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  1. White Xmas Jordan White bagged a hat-trick as Inverness cruised into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup with an ultimately emphatic win over League Two Edinburgh City on a chilly Highland night with 672 freezing souls in attendance. A Tom Walsh brace and a last minute Aaron Doran goal completed the Inverness scoring and for City Blair Henderson scored early in the first half to cancel out Walsh's opening goal. This was a much needed win for Inverness who had been struggling in front of goal recently. After an uninspiring first half the home side began to cut open the visitors and eased their way to a fourth round tie against East Kilbride. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Much was expected of Inverness tonight after a disappointing last couple of games and after a dreich first half the game came to life in the second period. Tom Walsh opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a replica goal straight out of the Falkirk game, running onto a forward pass from Aaron Doran into the box and drilling home. Alas the lead was short lived and hesitancy in the defence allowed Blair Henderson to pop up between two defenders to equalise a couple of minutes later, the big striker finishing well. There followed a turgid spell where everything broke down before the final third and misplaced passes were commonplace, however Jordan White was on hand to score after fifteen minutes, nodding in from close range. More mediocrity followed right up to the break with neither keeper being called into serious action and Edinburgh were still in the tie as Inverness found it difficult to get in behind their defence. Half Time 2-1 City knew they had nothing to fear at this point after we had toiled for forty-five minutes and they came out of the blocks fast at the start of the second half, Henderson trying his luck once more. Robbo must have been unimpressed by that first half and you could see a bit more urgency about our play. Ten minutes into the half and we sealed the tie when Walsh scored after a mazy burst forward by Donaldson who gave the ball to Polworth to set up Walsh for the finish. Some good possession play along the front of the visitors box saw Shaun Rooney cross low and the ball was met by White in the box, his low drive being too hot for the keeper to handle as the ball squirmed into the net. One minute later and White grabbed his hat-trick as he powered a Liam Polworth corner high into the net from five yards. The introduction of Roddy MacGregor had sparked some life into the Inverness ranks and his quick feet and build up play was creating more chances for the now eager forwards. The scoring ended in stoppage time when we broke down a City attack on the edge of our box. The ball broke to MacGregor who sprinted forward with the ball, jinking across the City defence before releasing a timely ball into the path of Doran who had made good ground and he never broke stride as he placed the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner. So, into the next round we go where we will take on East Kilbride at the Caledonian Stadium. Well done big Jordan White for getting the hat-trick, that will do his confidence the world of good. Still room for improvement though as the big striker could almost have doubled his tally. Tom Walsh seems to have taken to this scoring lark, that's his third in two games, I feel there's plenty more to come from the lively wide player. Ridgers had little to do and Coll Donaldson was neat and tidy again. Charlie Trafford looked sharp in midfield with some tight turns and good distribution. Liam Polworth was involved in some of the goals but was also guilty of some wayward play, especially in a poor first half. Big Shaun Rooney is shaping up as a better wing back than a dedicated full back with some marauding runs in the Ross Tokely style. Special mention for Roddy MacGregor who looks like a tremendous prospect. His quick feet setting him aside from some of our more pedantic players. Overall, a comfortable win after a grim first half. Let's not get carried away though, we are far from the finished article and will find Ayr a much tougher proposition on Friday night. However, let's bask in the glory of scoring six goals and getting into the next round of the cup for now. Next game as mentioned is Friday night at Somerset Park against league leaders Ayr United. Highlights from the game............... Jordan speaking after his treble performance.............. And Robbo has his post match thoughts....................... Date: 04/12/2018 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 672 Referee: David Munro Inverness CT: 6 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart (Harper 69), Doran, Trafford, Polworth (McGregor 64), Chalmers, Walsh, White (Austin 78) Subs (not used): Hoban; Oakley, Nicolson, Brown Scorers: Walsh (5, 53), White (15, 60, 61), Doran (90+1) Booked: Donaldson (41), White (37) Sent Off: none Edinburgh City: 1 Lineup: Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black (Watson 49), Balatoni, Laird, Smith (Rodger 64), B. Henderson, Taylor, Shepherd (Hall 80), L. Henderson Subs (not used): Morton, Beveridge, Lumsden. Scorers: B Henderson (7) Booked: Smith (40), Taylor (77) Sent Off: none a
