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  1. Ayr Raid There was plenty at stake for both clubs and it was the visitors that opened the scoring in the first half when James Vincent knocked a short clearance into the net. In the second half, Shaun Rooney did a Forrest Gump before scoring a brilliant second just after the hour. With no further scoring Inverness moved to within two points of both Dundee United and Ayr United. Great end to a difficult week for the club. Run Forrest, run......... Apparently when Shaun scored Pikachu said:- There's magic that brought us together. And that magic... is Rooney! John Robertson went with the tried and tested at Somerset Park as Ayr went searching for their sixth win on the trot that would see them top the table on matchday 8 after leaders Dundee United stumbled at Alloa last night. Brad Mckay and Mitch Curry are back in training but not deemed fit enough to start this one, although they could see some action on Sunday in the Nos Cup final. Tom Walsh was still out injured and that saw Roddy MacGregor get his second start. Caretaker boss Sandy Stewart was without the experienced Mark Kerr with Jordan Houston replacing him. That was the only change for Ayr who were looking to top the table after last nights Championship game saw the Wasps sting the Arabs 1-0. A massive three points available and all to play for in this one. A crowd of nearly 2,000 were on hand to see this lively encounter with 148 & Pikachu supporting the Caley Jags. Amongst those was the Immortal Howden Ender and he will bring you his report shortly.................. Me you and Pikachu..... It was the day that the Highland Pokemon prevailed in deepest Ayrshire and I am sure that Pikachu was envious of the lightning strike by Shaun Rooney in the second half. It was my first “live” game of the season and the fare served up by the Caley Jags enthused and surprised me. That was as solid a team performance that I have witnessed for some time. We could have been ahead in the first minute when Miles Storey outpaced the Ayr defence but then dragged his shot slightly wide with the help of the keepers fingertips, corner for ICT. Then came ten minutes of Ayr dominance. I felt that Ridgers kept us in the game three times, especially saves from McCowan and Moffat. Then on the half hour the away support lamented the substitution of Sean Welsh who hobbled off with yet another injury. However, within seconds we were celebrating a contentious opening goal. Not many would have been surprised if the referee had stopped play to allow treatment for the poleaxed Jordan White, lying prostrate in front of the Ayr goal. But the referee played on and JAMES VINCENT appeared to deflect home a Rooney cross. Not exactly a carbon copy of his Hampden clincher but very important none the less. I thought that we controlled the game thereafter. We were wholly solid defensively and looked dangerous on the break. The midfield certainly worked their socks off. Ayr’s final touch or shooting was well off although Ridgers did save us twice more in the second half, especially one save where he appeared to turn himself in the air when the initial shot was deflected. Roddy MacGregor should have notched a second after the break but he hesitated and he who hesitates is lost. And then what must be a contender for goal of the season. In the 64th minute Donaldson punted upfield and SHAUN ROONEY remarkably kept the ball in play, swiveled, sped inside and as cool as a feckin cucumber slotted the ball home. Rooney could have claimed a second late on when Todorov failed to execute the through ball with Rooney sure to overlap again. Doran really should have made it three but slashed at the ball from the penalty spot. That completed another fine away day and the long journey home was worth it. Robbo’s after match comments summed it up and perhaps he really does think that Ayr are more of a danger than the Tannadice bunch - "We are only eight games in, but it is important that we are still there at the top of the table. We faced the best team in the Championship today and we asked the players to put on a performance, show their character and that's what they did in some style." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From BBC Sport, here's what the gaffers thought Ayr United caretaker manager Sandy Stewart: "I can't fault the team's effort. While I don't think we were as good today as we have been in the last five or six weeks, we still had chances to take something from the game. "People will look at the Dundee United loss to Alloa and be disappointed we did not take advantage today, but it was always going to be a tight race at the top and that has not changed." Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We are only eight games in, but it is important that we are still there at the top of the table. We faced the best team in the Championship today and we asked the players to put on a performance, show their character and that's what they did in some style." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And so to the Smileymometer and my apologies to the short-sighted Caley Stan !! 😉 RIDGERS (*****) On many a day he would have been MOM but he was outshone on the day by a Ross Tokely lookalike. ROONEY (*****) + Looking forward to seeing a replay of that goal. But apart from that he was solid at the back and always looked a danger when going forward – which he did menacingly on a regular basis. DONALDSON (****) Looked more assured and far much more like his old composed self. Perhaps his fitness has hit the 100% mark ? McCART (***) Tends to play in the shadow of Coll but he also looked assured and that central defence partnership will be a very important building block for the remainder of the season. TREMARCO (***) Appeared to concentrate more on defensive duties which may well be his remit from now on. VINCENT (***) Playmaker in the first half and very effective. Quieter in the second but defensively solid. WELSH (**) Another bitter blow and leg injury allowed only 30 minutes of holding midfield at its best. MacGREGOR (***) Very lively, sharp and pacy. Some nice touches but too easily knocked off the ball. Did look like a wee boy on a pitch of men. But he can only improve and he does have the required potential. DORAN (**) Never does shine when the game is mostly about defending. Has lost some pace and that shows at this level. WHITE (**) Poor Jordan is simply not my cup of tea. His height and presence does attract central defenders but he does nothing in the air and his hold up play is lacking. His main contribution was the first goal assist !! STOREY (***) If only he had that bit of panache and composure to add to the lightning pace – he really would be wearing a magic hat. More effective out wide though. TRAFFORD (****) He more than successfully filled the boots of Welsh. He was winning everything in central midfield. CARSON (***) Evidently taken on to beef up the midfield. The complete opposite of McGregor. No nonsense needed in a game of this ilk. TODOROV (***) Still not the final product but I feel he is more mobile, is a better holder and has more pace than any other forward at the club. Probably a better foil for Storey as well It says that the attendance was 1912 but there looked a lot more than that – although the migration of Honest Men at the start and half time may have confused me. There were not many in the home end at full time though. My thanks to all, on and off the pitch, for making my first away day of the season a very enjoyable and wet one - and that surprisingly includes Kenny McLean Alternative Maryhill added: It was a really disciplined, hardworking performance from ICT. It looks like Robertson and Kellacher are more focused on coaching players on their individual roles than either Foran or Hughes were: Doran is tracking back and covering Tremarco far more then he used to, and Storey did the same really well on the opposite flank and provided real strength there, which is obviously necessary for us when Rooney goes off on his peregrinations. I thought Storey would be absolutely useless if not played through the middle, but he did an excellent job yesterday. Vincent worked his socks off in the middle and Trafford did fine when he came on, although it is going to be a big blow for us if Welsh does turn out to be long-term injured again. I thought Ayr played some lovely stuff going forward - some great interplay between Forrest, Kelly and Moffat, and McCowan looked dangerous too - but Donaldson in particular dealt with them really well. And Rooney is just an absolute force of nature at the moment, and looks like he's loving playing for us. He's probably always going to struggle defensively if he's up against a fast, tricky left winger, but those rampages forward have been getting more and more audacious and basically made the difference between the teams yesterday. It's an absolute nap that he's going to get caught out at some point soon, and some team is going to ruin us on a counter-attack down our right, but it's worth it. Biggest cult hero we've had since Tokely. Here's both goals............. Birthday boy post match............ Nice present for you John. Full match highlights from Caley Jags TV Date: 05/10/2019 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr. Attendance: 1912 Referee: Steven McLean Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Rosscoe, Harvie, Geggan (Doolan 76), Docherty, Kelly, Moffat, McCowan, Forrest, Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Moore, Ecrepont, McKenzie, McGuffie. Scorers: none Booked: Geggan (75), Muirhead (79). Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson, McCart, Tremarco, Doran, Welsh (Trafford 30), Vincent, MacGregor (Carson 67), Storey, White (Todorov 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; B Mckay, McHattie, Machado Scorers: Vincent (31),Rooney (64), Booked: Carson (79), Todorov (79), Trafford (90) Sent Off: none a
  2. Ayr we go Ayr we go Ayr we go..... Saturday 5th October sees Inverness Caledonian Thistle make the trip south to Somerset Park to face Ayr United in the league. At 205 miles it marks the second longest journey ICT and their home based fans face on league business, only seconded by trips to Dumfries. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Supporters bus to Ayr Bus to Ayr leaves Caley Club 8.45 ...Stadium 9.00 ....Sat5th Oct . Book on Facebook or 07462 218717 HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBBO55 years young ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Mr Caley Jag is our scribe this week with this Preview for you....... On that travel basis alone their fans will undoubtedly be hoping for a better showing than the last display their team put on against Patrick Thistle when they were roundly defeated 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium, some professing that the team didn’t turn up at all. That defeat brought the team and fans firmly back down to earth with a bang and the reality of another hard slog in the Championship hit home. Form Up until that point the Caley Jags were unbeaten in 6 games in all competitions recording 5 wins and 1 draw while Partick had only recorded wins in the league cup and 2 draws in the league, so form was firmly turned on its head. Our current points total of 13 from a possible 21 sees us sitting in third spot in the league 4 points clear of Dundee but 5 points behind Ayr Utd. In stark contrast Ayr United sit second on goal difference behind Dundee Utd having gone on a 5 game winning run in the league and recording only one defeat at the hands of Dundee back on the 10th August. Somerset Park has become a daunting venue for teams to visit this season and none to date have come up with any answers and walk away with any points. Ayr lost manager Ian McCall to Championship rivals Partick Thistle a couple of weeks ago and it was he who guided Partick to that win over the Caley Jags last weekend. Sandy Stewart is the caretaker boss of the Honest Men and McCall reckons he is the man who should get the permanent position at Somerset Park. He also reckons that Ayr are the best team in the Championship, but their size of squad will curtail their ambitions. Anyway, not his problem now that he has fecked off to the big money at Firhill, bloody wee Jobby. All competitions since start of the League cup on 13th July over 90mins. Ayr: WLWDWLWWDWW ICT: DWWLLWDWWWWL It’s certainly not a game to pick for your coupon that’s for sure unless you’re chasing the odds with the bookies only slightly favouring Ayr United arguably on their recent league form and the fact they are at home. Teams Inverness welcomed Brad McKay and Mitch Curry back to training last week following bouts out with injury and it remains to be seen if they’ll be fit enough to feature in any capacity. If not, they may get a run out against Brora Rangers on Sunday in the NoS Cup final. James Keatings remains out with ankle ligament damage while we await news on whether Tom Walsh will back in the team line up after he missed out against Partick. There’s no new injury concerns since the defeat to Partick unless the weekly mystery injury strikes. Ayr Utd – Life after Lawrence Shankland seems to be doing just fine at Somerset Park. With 5 wins on the bounce, Ayr would appear to have little worries ahead of this encounter. We do seem to be a bit of an Achilles Heel for the Honest Men, but that can't go on forever. Stevie Bell will be another couple of weeks before he is ready and the experienced Mark Kerr is a major doubt. Jamie Adams, Frank Ross, and Andy Murdoch are out with injuries. Other than that I expect United to be on similar lines to the last few weeks, and why not, it's working well. Here's Robbo ahead of the trip to Ayr. Championship fixtures this weekend Alloa Athletic 1-0 Dundee