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  1. Almost there. Inverness took a massive step towards the Championship with another defeat. This time it was Kilmarnock who inflicted the pain as we struggled to get back on level terms having gone two goals down through Longstaff and Jones. Alex Fisher grabbed a goal but despite a frantic finish to the game we failed to get a point and relegation looks to be imminent. Immortal Howden Ender witnessed this one and his report is here.............. Well I travelled with forlorn hope and a fair degree of trepidation. But that still did not stop me and my 146 compatriots from sitting in the away stand, cheer on the boys and hope for some salvation. My only negative thought at the start was the inclusion of Anier but otherwise I was quite happy with the first team choice. Fisher has deserved his chance and may have been a more polished player if he had been given a run early. He had a clear cut chance in the 2nd minute, through on goal, 1-1 with McDonald and he totally fecked it up. If he had kept his composure, as he did 69 minutes later then it may have been a different story. So we have a plastic pitch. We are playing in to the wind and the driving rain. Killie know the surface and they play tippy tappy at the back, use the width, take people on and are patient. Us we hoof at every opportunity. Billy Mckay must wonder what the feck is going on. Anier offers sod all and Mulraney has an off-day but rarely gets a ball at his feet or a pass to run on to. The clear tactic was to feckin hoof it. And for the second time away from home Esson makes the second big error (OK there were 2 errors) of his belated season and gifts the first goal to Longstaff. Just what we did not need. You could see some heads go down at that time. Have to say that I was really impressed by Frizell, Jones and Wilson. If we had that three playing for us we would have hammered them. But we have Foran and the hoof. So half time comes along and you think lets have a go. But God lets us down again. The wind dies down, the rain stops and some feckin sunshine comes out. And as if that wasn’t bad enuff we hook Mulraney for Vigurs. We put Draper up front and we switch Fisher to wide right midfield. Yes wide right midfield !! Foran complained about our defending for the second but I thought it was tidy lead up play and a very tidy finish by Jones who had tormented Brad all day long. And guess who had the two long range shots on target – of course – David Raven !! Anier goes off, 58 minutes too late, and gets replaced by Polworth who never got into the game. Not sure exactly where he was playing though. And then we hook Draper and take on Cole. BUT we put Cole on the left BUT keep Fisher on the wide right and put Mckay up front on his own. We pack feckin midfield with the lackadaisical Vigurs and Tansey with Polworth running around like a headless chicken. But as the chants against Foran begin to grow we put ourselves back in the game. Great pass from Vigurs and Fisher tucks it away very neatly, 69 minutes too late. Lee McCulloch summed it up nicely – “The last 10 minutes were a bit nervy but we got there in the end.” We began to show the desire and fight that we should have been showing for weeks, nay months. No player can be faulted for endeavour in the last 15 minutes. Killie looked shell shocked and took their feet off the pedal. And wee Billy could have got us that desperately needed point with a glorious lob which would have been a goal of the season contender if it went in. We actually started playing football as well. Alas too late. And Foran summed up the day – “I'm delighted with the players' performance, believe it or not. I told them they should be proud of themselves, how they handled the occasion.” Well he must have just been watching the last fifteen minutes and had forgotten the deplorable first 45. And then "Individual mistakes have cost us again. The only disappointing part is the second goal. Jones has so much space to run at us. It's a set-piece for us, they break and score - that's schoolboy defending but overall we were the far better team and had far better chances.” – DOH – wrong goal – and we deserved a point and that would have been a bit of a robbery. “We didn't get what we deserved and that was the three points, in my mind. We need to cut out the individual mistakes, it's been the story of the season.” – Yes agree about the individual mistakes and add it has been the story of MY season. Some players do NOT play for you. And then he concludes as a modern day Lazarus – “We need help from other clubs now, simple as that. We need to do our business on Wednesday and Saturday. There is still a chance. It is probably a small chance, but there is a chance." – WTF !! No Smileymometer but here are my conclusions. Esson did OK but that one mistake early doors killed us. Brad was taken apart by Jones, Raven was solid and full of endeavour. Warren was my MOM for clearly giving his all. Laing was quietly effective. Mulraney never got going and Anier never has got going. Draper looked OK in midfield but was lost up front against a very tall Killie central defence. Tansey looks pretty but he is keeping himself for Aberdire. Fisher gave his all but was a fish out of water wide right. Wee Billy never got used and was a waste in the hole role. He is best on the toes of the last defender. Vigurs actually started trying to play football but he is such a lazy *******. Polworth and Cole made no impact. Ah Well it looks like Dumfries will be my ”home” game next season. Killie v ICT Date: 13/05/17 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 3137 Referee: John Beaton Kilmarnock: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Hendrie, Dicker, Ajer, Taylor, Smith, Jones, Longstaff, Frizzell, Kiltie (McKenzie, 77), Sammon Subs (not used): Lyle, Osborne, Roberts, Hawkshaw, Graham, Cameron Scorers: Longstaff (17), Jones (57) Booked: Wilson (15), Smith (16) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Esson; Brad Mckay, Laing, Warren, Raven, Draper (Cole, 70), Tansey, Anier (Polworth, 58), Billy Mckay, Mulraney (Vigurs, 46), Fisher Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, McCart Scorers: Fisher (71) Booked: Brad Mckay (15) Sent Off: none a
