin Samuels almost set up Billy Mckay, but his awkward flick went out for a goal kick. Moments later Logan Chalmers struck the bar with a superb near thirty yard shot. A booking for Broadfoot gave Arbroath a free kick twenty five yards out, but Ridgers was equal to Low's strike as he made a decent but routine save, and at the other end Logan Chalmers drilled a left footer just wide from outside the box as the interval loomed. That half took forever to get going, but opportunities did manifest themselves just before the break, but there's no scoring so far. HALF TIME: 0-0 Just after the start of the second half a well timed sliding tackle by Devine stopped Arbroath bursting into the box to thwart a run forward. A swift break upfield started with David Carson bursting forward at pace and ended with Chalmers winning a corner from his blocked shot. It was a brighter start to the second period from the hosts. A super run forward by Robbie Deas on the other wing offered Chalmers another opportunity but the final ball wasn't ideal and Chalmers eventual shot missed the target. Arbroath responded and Hamilton drilled a low ball into the box which was put behind for a corner. The action raged to the other end and Derek Gaston denied Samuels with a tremendous save. That would be the closest to a goal all night and moments later Aaron Doran volleyed just over. Chris Hamilton smuggled the ball away from under the feet of Samuels in the box and from the corner Broadfoot headed over when he should have hit the target. A Michael McKenna snapshot saw Ridgers parry to safety and the defence cleared. Chalmers volleyed over after a clearance fell to him on the edge of the box, just after Dick and Dodds had a wee spat on the touchline An untidy spell ensued with play broken by fouls and substitutions. The chances stopped coming for both sides as time slipped away and a late free kick was wasted and that was it. Not a great night for Inverness to be honest, but still all to play for at Gayfield. Best performers were in defence with maybe Sean Welsh the only midfielder to put his foot on the ball. More match reaction to follow... From BBCSport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds: "I'm happy we're in there pitching because it's going to be so tight on Friday. There's going to be nerves and tension because both teams have left themselves in a decent position."I didn't think we played our best but we had the best chances. We hit the bar first half but we weren't doing the things we're good at. Second-half was a bit better; thought we created the better chances but we just couldn't take one." Arbroath manager Dick Campbell: "If you'd asked me before the game if I'd be happy with that, I would be. The game is still alive and that's all I wanted to happen. The strongest survives on Friday."We will have a go and have our trumpets out. What does it mean to us? You'll see on Friday. They're part-time players. Two games this week, two games next week. It definitely sways towards the full-time clubs. Even if they lose, they'll still be immortal in my eyes." Dick, you forgot to add that you never played for ten days before this game whilst we played twice against Partick Thistle Why do they call him Clean Sheet Ridgers........ Because there's no Mark Date: 10/05/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2201 Referee: Euan Anderson Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Broadfoot, Devine, Deas, Samuels, Welsh, McAlear, Chalmers (Hardy 79), Sutherland (Harper 71), B Mckay (Doran 63) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Hyde, Allardice Scorers: none Booked: Broadfoot (39), McAlear (65) Sent Off: none Arbroath: 0 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Thomson, Little, O'Brien Hamilton, Stewart, Low (Henderson 84), McKenna, C Hamilton, Craigen, J Hamilton (Donnelly 84) Subs (not used): Antell; Swankie, Ford, Linn, Bakare, Gold, Wighton Scorers: none Booked: O'Brien (58), Henderson (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  25. Smokies next A draw would have been sufficient for Inverness to progress in the Premiership Play-Offs after winning the first leg 2-1 at Firhill. After a cagey opening Austin Samuels scored a superb opening goal when Sutherland fed him into the box. Graham rattled the bar and Ridgers denied the big striker from a goalbound header as Partick came back at their hosts but at the break it was advantage Inverness. Inverness weathered the expected storm after the interval and restricted Partick to half chances and but for Sneddon Inverness could have added another couple of goals, but it's job done and Arbroath up next. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At home to Arbroath was the prize for getting through this game. Inverness carried a slender advantage from the first leg at Firhill into this tie at the Caledonian Stadium. Tom Walsh, Wallace Duffy and Roddy MacGregor were all out for the hosts leaving just six on the bench including the returning from long term injury, Scott Allardice. Cammy Smith and Ricky Foster were in the Partick starting XI with Brian Graham and Scott Tiffoney still the ones to watch. The game kicked off in bright sunshine and in the third minute Logan Chalmers got the break of the ball off Ricky Foster but he shot over as he approached the corner of the box. Robbie Deas lashed one over from the same area three minutes later as a loose ball came back to him outside the box. Partick almost got the opener when Scott Tiffoney whipped a great ball into the area where Robbie Crawford met it on the run but it just cleared the bar. Very close but no cigar this time. Inverness responded and Billy Mckay shot just wide but he won a corner as his effort was deflected. From the corner Sean Welsh had a shot blocked on the edge of the box The game was littered with loose passing with so much at stake, neither side wanting to make the first error. Brian Graham turned Kirk Broadfoot well twenty five yards out but his shot curled three yards wide of Ridgers left hand post. A wayward back header from Ross Docherty gave Inverness a corner but it was curled just behind, possibly off the corner of the bar. Tiffoney was causing all sorts of problems down the Partick left and he drifted inside but his shot was weak and dragged wide with almost half an hour gone. Almost against the run of play Inverness opened the scoring when Shane Sutherland sent Samuels into the left side of the box where he lashed a powerful shot high into the net behind Sneddon. Great strike, two important goals in two games for the striker. What a time to start scoring. AUSTIN POWER Partick struck the bar moments later through Graham when he got the break of the ball off the chest of Welsh after a corner, his shot from ten yards smacking the bar and bouncing clear. Six minutes before the break an absolutely fantastic save from Ridgers denied Graham as he dived low to his left to save what looked like a certain goal for the big striker. Back up the other end and Samuels almost snatched a second for Inverness but the ball just evaded him. Partick may be aggrieved to be one down, but Inverness hold a two goal aggregate advantage at the interval. Inverness would be well advised to cut out the loose passing to avoid a nervy ending to the tie. HALF TIME: 1-0 Immediately after the break Graham gave substitute Jakubiak an opportunity that won them a corner and almost another chance came from that. It was a sluggish start to the half for the hosts. What a save from Sneddon to deny a Broadfoot header after Carson had won a corner. Great agility from the keeper. Samuels then hit the bar from close range but Mckay was adjudged offside when he clipped the ball across goal. Ridgers gathered a speculative effort from Tiffoney just before the hour. Deas returned the speculative efforts and his one went wide. A bit of a lull since the substitutions after sixty five minutes as the game entered the final twelve minutes with Joe Hardy replacing Billy Mckay. Cammy Harper almost got on the end of a great Sean Welsh ball into the box, Sneddon just beating Harper to the ball to snatch it away from the Inverness player as we broke forward at pace. Sneddon made another tremendous save as Sutherland shot goalwards after a corner, that would have been game over but for the keepers reflexes. We appeared to have weathered the mini storm from Partick and their opportunities seemed to have dried up with eighty seven minutes gone. Decent performance in a tough game where we stood up to Partick and eventually nullified them. Great goal again from Austin Samuels and some tremendous defending with Carson MotM and Devine a close second. Onwards to face Arbroath next Tuesday and Friday, another tough tie. On BBC Sport Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds told BBC Scotland: “It’s a brilliant result I'm so happy for the boys! “I can't say I enjoyed the game, we weren’t at our best, but I don't want to be downbeat because we're through. It's a tremendous result to get through and have a crack at Arbroath. "We worked our socks off, we always do. I'd have liked another one to go in because you've always got that feeling in case they got one back. "We deserved to go through over the piece." Inverness' goalscorer Austin Samuels told BBC Scotland: "I thought I took it too wide but the power on the shot took it past the goalkeeper. "Shane is a really reliable player, as long as I've been here he’s always done a job for the team. "We had a tough period but the gaffer always told us to keep positive and that our time was coming, and it looks like our time is now. On facing Arbroath in the semi-finals, he added: "It’s going to be tough, they’re in the play-offs for a reason, we’ve got to focus on ourselves and hopefully we’ll be in the final after it. Goal can be seen HERE on BBC Sport BOOM!!! Date: 06/05/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2470 Referee: Kevin Clancy Inverness CT: 1 (agg 3) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Broadfoot, Devine, Deas, Samuels (Doran 66), Welsh, McAlear (Hyde 90+2), Chalmers (Harper 66), Sutherland (Allardice 90+2), B Mckay (Hardy 79) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Scorers: Samuels (29) Booked: Carson (61), McAlear (85), Devine (89) Sent Off: none Partick Thistle: 0 (agg 1) Manager: Ian McCall Lineup: Sneddon; Foster, Akinola, Holt ( Bell 66), Hendrie, Crawford (Murray 82), Bannigan (Turner 45), Docherty, Smith (Jakubiak 45), Tiffoney, Graham ( Alegria 66) Subs (not used): Firth; Stanway, McKenna Scorers: Booked: none Sent Off: none a
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