United Ayr united v Inverness CT Dundee v Arbroath Morton v Dunfermline Partick Thistle v Queen of the South ICT News Chief Executive Scot Gardiner sheds some light on the clubs financial situation ahead of the EGM on the 3rd October on BBC Sport Former director Graeme Bennett on what he hopes to hear/see from the forthcoming EGM can be seen in the Press & Journal ICT EGM – 3rd Oct Here's the Inverness Courier story after last nights meeting. On the back of the EGM, there will be a SUPPORTERS OPEN MEETING to be held on Tuesday 8th October, with arrival from 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Trip down memory lane 24th April 2010 Ayr United 0 - 7 Inverness Caledonian Thistle Team: Esson, Proctor, Munro, McBain (Bulvitis 26), Tokely, Hayes, Morrison, Duncan, Foran (Sanchez 64), Odhiambo (Eagle 71), Rooney Scorers: Hayes, Rooney, Foran, Odhiambo, Sanchez, Eagle, Morrison For me, this is arguably one of the best away games I have attended as a football fan and one of the best Caleyjag and I have been to together. Second last day of the season saw us guarantee the title and a return to the top flight at the first attempt under the tutelage of Terry Butcher. Chants of 'shoes up for the Caley Jags' while holding our shoes over our heads was a particular laughing point for me along with being on the pitch after the game calling out for TB to appear and address us. Aye, the sermon from the stand was brilliant! Sad news breaking with the passing of Hugh Crout, the former Caledonian FC President. “His partnership with his close friend, the late Alex Main, as team manager, was a winning combination at Telford Street. He was a real gentleman and made many friends in football, continuing his love for football by supporting ICT right up till the end. The highlight was seeing the club lift the Scottish Cup in 2015. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” Some more sad news coming from Greg Tansey is that he will have to retire from football due to ongoing injury problems. You can read more on this in the Press & Journal. Greg played a major part in the making of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the Scottish Cup Winners, and he was one of the sweetest striker of a ball in the game. We wish Greg all the best for his future, wherever that will take him. Thanks for the memories Greg. Here's how Greg announced it on twitter....... Every footballer knows when they sign their first professional contract that it will eventually come to an end. Today is that day for me, an injury that I have been fighting for 2 years now has ended my career. On Sunday, The Pat Munro North of Scotland Cup Final against Brora Rangers FC 🕒3pm kick-off 🏟️Mosset Park, Forres 🎟️Adults: £10, Concessions: £5, Stand Entry: £2 Tickets available from the turnstiles on the day of the match (Cash Only) Info 👉 https://ictfc.com/match-info-north-of-scotland-cup-final-20… If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  3. So far so good The Caley Jags take a two goal advantage back to the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday after beating Ayr United 3-1 at Somerset Park in the first leg of the play-off. An entertaining game saw Charlie Trafford open the scoring in the first half with a powerful header. Jordan White doubled the advantage in the second half, Ayr claiming for offside. Coventry City signing Michael Rose headed Ayr back into the game but a Jordan White penalty ended the scoring in favour of the Caley Jags. A place in the Premiership is the prize for the team that can battle their way through the play-offs and that journey started last night at Somerset Park, Ayr. Whoever manages to get into the play-off final will be facing either St Mirren or Hamilton Accies who face each other this weekend. John Robertson was still without captain Carl Tremarco with Kevin McHattie replacing him. Other than that it was a fairly strong starting XI with Coll Donaldson fit enough to resume at centre back. Ian McCall had Liam Smith on from the start with Michael Moffat and Lawrence Shankland up front keeping young star Luke McCowan on the bench. A crowd of nearly 2200 were on hand to watch the first leg with just over 200 away fans making the long trek, and on a school night too. Here's the main talking points from the game. The visitors opened the scoring just after the half hour when Tom Walsh won a corner on the right. Charlie Trafford was first to the ball from the boot of Joe Chalmers and he wanted it most. His powerful header went high into the net with Doohan stranded. Ayr and Ian McCall were left raging when Jordan White doubled our advantage after the linesman failed to give offside against the big striker when Aaron Doran poked a ball through to him on the edge of the box. Jordan carried on and deftly chipped it over the onrushing keeper, a superb finish for a big lad, the defence not happy at the decision. Ayr won a free kick some twenty-five yards out. The ball was rolled to Lawrence Shankland who put his laces through the ball but Mark Ridgers pulled off a tremendous save at the expense of a corner. From the resultant corner, Michael Rose got the run on the defence as Coll Donaldson ball watched. We all then ball watched as it powered into the net to give the Honest men some hope. Another debatable decision would go against United as Mark Kerr was adjudged to have bundled over Jamie McCart as he went for a header in the box. Difficult to spot, but the referee was on hand and White made no mistake from the spot, emphatically firing the ball high to the keepers left. Doohan had already made his mind up that the ball was going to his right. Big stramash near the end which resulted in Jordan White being booked with Shankland and his Ayr cohorts doing their best to get him red carded. Luke McCowan had the final chance to salvage something for Ayr, but Inverness held out and take the the advantage back up the A9 with Trafford, White and Ridgers getting the plaudits. More to come............... Action from the game courtesy of AyrUnitedFCTV............. Here's Johnny............... Two goal hero Jordan White talking on BBC Sport Managers reaction talking on BBC Sport Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "He is a yard offside and it is nowhere near a penalty kick. "We always knew the physicality from Inverness would be a problem, albeit they have a lot of good footballers. Inverness boss John Robertson: "We have said to the players it is a really good away performance. "But the job is not finished. This is a team that knocked five by Dundee United earlier this season. We will prepare for another battle on Saturday." Date: 07/05/2019 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 2171 Referee: Alan Muir Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Muirhead, Rose, Harvey, Docherty, Crawford (Kerr 45), Murdoch, McDaid (Forrest 80), Moffat (McCowan 62), Shankland Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Ecrepont, Cadden, Miller. Scorers: Rose (65) Booked: Crawford (42), Kerr (75) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Ridgers; B Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, McHattie, Walsh (Rooney 79), Trafford, Chalmers, Polworth (McDonald 88), Doran (McCauley 78), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Harper, MacGregor, Austin. Scorers: Trafford (33), White (51, 76 pen) Booked: Trafford (68), White (90+1) Sent Off: none a
