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  1. Ayr Raid by the Boyes It's hotting up at the bottom end of the table after Queens Park grabbed their first win in sixteen games to close the gap on Inverness to just one point ahead of the visit to Somerset Park today. Charlie Albinson was back in the gloves and Sean McGinty was back at the heart of the Ayr defence with Anton Dowds, Jamie Murphy and Logan Chalmers the main threats up front. Danny Devine and David Carson were fit enough to start for Inverness but Nikola Ujdur was dropped to a bench which didn't inspire the Caley Jags faithful. A couple of early saves from Ridgers denied Ayr before Billy Mckay benefitted from an error by Albinson to open the scoring after half an hour. After the break a Morgan Boyes double put Inverness in the driving seat but Logan Chalmers reduced the deficit immediately. A couple of late chances at the end but Inverness held on to record their first win in six. Much better all round, so credit for that after a difficult month. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness kicked off in bright sunshine with the far side of the park looking like a building site. Seven minutes in and Logan Chalmers benefitted from an awkward ball that bounced across the face on the eighteen yard line, his curling effort tipped over brilliantly from a back pedaling keeper. A minute later he pulled off another save from distance as Ayr forced the play, Jack Young with a rasping shot well saved by Ridgers. After that early flurry the ball was like a hot potato with neither side able to stamp their authority on proceedings. Out of nothing, Billy Mckay opened the scoring on the half hour after Albiston was caught short with the ball at his feet. Max Anderson rolled the ball to Mckay and he rolled the ball into the net. Ridgers pulled off another important save soon after the opener when Chalmers burst into the box but the keeper got his angles right to deny the eager forward at the expense of a corner. Albinson saved from Nathan Shaw as the game approached the interval but it was Mckay's goal that separated the sides at the break. HALF TIME: 0-1 No changes at the interval. Good pressure around the home box almost resulted in an opening for the visitors. At the other end Ayr put the ball in the net but the flag was up which stopped any celebrations. Ten minutes after the break Morgan Boyes nodded in a beauty from a superb Cammy Harper cross after good away pressure. Boyes added a third with another header with referee Gavin Duncan adjudging the ball was over the line before being cleared but that lead was short lived as Logan Chalmers gave the hosts a lifeline, scoring from a tight angle two minutes later. Ridgers kept that cushion saving from close range as Ayr looked certain to pull another goal back through Anton Dowds. With ten minutes remaining Harper rattled the bar from just inside the box when he should have been hitting the target after we missed a couple of opportunities to finish off the moves. Amartey burst into the box and his shot was tipped onto the bar and over by Ridgers as Ayr pushed forward in time added on but it was Inverness that jumped up to seventh in the table above Ayr United as they held out for all three points. FULL TIME: 1-3 More Match Reaction to follow Great win on the road for Inverness after a poor run of results. Plenty of hard work done to make this possible and Mark Ridgers pulled off two or three excellent saves to keep us in touch at crucial stages. Two goals from Boyes was a bonus and good work going forward by Cammy Harper. All in, a decent performance. Top quote on CTO: So, 2 wins in our last 8 matches, both achieved when our manager was in the stand? Both Managers spoke to BBC Sport Ayr United manager Lee Bullen: "Nine times out of 10, the team that's better in both boxes wins the game of football and that's what happened. It just wasn't our day. It could've been easy just to throw the towel in at 3-0 but they kept going, Logan scores a wonderful goal. We had opportunities to maybe even get something out of the game." Inverness CT manager Duncan Ferguson: "It was a six-pointer. We've managed to jump above Ayr. It's a massive game for us. Moments in the game went for us. We created an awful lot of chances, particularly in the second half. [Mark Ridgers] was fantastic. A really great goalkeeper. Maybe one of the best in the league if not the best in the league." We won didn't we>>> Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Table looks healthier after todays games 1. Raith Rovers 20 13 5 2 37 26 44 2. Dundee Utd 19 12 5 2 42 10 41 3. Partick Thistle 20 10 5 5 41 32 35 4. Airdrieonians 20 8 3 9 19 23 27 5. Morton 19 7 4 8 23 26 25 6. Dunfermline 19 6 5 8 24 24 23 7. Inverness CT 20 5 6 9 23 24 21 8. Ayr United 19 5 4 10 25 38 19 9. Queens Park 19 4 5 10 24 38 17 10. Arbroath 19 5 2 12 23 40 17 Date: 06/01/2024 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1826 Referee: Gavin Duncan Ayr United: 1 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; Ahui, McGinty, McAllister, Stanger, Reading, Dempsey, Chalmers, Young, Smith (Bryden 61), Murphy (Amartey 74), Dowds (McKenzie 86) Subs (not used): Mutch; Watret, McAllister, Syla, Rose, Senga, Scorers: Chalmers (65) Booked: Chalmers (54), Young (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Duncan Ferguson Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Devine, Boyes, Welsh (Longstaff 69), Gilmour, Anderson, Harper, Shaw, B Mckay (Brooks 82) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Delaney, Ujdur, Davidson, Thompson, Doran, Sheridan Scorers: Mckay (29), Boyes (55, 63) Booked: Duffy (38), Welsh (50), Carson (80) Sent Off: none a
  2. Stand up and be Counted A visit to Somerset Park is on the cards for the Caley Jags who are winless in their last five games. The new manager bounce has long gone and the honeymoon period is over. We have been dire of late after defeats to Morton, Arbroath and Airdrie with draws against Partick Thistle & Morton. The report card reads 'must try harder'. Unfortunately we are woefully short of the required standard to compete in the Championship. What's next for us? Unless we sign some decent quality soon, it looks like we will be dragged into a relegation battle. If that happens, it could be something that we will not recover from. Dead wood needs to be removed from this club ASAP, and that includes the hierarchy. Time to shape up or ship out! With neither set of fans looking forward to this one, it could be a long day. Here's hoping something happens or the fanbase will shrink instead of growing. As Robbie Williams once said; "let me entertain you".... Please! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match/Ticket Supporters Bus Info Scottish Cup v Broomhill ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 25 11 11 3 42 27 +15 Away 26 12 6 8 47 32 +15 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 51 23 17 11 89 59 +30 We do hold a fair advantage over Ayr United, but most of that came when we had a squad capable of taking on all challengers, not the shambles we have since become. We have now been dragged back into the pack and nothing is guaranteed. Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Ayr United 3 - 1 (H) 0 - 1 (A) 1 - 2 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 2 - 2 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 2 - 2 (A) 1 - 2 (H) 2 - 2 (A) 1 - 0 (H) Nov 11th 2023 - Inverness ease away from the bottom: 3 - 1 Inverness added Sean Welsh to the ever expanding longer term injury list suffering from a recurring back injury, but Luis Longstaff was fit enough to make the bench. Ayr United had Logan Chalmers, Jamie Murphy and Anton Dowds as a triple threat up front. Despite this, Inverness cruised home without having to get out of second gear. Three goals inside the last ten minutes of the first half ended the game as a contest. Two from David Wotherspoon and a penalty from Billy Mckay. Ayr got a consolation penalty in a poor second half, but it was an important three points for the Caley Jags and Big Dunc. As comfortable as it was it was still a poor second half where we should have gone on to put Ayr to the sword. As it was, the result was huge in the context of our season and we can overlook the turgid performance in the light of three excellent points and a step up the table to eighth place with games in hand over some teams. It looked like we were starting to move in the right direction after we beat Ayr United 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium back on the 11th November. Those games in hand are now gone and the likelihood that David Wotherspoon will also be gone doesn't fill the fanbase with any confidence as he has been our only bright spark recently. Without Spoony we will be in big big trouble. Last Time Out We slumped badly away to Airdrie on 2nd of January going down 2-0. Second half goals from Todorov and Fordyce sealed our fate in a lacklustre performance that ended with Duncan Ferguson being red carded, again. Seems like he still has his naughty boy streak in him, that's two red cards in a month. Last Five Games: L L D D L Ayr United also slumped at the weekend being turned over 3-0 by a rejuvenated Morton. It was the perfect hat-trick from Robbie Muirhead that did the damage. Both feet and his head netting him 13 goals for the season as Morton hang on to the tails of the top four with Ayr just a point above Inverness. Last Five Games: L W D D L That leaves the table looking like this ahead of games this weekend>>> FRIDAY 5TH JANUARY Queen's Park v Dunfermline SATURDAY 6TH JANUARY Airdrie v Rovers Ayr Utd v Inverness CT Arabs v Morton Partick v Arbroath Latest Team News Inverness will be without David Wotherspoon (hamstring), Danny Devine (not trained), Harry Lodovica and Austin Samuels. We started with a very negative no strikers approach at Airdrie and that never aged well. Let's hope Dunc has something better for the fans this weekend. Maybe ditch no hopers like Sheridan, Brooks, Davidson etc... We have better youngsters of our own who will play for less £££ Ayr United lined up like this against Morton>>> Mutch Ahui McAllister Stanger Reading Senga (Rose 64) Dempsey Chalmers (McGeady 64, Smith 76) Young (Syla 83) Murphy (Amartey 64) Dowds Subs Not Used: Albinson; Ecrepont, McKenzie, Bryden
  3. Ayr Away Matchday two will see us head to Somerset Park Ayr for a tough game against the Honest Men. It's a standard 3:00pm kick-off and both clubs will be looking for better results after drawing blanks in the opening day fixtures when Ayr went down 3-1 at Morton and we lost 2-1 at the Caledonian Stadium to Queens Park. Like us, Ayr have brought in five new faces for this campaign and lost some familiar faces. Notable outs are the Championship's top scorer Dipo Akinyemi who has gone to York City and long time servant Michael Moffat who spent eleven years over two spells at Somerset Park scoring 77 goals in 263 appearances. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match /Ticket/Bus Info (£20) 3 For the Future Official Preview ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ayr United have advised that there will be no cash gates in operation and tickets must be purchased online. ICT supporters can purchase tickets HERE (West Stand only) Adult – £22 Concession – £15 (Over 65s and Students) Juvenile – £15 (13-17-years-old) Child – £6 (Under 13s) Venue - H2H v Ayr United Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 24 10 11 3 39 26 +13 Away 25 12 6 7 47 31 +16 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 49 22 17 10 86 57 +29 Last seasons Competitive Meetings: Ayr finished 2nd last season, we finished 6th. 1 - 2 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 2 - 2 (H) 1 - 0 (A) Two away wins last season but the final game ended our interest in promotion: The final game of the regular season would decide who went into the play-offs and who ended their league campaign now. It couldn't be tighter across the Championship on Winner Takes All Weekend. David Carson was a surprise omission from the starting XI after his Cup suspension with Wallace Duffy retaining his place at right back. Billy Mckay was hoping to be a record breaker as he searched for his 101st goal for the Caley Jags. Only a win would be good enough for Inverness who could finish third or sixth, depending on results elsewhere. A win would end speculation and put Inverness in the play-offs. As it turned out we ended the season in sixth place and Ayr, Queen's Park and Partick Thistle will battle it out in the play-offs for a Premiership place alongside Champions Dundee. Ayr United never read the script properly and deservedly took the plaudits in a 2-1 win at the Caledonian Stadium. A first half goal from Josh Mullin who looked close to being offside and Nathan Shaw in a crowded box with ten minutes left looked to be enough for the Honest Men. However Mark McKenzie ensured it would be Ayr's night with an 88th minute strike to shatter our hopes after such a strong finish to the season. Alas we fell at the last hurdle and now have a month to wait for a Scottish Cup Final appearance. SATURDAY 12th AUGUST 3:00pm Airdrie v Partick Ayr United v Inverness CT Dundee Utd v Dunfermline Queen's Pk v Arbroath FC Raith v Morton Team News Inverness CT will be without Roddy MacGregor and Lewis Nicolson for the first few months with knee injuries. Sean Welsh has a groin injury and will miss out again. Adam Brooks missed the Queens Park game whilst Danny Devine remained on the bench after injury. New sensation Keith Bray has a bright future ahead of him and will be difficult to keep out of the starting XI given his performances off the bench recently and Billy Mckay will be eager to add to his record breaking exploits at Inverness. We have frailties in defence and errors are costing us big time at the moment so we'll have to see if Billy Dodds will address those issues as rumours abound on new recruits. Here's our latest signings from the Academy Sam Nixon, Calum MacLeod and Jack Walker have all signed 2-year full-time Apprenticeship contracts with the club. Good luck to these guys as they sign their first professional contract. Ayr United have done some shrewd business in the summer, Aiden McGeady and Jamie Murphy signing on, but have also lost some quality; Akinyemi, Moffat, Mullin and keeper McAdams departing. McAllister and Murdoch both took knocks at Cappielow but are hopeful making the squad. Here's Lee Bullen with the Billy Dodds script after the game at Morton:- Ins & Outs @ Ayr In: Jamie Murphy, forward (St Johnstone); George Stanger, defender (Alloa Athletic); Olly Pendlebury, midfielder (Aldershot Town); Francis Amartey, forward (Aldershot Town); Robbie Mutch, goalkeeper (Edinburgh). Loan in: Elicha Ahui, defender (Lincoln City). Out: Dipo Akinyemi, forward (York City, undisclosed); Daire O'Connor, midfielder (Glentoran); Josh Mullin, midfielder (Raith Rovers); Jordan Houston, defender (Queen of the South); Michael Hewitt, midfielder (Hamilton Academical); James Dolan, midfielder (Stranraer); Kinlay Bilham, defender (Stenhousemuir); Michael Moffat, forward (Glenafton Athletic, loan to permanent); Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, midfielder; Chris Maguire, forward; Aidan McAdams, goalkeeper; Alex Jeanes, defender and David Bangala has also left the club, he had been on loan at Cove Rangers. Loan ended: Alex Kirk, defender (Arsenal); Reece McAlear, midfielder (Tranmere Rovers). Loan out: Lyall Holding, defender (Glenafton Athletic). Ayr United team in 3-1 defeat at Cappielow: Albinson McAllister (Ahui 45) Musonda McGinty Reading Amartey (Rose 70) Dempsey Murdoch (Pendelbury 40) Murphy McKenzie (Ashford 81) Bryden (McGeady 70) Subs not used: Mutch; Smith, Ecrepont, Tomlinson.