  2. Three games to save our season. Running out of games now and a tough task this weekend as we visit Ayrshire to take on Kilmarnock in the third last game of the season, unless we make the play-off place where we have to go head to head with a Championship contender. It's been a long hard season for Inverness as the wheels came off and a disastrous run of one win in twenty-three has taken us to the brink of relegation. There's only one way out of this and that is to win back to back games and look for favourable results from others around us. It's a long shot, but it is possible. We threw ourselves a lifeline last weekend with a narrow 2-1 win over Accies in Inverness. We should have won at a canter as we dominated the first half but had only two goals to show for our attacking intent. We nearly paid the price for not putting the game to bed as Accies made a fist of it in the second half but their late goal was the final kick of the game and the points stuck with Inverness. Killie lost out last week to Dundee and both clubs appear to be safe from relegation although not completely out of the running yet. I'm sure Killie would be happy enough to terminate us this weekend to save them the long hike up North. Results have been shared this term, all three previous games ending in 1-1 draws. However, Killie sit 10 points above Inverness in 8th place as we speak and can not get relegated automatically. On the plus side for us, we have scored more goals than Killie (38-32), but it's our defence that has let us down this season and Killie are superior in that department (50-67). It's a daunting task, but one that is not insurmountable, although our seasons stats say otherwise. Killie have been dealt a blow with news that in form keeper Freddie Woodman will not play for them again this season. He has been called up to the England u20 squad for their u20 world cup campaign which begins in South Korea on 20th May. It's recognition for some excellent performances at Rugby Park for the young keeper who has kept five clean sheets since January 21st. Had we played a keeper of the same quality, I doubt we would be in such a mess right now. With Woodman away, Killie have a decent replacement in Jamie MacDonald. Former County defender Scott Boyd is out for the rest of the season having injured his foot. Greg Kiltie played a part last week and could start. Interim gaffer Lee McCulloch added this on BBC Sport:- "Its going to be a tough match. Inverness are punching well below their weight with where they are in the league table, with the players they've got. So it's just up to us to go out and put on a positive performance in front of the crowd." Richie Foran has long term absentees in Josh Meekings, Aaron Doran and Carl Tremarco. Owain Fon Williams is still out and Ryan Esson will once again be between the sticks. Liam Polworth will return after suspension and Iain Vigurs has recovered from illness. Billy King will be departing for Tannadice next season, I wonder if he is up to the task. Scott Boden showed up well as a sub last week and could be worth a try along with Billy Mckay. Jake Mulraney was impressive in the first half against Accies but faded in the second as the visitors pushed further forward and Jake's supply was limited. It's Foran's shout, maybe Polworth will be added to midfield or Richie's favoured midfielder Iain Vigurs will return. Only one man knows, let's hope he makes the right call. I doubt you would get decent odds on Lewis Horner getting a game. Although the former Hibernian player has been out injured for most of the season, it seems that there is an underlying problem as he has been taken to task by the SFA for match betting. He's obviously not up to scratch on this as he is alleged to have bet on Caley Thistle, surely not for a win! tm4tj prediction:- It's a must not lose game, in fact it's more or less a must win game. We have not been very good at these crunch games this season apart from last weeks win against Accies. It seems that one win and some reckon we are going to escape relegation no problem. I have news for you. We struggled to beat Hamilton but thanks to a dubious 'no penalty' for Hamilton, we took the points and gave ourselves this last chance saloon opportunity. We certainly have the players to do it, but do the players have the leadership, belief and the heart to do it. It's the second of four cup finals for Inverness and defeat is unthinkable. I believe we can do it, but given this seasons heartless performances, then maybe another score draw is on the cards. Motherwell and Hamilton go head to head tomorrow and maybe a draw is the best result for our own slim chances of avoiding the drop. New strips were unveiled this week. Let's hope we get to use them in the Premiership.