  4. Play Off 1st Leg at Ayr. Having qualified for the Premiership Play-Offs, we have the daunting task of playing Ayr United once more. By virtue of finishing third in the table, we get the benefit of a home tie in the second leg. Some say that's not maybe for the best given our random home form, and even moreso as Ayr have proved to be better away from Somerset park as well. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ICT Supporters Travel Club 🚌 🚌 🚌 PLAYOFF BUS TO AYR ON TUES 7TH MAY LEAVES ...CALEY CLUB 1.45 & STADIUM 2Pm BOOK ON FACEBOOK OR PHONE/TEXT 07462 218717 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Matchday 36 ended with a wee present from Dunfermline. They gifted us a goal to help us into third place and Alloa Athletic did the rest by drawing with Ayr. Nathan Austin was the beneficiary of a defensive mistake that saw a suicidal head high pass back bouncing off keeper Cammy Gill into the path of Austin who accepted the gift and stroked the ball into the empty net. One sour note was that Coll Donaldson came off at half time feeling his thigh and Jamie McCart replaced him for the second half. Whilst we were beating Dunfermline, Ayr United were being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Championship team of the season Alloa Athletic. Connor Shields opened the scoring for the Wasps but top striker Lawrence Shankland levelled four minutes later and that's how it ended, leaving Inverness third with United dropping down to fourth. So it all boils down to this, the play-offs, where it's all designed to favour the teams in the order they finished in the league. That means home advantage in the return leg, and the 3rd & 4th placed teams having the most to do. Another thing to remember is that away goals do not count in the event of the games finishing level over the two legs. The team that scores the most goals over the two legs goes through to the next round. If the scores are level over the two legs then there will be extra-time and then penalties if required. In the four meetings between the clubs this season, there has been one draw and three wins for Inverness. The first game in the Highlands saw newly promoted Ayr come away with a deserved 0-0 draw. The next game at Ayr was postponed in December due to high winds before we played them again in the North, running out winners thanks to a Jordan White goal. Down to Somerset Park at the end of January where we won an extraordinary game 3-2, having led 3-0 after 18 minutes. A Nathan Austin brace and a Liam Polworth goal had us cruising, but goals from Declan McDaid and Lawrence Shankland made it a tense finish. The final game was played only four weeks ago and a Brad Mckay goal was enough to win the points. So, Inverness getting the better of these games, but to be honest, very little between the sides. There's not much more to be said regarding the onfield news. Carl Tremarco missed the Dunfermline game with a calf injury. Coll Donaldson strained his hammy and was replaced, hopefully just precautionary but Sean Welsh is out long term. Mark Ridgers returned at the weekend and came through the game without concern. Kevin McHattie will replace Tremarco should he not make it. Ayr had Lawrence Shankland in their team against Alloa, and that is a worry for any defence. Manager Ian McCall has some concerns over a few players. Steven Bell and Craig Moore are out for the season. Defender Liam Smith has tweaked his hamstring and midfielders Jamie Adams and Andy Geggan are in the doubtful category. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ticket prices for the games home and away against Ayr have been set at £12, the minimum price dictated by the SPFL rules. Further Information can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE. Here's another tidy offer. Hospitality is £35 plus VAT at the Caledonian Stadium. Unfortunately, there is no season ticket discount rate as the SPFL have confirmed we have to charge for every ticket. Boooo @ spfl Email [email protected] to book your place or call the club on 01463 222880 With a new season looming, the club have opened the early bird offers for Season tickets. If purchased within the window allocated, season tickets will be frozen at last years prices and any tickets bought now will be honoured for the Premiership should we be successful in the Play-Off finals. At present, the window is 6th May to 26th May. See OFFICIAL SITE for detailed information regarding season tickets. It's been a challenging season for all at Inverness this year and it's pastures new for some, notably Liam Polworth heading to Motherwell after eight seasons with us. Others are sure to follow as money talks and Roy comes calling with cheque book in hand. Mark Ridgers is one that will be staying for another couple of seasons and local lad Mark has had a tremendous season after winning over the fans with some breathtaking saves to become one of the top keepers in the Championship. PLAYER of the YEAR awards were handed out after the Dunfermline game. Various trophy's dished out and you can see the full array of photo's taken by CaleyJags.com. on the Official Site. Here's the gist of it below, but head over to ICTFC for full details. Aaron Doran was voted the Fans PotY. Tom Walsh was voted the fans Young PotY Sean Welsh & Joe Chalmers were voted Players PotY Jamie McCart was voted Players Young PotY Roddy MacGregor was voted u18 PotY Coll Donaldson was voted Caley Jags Away PotY Joe Chalmers was voted Press PotY Coll Donaldson can be seen receiving his trophy from CTO and Caley Jags Away member Adamskibeats. Coll is also the front runner in the CTO polls. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  5. Ayr Raid Inverness beat Ayr 1-0 thanks to a second half goal from substitute Brad Mckay. Early drama when we spurned the chance to go ahead after seven minutes. Unsurprisingly, Aaron Doran missed from the spot, our second failure in two games. Coll Donaldson went off injured to be replaced by goal scorer Mckay. We held out to gain a valuable three points and jump above Ayr in the table. With Dunfermline drawing at Partick, it was a good weekend for the Caley Jags. John Robertson had to make some enforced changes to the side that went down in the Highland derby Out went the suspended Charlie Trafford, out went the injured Jamie McCart and the jaded Brad Mckay dropped to the bench. Little did we know that he would play a major part in the proceedings. In came Shaun Rooney at Right back, Kevin McHattie in central defence and Nathan Austin up front alongside Jordan White. Ian McCall thrust Nicky Cadden into the starting XI with Calvin Miller and Lawrence Shankland up front. Declan McDaid and Michael Moffat were on the bench as he made some bold changes. It's as clear as mud now for the play-off places, but it should become more transparent this week as Ayr host Queen of the South and Ross County host Dunfermline on Tuesday night. Next weekend whilst we travel to Hampden, Dundee United and Ayr clash and on Saturday, Dunfermline play Falkirk. Full report from RIG Huge win in a quite entertaining game if somewhat short on quality at times. One player who certainly isn't short of quality is Polworth and his superb defence splitting pass sent Austin scampering away and he looked to be clipped by Doohan and from seemingly nowhere we had the chance to go one goal up. Sadly, as is the current ICT style, we fluffed the spot kick as Doran sent a weak shot down the middle of the goal and it was kept out by the trailing leg of the Ayr keeper. Austin was involved at the other end when we failed to clear a corner and Miller sent a fierce shot heading towards goal but Austin was on hand to header away. A few folk around me said it was probably going wide but I'm not so sure. Certainly grateful to have Austin there to keep Ayr out. Doran was next to threaten for Inverness when he picked up the ball on the right edge of the box but his shot was just over the bar although Doohan looked to have it covered. Miller again had a great chance to put Ayr ahead when a cross from Cadden, who was roasting Rooney for much of the opening 30 minutes, was deflected into his path but thankfully he sent a poor header high and wide with Ridgers looking stranded. Then came one of the many goalmouth scrambles of the day. Walsh tried to get onto the ball as it bobbled around in the six yard area but when he did swing a foot at the ball his effort wasn't good enough to beat the Ayr keeper. Half Time 0-0 The start of the second half saw Ayr administer an absolute bodying to the ICT defence save from actually scoring. Almost all the Ayr attacks were coming down the ICT right with a number of low crosses flashed across the goal. However it was Craig Thomson who almost helped set up the Ayr opener when a Donaldson clearance crashed off his back and sat up nicely for Geggan but he pulled a volleyed effort wide. Another goalmouth scramble saw Rooney and Tremarco make desperate blocks to keep United out before Geggan somehow hooked an effort well over from only a few yards out as Ayr started to turn the screw and it looked to be only a matter of time before we would concede especially given that we had lost Donaldson to injury by this point. Almost inexplicably we then took the lead Rooney was felled on the right touchline, Chalmers lifted a ball into the box which was missed by the United defence and Brad Mckay was on hand to score a goal of the season contender from 0.3 yards out. Ayr came right back into the game when McDaid cut inside and sent a low drive towards goal but Ridgers got down well to smother the shot. in the final few moments Moffat managed to create some space in the box but he seemed to hook his effort across the face of goal with no team mate on hand to tuck it away. Something of a smash and grab win for us but, as we've found out this season, if you don't take your chances... I was really impressed with the pace and movement of Shankland, Miller and Cadden and then McDaid when he came on. Rooney had a torrid time at right back and it was only a result of really poor finishing from the likes of Miller and Geggan that we didn't concede about 4 goals. For ICT White had a poor game for the first 60 minutes then turned into a colossus for the final 30 mainly due to having a bit more space to work in as mentioned by Caley Stan above. He went from losing every header he went up for to winning just about everything and linking brilliantly with team mates to really take the pressure off the defence. Austin had a good game as well as did Doran (despite the penalty miss) and Polworth. Huge loss for us with Donaldson going off with what looked to be a knee injury. He appeared in the dugout before full time in flip flops so I am hoping he was just looking to boost early to get a Ryanair flight at Prestwick right after kick off......... 😎 A word for the Ayr fans, almost never stopped singing and getting behind their team for pretty much the entire game. I can't recall a home support like that this season. Great effort. Footage from Ayr United Fc TV Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson on BBC Sport: "We had a superb first half, but our Achilles heel came back to haunt us with another missed penalty. I thought Ayr were superb - they were the team on the front foot in the second half - but then we got the goal and that gave us the impetus to defend and see the game out. We had to dig deep. I wouldn't have complained with a draw but its a massive three points for us. Ian McCall was disappointed to lose "I thought the first half after the penalty we were dominant, a draw at half-time was fair. But the second half, for 25 minutes we battered them. There was silence in the stadium after the goal, there was shock - the second half was so once sided, we just couldn't believe it. I wasn't disappointed with the performance - the Somerset Road end was like a real football ground, it was fantastic, then we lost a silly goal. Its a really hard one to take but we've got to go and win all three points to try and clinch the top four." And on twitter, the banter goes on..... Mark Ridgers: Big 3 points today and great shift from the lads, surely not far away from being on the next penalty Anthony McDonald: Huge 3 points for the boys today dug in and got what we deserved! Happy to get back on the pitch after 6 weeks out, safe trip up the road to the fans👏🏻👏🏻 different class💙 RIG agrees with McCall: Ayr miss a great chance to take the lead. Cadden cross headed over by Miller. It's all Ayr second half: Geggan fires over from a few yards out. How we aren't behind is beyond me! They think it's all over: ICT have been rotten this second half. Lucky to still be level and Donaldson going off injured It is now: Goooooooal! Mckay tucks the ball away from close range after Ayr struggle to clear a Chalmers free kick Zogg made it onto the terraces behind enemy lines, good lad! By the way, the u18's don't seem to have a problem with penalties....... Date: 06/04/2019 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 1566 Referee: Craig Thomson Ayr United: 0 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Rose, Bell, Harvey, Geggan (Adams 69), Docherty, Murdoch (Moffat 79), Cadden (McDaid78), Shankland, Miller. Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Kerr, Crawford, Moore. Scorers: none Booked: Doohan (7) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, Donaldson (B Mckay 62), Tremarco, McHattie, Walsh (McDonald 70), Polworth, Chalmers, Doran, Austin (McCauley 84), White Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, Brown, D Mackay. Scorers: B Mckay (66) Booked: Rooney (66) Sent Off: none a