  2. Scottish Cup Replay Hard on the heels of our first defeat since the battle of Hastings, (well it felt like it), we face Edinburgh City in a Scottish Cup replay having drawn 1-1 with the capital club at Ainslie Park last week. This could be a make or break week for the club. Losing to bottom club Falkirk was grave, losing to Edinburgh City could be the straw that breaks the donkeys back. We follow that with a game at Ayr on Friday night and that fills me with fear after their 5-0 pumping of Dundee United at Tannadice last Friday. We were pedantic, profligate and sloppy against Falkirk in equal measures resulting in a brutal 3-2 defeat three minutes into time added on. Tom Walsh gave us hope early on but Zac Rudden benefited from casual defending to score twice before the interval. George Oakley pulled us level on the hour but more schoolboy defending gifted all three points to the Bairns. Meh! City remain top of League Two after a home win over Queens Park, goals from Blair Henderson and Scott Shepherd keeps them two points above Peterhead. Their starting XI for the Spiders game was:- Antell, Thomson, McIntyre, Black, Balatoni, Laird, Smith, B. Henderson, Taylor, Shepherd, L. Henderson. SUBS: Morton, Rodger, Hall, Kennedy, Watson, Lumsden. Here's an excellent Vlog of their win over Queens Park, well done Aaron, great stuff. Our squad is down to the bare bones at the moment and it could be the time has now come to give the youngsters a chance. Roddy MacGregor came on for the last few minutes against Falkirk and his energy was obvious from the moment he came on. Our experienced strikers are lacking in confidence just now and little is going right for them. Oakley did score on Saturday, but a genuine striker might have had a hat-trick. Jordan White came on and did what Jordan White does, he gets under the ball and heads over from close range all too often, his lack of anticipation is criminal. However, it's not all doom and gloom as we were unfortunate at times and a rub of the green might have seen us win comfortably, but Falkirk were up for a battle and I'm sure the Citizens will be fired up for the Cup tie as well. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain and nothing but a convincing win will convince the Inverness fans that their team are heading in the right direction. At the risk of sounding blasé, I expect Inverness to get through this tie. Let's hope we get a performance to go along with a win or the fans will begin to doubt their allegiance, and to be honest, the side are not making it easy to be enthusiastic about going to the games at the moment. I fully expect Edinburgh to prove to be difficult opponents, but come on, they are in League Two, part-time, playing away from home in a midweek Scottish Cup tie against a team that has only lost once since 1066. That's got to be sufficient grounds for the old banana skin cliché to be rolled out. Anyway Citizens, enjoy your day in the Highlands whatever the outcome. Put the fun back into football. Here's how City fan Gordon Sheach managed it.............. Gordon Sheach‏ @GSheach Dec 1 More Today one of my greatest football dreams came true. At the @EdinburghCityFC game the ball bounced into the crowd and despite juggling a 6 year old on my lap I rose and HEADERED IT BACK!!! Football? Completed it mate ICTFC v Edinburgh City Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tuesday 4th December KO 7.45pm Adults: £12 Concessions (Senior and 16-25): £6 Juniors (under 16s): FREE Season ticket holders will, for the first time, be able to use their season card by adding the cup game onto it. Season ticket holders can activate the cup ticket online (up to kick off), or by phoning the ticket office on 01463 222880 or in person up to an hour before kick-off. Please note that even free under 12 seats need to be added to the season card. Get your tickets HERE