  3. Injuries ruin our chances. Inverness came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock in a game marred by more injuries to our already creaking squad. Souleymane Coulibaly scored a superb individual goal, his eleventh of the season, but captain Gary Warren cancelled that out as he headed home with six minutes remaining. That result keeps us second bottom with Ross County the only bottom team to pick up three points, and that was enough for them to replace Killie in the top six. Gary Warren returned to the starting XI with injury ravaged Owain Fon Williams and Lewis Horner taking their places in defence. In an attempt to bolster the midfield, Brad Mckay played in front of the back four, and Foran started with Lonsana Doumbouya the lone target man. Larnell Cole kept his place after his fine performance last week. Wide players Jake Mulraney, Aaron Doran and Billy King all started on the bench alongside Liam Polworth who has returned sooner than anticipated from injury. Killie had injury worries of their own and youngster Ian Wilson was given a start at the back with Scott Boyd missing out. It was a pretty dour first half with the home side occasionally threatening. In one such attack Josh Meekings made a tremendous clearance off the line after Nathan Tyson had clipped the ball over Owain Fon Williams. He did enough to hook the ball away from the goal line and Brad Mckay completed the clearance to avert a certain goal. Nick Walsh was called into question when the ball came off an Inverness arm in a goalmouth scramble but that would have been harsh had he penalised it. He was asked again and this time it could easily have been given as a cross was blocked by an elbow on the edge of the box. We struggled to make much headway in the first half, not helped by injuries to Doumbouya, Horner and Mckay. Fisher replacing the big striker after twenty-one minutes. Polworth replaced the nose bloodied Brad Mckay at the break. Lewis Horner struggled on until the hour before leaving the field, replaced by Billy King. Gary Warren had our only effort of note in the first forty-five but his header went wide. He would do better late in the game. Half Time 0-0 Billy King entered the fray and flashed a shot wide soon after and it looked as though the pace of the game had changed as we ventured forward. However, clean sheets are difficult to come by and Kilmarnock took the lead through a piece of individual magic. Coulibaly scored his wonder goal in the second half, although there was an element of good fortune about it. When he gathered a long ball on the corner of our eighteen yard box, their seemed little danger. The ball bounced up and he controlled it with his arm. Undaunted and unpunished, he twisted and turned substitute Liam Polworth onto the ground before firing a high shot into the keepers near post as defenders closed on him. Chances were at a premium, but Inverness found a way back into the game through captain Gary Warren. Greg Tansey fired a free kick into the box and the Killie rearguard parted to allow Warren every opportunity to head the ball down into the corner past a diving Jamie MacDonald. Just what we needed to get us off the foot of the table again and the game ended with no further scoring. Full Time 1-1 A draw was just about deserved as both sides had their moments on the ascendancy, but Killie will feel they might have nicked it with the one cleared off the line and a couple of penalty claims that were turned down. We came out stronger in the second half and did well to get back on level terms, so we won't complain about a share of the points. Rig saw it like this Really poor game overall. We lacked any attacking intent in the first half and seemed to have no plan for most of the game other than lump balls towards Doumbouya and Fisher. It was desperate stuff. Second half was a bit better but still we