  6. Fresh Ayr Challenge Somerset Park is the venue this Saturday as the business end of the season approaches and we find ourselves still in with a chance of securing a play-off place, and with it the slim prospect of promotion is still within our own grasp. Last game before Hampden for Inverness, let's hope we can get through this without any further damage to our squad. Don't forget to buy your tickets for the Scottish Cup Semi-Final against Hearts. No tickets will be available on the day. The ICT Supporters Travel Club are running a bus to this match and the leaving times are as follows: Leaving the Caley Club: 8.45am Leaving the Caledonian Stadium: 9am Book through their Facebook page HERE or call/text 07462 218717 Admission at Somerset Park Adults : £17 OAP’s, students and 18-21 year olds £11 Under 18s £6 It's been a frantic month with our stretched squad having had to cope with six games since the 3rd of March. These were mostly successful until it finally caught up with us on Tuesday night and lethargy set in as we went down 2-1 against Ross County and Nick Welsh. That success has brought the dreaded Manager of the Month & Player of the Month awards for March to Inverness with John Robertson and Aaron Doran being the recipients. Four wins and a draw saw the accolades head North. Doran waded in with 4 goals in March, including the vital winner in the Scottish Cup game at Tannadice. Well deserved if you ask me. Unfortunately the curse has already kicked in with defeat to Ross County in the derby. More info on the awards can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE Despite that loss we are clinging on to fourth spot with Dunfermline the nearest challengers and realistically the only ones likely to make the effort. They have a game in hand over us and at the moment are six points adrift. Ayr have only one win in their last five whilst we have three. Second place looks to be out of our reach so it would appear that third or fourth are the targets and either of them would be sufficient to get us into the play-offs. The updated table is shown above after Friday nights draw in Dingwall. Other games on Saturday are Partick -V- Dunfermline, Falkirk -V- Alloa and Queens -V- Morton. As it was the sixth derby between the sides, stalemate was setting in, but County went at it right from the first whistle and deservedly went ahead when a Josh Mullin strike nestled in the bottom corner as we strolled around the pitch in training mode. We missed a penalty but Carl Tremarco drew us level off the bar with a header before Andy Boyle nodded in the winner before the break. Down to ten men just before the interval, we plodded on but to no avail although we minimised the damage and went down 2-1. A result that gives County a five point cushion going into their Friday night game with second placed United. It remained a five point gap after a 1-1 draw in Dingwall, County levelling well into time added on. Here's our man of the moment discussing the derby......... Ayr took all three points as they dominated at Dunfermline last Friday thanks to a Declan McDaid goal but in midweek were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Morton. A Shankland penalty had them ahead at the break but Greg Kiltie tapped in with twenty minutes to go for a share of the points. Our last visit to Ayr was an odd won. We raced into a three goal lead with three goals in a nine minute spell. By the 18th minute we were in the rare position of being three ahead and didn't know what to do with it. Ayr reshuffled at the break and the introduction of Shankland brought them instant reward, Declan McDaid reducing the deficit. Shankland reduced the lead further from a free kick late on. We held on and the goals from Nathan Austin (2) and Liam Polworth were good enough for all three points. The other two games at Inverness were a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 win for Inverness, Jordan White scoring a second half goal in that one. Ian McCall might ring the changes for this one after the disappointing draw with Morton. He has no injury worries ahead of this game. Here was his starting XI against the Ton. Ian said on the Ayr United official site: “Tuesday night was disappointing, we never really got going or played at the kind of tempo that makes us very dangerous. We were flat and probably in the end slightly fortunate to come away with a point. John Robertson will be without the suspended Charlie Trafford thanks to some refereeing ineptitude. Sean Welsh is a big miss in midfield and Jamie McCart took a heavy knock against County. Some desperately sad news: Twenty-three year old Angus Beith has had to retire from football after being unable to recover from a hip injury. You can read the full story on the Official Site. Angus said “I have done everything possible to recover from injury and to get back playing but, reluctantly I have had to accept that it is just not possible for me to play football any longer. I wish the club every success this season and in the future” I'm sure everyone at Caley Thistle Online wishes Angus all the best for the future, and success in whatever challenges he has ahead of him. Feed the Goose Here's Angus scoring in his loan spell at Stranraer FC, thanks for the footage. Stevie Farrell, the Stranraer FC manager paid tribute on their website:- Farrell was “gutted” for the 23-year-old and said: “You think we are going through a difficult spell, with a hard season and struggling and fighting. “Here is a young lad with his future in front of him. “Regardless of where we are, we always have a Saturday to put right. “Unfortunately, he does not have that. “He was a fantastic player for us and was very, very respectful. “They always say bad things happen to good people and Angus is one of those very good people.