  3. Over and Out. This seasons Scottish Cup run was short lived when an efficient Dundee came North and stifled our creative players after the break to score an early second half goal through Scott Allan to win this replay. There was nothing between the sides in the first half, but once Dundee opened the scoring they never looked back as we offered little in the way of a goal threat until a final flourish once Daniel Mackay entered the arena. He at least managed to make Parish work in the Dundee goal. We can't be faulted for effort, but all too often the final ball was not there and too many players wanted an extra touch or passed the buck when a shot on target might have been more beneficial. It was a swirling blustery and somewhat wet evening that greeted the players onto the park in front of 1746 hardy souls who were mostly looking for a cup upset. Inverness had Iain Vigurs and Liam Polworth re-instated to the midfield after suspension along with Aaron Doran and bad boy Jake Mulraney benched. Daniel Mackay and John Baird also began on the bench. Dundee had Celtic target John Hendry in the starting XI and were looking for Sofien Moussa and Leitch-Smith to provide the goals with Scott Allan the driving force in midfield. A tentative start saw both sides probing for an opening but little came the way of the strikers with defences on top. That theme continued for 45 minutes. The strong gusty wind and driving swirling rain saw both sides struggle to get the upper hand and the first half passed everyone by. Half Time 0-0 The second period was just two minutes old when Dundee surged forward after an Inverness attack broke down. A-Jay Leitch-Smith did the spadework and Scott Allan supported him and placed the ball beyond Mark Ridgers low into the corner of the net. Poor play from Inverness in attack and the defence backed off as Dundee went forward giving Allan the opportunity to pick his spot. Dundee took control from that moment and should have increased their lead on a couple of occasions but for some wayward finishing, good goalkeeping and some good fortune on our behalf. AJLS was looking lively and he missed the best chance after a scrambulation in the box when two or three chances should have been put away. The woodwork and keeper doing their best to deny the Dundee forwards. Ridgers made two or three excellent stops to keep us in with a chance of snatching a late goal but we ran out of ideas all to quickly and most forays forward ended in wayward passes or defenders blocking the crosses before they became chances. Daniel Mackay came on and forced Parish to concede a corner which was as near as we came to scoring, but as I said, too little too late and Dundee deserved their shot at the next round. Full Time 0-1 Ultimately disappointing exit after matching Dundee for a game and a half. They looked sharper on the ball, especially in the second half, and the movement of their front players was dragging our defenders around creating the space for them to exploit, something that we never quite matched. Inverness were best served by Coll Donaldson who is a class apart, Iain Vigurs (1st half), Daniel Mackay who livened proceedings and goalkeeper Mark Ridgers who made some remarkable saves and who knows how he kept the ball out of the net after the 10 second stramash. He is my MotM for tonight. Wonderful moment of light relief in the first half when the steward confiscated the young teams siren effect gadget thingamyjig. It sounded like a police car siren and as the steward marched it along behind the goal over to the main stand, siren wailing and blue lights flashing. The siren could be heard disappearing into the distance with images being conjured up of the head steward trying to switch the damn thing off below the stand as the siren baffled the morons. That was the brightest moment of a dull first half. Highlights or lowlights.................. Robbo agrees................. Date: 30/01/18 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1746 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Chalmers, Warren, Polworth, Doran (Baird 67), Vigurs, Oakley, Calder (Mackay 83), Bell (Mulraney 67), Mckay, Donaldson Subs (not used): Esson, Seedorf, Trafford, Brown Scorers: none Booked: Doran (45), Oakley (60), McKay (65), Vigurs (78) Sent Off: none Dundee: 1 Lineup: Parish, Kerr, Waddell, Hendry, Holt, Allan, O'Hara, Kamara, El Bakhtaoui (Spence 46), Leitch-Smith, Moussa (Deacon 84) Subs (not used): Malherbe, O'Dea, Aurtenetxe, Wolters, Lambert Scorers: Allan (47) Booked: Hendry (36), O'Hara (62) Sent Off: none a