  4. Red Oh Daire Three points would have been a welcome diversion from off-field issues for the Caley Jags. Inverness missed Cammy Harper from last week and Austin Samuels dropped to the bench as Billy Mckay returned from suspension. Frankie Musonda was on the Ayr bench and 15 goal striker Dipo Akinyemi led their attack with Josh Mullin and Ben Dempsey backing him up. At the end of the day it was Inverness that picked up a valuable win. First Half Billy Mckay was keen to get going again after his suspension and he hit one from distance in the opening moments but it went over the bar and he followed that with another that went wide after seven minutes. Ten minutes in and Sam Ashford replaced the injured Josh Mullin and two minutes later Dipo Akinyemi scored his sixteenth of the season to put United ahead. The lead lasted just seven minutes when Sean Welsh scored after a Jay Henderson cross fell to him in the box to level the game. Charlie Albiston was quick off his line to deny the eager Mckay as he honed in on goal and five minutes later he was close to getting on the end of a Shaw cut back after Albiston made a mess of a clearance. Before the half hour Daire O'Connor was sent off for a challenge on Wallace Duffy. Duffy then shot over before Mckay had an effort deflected over the bar and Duffy headed the resultant corner over as well. Just on the break the keeper saved well from a Duffy shot into the top corner, just after Paddy Reading had gone close at the other end. Half Time: 1-1 Ayr began the second half on the front foot with McKenzie and Akinyemi shooting wide before Billy Mckay was blocked in the box at the other end and Scott Allardice fired one over. Ashford shot over on the hour after some good possession from the hosts and Duffy shot wide after finding himself in an advanced position again. More profligacy from the visitors as Henderson missed the top corner after a burst into the box. Welsh was blocked then had another effort deflected behind for a corner with twenty minutes left. The chances eventually paid off when Henderson connected with a Nathan Shaw cross at the back post to fire home. Mckay then shot wide after being played through ten minutes from the end. Inverness saw out the game to put themselves on the outer fringes of a play-off spot. Full Time 1-2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness got a vital three points on the road against 10 man Ayr United to move up a place in the table as Partick beat Raith Rovers 3-0. Wallace Duffy was the pick of the bunch today finding time to get forward and help out in attack, ably assisted by David Carson and Jay Henderson. RIG on CTO: At times we played some nice football. Most of the threat seemed to come down the right especially after Henderson and Shaw rotated and, with the extra man, Duffy and Delaney started pushing further up the pitch to offer support. Ayr tended not to double up on the wide men so it meant that Henderson or Shaw had to beat just one man and they had a chance to get a cross in. Henderson in particular was tormenting the Ayr defence and he had the best chance for us before we scored when he wriggled through a ruck of players at the edge of the box and lashed an effort over the bar. Some solid performances from us to win that one today with Duffy, Carson and Henderson probably the pick of the bunch. Duffy was helped out by Mullin going off injured and also the fact that Ayr played a lot of the game a man down. Carson took a bit of time to adapt to the 10 position but he carried the ball forward well and could have had a goal himself had he been more selfish and taking a shot instead of passing to a team mate. Date: 04/03/2023 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1820 Referee: Scott Lambie Ayr United: 1 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; McAllister (Musonda 72), Kirk, McGinty, Reading (McGuire 84), O'Connor, Mullin, McAlear, Dempsey, Akinyemi, McKenzie (Hewitt 84) Subs (not used): McAdams; Bilham, Ashford, Smith, Bryden, Houston Scorers: Akinyemi (12) Booked: McAllister (35), McGuire (89) Sent Off: O'Connor (29) Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Bily Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine, Deas, Delaney, Carson, Welsh, Allardice (Doran 63), Henderson, Shaw (Boyd 90), B Mackay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Thompson, Cairns, Hyde, Harper, D Mackay, Samuels Scorers: Welsh (19), Henderson (74) Booked: Deas (49), Welsh (77) Sent Off: none a
  5. On the Road Again After a battling 1-1 draw at Dundee, we are off on our travels again, this time it's even further afield as we visit Somerset Park, an often fruitful venue over the years. On Saturday, it's a 3:00pm kick off as points become difficult to collect at both ends of the table. Inverness are still bottom of the recent form table with only 4 points from a possible 18. Ayr have faltered recently but have 8 points from their last 6 games. Talismanic striker Billy Mckay will return after being red carded at Hamilton a fortnight ago. Billy is still seven goals short of being level with Dennis Wyness as our all time record scorer. Reece McAlear is now at Somerset Park but Logan Chalmers' loan spell has ended and the experienced Michael Moffat is at Glenafton. Unfortunately events off the park are overtaking events on the park. £££ See Club Statement below £££ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match/Ticket/Supporters Bus info Club Statement Get Well Soon Cammy Ticket Update v Killie School strikes, We've got your back ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Get well soon Cammy Venue H2H v Ayr United Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 23 10 11 2 38 24 +14 Away 24 11 6 7 45 30 +15 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 47 21 17 9 83 54 +29 Head to Heads v Ayr tend to favour Inverness over the years, but due to our decline in fortunes more recent results are more equal. 3 wins for ICT - 2 wins for Ayr and 5 draws over the last ten encounters. Ayr have become more difficult to beat over the last couple of years. They came up into the Championship in 2018 and we held the upper hand for the first couple of seasons but they are now capable of holding their own and under Lee Bullen are more difficult to prise points from these days. Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Ayr United 2 - 2 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 2 - 2 (A) 1 - 2 (H) 2 - 2 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 2 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 0 - 1 (A) From CTO Last October 1 - 0 - Ayr Pressure Not Enough: Ayr started the day three points ahead of Inverness. They would end the day level. Plenty of pressure from the hosts in a dominant first half but the nearest they came to a goal was a Mark Mckenzie header that came off the bar and the same player missed from six yards after being set up by Dipo Akinyemi. Inverness would be relieved to get to the interval on level terms. Cammy Harper glanced in a header just after the break to open the scoring. That's how it ended after a difficult ninety minutes but it's three wins on the bounce on the road. FRIDAY 3RD MARCH 7:45pm Hamilton v Arbroath SATURDAY 4TH MARCH 3:00pm Ayr United v Inverness CT Cove R v Dundee Partick v Rovers Queen's v Morton Last Time Out Inverness, off the back of two miserable defeats against Hamilton, battled for a plucky 1-1 draw at Dundee. Fortunate as it was we showed a bit of fight. Dundee will feel aggrieved that they never took all three points having a goal disallowed for a dubious offside decision and hitting the woodwork twice. To rub salt in the wound, Harper's equaliser took a massive deflection to wrong foot the keeper and put the Dundee fans on the verge of tears. At least Billy Mckay should return after suspension. Ayr United drew a blank last Friday at Stark's Park against Raith Rovers, with ICT's Scottish Cup hero Jamie MacDonald denying Ben Dempsey from the spot to ensure it remained goalless. They have been slipping up in recent weeks D W L L D. Their only win was a routine 5-0 thrashing of Cove Rangers at the end of January. This season's encounters show that we won the first one at Ayr 1 - 0 and drew the reverse fixture in the Highlands 2 - 2 Shaw shank redemption: Nathan Shaw earned Inverness an unlikely point as he scored his second of the game with three minutes left. That levelled the score after Dipo Akinyemi had put leaders Ayr United ahead with his 14th goal of the season less than ten minutes from the end. Shaw had given the hosts an early lead which they held until the 66th minute when Mark McKenzie bundled into the net from close range. This was a better point for Inverness who still had nine players missing although Danny Devine came into the back four before going off after being injured with fifteen minutes remaining. Latest Team News Billy Mckay returns after suspension. At least he should add some much needed potency to the attack. Still waiting for around five players returning from injury. Sutherland, Walsh, Woods, Ram and MacGregor. Samuels is now getting game time as is Allardice, Deas and Harper but all four are still building up to maximum efficiency after returning from longer term injury. Deas played in midweek in a young side at Forres to get some more minutes in his legs. Eck's Ayr Catch-Up RIP Eric: It's at this point over the last couple of years I would insert a section written by fellow CTO member and friend ictewd. Eric, without prompting, would gather any updated information about our opponents and offer it to me for adding to the preview. Without fail, Eric would investigate and I would receive an eMail every Thursday ahead of the fixtures. He was also responsible for helping to get our site stats in order and was willing to do this throughout his illness borne with great dignity. I have known Eric for over fifty years and he was an unassuming guy but very intelligent and self motivated. He was the consummate professional in all he did and I/we will miss him greatly for his diligent professionalism as he carried out his many tasks on CTO. Sadly Eric passed away this week and I for one will miss his eMails and quiet sense of humour and the endless hours of brain crunching stats he input and more importantly, his friendship. I offer sincere condolences to his family and friends at this most difficult of times. RIP Eric Davidson This ones on me Eck Ayr United have scooped up Chris Maguire an experienced attacking inside forward once of Aberdeen and Sheffield Wednesday. Dylan Watret has signed his first pro contract at Ayr and featured against Raith Rovers. Frankie Musonda returned to action in a reserve game against Hibs last week. Josh Mullin is now a permanent signing and former Inverness midfielder Reece McAlear has come in on loan from Tranmere Rovers. That's he of the thunderous goals from outside the box; beware! Loan ended: Logan Chalmers, forward (Dundee United); Bradley Young, forward (Aston Villa). Loan out: David Bangala, defender (Cove Rangers); Finn Ecrepont, defender (Stranraer); Michael Moffat, forward (Glenafton).