lacked an real incisive play in the final third. We seem to absolutely refuse to try and use our wingers and try and cross the ball into the box for the striker to attack. Looked like there was a hint of a handball when Coulibaly took the ball down when he scored the opener. Still, poor defending from Polworth to let him cut back inside and Fon Williams beaten again at his near post. Atrocious marking for our equaliser. Warren seemed to get in between two Kille players and still had a free header to plant the ball past MacDonald. Injuries really disrupted us today. Doumbouya, Horner and Mckay all taken off. Our reorganisation was a bit odd. Polworth at right back was strange. Far rather have Meekings there, drop Draper into defence and stick Polworth into midfield. He (Polworth) seemed to be one of the very few ICT players willing to carry the ball forward instead of battering it towards Fisher. Massively underwhelming first half performance, slightly improved second half but there's a lot of work to be done specifically in terms of our attacking play. We remain one dimensional, predictable and largely toothless. Think we deserved a draw but there's a lot of concerns there for me from an ICT point of view Immortal Howden Ender picked out different highlights in his summary. That was the best away day in years. The game was frenetic. It was highly entertaining and surprisingly competitive. I witnessed levels of skill and endeavour that I had never seen in certain individuals before. But then, unfortunately, the Hang The Man competition ended and we had to go to the game. How the feck did Mary Hill get Bahram Fetai !! The game itself was wholly forgettable. Up until the Coulibally goal BOTH teams served up dire stuff. The game only really heated up after they scored. We did show a lot of guts to recover but they went defensive and paid the price. Speaking to Killie fans afterwards they said that they had been doing the same all season. The goal was terrific and I had to celebrate with a piked, double somersault over the seats in front of me - ably abetted (feckin pushed) by King Beastie. And RedCard organised and won the goalscorer award and Warren could have had time to do a turn in the Hang the Man competition whilst he strolled in for the equaliser. The "spirit" certainly was there. Agree with what SuperFan posted earlier. Strange substitution but injuries are taking their toll. Strange to see the Walrus parading around with a huge ice pack on feckin freezing day and blood oozing from the two others. Tremarco was my clear MOM although Meekings was close. And we have no "teeth" up front. Date: 17/12/16 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 3294 Referee: Nick Walsh Kilmarnock: 1 Lineup: MacDonald, Hendrie, Boyle, Wilson, Taylor, McKenzie, Smith, Dicker, Jones, Tyson, Coulibaly Subs (not used): Mackay, Bojaj, Frizzell, Smith, Hawkshaw, Cameron, Adams Scorers: Coulibaly (73) Booked: Taylor (63), Smith (90) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings, Draper, Vigurs, Tansey, Horner (King 52), Mckay (Polworth 46), Doumbouya (Fisher 20), Cole Subs (not used): Esson, Doran, Mulraney, Boden Scorers: Warren (84) Booked: Draper (16), Polworth (90) Sent Off: none a
  4. Killie Challenge for Caley Jags It's the long haul this Saturday as we head for Rugby Park to take on sixth place Kilmarnock, a mere three points ahead of us in eleventh spot. With seven teams vying for the last top-six space and relegation at the same time, it's anyone's guess as to who is the favourites for these positions. Often a fruitful day out in previous years, but we have faltered in the last two fixtures at Rugby Park going down on both occasions. The first encounter of this season was in the Highlands and it ended with the points shared, but it took a very late goal from Lonsana Doumbouya to cancel out an early Coulibaly