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  1. Brechin pay the Penalty Prior to today, Brechin had only won twice at Inverness in ten encounters. This was a close one that went to penalties to decide who went into the hat for the fourth round draw. Inverness got off to the perfect start through George Oakley in the fifth minute to open the scoring. However, Kevin McHattie levelled the score with a great strike into the top corner after half an hour. Ten minutes before the break Oakley caught the side netting after being fed through by Duffy. A couple of minutes later Nathan Shaw put the hosts back in front. Half Time 2-1. Oakley scored from the spot just after the break, but it was far from job done. Two late strikes from Grady McGrath and Euan Spark took the game to penalties where Inverness just got over the line 4-3. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The first meeting between the sides since 2018 had a low key approach to it. Inverness had Max Ram back in for a start after an early season injury in the League Cup against Kelty Hearts saw him miss the next two months. Billy & Bazza made a number of changes to the side that beat Dundee a week earlier. Cammy Mackay came in for Mark Ridgers with Nathan Shaw, Lewis Hyde and Dan's younger brother Calum all starting. Keith Bray and Mathew Strachan were part of a strong bench for the hosts (Ridgers; Carson, Deas, Allardice, D Mackay, B Mckay, Boyd, Strachan, Bray). Andy Kirk's Brechin had former Inverness players Kevin McHattie and Anthony McDonald in their squad and will be in confident mood after scoring ten goals in their last two games, both away from home. Good to see both these players back performing well on the park after careers disrupted by serious injuries. Aaron Arnott makes his debut for City after coming in on loan from Raith Rovers and Michael McArthur comes back into the starting XI after missing out last week. McHattie started with McDonald on the bench. An early tap in from George Oakley after a great save by keeper Wilson from a Max Ram header set Inverness up nicely but former Inverness defender Kevin McHattie levelled the scores after half an hour with a great curling strike into the top corner from twenty yards. Ten minutes before the break Nathan Shaw put Inverness ahead after Oakley pressurised defender Nathan Cooney into making a costly error before passing to Shaw to score his second goal for the club and that's how it stood at the interval. HALF TIME: 2-1 Oakley converted from the spot 3 minutes after the interval when Duffy was fouled in the box by Cooney. Shaw did well on a couple of occasions after the break but it was Brechin that pulled a goal back through Grady McGrath when he slotted in after Scott set him up with twenty minutes remaining. With ten minutes left they were level after Euan Spark knocked home following a corner. Inverness searched for a winner but time ran out and it went to penalties. Cammy Mackay made a crucial brilliant save from Ryan McInnes in the shoot out then Robbie Deas blasted home his spot kick, and that was the difference. FULL TIME 3-3 Penalties: Brechin City: Bain, McGrath, Loudon, Inglis, McInnes - 3 Inverness CT: B Mckay, Oakley, Boyd, Allardice, Deas - 4 The opening goal was Oakley's 20th goal for the Caley Jags. Incidentally, his first goal was also against Brechin City in a 3-0 league cup win in July 2017 in the 57th minute. Credit to Brechin for making a come back when heads could have dropped just after the interval when Oakley scored his second goal. By all accounts a miserable performance by a side without a number of first picks starting. The only consolation is that we are in the next round, but performances like that won't see us go far in this competition. School report: Must try harder It's no pretty, but we're in the next round From CTO: Awful performance. At 3-1 I thought like most that it was game over despite our midfield setup being so poor. But to concede 2 goals and almost another was criminal, I can't even think apart from Oakley any player that deserved a pass mark! Lethargic, Clueless wrong tactics and player choice made it difficult viewing for the fans.... Well that was painful. 3-1 up and we throw that away. The whole attitude was wrong today. They thought they just had to turn up. No drive,energy,tempo or hunger to win. Passing woeful. This was a great chance for the fringe players to show what they could do and they blew it... Here's Bazza Date: 24/09/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 832 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 3 (4 pens) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Duffy, Devine (Allardice 45), Ram (D Mackay 62), Delaney, Shaw, Hyde, Harper (Deas 45), Doran (B Mckay 83) Callum Mackay (Boyd 62), Oakley Subs (not used): Ridgers; Carson, Strachan, Bray Scorers: Oakley (6, 47pen), Shaw (38) Booked: none Sent Off: none Brechin City: 3 (3 pens) Manager: Andy Kirk Lineup: Wilson; McHattie, Cooney, Northcott, Spark (90+1), Scott (Inglis 90+2), McArthur (Loudon 25), MacLeod, Cruickshank, Arnott (Bain 67), McGrath Subs (not used): Easton; Thomson, McDonald, Naglik Scorers: McHattie (28), McGrath (72), Spark (78) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  2. Challenging Penalty Woe The Caley Jags and Raith had made ten changes between them for this Challenge Cup encounter and that was maybe evident by a lack of quality in the final third with neither side over exerting the opposition keepers in a goalless first half. The second half came and went with Jamieson and Connolly passing up on the best chances and it went to a penalty shoot out. Raith held their bottle better and when Shane Sutherland saw his penalty saved it was Raith that progressed to play Killie who edged out Hamilton 3-2. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness had won this trophy outright twice before and shared it last time it was held with Raith Rovers, who had also a previous win to their name. Could the Caley Jags look forward to the semi-finals against Killie or Accies or will Rovers progress, all will be revealed... A sprinkling of fringe and Academy players were on display as we tried to balance the competitive edge with sustainability as the tough schedule will continue, a Championship encounter against Kilmarnock coming up this Friday night, which surely carries more significance than the SPFL Trust Trophy. With that in mind, Ridgers, Sutherland and Doran did not start with Devine, Broadfoot, Duffy and Duku missing altogether, and he who shall not be named also not named. Under 18 players Kenny MacInnes, Ben Barron, Jamie Carnihan and Duncan Proudfoot made the bench for the first time this evening. Rovers went with a strong starting XI without a spare keeper. Raith set the ball rolling with Inverness playing towards the South stand and the first opportunity to put pressure on the away defence came in the ninth minute when a McDonald free kick was knocked high over the bar under challenge in the box. Reece McAlear flashed a shot from outside the box narrowly past the keepers left hand post after good pressure from the hosts in the twelfth minute. Minutes later Billy Mckay couldn't get his shot away properly and Tom Walsh ballooned the loose ball high into the stand. Centre half for the night Sean Welsh sprayed a couple of wonderful crossfield balls as Inverness probed and Lewis Jamieson smothered a shot from inside the box. Robbie Thomson comfortably flopped on top of the ball to mop up the first real opportunity of the game. A McDonald free kick from the left saw Mckay get the ball into the net but it was ruled offside. It looked a really tight decision to deny Mckay his sixth goal in this competition. Just over half an hour gone and chances were at a premium as Raith were forced into a personnel change with Ethan Ross having to be replaced by Riley-Snow. Cammy Harper made a vital headed clearance as Raith flighted a ball to the back post, the defender putting the ball behind for a fruitless corner. Raith were starting to press more approaching half time. Connolly whipped a free kick into the box but Cammy Mackay was in the right place to block a Benedictus header at the far side of the box. In a half of few chances, it was no surprise it ended goalless at the break, and should it remain that way after ninety minutes it will be penalty kicks that will decide who wins the tie. Half Time: 0-0 Shane Sutherland replaced Billy Mckay during the interval. Positive start to the second half from the hosts and one attack halted by an offside decision inside the box as we looked for an opening. An hour gone and there's still little goalmouth action as Inverness make a double substitution, Welsh and MacGregor off with Kenny Macinnes and Scott Allardice coming on. An untidy phase after the substitutions as both sides reorganised themselves and in the best move of the game a superb ball from McAlear fed Walsh on the left and his ball picked out Jamieson who tried to dink it over Thomson, alas the keeper spread himself well to block the effort. The hosts were upping the intensity on the visitors end and Jamieson almost picked out a comrade in the box after a good break down the left side with fifteen minutes to go. Cammy Mackay confidently punched clear from a corner as Raith came back into proceedings. Harper found Walsh at a tighter angle than he would have liked and he fired wide from eight yards as the game entered the final ten. Mackay was called into action as Raith swung a ball in from the left, the keeper pulling a header out of the air relatively comfortably. Aidan Connolly shot just wide with Mackay flying full length across his goalmouth as both sides looked for a winner before penalty kicks became real. Into time added on and Raith would launch a long ball from a free kick in their own half but it was mopped up and penalties it was. Full Time: 0-0 Penalty Kicks Tait 1 Doran 1 Berra 2 Harper 2 Mathews 2 Deas 2 Varian 3 Jamieson 3 Connolly 4 Allardice 4 Dick 5 Sutherland 4 Raith win shoot-out 5-4 Date: 30/11/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 000 Referee: Barry Cook Inverness CT: 0 (4) Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: C Mackay; Carson (Carnihan 77), Deas, Harper, McDonald, Welsh (Allardice 61), McAlear (Doran 77) MacGregor (Macinnes 61), Walsh, Jamieson, Mckay (Sutherland 45) Subs (not used): Ridgers; Barron, Proudfoot, Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 0 (5) Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: Thomson; Tumilty, Berra, Benedictus (Lang 79), Dick, Connolly, Mathews, Tait, Ross (Riley-Snow 35 - Arnott 79), Zanatta (Mitchell 57), Poplatnik (Varian 56) Subs (not used): Musonda, Young Scorers: none Booked: Riley-Snow (42) Sent Off: none a
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