  6. Ayr Pressure not enough Ayr started the day three points ahead of Inverness. They would end the day level. Plenty of pressure from the hosts in a dominant first half but the nearest they came to a goal was a Mark Mckenzie header that came off the bar and the same player missed from six yards after being set up by Dipo Akinyemi. Inverness would be relieved to get to the interval on level terms. Cammy Harper glanced in a header just after the break to open the scoring. That's how it ended after a difficult ninety minutes but it's three wins on the bounce on the road. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ayr were one of the early leaders ahead of the visit from the Caley Jags. They strengthened their push for promotion by adding the man with the sweet left foot to their squad ahead of this encounter, Logan Chalmers, and he started on the bench today. Inverness were still without a handful of players although Max Ram played for an hour last week against Brechin City and he and Roddy MacGregor were on the bench after a few weeks out with injury. Ayr got the game underway and forced two early corners before Andy Murdoch shot wide in the third minute. Inverness responded with Steven Boyd winning a corner from a deflected shot and Ayr cleared the ball effectively. In the twelfth minute, a Mark McKenzie header hit the bar and out for a goal kick after Josh Mullin had crossed into the box. Big let off for the visitors. Quarter of an hour gone and the two Mackay's combined before Daniel brings out an excellent save from Albinson at his near post and Murdoch's looped header cleared Mark Ridgers' crossbar as Ayr went forward again. Billy Mckay sliced wide after Dan Mackay's shot from the left side was blocked and fell for Billy on the volley. More Ayr pressure saw a Mullin effort blocked and Musonda headed over the subsequent corner midway through the half. Ayr were racking up the corners in the first half with half an hour played, one every three minutes and counting with Sean McGinty next to head wide. Ten minutes before the break a rare foray forward saw George Oakley and Billy Mckay interact but the latters cut back was cleared by the defence and five minutes before the interval McKenzie should have done better but he shot wide from six yards after good work by Akinyemi. We went in level at the interval but Ayr were knocking on the door with some intent. HALF TIME: 0-0 Having been on the back foot for most of the first forty-five, Inverness stunned Ayr by opening the scoring through Cammy Harper with a glancing header into the bottom corner two minutes after the break from a Boyd cross. Photo from caleyjags.com shows Harper wheeling away after scoring the only goal of the game. What a start to the second half from the visitors and Oakley had a header saved by Albinson ten minutes later when he met David Carson's cross at the back post. Could easily have been two up. Substitute Jayden Mitchell-Lawson went close two minutes after coming on, shooting just wide from eighteen yards and Brad Young forced Ridgers into making a save from his header. Dodds replaced Dan Mackay with Aaron Doran with some twenty minutes left but it was Ayr substitute Logan Chalmers that shot over soon after with Jordan Houston following suit. A Dempsey corner looked to be cleared away from the line as Ayr pushed for an equaliser with three minutes remaining and the same player shot over in the dying ember, but that was it as Inverness held out for their third win on the bounce away from home. Another tremendous result on the road for Dodds' men, now level on 14 points with Ayr and third equal in the table. FULL TIME: 0-1 Ayr will feel aggrieved that they never took anything from that game having created a raft of chances but Harper took his chance well and Oakley could have added a second. Great clearance off the line near the end and a muted penalty appeal from Ayr and I doubt Billy Dodds will be complaining about the result. Good to see Roddy MacGregor getting a few minutes on the park. Onwards and upwards we go. Date: 01/10/2022 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1866 Referee: Colin Steven Ayr United: 0 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: Albinson; Houston, Musonda, McGinty, Reading, Ashford (Chalmers 61), Murdoch, Dempsey, Mullin (Lawson 61), Akinyemi, McKenzie (Young 61) Subs (not used): McAdams; O'Connor, Smith, McAllister, Kirk, Bangala Scorers: none Booked: Akinyemi (58) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Devine, Carson, Deas, Delaney, D Mackay (Doran 69), Allardice, Harper, Boyd (MacGregor 85), Oakley (Shaw ), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, Ram, Hyde Scorers: Harper (47) Booked: Carson (65) Sent Off: none a
  7. On the road again As Canned Heat once said, we're on the road again. It's our third Championship away day on the trot as we head for Somerset Park to take on one of the early pacesetters in Ayr United. Our last two league games went well, but a drab Challenge Cup tortuous affair against Brechin City has taken the gloss of those league performances. Kick-off is at 3:00pm across the Championship this weekend and victory for Inverness on Saturday would put us level with the Honest Men on fourteen points. On the other hand, defeat would leave us trailing the leaders by six points. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MATCH/TICKET INFO SUPPORTERS BUS 07462 218717 £20 Venue H2H v Ayr United Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 22 10 10 2 36 22 +14 Away 23 10 6 7 44 30 +14 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 45 20 16 9 80 52 +28 Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Ayr United 2 - 2 (A) 1 - 2 (H) 2 - 2 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 2 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 0 - 1 (A) 2 - 0 (H) 2 - 0 (A) Fairly even last season but our overall Head2Head v Ayr shows that we hold the Indian sign over them, although it's much closer at Somerset Park. Biggest Victories (click on scores to see reports) Apr 24th, 2010 League (A) 7 - 0 Heaviest Defeats Nov 28th, 2001 League Cup (Quarter Final) (A) 1 - 5 Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts 1. Partick Thistle 7 4 2 1 16 10 14 2. Ayr United 7 4 2 1 14 10 14 3. Queens Park 7 4 1 2 12 11 13 4. Inverness CT 7 3 2 2 11 9 11 5. Dundee 7 3 1 3 13 11 10 6. Raith Rovers 7 3 0 4 8 10 9 7. Morton 7 2 2 3 6 7 8 8. Hamilton Ac. 7 1 4 2 7 10 7 9. Cove Rangers 7 1 2 4 9 13 5 10. Arbroath 7 1 2 4 5 10 5 SATURDAY 1ST OCTOBER Ayr United v Inverness Cove v Arbroath Accies v Dundee Partick v Morton Queens v Rovers Last Time Out Last league game for Inverness was a satisfying 2-3 win at Dens Park after coming from behind. Cammy Harper was the hero with a couple of sublime left foot strikes from distance and Billy Mckay from the spot just before the interval. Coming off the back of a 0-2 win at Starks Park, eyebrows were raised slightly, but a thoroughly deflating Challenge Cup draw with Brechin City has brought us back down to earth with a bang. Still, we did go through on penalties so that was a bonus. Ayr United's last league game saw them lose 3-2 to Raith Rovers, going down to a late goal after Brad Young and Andy Murdoch had tied the score at two apiece. That was a disappointing result for Lee Bullen's men after they had just beaten Morton, Dundee and Cove Rangers in the previous three games. Last week Morton gained some revenge by knocking Ayr out of the Challenge cup after a 1-1 draw and a penalty shoot-out. Latest Team News We still have a handful of players out injured, mainly Sutherland, Walsh, Welsh, MacGregor, Samuels............ Max Ram returned against Brechin City and played for an hour, coming through unscathed but is not 100% fit. Four or five were also rested last week and I would expect to see Billy Mckay, Mark Ridgers and David Carson back in the starting XI. Straight from the horses mouth, here's Billy Eric has written a book about Ayr (also available in hardback ) Useless facts; of the Championship teams, Ayr United have the largest squad at 28, the lowest average age of 22.7 years and the highest percentage of foreign players 39.3% (11 players). With manager Lee Bullen arriving halfway through last season there were, at my count, 33 players that went through the books as he sought to avoid the relegation zone. Who knew The last tranche of players to leave Somerset Park were. Mateusz Miller a young keeper has joined East Kilbride reserves. From the backs gone are Jack Baird off to Morton, Aaron Muirhead on a free to Partick, James Maxwell loan period from Rangers concluded and Blaine Rowe another loan player returned to parent club Coventry City. Midfield player Alex Kenyon is now with Chester FC and Kerr McInroy back to Celtic after loan. Front man Tomi Adeloye departed to Swindon Town and left winger Ryan Gondoh is now at Sevenoaks FC. Drafted into the Ayr squad at the start of this season: A pair of centre backs, Frankie Musonda who was at Raith Rovers the last couple of seasons and Alex Kirk on loan from Arsenal U21, he was also in youth and U18 squads. In the middle of the park there are a number of additions. David Bangala defensive midfield arrives from Latvian side FK Pohronie, spent formative years with French sides. Central midfielder Ben Dempsey has made his move to Ayr after a short loan there last season. Carter Jenkins has been promoted to the first team squad from the U18 set up, another defensive midfielder. Josh Mullin is on loan from Livingston and was at Hamilton last season. Attacking midfield player Jayden Mitchell-Lawson signed from Swindon Town was a product of the Derby youth system. On the right-wing Dario Viviani is another player stepping up from Ayr U18s. Dipo Akinyemi is a centre forward brought in from Welling United, he is a man of many clubs in the National League South, 6th tier of English football. Having come through the Aston Villa youth teams Brad Young is a centre forward on loan for the season.