penalty. We had won the previous one at Inverness at the end of last season quite comfortably and many expected an easier ride than we got from a revamped Kilmarnock side, but they are proving to be a match for all in the top-six relegation battle. I know it's a bit early in the season to be calling it a relegation battle, but that's the nature of the beast. If you are not going for Europe, then it's a downhill struggle below that. Killie have clambered to sixth slot but like the rest are showing signs of fluctuating fortunes. A 2-0 win over Dundee was followed by a 5-1 thrashing at Pittodrie before steadying the ship last week with a goalless draw at Motherwell. We ended a run of four straight defeats by drawing at home to Hamilton in what turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining game. Still hit by injury and suspension, we managed to get a team on the park and despite going behind, we came back strongly to get a deserved draw. Either side will feel they could have nicked this one but a draw keeps the status quo. Larnell Cole was our star performer against the Accies and topped it off with a fine goal, his first for the club. Clean sheets are a problem for us this season with only one so far. A changing defence through injury and suspension is not helping and the midfield need to work harder to help out the defence when needed. Inverness will be able to call on the services of Gary Warren, back after his one match ban for his unnecessary sending off against St Johnstone. David Raven, will be offered a six month contract extension, but he is out injured for another couple of months. Liam Polworth has made great progress and has resumed full training, however this might be a game too early for the young midfielder, but a late fitness test will let us know if he is ready. Our keeper crisis is still ongoing although it looks as though Fon Williams will play through his back injury whilst Ryan Esson is still suffering with a groin injury. Better news up front is that Scott Boden looks to have shaken off his ankle knock and will be included in the squad. Other strike option Alex Fisher could also be included. Killie have two central defenders missing for this clash. Miles Addison is out for a couple of months after having foot surgery. Jonathan Burn is also out and that means that Scott Boyd and Will Boyle are Lee Clark's only recognised centre backs available. Others missing are Kris Boyd, Greg Kiltie and full back Dapo Kayode. tm4tj prediction:- Given that we were rubbish on the road at Dundee and Perth, I'm not filled with confidence going in to this one. On the other hand, Warren should take his place at the heart of the defence and Brad Mckay can revert to right back. Hopefully Owain Fon Williams will have less back spasms to deal with and a clean sheet will do his confidence no harm. Midfield is an area we are struggling. Ross Draper has been a constant, but Iain Vigurs leaves a lot to be desired, mainly due to his work rate although he was noticeably more active against Accies last week. Larnell Cole deserves another chance after his last performance which might mean attacking wide players Mulraney, King or Doran will be vying for the right to supply Lonsana Doumbouya with the ammunition he needs. Killie will rightly feel they have enough to be able to take all three points and we have to be wary of that. Coulibaly has proven to be a handful having scored ten times this campaign.They showed fleet of foot on the break when they came North and we will do well to match their pace going forward. Any team going on a two or three game winning streak will pull away from the rest. It's hard to see if that will be us, but a point would be a decent result. Richie looks ahead to the plastic pitch encounter and talks about our keeper crisis. and Dave the Rave has his say on where he is at just now................
