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Chocolate Biscuit action Hold your horses, we play Rangers Colts in the Chocolate Biscuit Cup semi-final this Sunday at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. I bet you all forgot about this competition. Kick off for this one is 16:10 with the P&J Lounge within the stadium being open for a day of televised football, the drinks starting to flow at 12 midday. Ross County are the current holders of the Challenge Cup having beaten Connagh's Quay 3-1 in the final last season. The last round of the competition was played three months ago, I kid you not. So, back in November, we knocked out Clyde after a penalty shoot-out and Rangers u21's beat Wrexham 2-0. The other semi-final will be between Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers which will be played on the Friday night ahead of our game on the Sabbath. (Raith Rovers wait for the winners of this tie after they beat Partick Thistle 2-1. It was a frantic end to the game as Partick went two down with 15 minutes to go but they fell just short and hit the post as Raith hung on. They'll be dancing in the streets of Raith etc......) We have been in the final of this competition four times, winning the Challenge cup twice. To be honest it's an event that does not really come to life until the final stages for many fans. So here we are in the semi's against Ranger's finest youngsters and the opportunity to go further and gain some confidence as the league campaign gets to the business end. It's not for everyone, but our last final against Dumbarton showed what it meant to them and their fans as they lit up the day in Perth, their first final since the bronze age. Here's how we won the trophy two seasons ago......... Who are Rangers u21's/Colts. I imagine they are the finest hand picked youngsters who have been gathered from around the country and tied to Rangers on contracts that our players can only dream about. Add in a couple of seasoned professionals and there you have it. A team capable of challenging those outside the premiership in a trophy for the best of the rest. Rangers senior side won this competition in 2016. Rangers Team for the 2-0 win over Wrexham Wright; Patterson (Young-Coombes 31), Edmundson, Breen, Flanagan, Mayo, Barjonas, Maxwell, Dickson (Butterworth 87), Atakayi (Lyall 76), Kennedy. Subs not used: Budinaukas; Williamson, O'Connor, Miller. Goals: Jamie Barjonas (35), Nathan Young-Coombes (71) ***Inverness Team News*** John Robertson has fitness doubts over Aaron Doran and Lewis Toshney. Doran took a knock late in the home game against Alloa Athletic and Toshney, who had been cup-tied, has fluid on the knee which requires attention. Otherwise, it should be business as usual. Robbo insists that he has had The Rangers Colts watched a couple of times but admits it's difficult to know which players they will choose their squad from due to the nature of the competition. It could be a case of perm any XI from a possible thirty or so players. Good luck with that John. ***LATE NEWS*** The dates for the Scottish Cup game at Easter Road have been set and it's Friday night football for the Caley Jags. The game will also be televised live on BBC Scotland with a 7:45pm kick off ?Our @ScottishCup Quarter Final against @HibernianFC will take place on Friday 28th February at 19:45pm and will be shown live on @BBCScotland Ticket Information for Inverness fans will be announced over the weekend ? https://t.co/xPUhTigW3k
“Caley Jags Together are pleased to announce that we will be running a total of ten coaches to the League Cup semi-final, carrying nearly 500 Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans to Edinburgh despite all the difficulties that we have faced. We take our hats off to each and every one of you who have chosen to travel with us. Our thanks are due to The Scottish Sun, the SPFL and to Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC for their support, but it’s nothing compared to the support that we get week in and week out from our fans. It’s been a herculean challenge, but we are nearly there and special thanks are due to the CJT board for their massive effort in this. Buses will be leaving at 07:00 from Tulloch Caledonian Stadium (6 coaches) The Caledonian Thistle Social Club (1 coach) and Inshes (Matalan car park) the lists of who is on what bus will be published here, on the CJT and Caledonian Thistle websites and by e-mail on Thursday evening. Please arrive in good time at your departure point on Sunday. All buses will proceed directly to Edinburgh, and there are a choice of pubs etc. to catch a pre-match pint, your coach CJT person will have details – we’re heading for The Iona, The Four in Hand and the Ex-Servicemen’s Club. We’re leaving it up to each coach to decide if and where they want to stop, because the toilets at Broxden are unlikely to cope with all of us at once! On the way back, we leave from Leith links. If you have any queries, call us on the travel number as soon as possible. There are still a few seats left in various coaches, but they are going quickly so book now if you haven’t already. Please note that if you have booked and don’t travel, you will still be charged. Each coach will have an exclusive Inverness Caledonian Thistle football signed by the first team squad to be raffled (and won) on the day, there will be complimentary newspapers and the usual first to score on each bus. It should be a cracking day out. I’m afraid we can’t allow alcohol on the coaches, and there is a possibility of spot checking at such a high profile game. All coaches will (at least in the event of a win) give you the option of going to the Caley Club after the game to celebrate. Let’s be loud, proud and a credit to our club on Sunday – and make some noise for the Caley Thistle boys.”
Hearts are desperately trying to sign players in the window - should they be allowed to do so? I have the greatest sympathy for the current players at Hearts and I don't want to see them relegated, but I'm afraid they have to pay the penalty. Fresh in my mind is the debacle last year when they were allowed to make loan signings: Michael Ngoo came in and scored the goal that ultimately put us out of the semi-final. Fair? No chance....but I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens again.....
The ICT ticket office will be open tomorrow Saturday 19th January from 9.30am up until kick off as usual. Just a couple of notes Tickets for the postponed game v Ross County will be valid for the re-scheduled date, which is yet to be arranged, refunds are possible if necessary by returning your tickets to the ticket office. Semi final tickets continue to sell at a steady pace and will be on sale tomorrow from 9.30am. Semi final tickets and refunds will only be available until 1.30pm, as we must prioritise the match day requirements after then. The ticket office will be open again at full time to meet all your ticketing rrequirements. Tickets are also now on sale for ICT v Celtic on Saturday 9th February an ICT v Kilmarnock on Wednesday 13th February.