  8. Points dropped Inverness threw away two points with a desperately poor second half performance against Ayr United who thoroughly deserved their point as we regressed. We got off to the perfect start and were two ahead after only thirteen minutes through Shane Sutherland and Logan Chalmers with a wonderful strike into the top corner. Ayr shuffled their pack at the interval and it was only a matter of time before we were forced to hang on grimly for a point when we had three in the bag already. Goals from Fraser Bryden and Markus Fjortoft snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat for the Honest Men as we headed home with egg on our faces. The only thing that took the edge off throwing away points was Raith Rovers losing to Morton and Roddy MacGregor getting a run out as a second half sub after being out for months. A better more accomplished performance is required next Friday when Kilmarnock come North, the title on their fingertips. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An unchanged Inverness took to the field with Roddy MacGregor on the bench alongside Danny Devine and Austin Samuels. Sam Ashford returned for Ayr who had top scorer Tomi Adeloye on the bench. A fast start for the visitors saw a Wallace Duffy effort blocked after a scramble in the Ayr box, and a couple of minutes later we were ahead after good work by Aaron Doran and Billy Mckay down the right side. Mckay's cross was turned in by Shane Sutherland for his ninth goal of the season. Six minutes later it got even better when Logan Chalmers curled a beauty into the top corner from the edge of the box. What a start from the visitors. Could they capitalise on this.... Well, quite frankly no. Before half time it was evident that Ayr were determined to take something from this game and they looked the hungrier of the sides as we went into non contact second to every ball mode. Half an hour in and Fraser Bryden saw a header saved by Cammy Mackay and at the other end Doran shot over the bar, but Ayr were on our case and our confidence looked fragile. The half ended with Ayr threatening to take control of proceedings. HALF TIME 0-2 Cameron Harper replaced Doran at the interval with Ayr bringing on Tomi Adeloye and Dair O'Connor. Was that the move that gave them the ascendency? Probably as we were now second to every ball and brushed off the ball easily at every opportunity. Mackay pulled off a great save two minutes into the half from Kerr McInroy as Ayr swarmed all over us, and ten minutes after the break Fraser Bryden squeezed a close range shot into the net with our defence not covering themselves in glory after a cross from the right was not cleared. Ayr pressure was mounting as we struggled to string two passes together and failed to hold onto the ball and Roddy MacGregor was introduced with twenty minutes remaining. More telling was Markus Fjortoft who joined the game after Roddy. Three minutes later and he was knocking in the eagerly awaited equaliser as we capitulated. O'Connor had just had a shot saved by Mackay as the pressure mounted then McInroy crossed and substitute Fjortoft scored from close range, the defence looking at each other again as two points slipped away. That woke us up a little and Harper might have done better than volley just over the bar and David Carson dragged a shot wide minutes later. However, Ayr were not to be denied their hard earned point and there was a bonus for them with Killie beating Dunfermline 2-0. So, Ayr ease away from the bottom two and Inverness blunder their way clear in third place thanks to Raith losing this weekend. Difficult to spot a MotM in a Jekyll and Hyde performance. Maybe the travelling fans that suffered the ecstasy and the agony of what feels like a defeat. The Goals From Ayr TV Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts Table after today's games 1. Kilmarnock 33 19 6 8 46 23 63 2. Arbroath 33 15 14 4 45 25 59 3. Inverness CT 32 13 11 8 45 31 50 4. Partick Thistle 33 13 10 10 44 36 49 5. Raith Rovers 33 10 13 10 40 43 43 6. Morton 33 9 13 11 36 42 40 7. Hamilton Ac. 33 9 12 12 37 47 39 8. Ayr United 33 8 11 14 34 48 35 9. Dunfermline 33 6 14 13 33 49 32 10. Q.O.S. 32 6 8 18 30 46 26 Date: 09/04/2022 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1756 Referee: Willie Collum Ayr United: 2 Manager: Lee Bullen Lineup: McAdams; Houston (Fjortoft 72), McGinty (Baird 89), Muirhead, Reading, McKenzie (Adeloye 45), Kenyon (Smith 57), McInroy, Maxwell (O'Connor 45), Bryden, Ashford Subs (not used): Albinson; Ecremont, Gondoh, Moffat, Scorers: Bryden (54), Fjortoft (76) Booked: Smith (73) Sent Off: Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Carson (Devine 83), Duffy, Broadfoot, Deas, Doran (Harper 45), McAlear (Samuels 77), Welsh, Sutherland, Chalmers (MacGregor 71), B Mckay (Hardy 82) Subs (not used): Ridgers; Hyde, Walsh Scorers: Sutherland (6), Chalmers (13) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  9. Ticketing and PPV information here: https://ictfc.com/next-match-ayr-united-a-06-11-2021 Be aware that they say PPV purchases within 90 minutes of kick off may not be validated in time for kick off: https://ayrunitedfc.co.uk/live-streaming
  10. Crackers or Damp Squibs Another away day for the Caley Jags as we head to Somerset Park Ayr to take on mid table Ayr United in a cinch Championship match. Kick off is at 3:00pm on Saturday with live streaming available from Ayr TV if you can't attend the game. First encounter this season saw Tom Walsh win the game in unorthodox fashion as he bundled the ball into the net from six yards. Inverness will be looking to get back to winning ways and Ayr will be hoping to steer clear of the relegation zone. Can we expect fireworks for Guy Fawkes? Or will we be left smouldering... PPV STREAM OFFICIAL PREVIEW MATCH INFO & TICKETS SUPPORTERS BUS 07462 218717 Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 21 10 10 1 35 20 +15 Away 21 10 4 7 40 26 +14 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 42 20 14 8 75 46 +29 The recent trend shows us only one defeat over the last ten meetings and the last visit to Ayr resulted in a 2-0 win for Inverness. Daniel Mackay and Shane Sutherland scored the goals that day in February 2021. The first meeting this season ended in a narrow 1-0 win for the Caley Jags in the Highlands when Tom Walsh chested the ball into the net as Sean McGinty tried to clear his lines. Shame! First Competitive Meeting Aug 28th, 1999 League (A) 0 - 1 Most Recent Competitive Meeting Aug 21st, 2021 League (Championship) (H) 1 - 0 Last 10 Competitive Meetings 1 - 0 (H) 2 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 0 - 1 (A) 2 - 0 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 3 - 1 (A) 1 - 0 (A) Biggest Victories Apr 24th, 2010 League (A) 7 - 0 Heaviest Defeats Nov 28th, 2001 League Cup (Quarter Final) (A) 1 - 5 Highest Attendance Aug 15th, 2009 League (H) 3,297 Highest Home Attendance Aug 15th, 2009 League (H) 3,297 It was a great week for Killie as they overhauled a five point deficit to Inverness and now head the table by two as we garnered only two points from the last three games. Arbroath provided the performance of the week by coming from two goals down to beat Dunfermline 4-2. Makes our defeat to Arbroath look like a great result. Mon the Smokies! Subsequently, Peter Grant was removed from his post at East End Park. Pld W D L F A +/- Pts 1. Kilmarnock 12 8 2 2 18 7 11 26 2. Inverness CT 12 7 3 2 13 6 7 24 3. Arbroath 12 6 4 2 23 11 12 22 4. Raith Rovers 12 6 4 2 20 14 6 22 5. Partick Thistle 12 5 3 4 23 14 9 18 6. Ayr United 12 3 3 6 11 17 -6 12 7. Hamilton Academical 12 3 3 6 12 24 -12 12 8. Queen of the South 12 3 1 8 10 19 -9 10 9. Morton 12 1 6 5 8 15 -7 9 10. Dunfermline 12 0 7 5 9 20 -11 7 Saturday's Championship fixture list Ayr Utd v Caley Jags Pars v Morton Accies v Arbroath Killie v Partick Queens v Rovers Last time out We dropped more points at Partick in a no scoring draw although the performance was much improved from the abyss of the Arbroath game. A penalty miss and two off the woodwork was more unfortunate than poor play, but we still need to get back to scoring goals. However, the wins have dried up considerably although two points off the top after a dozen games is not too shabby. Ayr have played three tough games in a row and lost the last two by a single goal. A 2-1 defeat at Raith on the last outing where they fell just short in a close encounter, Jack Baird pulling Ayr back into the game to set up the grandstand finish. So, despite only picking up one point in their last three, they are far from being whipping boys. Latest Team News No word on David Carson but Cammy Harper is back training and could be added to the squad. Shane Sutherland was missing last week at Partick. Apart from that, it should be as you were. Jim Duffy could be without defender Aaron Muirhead and midfielder Steven Bradley who has a shoulder injury. Ayr starting XI v Raith: McAdams; Houston, Baird, Fjørtoft, Reading, McAllister, Murdoch, Chalmers, Maxwell, Adeloye, Salkeld.