  5. Rugby Park Test. Off to Ayrshire this weekend as we get back to league duties with a visit to Rugby Park to face an upbeat Kilmarnock who will provide a stern test for our top six side. Killie got a massive boost last weekend as they ousted St Johnstone from the Scottish Cup at Perth, having drawn 2-2 the previous week against Hearts. While Killie were marching on, we stumbled around Forthbank in a dirge of a game and left needing a replay to sort out our tie with Stirling Albion. It was the lack of creation that left most fans despondent, and we are thankful that we managed to avoid the big banana skin that Hamilton Accies stood on. That said, we are now six games unbeaten, although a much improved performance will be required if we are to take anything from Rugby Park. Since we last met on the 12th of December, we have remained unbeaten, winning two of our five games and drawing the others including the cup game at Forthbank. Kilmarnock have not fared as well, and their only other win apart from the cup tie was at Hamilton where they scored the only goal. They lost to Aberdeen and Ross County in that sequence as well as the draw against Hearts. Killie's last home win was in mid October when they beat none other than Inverness CT. We were rather sluggish that day and failed to take early chances and paid the full price as goals from Greg Kiltie and Josh Magennis won the game rather comfortably in the end. That should be enough of a warning for Yogi as he looks to keep his side above the relegation tussle. Inverness will be looking for new signing Alex Fisher to get up to speed and add some much needed backing for striker Miles Storey. Kilmarnock's defence could be just the tonic our new strike pairing will be looking for as they boast the most goals conceded in the league (41). Their strikers are not much better bagging just 24, giving them a goal difference of minus 17 compared to minus 1 for the Caley Jags. Kilmarnock will be minus three suspended players with the burly Josh Magennis, Steven Smith and Kevin McHattie all missing one game for accumulative bookings. Mark O'Hara, Scott Robinson and Chris Johnston are all sidelined, but Lee McCulloch will make himself available for selection. Inverness will also have to re-shuffle their back line with Josh Meekings still out injured and Danny Devine suspended for one game. Also out are Aaron Doran and Dean Brill. Richie Foran could make the bench but is unlikely to feature. With Alex Fisher now on the books, Spanish striker Dani Lopez has returned to Spain after failing to establish himself high enough up the pecking order. tm4tj Prediction:- We are a stronger unit than the one which lost back in October, despite being able to call on Ryan Christie for that one. With players back to full fitness we are better prepared and should be looking to take something from this game. However our negative approach at Stirling has riled some fans and maybe we need a bit more time before we can get back to some semblance of free flowing football. The tightness of the league dictates how we set our stall out, but sometimes you have to give it a go. The onus will be on Killie as the home team, I hope we don't offer them the same time on the ball that we donated to Stirling Albion, as that could be our downfall. We might have to settle for a point, but it will be better than none at all, so I expect Yogi to take the cautious approach. Go on, surprise me! Scoring draw, with us losing a goal deep into injury time. 2-2.
  6. Disappointment at Rugby Park Inverness went down 2-1 at Rugby Park as Kilmarnock scored in each half to continue their resurgence and halt Inverness in their tracks. Greg Kiltie scored right on half time and Josh Magennis added a second as Inverness wilted, with Killie running out deserved winners in the end. Johndo will have a full report for us in due course...........and here it is Well that was my first venture since the trip to Romania. Have to admit that Kilmarnock ain't Bucharest and the Portmann ain't the Old City but at least I remembered the game this time. Another enjoyable Juanjo Awayday, only spoilt by a tepid performance and a very disappointing scoreline. It wasn't that we actually played that badly but it was a case of looking good but with no end product. That was Killie's first clean sheet of the season and no wonder Jamie McDonald had a wry smile at the final whistle as he applauded the away support who had been goading him most of the afternoon. "You won us the cup" ditty evidently fell on deaf ears. The possession stats were 50/50 and only eight shots with five on target throughout the game pretty much sums it up. But it really could have been so different if we had pressed home our domination of the first 20-25 minutes. There was a lot of possession but of the tippy-tappy, Ray Wilkins variety. Killie threw seven men across the pitch and limited us to chances from crosses or dead ball situations. Perhaps it might have been different if either Devine, Draper or Meekings had placed their headers in the back