  4. Dundee Replay. After their winter break Dundee come North looking to put Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle out of the Scottish Cup. The first tie ended in stalemate and the prize up for grabs is a home tie against Premiership side Motherwell. A precautionary pitch inspection is planned for Tuesday lunchtime to see if the pitch is holding up after recent drookit weather of biblical proportions. Inverness went to Dens park and justified Robbo's faith in his own side when he said it would not be a shock to him should Inverness progress into the next round. Well, it never quite went to script but we earned a replay with a deserved 2-2 draw. Neil McCann was blaming rustiness for his sides failure to get through at the first time of asking. Aaron Doran started the scoring and Dundee replied through Sofien Moussa and Mark O'Hara before George Oakley knocked in the late equaliser to send the tie to a replay. Since then, we have been to Falkirk in the Championship, and with a depleted squad through injury and suspension, we lost 3-1. We had fared pretty well until Jake Mulraney went berserk. A booking just before half time, another dubious tackle seconds later then yet another crude challenge gave the referee no other option but to send the nutter packing. We often complain about poor refereeing, but I'm afraid this was all Jake's doing. He let the team, manager and support down, but more importantly he let himself down. Robbo will be introducing stricter discipline rules within the club and that is no surprise as that was our eighth red card this season. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. He's not the first this season that has let the side down, let's hope he's the last though. On the bright side, youngsters Daniel Mackay and Jack Brown came on against Falkirk and combined to score a brilliant goal, Mackay superbly finishing off a brilliant assist from Jack Brown. Dundee have played twice since the cup draw. A home game against Hibs in the Premiership on Tuesday night and an away game at Hamilton on Saturday. They went down 1-0 to Hibs and McCann was left furious by refereeing decisions going against his side. Aye, tell us about it Neil. They fared better at Hamilton after a very late goal in time added on to the time added on gave them all three points. It was hyphen man AJ LS that got the winner with Mathew Henvey getting Dee's opener after Hamilton had benefited from an og from Mark O'Hara who sliced the ball into his own net. Pity he could'nt do that against us in the first game instead of running half the pitch and smashing the ball into the net, meh! Hamilton were undone by a sending off as well, David Templeton trying to outdo Mulraney for the fastest two yellow cards of the season. John Hendry has been attracting the attention of other clubs and Dundee are reported to have turned down a bid from Celtic for the talented young defender. Another one about to be paid a lot to sit on a bench probably. James Vincent, he of Caley Thistle Scottish Cup fame has left Dundee and gone to Dunfermline on loan. This is what the draw looks like at present. You would imagine Hearts, Falkirk and Fraserburgh will join Brora for the fifth round games. Would be a shame not to get that opportunity to join them, so it's all to play for on Tuesday night....... Inverness should have Iain Vigurs and Liam Polworth back after suspension. Jake Mulraney's suspension will be for the next Championship game, although Robbo was raging after the Falkirk game and he might be punished by the club and miss out. Tremarco is a long term absentee. Nathan Austin was missing, presumed injured still, against Falkirk. We need someone with a bit of flair to create the opportunities for Oakley and Bell, let's hope he has recovered for this game, but it's doubtful. Dundee are beginning to find their feet again as Neil McCann steadies the ship. He is looking to bring Toni Martinez in from West Ham. The Spaniard has scored 12 goals for the Hammers under-23's this season, although McCann reckons he might be out of their league. Hendry may be included after missing the first game through manflu. This lad has plenty quality and was missed in the first encounter. tm4tj prediction:- With our midfield taking on a more familiar look with Vigurs and Polworth returning that will give us a better balance in the engine room. Aaron Doran will feature in this one after not being risked at Falkirk on the artificial surface. Strong shouts for youth to get their chance after Daniel Mackay scored his second for the Caley Jags. Maybe not in this one with Dundee up for it, but surely in coming games he will be slowly introduced. AJ -LS is getting amongst the goals and will be a test for our defence once more but with Coll Donaldson playing well for us we might be able to keep him and Sofien Moussa quiet. Another tough game to call and it might take extra time and penalties to separate the sides. If we can keep eleven men on the park, we should be a match for the bottom six clubs in the Premiership. When we plumb the depths, we are barely a match for the Highland League clubs. I'll go for us to oust the Dark Blues, but given our recent shady performances, it's anyone's game. ICT after extra time, Motherwell (at home) here we come.