  11. Caley Jags beat Ayr and the weather. Wet and windy was the order of the day as Inverness beat Ayr United with a goal in each half. After half an hour, Daniel Mackay finished off a swift break forward after getting on the end of some neat one touch football. Ten minutes after the break Shane Sutherland did well to control, turn, and fire the ball into the net after Todorov drove the ball goalwards. Both keepers pulled off some excellent saves but Inverness were deserved winners to lift them up above Ayr in the league. Andre Wright missed out for Ayr having picked up a groin strain with Michael Moffat starting up front. Former Caley Jags Tom Walsh and Joe Chalmers were both in the starting XI. Inverness shook their squad a bit after failing to hit the target against Queen of the South in midweek. Miles Storey, James Keatings, Brad Mckay and Sean Welsh found themselves on the bench. There were starts for Roddy MacGregor, David Carson, and Nikolay Todorov with Robbie Deas and Danny Devine back in the heart of the defence. A wet and windy afternoon greeted the players at Somerset Park. At least it's football of sorts I hear you say. A wind assisted Ayr came flying out of the blocks and forced a couple of corners in the first minutes and had Mark Ridgers grasping the ball before Ayr players got on the end of it at one point. It took the visitors fully five minutes before we got our foot on the ball. Dan Mackay did put the ball in the net with a lovely bending finish but the whistle had already gone. An early clearance from Ayr keeper Sinisalo bounced menacingly over Ridgers' bar, the keeper watching it anxiously. Ayr were buzzing around the Inverness defensive zone but neither side were able to test the keepers yet. First test for Sinisalo came after a tidy break forward on the right side. Carson drilled a low ball into the box and a turn and shot from Sutherland saw the keeper save comfortably. Ayr also had the ball in the net when Tom Walsh crossed into the box, but Miller climbed all over the defence to head home. Foul given though. Another turn and shot at the other end, this time from Todorov, another comfortable save for the keeper. Had either of these efforts been struck better we might have troubled the keeper, but both efforts were smothered when striking making it easy for the young keeper. After half an hour the visitors opened the scoring with a swift break and excellent low finish from Daniel Mackay. Danny Devine started it with a ball forward and three or four passes later Danny finished superbly with assists from Toddy and Sutherland. Five minutes before the break McCowan had a snapshot saved at his near post by Ridgers. Two minutes later he produced a brilliant save from the same player as his header bounced down to the keepers left, Ridgers diving full length to turn the ball round the post. Joe Chalmers fired a wind assisted effort from distance that had Ridgers scampering across his line but it flew just wide minutes before the break. Half Time: 0-1 Mackay latched onto the ball some distance out at the start of the second half but shot high over the bar, in fact almost over the stand. The Caley Jags doubled their lead ten minutes into the second forty-five when Shane Sutherland shot home from inside the box after controlling a Todorov drive for goal before turning and drilling behind the keeper. Soon after, Todorov found the angle too tight when through on the keeper who made an important block and moments later Ayr did well to scramble an Allardice free kick from the edge of the box away to safety. A free kick to Ayr was charged down when Chalmers tried for goal from the touch sideways as Ayr struggled to make progress and as the weather worsened Miles Storey replaced Nikolay Todorov. Almost immediately Sinisalo pulled off a tremendous save to deny Robbie Deas who had the goal at his mercy after a pinpoint cross from Cameron Harper. Ridgers did have an important block to make as a powerful shot from close range was pushed away for a corner, Walsh with the strike. Up the other end a Storey surge forward ended with Carson firing over the bar. Ayr were running out of ideas and the pitch was starting to look the worse for wear as we entered the final ten minutes, but Inverness were resolute in defence and restricted Ayr to fleeting glimpses of goal whilst always looking dangerous on the break. Time ran away from the hosts as they searched for a way through the visitors defence, but Danny Devine was calm under pressure and most Ayr raids floundered on the big defender back from injury. A deserving away win for Inverness after a frustrating few weeks and nobody was better than David Carson who was my MotM. Highlights from Ayr TV Here's a more detailed report from RIG An excellent result against potentially very difficult opposition in far from ideal weather conditions. As is usually the case in Ayr the home side started very brightly. We often find ourselves under the cosh early doors at Somerset and today was no different with the windy conditions not helping. Ayr settled quickly and were soon stroking the ball around well looking to hit Walsh and McCowan on their respective flanks. The former, well known to ICT fans of course, was the main focus as he frequently cut inside Duffy on the left flank and looked to hang balls up to the back post for team mates to attack. Whilst Walsh was looking threatening on the Ayr left, on the other side the in form McCowan was being marshalled well by Harper with the Ayr player barely in the game until a tactical switch by Kerr later in the first half saw him move into the middle. Bizarrely the first chance of the game fell to the Ayr keeper Sinisalo when he launched a goal kick forward which caught the wind and almost had Ridgers scrambling to keep it out of harms way. Not too long after this Cammy Smith broke through the ICT defence and cut the ball back for team mate Moffat but the ICT defence was able to clear the danger. Most of our attacks were starting from long balls forward with Toddy displaying some deft control to take in these high balls and link with team mates to relieve the pressure on the Caley Thistle rear-guard. Carson, breaking forward, fired a low pass to the feet of Sutherland just inside inside the penalty area and he rolled his marker and shot straight at the United keeper. Ayr were next to threaten when Walsh, again cutting back onto his right foot, swung a high cross to the back post from the left where Michael Miller met it and found the net but it was correctly ruled out for a push on Harper. Todorov then had a chance with a similar effort to that of Sutherland a few minutes before as he also rolled his marker in the box but he too sent his effort down the keepers throat. Not long after this we opened the scoring with a crisp counter attack. Devine sent a controlled ball to the feet of Todorov who collected the ball and played it across to Sutherland on the Ayr right side. He then laid the ball