of the net - but as was the case throughout the game - our final touch or attempted pass was atrocious. I haven't really criticised Yogi too much but I felt that he was at fault this time. Why he allowed Draper to stay on the pitch until half-time baffles me. Sure Draper is determined and did not want to go off but he was a passenger for the last 20 minutes and all that was probably accomplished was to make his injury worst. Yogi should have hooked him and took Vigurs on earlier. And then Mutombo for Williams was a strange decision. I thought Williams was having a good day and his pace was worrying Killie. Mutombo to me is a forward version of Djebi-Zadi. And the introduction of Sutherland was also too late. To me the difference in the sides was Magennis. I have never really been impressed by him but his mere physical presence appeared to upset Devine and Meekings. The second half felt far longer than 45 minutes and we appeared to rely on big punts looking to capitalise on the pace of Storey who had little if any support. So perhaps it was just a bad day at the office. Perhaps the Tannadice farce left its mark. At least ours wasn't the only surprise scoreline. And I ended my time in Kilmarnock visiting a hostelry whose name resembled some of the players on show earlier. Fon Williams 6/10 - Never really had that much to do. Thought that he could have done better with the first goal, sadly in added on time. Raven 4/10 - Thought that he had a shocker - was he fit ? Watching trying to chase a ball down the wing in the second half reminded me of Marius Niculae at Motherwell. Tremarco 4/10 - He was fit so he has no excuse. Sooner we get Williams ensconsed in that position the better. Devine 6/10 - Actually looked the best of the defence which sadly was not too difficult to achieve. Meekings 5/10 - Bad day at the office. I always feel that he is not as good without Warren beside him. Polworth 6/10 - Didn't really do anything particularly wrong but did little to impress either. Draper 4/10 - Well you simply cannot perform with an injury but you can come off when you have one. Tansey 4/10 - Again 2-3 lovely touches but otherwise anonymous. Played far too deep Christie 7/10 - The only one who actually looked like changing the game. Williams 6/10 - Not sure why he was hooked as he was beginning to look like a danger, especially if we had pushed him forward. Storey 7/10 - Full of running and determination but he is simply not a target man or a centre forward. Let him play off somebody and we have a real winner. Vigurs 8/10 - My MOM for his 45 minute contribution. He may look lazy and he may not be all action but he has a head for the game and some of his passing was one touch and inspirational. Motombo 3/10 - Headless chicken impersonation Sutherland 4/10 - No time to make any type of impact Yogi 4/10 - Tactically his poorest selection and poorest tactics - 4-5-1 with what looked like 3 holding midfielders played right into Killie's hands. Date: 17/10/15 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 3234Referee: Stephen Finnie Kilmarnock: 2 Lineup: MacDonald, O'Hara, Balatoni, Findlay, Smith, Slater, McHattie, McKenzie, Kiltie, Higginbotham, Magennis Subs (not used): Ridgers, Hamill, Connolly, Boyd, Obadeyi, Ashcroft, Frizzell Scorers: Kiltie (45), Magennis (66) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven (Sutherland 81), Devine, Meekings, Tremarco, Draper (Vigurs 46), Williams (Mbuyi-Mutombo 53), Polworth, Christie, Tansey, Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Wedderburn, Horner, Sutherland Scorers: none Booked: Miles Storey (69) Sent Off: none
  7. Killie Pie Time Inverness head to Kilmarnock on Saturday after the international break for a game that could shape the seasons of both clubs after their poor starts to the season. International breaks are usually quiet affairs, but not so for fans of Inverness Caledonian Thistle as the vacant post at Tannadice was played out in the full glare of the media. This break was fraught with tension as John Hughes became the bookies favourite to take over at Tannadice after Tommy Wright's St Johnstone told the Arabs where to go. The Inverness board did likewise with Hughes, but the silence was deafening after that fuelling speculation that Yogi was gone. However, in stepped Mixu to save the day at the eleventh hour, and, after the dust had settled, John Hughes remains at Inverness and Mixu Paatelainen starts the task of getting Dundee United off the foot of the table. We like our International breaks to be gentle, a time for getting injured players up to speed and players relaxing with their families. Not this one as our gaffer played hard ball. However, it's mentally not the best way to prepare for your next League encounter. So, with all the guesswork and wind ups put to bed, let's get on with the season, a season that started slowly but is now building a head of steam as we take the Leagues longest current unbeaten run (six games since last defeat) down to Ayrshire to face a resurgent Kilmarnock. Killie finished 