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ FansBet have Ayr 6/5 - Draw 23/10 - ICT 43/20 Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  7. Ayr Raid Inverness surged into a three goal lead inside 20 minutes, Nathan Austin bagging the first two goals and Liam Polworth adding the third with a low shot from outside the box. It remained 0-3 at the interval but substitute Lawrence Shankland made his presence felt as he set up Declan McDaid to open Ayr's account eight minutes after the break. Shankland scored from a free kick with five minutes to go to set up a tense finish but Inverness just managed to hold on to take all three points. That's a tremendous result that has put us back into the top four and denied Ayr a return to the top of the table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ John Robertson made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 at Falkirk. Jambos loanee Anthony McDonald started in place of the injured Aaron Doran and George Oakley replaced Jordan White. Cammy Mackay kept the keepers jersey with Mark Ridgers still out with back pain. Ayr kept faith with Craig Moore and Michael Moffat up front which meant that Lawrence Shankland was on the bench. Nathan Austin started the ball rolling towards the Somerset Road end on a freezing night at Somerset Park in front of 1559 shivering fans. The 76 visiting ones would be warmed up well before half time. Immortal Howden Ender was one of the 76........... To start with a round of applause for the recorded 76 fans who made it to Somerset Park despite the road conditions in both North and South directions. The records also show that there was 1559 in total attendance although it looked more to me. And we were then treated to the best 9 minutes of the season. The first, in the eight minute, had a degree of luck to it. Superb through ball from Polworth and Nathan Austin took it round Rose and Doohan with a little help from Rose but he finished well which has not always been the case this season. And just as one bus leaves another turns up, three minutes later (certainly wasn’t sponsored by ScotRail). A terrible pass by Smith found Oakley who played in Nathan Austin who again rounded the keeper but knocked it in with his left foot. Not sure how the defender on the line missed the clearance but hey-ho. And as most if not every fan in the ground were shaking their heads we go three up. Liam Polworth sweetly stuck a low 20 yarder which went in via the post. As good a strike as I have seen this season. But any chance of a 7-0 Somerset repeat were soon dashed as Ayr appeared to waken up. They could well have got a goal back before half time. A header came off the crossbar and Cammy MacKay made a fine save just on the half time whistle. In many ways it was fortunate for us that we held out as the second half may have been even more arduous. Enter Lawrence Shankland for the second half. It felt that the combination of a McCall bollicking, Shankland enthusing the crowd and Ayr lifting their effort made the second half a very, very long one. The first goal in the 53rd minute was made by Shankland and finished off by McDaid. Although I would have given the “assist” to Jamie McCart – although the ball did appear to hit a divot. There were two penalty claims thereafter although I feel that both being denied were the correct decision. The ball clearly played Tremarco’s hand and Oakley had lost the ball in a rumble in the box. Also in the 58th minute Robbo made his first substitution which basically puzzled me. He hooks Austin whos’ pace was the main worry for the Ayr back four and would have been a bonus on the break. And he brings on White ?!! Trafford replaced McDonald in the 70th minute but that was understandable. McCauley replaced Oakley in the 82nd minute and that was one that may have been better happening 15-20 minutes earlier. And three minutes later the inevitable Shankland goal made us fear that another draw was on the cards. And it was – and you could hear a collective sigh of relief from 76 Highlanders when Muirhead headed over in injury time – although I thought that Tremarco’s presence put him off. Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "You can't give teams a three-goal start. I thought they had 20 minutes, then we dominated, but we couldn't get an equalizer – have to agree. Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "You know if you lose a goal here, the atmosphere can change and it's a brilliant throw back coming here – spot on again. Robbo added - "If we win on Saturday, we're back in the hunt going into the break for the cup. We're just targeting whatever team is directly above us. – who can argue against that ? SMILEYMOMETER MacKay - Young Cammy did well and I thought that his save before half time was a real game saver. top. At the time I was critical of his Alan Rough impersonation for the second goal but the free kick looks as if it took a mean deflection. Rooney – Disappointed me. Always looks good going forward but I felt that most of Ayr’s chances came down their left wing and Rooney lacking pace. McKay 😎– No nonsense and why not. McCart – 🙄As Mckay apart from the 53rd minute Brain Fart (Rigism) Tremarco – Best defender for me and good to see him back at full fitness. Chalmers – 😀 No sign of his sweet left foot but worked his socks off Welsh – An “old head” which we need at the present time. Looked more like a captain. Polly – My MOM. Super pass for the first goal and super strike for the third goal. Also worked hard which often is lacking at home. McDonald – Thought that Robbo would have played McCauley from the start on physique alone. Has a look of a Doran about him – which we need. Suspect that he will be more effective at home. Austin – Best game in our colours for me. Two good finishes and worked the line very well. So why the hooking in the 58th minute ? White – 😁Actually thought that he was a good out option and he held the ball up quite well. Trafford – Evidently taken on for the Davy Crockett effect McCauley – Wrong game to judge. Here's the footage from Ayr TV Robbo post match on twitter Date: 29/01/2019 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 2000 Referee: Nick Walsh Ayr United: 2 Lineup: Doohan; Smith, Bell, Rose, Harvie, Murdoch, Crawford (Muirhead 82), Docherty (Higgins 45), McDaid, Moore (Shankland 45), Moffat Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Hilton, Ecrepont, McCowan. Scorers: McDaid (53), Shankland (85) Booked: Crawford (79) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay; Rooney, B Mckay, J McCart, Tremarco, McDonald (Trafford 70), Polworth, Welsh, Chalmers, Austin (White 58), Oakley (McCauley 82). Subs (not used): MacKinnon; Harper, McHattie, Mackay. Scorers: Austin (9, 12) Polworth (18) Booked: Polworth (36), Oakley (69) Sent Off: none a