off to the onrushing MacKay who strode onto it confidently and dispatched his shot beyond the despairing Sinisalo to open the scoring. Ayr responded with a tactical switch moving Walsh to the right, Smith to the left and let McCowan roam in the middle behind Moffat and it almost paid off when McCowan found himself just inside the penalty area in acres of space but he wasn't able to make the best of the opportunity and ICT were able to clear the danger. McCowan then almost scored again when his header from a Walsh cross was beaten round the post at close range by Ridgers. This was to be the last we would see of McCowan in the game as he was completely negated by Allardice and Carson in the second half and whilst Walsh continued to offer a threat on the Ayr right Smith drifted from the game on the opposite flank and this change really curtailed Ayr as a fluent attacking force. Only a few minutes into the second half and we grabbed a vital second goal. Todorov saw his effort blocked by his own team mate Sutherland and it was Caithness Cristiano who was first to the ball to fire it into the net with Ayr players claiming for offside. And it was almost three when Todorov bundled his way into the box and with MacKay unmarked in the centre chose to go it alone but saw his shot suppressed by a late challenge. Allardice was next to threaten for Inverness when he sent a free kick low under the Ayr wall as it jumped and it was partially saved by Sinisalo and United cleared at the second attempt. Again, the next best chance fell the way of ICT when Robbie Deas met a free kick from only a few yards out but his header was right at the Ayr keeper. Ayr almost got a goal back when Walsh, still causing problems for Harper on the ICT left, flashed a ball across goal which MacKenzie latched onto but he sent his low effort wide of the goal with Ridgers stranded. Walsh then had an effort at goal himself when he collected the ball at the back post and leathered an effort towards goal which Ridgers saved with his knee with Devine also lunging in to block. In the end though we hung on for a big three points after an excellent performance that probably should have seen us concede a goal but also should really have been much more comfortable given the chances that were passed up. Big call for Robbo to drop four players from Wednesday but they paid dividends with MacGregor, Todorov and Carson all impressing today. MacGregor offers a much more mobile link between our midfield two in front of the defence and the wide players / forward than Keatings does whilst Carson was tenacious alongside Allardice marshalling McCowan well after he moved inside and also breaking forward to support our counters attacks. Todorov showed some excellent touches holding the ball up and Ridgers pulled off some superb saves particularly from McCowan and Walsh in each half. As mentioned earlier I think Kerr's changes to the three behind Moffat disrupted the fluency of Ayr's attacks and whilst Walsh was still a threat McCowan and Smith were anonymous after the break. They didn't seem to have anything in the centre of the pitch to break up our counter attacks with Murdoch and Chalmers nowhere to be seen at times. Cheers RIG, great in depth report on the game and tactics in action And here's Bazza post match Date: 20/02/2021 Venue: Somerset Park Attendance: 0000 Referee: Peter Stuart Ayr United: 0 Manager: Mark Kerr Lineup: Sinisalo; Muirhead, Murdoch, Ndaba, Baird, Moffat, Smith (Hewitt 75), Miller (McKenzie 58) , Chalmers, McCowan, Walsh (Zanatta 86). Subs (not used): Hare-Reid; Reading, Roscoe, McGavin Scorers: none Booked: McCowan (54), Muirhead (63), Ndaba (68) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Manager: John Robertson Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine, Deas, Harper, D Mackay (B Mckay 87), Carson, Allardice, MacGregor (Welsh 75), Sutherland, Todorov (Storey 68) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Keatings Scorers: D Mackay (31), Sutherland (54) Booked: Todorov (35) Sent Off: none a
  12. Should Auld Acquaintances be forgot... We travel to Somerset Park, Ayr on Saturday for a 3:00pm kick-off against the Honest Men and renew acquaintances with a couple of former colleagues, namely Tom Walsh and Joe Chalmers. It's been a difficult few weeks for the Caley Jags with postponements in abundance although we did return to action in midweek after the big freeze relented. Unfortunately, despite dominating the game, we went down 1-0 to Queen of the South when Nortei Nortey scored his first goal for the Doonhamers. We seemed to lack composure or pick the right ball as we failed to unlock the visitors defence and resorted to shooting from distance which keeper Ferguson dealt with comfortably. Failing that, many of our efforts were blocked before troubling the keeper or blazed high and wide which meant a frustrating night all round for the Caley Jags and their supporters. Ayr have not played since losing narrowly to Hearts a couple of weeks ago, a Liam Boyce penalty the only difference between the sides. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OFFICIAL PREVIEW Ayr United PPV £12.50 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Last 10 Competitive Meetings against Ayr United going back to August 2018 1 - 1 (H) 0 - 1 (A) 2 - 0 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 3 - 1 (A) 1 - 0 (A) 3 - 2 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 0 - 0 (H) Incidentally, that 1-0 defeat shown in the above stats for January 2020 was the first win for Ayr in 17 years covering 14 games. We drew the first encounter this season in the Highlands when Nokolay Todorove earned a point with an 86th minute goal after Innes Cameron gave United the lead around the hour. All fixtures on Saturday at 3:00pm Ayr United v Inverness CT Arbroath v Raith Rovers Dundee v Queen of the South Dunfermline v Alloa Athletic Hearts v Morton Latest Team News Robbo will be without the usual long term crocks, Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney (is he a real thing). Add Aaron Doran and recent loan signing Anthony McDonald to that list. James Vincent is a new short term casualty, another training ground injury. Good to see David Carson back on the pitch in midweek, his energy has been missed. Looks like more game time coming for our youngsters over the next few weeks which will see two games a week for the foreseeable future. Mark Kerr has defender Jordan Houston returning to the squad after injury. We know all about the dangers that Walsh and Chalmers possess but there's more to United than that. Former Aberdeen and Dundee United forward Cammy Smith will cause problems and never write off veteran Michael Moffat. Young keeper Sinisalo is also proving to be an excellent shot stopper. The team that night v Hearts: Sinisalo, Miller, Muirhead, Baird, Ndaba, Chalmers (McGavin 79′), Murdoch, Walsh (Moffat 74′), Smith, McCowan, Wright. Robbo talking ahead of the trip to Ayr...