10th last term and would have fancied their chances to better that this season. Let's find out who are the in's and out's at Rugby Park that Gary Locke believes will see them climb the table. Well, the main man given the task of scoring the goals is former Rugby Park idol Kris Boyd. He has returned from the Rangers a few stone heavier, but the same man knows how to find the back of the net given half a chance. Add in a trio of signings from Tynecastle in the shape of Kevin McHattie (defender), Scott Robinson (midfielder) and forward Dale Carrick. Another striker, Kallum Higginbotham has joined from Partick Thistle and the experienced Lee McCulloch came in from Championship side the Rangers. Cup final clanger Jamie MacDonald has signed from Falkirk along with another keeper, Oliver Davies on loan from Swansea City, Stevie Smith has also gone up in the world coming from Ibrox as well, and a loan signing from Celtic in defender Stuart Findlay. To make way for the new guys, out went former Scotland striker Lee Miller, the experienced Manuel Pascali, Paul Cairney to Stranraer and keeper Craig Samson. Midfielder Sammy Clingan has gone, so no more Star Trek jokes and the luxury that was Alexei Eremenko, a tremendous player on his day, but has probably gone out to seed now. A raft of lesser mortals have also left the building and Gary Locke will be looking for these guys to blend with what he already has, although it's been a less than pleasing start for the Killie fans. Last season we did hold the upper hand in the three games played between the clubs. A 3-3 draw at Inverness was followed by a 2-1 victory at Rugby Park. The final game saw Inverness take all three points in a 2-0 win. Rugby Park was also the ground where we recorded our best ever away win with a 6-3 trouncing of Kilmarnock on Guy Fawkes day 2011. There were certainly plenty of fireworks that day as Inverness sparkled on the pitch whilst Killie were like damp squibs and old bangers. We scored a few crackers as well and a rocket from Jonny Hayes. Gregory Tade even managed a couple and Andy Shinnie went one better as he fired a hat-trick. Ahhh, those were the days. Killie's highlights this season have been a 2-2 draw with Celtic and their two wins against Dundee United and St Johnstone. Unfortunately for them, they have also suffered too many low points, a 4-0 hammering from Dundee was repeated by Ross County, both games played at Rugby Park. Just when it looked as though they had turned the corner with consecutive wins, they lost to Hamilton although they drew with Hearts last time out. A bit similar to us from the beginning and the stats show that we have scored only one goal more than Killie but our defence is less porous. There's a gap of four points between the clubs and Killie sit where they finished last season in 10th place with Inverness in 8th. Sick list has the usual suspects for Inverness. Dean Brill, Gary Warren, Jordan Roberts, Aaron Doran, Richie Foran and Tobi Sho-Silva. Ryan Christie will be available after missing the derby through suspension. Iain Vigurs scored from a free kick in the development game in midweek and Dani Lopez notched a goal as did Andrew MacRae, so these guys will be looking to push into the starting eleven. All that happened in a 3-1 win at Clach Park over Hearts. Gary Locke could have the option of fielding captain Mark Connolly who is returning after medial ligament damage and Lee Ashcroft will return after suspension. However, Scott Robinson, Darryl Westlake and Dale Carrick are unlikely to feature after resuming training following injuries. tm4tj prediction:- Things are looking up for Inverness after a dismal opening sequence and to be fair, Kilmarnock have perked up a bit as well. Great news on the managerial front with John Hughes staying put, but it remains to be seen if that will encourage the board to lash out with a new contract for Yogi. That aside, it is a boost to keep the status quo and the emergence of Miles Storey as a goal threat and James Vincent as a box to box predator has lifted the gloom around Inverness and gives the fans renewed hope for the rest of the season. Owain Fon-Williams has been performing well since the Europa games and the defence is more settled with Josh Meekings back. Kris Boyd will always be a threat, no matter what size he is and Gary Locke will be looking to push on after an erratic start to their campaign. Another man who will be useful is the human battering ram that is Josh Magennis who is returning on a high from international duty with Northern Ireland. Our season has transformed quicker than Killie's and I can see us extending our unbeaten run. Johndo, our regular soothesayer, will be at Rugby Park and will have a full report for us after the game once he returns to his present form.
  8. tm4tj

    Killie Preview

    Kapital Kaley's Killie Komposition is a breath of freash air after the last few weeks hard hitting home truths. Optimism is a wonderful attribute and let's hope he is right. Take a look his encouraging preview on this link.