  8. Let's go fly a kite.... Somerset Park Ayr is the venue on Tuesday night in this re-arranged fixture after the original date was called off less than an hour before kick-off due to high winds. Unfortunately many Inverness fans had already made the five hour journey only to be met with the news they didn't want to hear. And it could be Deja Vu with a pitch inspection planned for 11:30am after a week of rain in Ayrshire. 🌧️ The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to this match. The Bus leaves the Caley Club at 13:45 and the Stadium at 14:00. The Bus can be booked by text on 07462218717 or through their Facebook page. The original game was due to be played on the 7th December, but strong winds forced the postponement with teams and fans already at the stadium. Since the postponement, Ayr have had three draws, three defeats and one win on Saturday against Dundee United, Craig Moore scoring early. Falkirk and Inverness were Championship winners but the surprising defeat was to Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup. Prior to the game that was called off, Ayr were sitting on top of the League. They were knocked off their perch as County turned the screw, but had managed to get back on top before Saturday when County won to regain the lead although Ayr have a game in hand, this one against the Caley Jags. We have blown hot and cold recently and since the postponement have three wins, two defeats and two draws. The biggest win was a 4-0 defeat of Lowland League leaders East Kilbride in the cup. The two disappointing losses were the Highland derby and a home defeat by Queen of the South. The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. The last time we met a couple of weeks ago we managed to get the better of Ayr thanks to a header from Jordan White, a rare home win for the Caley Jags this term. Inverness fielded their two new signings at the weekend, both coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw at Falkirk. Mark Ridgers was unable to play due to a back spasm and Cammy Mackay deputised in goal. Unfortunately that probably contributed to Falkirk's second goal resulting in a couple of points dropped. Disappointing result really as we led twice but our attacking intent was evident and Aaron Doran's stunning strike was worth all three points. Three of our most influential players were missing at Falkirk. Coll Donaldson and Tom Walsh are out for over a month unfortunately. Ridgers will hopefully be over his back problem soon. The introduction of Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald will give the squad a lift though and Jamie McCart has proven to be an able deputy for Coll. Aaron Doran pulled up at Falkirk with a possible hamstring injury and might be out for a couple of games. Ayr have scoring sensation Lawrence Shankland back in action after he missed a few games. Craig Moore and Michael Moffat have shown that Ayr are not a one man team though. Geggan and Forrest are out, but Kerr and Adams are almost there. It's a pity Aaron Doran is out as he has been getting back to his best recently. Here's what he is capable of. Here's new Inverness signing Darren McCauley talking ahead of the Ayr United game........... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you like a wee flutter, our new partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.
  9. Something in the Ayr tonight GAME OFF due to high wind. Anyone got a kite............. It's our third game within a week as we head to Ayrshire to take on the table topping Honest Men in a Friday night game under the floodlights of Somerset Park, or as Thunderclap Newman used to say, there's something in the Ayr......... Because the revolution's here, and you know it's right. The last few days have seen contrasting fortunes for Inverness. A first defeat of the season to bottom club Falkirk on Saturday was followed up by a crushing Scottish Cup win over Edinburgh City. The Falkirk game was hard to take and it ended our long unbeaten Championship run, an injury time goal sealing the points for the Bairns. The cup replay saw Jordan White claim a hat-trick and Tom Walsh a brace. It was a dour first half, but much better application after the break saw Inverness run out comfortable winners over League Two leaders Edinburgh City. Ayr have been without a game since last Friday when they juiced the Tangerines 5-0 at Tannadice. Lawrence Shankland was the man making the difference with a four goal salvo to keep Ayr at the top of the league ahead of Ross County. In fact it's all going on in Ayrshire with Kilmarnock heading the Premership after the midweek games. In fact there's definitely something in the Ayr. Hotbed of Scottish football just now! The first meeting of the season saw Inverness fail to get the better of ten man Ayr, Liam Polworth missing the target from the spot. We did keep Shankland fairly quiet in that game, but even with ten men Ayr were still a threat on the break, the game ended 0-0. Talking of Shankland, Swansea City are reported to be about to offer £400k for his services in the English Championship. The 26 goal striker is reputed to have around twenty clubs looking for his signature, unfortunately Inverness are not one of them. Ian McCall has nipped all rumours in the bud but accepts that there will be massive interest in his star striker come the January window. Ayr have won ten of their fifteen league games with only two defeats, Ross County (2-1) and Queen of the South (surprisingly 5-0). They have 33 points (to our 22) and are the top scorers in the division with 30 goals ( ICT 21) having conceded only 12 (ICT 16). Despite the doom and gloom of our extended unbeaten run, it's almost a relief to lose that tag as we embark on the next part of the journey. Turning draws into wins was proving to be a stumbling block, but Falkirk have hopefully given us the wake up call to get us back on track. Good to see Roddy MacGregor getting more game time as he looks to have a bright future with his energy and quick feet giving him the ability to drive at defences. Nice wee cameo against Edinburgh City where he set up Aaron Doran for our sixth goal. Sixth goal: Not often we can say that. The Ayr team that faced Dundee United last week can be seen in the image to the right, Striker Craig Moore returns to the Ayr squad after a two game ban. Ian MacCall has fitness doubts over defender Jamie Adams and midfielders Alan Forrest and Mark Kerr. Rumour has it that they will all miss this one. For Inverness, Carl Tremarco is back training but not fit for action yet. Jamie McCart will continue to deputise at left back, he's doing reasonably well there. Sean Welsh missed the midweek cup game, presumably rested. Jordan White will surely be given the nod up front after his striking performance against Edinburgh City. Daniel Mackay has been missing recently for the u18's and first team squad. Ayr Utd v ICTFC Somerset Park, Ayr Friday 19:45pm kick-off. Live on BT Sport Tickets: Adults £17, Concessions £11, Child £6. The ICT Supporters Travel Club is running a bus to the match, book on their Facebook page HERE or on 07462218717 The Car Park closes at 2.50pm, we have allocated spaces for Blue Badge holders, staff and officials only. Public parking is available at Craigie Park. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Young Caley Jags take on @CelticFC tomorrow in their SFA Youth Cup match. Entry is FREE for all Supporters at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. 2pm kick-off. There will be donation buckets outside the ground with all proceeds going towards the Youth Development Department. The club shop will be open tomorrow from 10am-2pm for a chance to get your gifts in time for Christmas! The u18 game has also fallen foul of the weather, anyone got a boat???