  13. Robbo Burns As Rabbie once said to me.... The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promis'd joy. On the day of the Bard of Ayrshire, Inverness faced the Honest Men at Somerset Park with a new look defence after Coll Donaldson jumped ship, with Lewis Toshney joining Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh on the bench. The departing Jamie McCart was also benched again.There was the added incentive of Dundee crashing 2-0 at East End Park last night and three points for either side would be a huge bonus. Stephen Kelly scored the only goal of the game after an hour and both sides hit the woodwork, but it was no more than Ayr deserved as they closed the gap on Inverness to just one point. Our new defence got in a fankle at the goal allowing Kelly to take advantage. From the quill of the Bard himself, and so true...... There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing. RIG was on hand to see the wee sleekit courin timerous beastie, also known as the referee...... I think whilst we were on the end of some pretty debatable calls from the referee, Ayr were the better team throughout the 90 minutes and deserved the win. Kerr seemed to set Ayr up a bit more defensively than previous match ups and they let us carry the ball forward with little pressure but we were swarmed as we entered the Ayr half and forced to thread balls through a well organised Ayr midfield and defence (which we couldn't do) or try and dink a ball up to White and later Todorov (which we also couldn't do). When Ayr seized the ball they broke with real pace and direction quickly feeding the ball wide to Forrest or Moffat on the flanks or looking to play a pass in behind the ICT centre backs and a lot of their good chances game from this. Only a triple block/save combination from McHattie and Ridgers stopped Ayr opening the scoring in the first half which saw wave after wave of attacks threaten the ICT rearguard. Fortunately we held them off and had the ball in the net when Keatings lifted a free kick in for White who beat Doohan to the ball and flicked it in but the referee gave a free kick for a foul by White. Seemed pretty soft but it would have been hard on Ayr had we gone ahead (though thoroughly pleasing obviously). Second half and there seemed to be a strong claim for a penalty when Doran broke into the box and looked like he was pushed in the back sending him to the ground but the referee waved play on. Not long after this Ayr scored. I didn't see what happened but after I had stopped admiring my new trainers I looked up to see Trafford on his arse and Kelly seizing on a loose ball, heading for goal before calmly slotting past Ridgers. No more than Ayr deserved in fairness but frustrating nonetheless from an ICT point of view. Ayr had more chances after this to extend their lead before Doran went down under another challenge however this time he got straight back up to chase the ball before Aitken blew for a foul and cautioned Doran for diving which seemed a bit odd given he didn't seem to be looking for anything. We went with 2 strikers for the final few minutes with Todorov coming on to partner White but we didn't really create anything of note until the final kick of the game when Ayr threw bodies to block a couple of ICT efforts from close range (these might even have been our only shots on target...). Bizarre to see us end the game with a couple of big lads up front and our two best crossers of the ball on the wings yet we persevered with little dinked balls up towards White and Todorov which almost never found them. Any ICT fan not bothered about losing Donaldson AND McCart should be worried after today's defensive showing. Whilst McHattie was solid enough Mckay with the ball at his feet was an absolute bombscare. Vincent was decent for us, possibly closest to ICT MotM. Kerr and Moffat looked good for Ayr and Drinan really gave Mckay and McHattie a torrid time. We have a real battle on to maintain second spot which could be huge come the end of the season.. Highlights from Ayr United TV Eagle4Caley left Crystal Palace behind for the weekend to go to Somerset Park and enjoyed the ambience...... The highlights suggest a close game, although I felt Ayr had more chances, but we hit the bar, and quite why our goal was disallowed is beyond me...White at no time is looking at the goalie only at the ball, and I'm not convinced he even touches him. Also Doran was clearly pushed over in the penalty area, and then next time he gets a booking for going down, when you can see he catches the defender legs and is trying to regain his feet. Their goal was a bit of a bummer, at first I thought that McHattie was at fault but credit to the Ayr player who actually closes Charlie Trafford down very quickly. I thought McHattie had a decent game, as did McKay...strange how quickly our CB pairing has changed (presumably to make ends meet). For me our midfielders were the pick of the bunch, plus Walsh when he came on. Our forwards were very much powder-puff, Doran was quieter than expected, Storey didn't offer much apart from two/three decent crosses, I'm not sure what Keatings was doing and White looks like he is the Centre Forward because he's tall, because he seemed unable to anticipate where high balls were going nor jump at the right time (except for the disallowed goal), he's definitely better with his feet! For me 2nd place is probably between us and Ayr, so this was a disappointing reverse, but I guess we can't win every match against them. Robbo's the man for a' that.... Date: 25/01/2020 Venue: Somerset Park, Ayr Attendance: 1200 Referee: Greg Aitken Ayr United: 1 Lineup: Doohan; Houston, Muirhead, Harvie, Bell, Kerr, Moffat (Rocco 90+3), Forrest (McKenzie 90), Drinan, Docherty, Kelly Subs (not used): Ellis Hare-Reid; Doolan, McCowan, McGuffie, Hewitt Scorers: Kelly (61) Booked: Docherty (85) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Rooney, B Mckay, McHattie, Tremarco, Doran, Trafford (Todorov 75), Vincent, Storey (Walsh 66), Keatings (Carson 66), White Subs (not used): C Mackay, Toshney, McCart, Welsh. Scorers: none Booked: B Mckay (71), White (72), Doran (78) Sent Off: none a
  14. Ayr do Back to League business this weekend as Inverness make the journey to Somerset Park to take on Championship play-off contenders, Ayr United. The game kicks off at 3:00pm on Saturday at the same venue where Ross County were dumped out of the Scottish Cup last week. There's only four points separating the sides at the moment and this should be another tight affair. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Match and Travel Information can be found on the OFFICIAL SITE @ ICTFC We're in the money £££ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's been a rewarding fixture for us in recent seasons, including last season when we beat Ayr in the away leg of the play-off and both league fixtures at Somerset Park. We have already beaten Ayr away this season back in October when goals from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney were enough to earn the points. The second meeting this campaign was another 2-0 win in the Highlands, Jordan White and Miles Storey the scorers. Last time out we were on Cup duty and recorded a hard fought 2-3 win over Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. We were pegged back twice after Aaron Doran opened the scoring. Jordan White put us ahead again only for Kevin O'Hara to get his second of the game. Charlie Trafford scored the vital winner with only a handful of minutes remaining. Ayr pulled off a minor upset by knocking our neighbours out of the Cup thanks to a powerful headed goal from seasoned professional Steven Bell. Form since we last met in the league Last time we met was back on the 7th of December, and after winning 2-0 in the Highlands we were five points ahead of Ayr. Since then we have won two (Pars & Dundee) and lost two (Partick & Arbroath), plus a win over Alloa in the Scottish Cup. Our game against Queen of the South fell foul of the weather. In December, Ayr had a midweek draw with Arbroath then beat Alloa before losing to Dundee United and Queen of the South. They started January with an away win at Dunfermline, a postponed fixture at Dens Park and beat Ross County in the Scottish Cup. So form is fairly even at the moment at that is mirrored in the League table with Ayr just one place and four points behind Inverness now. Fixtures this weekend Dunfermline v Dundee (Friday) Ayr United v Inverness Arbroath v Partick Thistle Dundee Utd v Morton Queen of Sth v Alloa Robbo said ahead of the game: “We’ve got to go down there and do what we’ve done at Dens Park and Alloa, that’s go down there and be very busy and very proactive with the ball and when we lose it make sure we’re nice and solid. The key to our success all season is our solidity at the back.” Whilst that is very true Robbo, you would wonder why the club can not hold on to the heart of the defence until the end of a possible promotion campaign. Is there enough ambition left at the Caledonian Stadium? Team News It was great to see Tom Walsh back on the park last week after hamstring problems and a further bonus to have Sean Welsh on the bench as he recovers from a second broken foot. These guys have been out for a while now and it will be like having two new signings when they are both back up to speed. Unfortunately the loss of Coll Donaldson is a blow and the impending departure of Jamie McCart adds to our misery. McCart is still here for now unless St Johnstone dig deep into their pockets. It remains to be seen if McCart will be asked to play for the club he wants away from. However, we have to go with what we have and Lewis Toshney will come into defence with Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie also looking to claim a place. There will be plenty room for them all should Shaun Rooney turn his back on us as well. Mark Kerr has strengthened his squad by signing Grant Gillespie from Hamilton Accies. Jordan Houston has also joined from Rangers. Kerr will be without Craig Moore, Andy Geggan and Andy Murdoch, but Grant Gillespie will be added to the squad. Speaking on Ayr United's official site Kerr said : ”We don’t need reminding that we don’t have the greatest recent record against Inverness, it is just another game and another opportunity to pick up points and continue this wee run we are on. We know what Inverness are all about. They are extremely well organised, everyone knows their jobs and they play good football at times as well. It’s a challenge that we are looking forward to and we’ve been working had on a plan all week to get the best out of the players tomorrow afternoon. The last couple of games have proved that we are able to mix it up now and win games a different way.” Oops, sorry for the reminder Mark. We have some good news and some bad news for you this week First the good news. The club have reached their original investment target of £500K and have issued a statement to that effect. In fact they have exceeded expectations and you can read about it HERE The bad news is the break up of our defence with Coll Donaldson already away and Jamie McCart following him out the door in the summer if not sooner. As expected, after sitting on the bench at Alloa, Jamie McCart is next to go. He will be on his way to Perth in the summer unless we can sell him now for a few pennies. Sometimes life's a bitch! The final blow would be the departure of the much sought after Shaun Rooney who has been in tremendous form for the Caley Jags lately. Sadly Tommy Wright wants to tie up both players before the weekend. With the run in for a play-off place at stake, this is indeed not what the fans want to hear. Scottish Cup Draw Coll Donaldson is now confined to history after he left the building to join Ross County before last weeks Scottish Cup ties. However, unlike his former Inverness team mates, he won't be in the next round of the cup as Ayr sent them homewards, tae think again. Inverness will host Livingston in the next round, the weekend of February the 8th. Now then, that date rings a bell!
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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 Emma.Williamson@ictfc.co.uk 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. 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  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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???
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