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  1. 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.
  2. *** VOTING IN THE POLL ABOVE IS FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE AT THE MATCH ONLY *** If you were at the match, please use the poll above to vote for your top 3 players. As a bit of fun, we have also added an option to rate the referee .... Please make sure you vote for 3 separate players. If you make an error, let us know so we can fix it. PLEASE ONLY VOTE ABOVE IF YOU WERE AT THE GAME or WATCHING LIVE STREAM DURING COVID RESTRICTIONS Anyone caught trying to cheat the system WILL be banned from voting in ALL site polls...this is your only warning. **NOT at the game ?** As a result of requests received, we have made a slight change to how these threads work for site users who watched the game on TV or listened to the full game live on the radio ....... You too will now be able to cast your votes, but should do it in the thread below, and NOT in the official poll above. Just list the three players of your choosing and award 5,3, or 1 point(s). You can give the ref a mark if you want too ! These votes will NOT be counted in the official total, as we only count votes from those who where actually at the game, but it IS a way for you to participate in the process .... which many people asked for .... a happy medium we hope !!!!!
  3. Harper stuns Dundee The first meeting of the sides this season ended in victory for the visitors. Dundee took an early lead through Sweeney but Cammy Harper levelled almost immediately with a curling shot from outside the box. Austin Samuels day was over five minutes before the interval. Just on the break Billy Mckay scored from the spot to put the visitors ahead after Harper had been fouled. Paul McMullan made it all square ten minutes after the interval although that goal has now been attributed to Joe Grayson. However, man of the match Harper restored the visitors advantage from twenty-five yards with seven minutes left. That ended the scoring and sealed the points before Sweeney was sent off for a second bookable offence as the game slipped away from Dundee. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without Sutherland, Walsh, Duffy, Welsh, and MacGregor but Austin Samuels was deemed fit enough to start with Aaron Doran making the bench. New Dens manager Gary Bowyer had Zach Robinson as the main attacking threat with thorn in our side Paul McMullan one of the providers. Zak Rudden was on the bench. A minutes silence was held prior to kick-off as a mark of respect for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. An early corner for the hosts saw Billy Mckay brilliantly clear the ball off his line whilst lying on the deck with a double block. The corner had been headed towards goal in a crowded box by Ashcroft and flicked on by Robinson two yards out. Mckay kept the header out and as he went to ground Robinson reacted quick to hook a left footed shot goalwards. Miraculously Mckay was in the right place at the post to keep the ball out. Incredibly one Dundee player claimed the ball was over the line. That's remarkable eyesight from thirty yards away in a crowded box. The opening goal would come from another corner in another crowded box minutes later. Grayson's corner may well have come off an Inverness player before entering the net. Difficult to spot with around fourteen players inside the six-yard box. Sweeny given the credit at the moment. Inverness responded three minutes later after a clearance from a corner was miscued. The ball was then laid back to Cammy Harper by Robbie Deas to the edge of the D where Harper curled a precision strike into the keepers top right corner via Sharp's fingertips. What a strike! Yet another corner for Dundee caused problems in the Inverness box as the rugby style scrum rush saw Ashcroft's header tipped over the bar by Mark Ridgers. Austin Samuels was replaced by Aaron Doran five minutes before the interval and Sweeney got his first card for crudely upending Mckay who was skipping past him on the right wing after sucking the defender in. Harper created and won a penalty after bursting into the Dundee box only for keeper Sharp to rashly bring him down. Mckay was faultless from the spot as Sharp went the wrong way and that was half time. HALF TIME: 1-2 We almost went two ahead just after the break after Harper caused problems with a drive into the box, When the ball came back in a massive scrambulation ensued with Doran amazingly unable to turn the ball into the net as bodies threw themselves between him and the goal line three yards away before Sharp grabbed the loose ball. Dan Mackay was getting forward well and he fired a shot just over the bar from the left angle of the box after cutting inside. Billy Mckay would go even closer from a tighter angle on the left as he hooked a volley just over from ten yards. Dundee levelled the game when McMullan shot for goal after a corner was retrieved and it appears that Joe Grayson was the last to stab the ball into the net. McMullan saw an effort saved comfortably by Ridgers as Dundee looked to get back in front. We had our own melee in our box as Dundee went on the front foot, a couple of blocks and timely interventions keeping them at bay. Inverness went back in front again and it was that man Harper once more with another tremendous strike from twenty-two yards. Doran held the ball well down the left side. When he played the ball inside up stepped Harper to drill a low shot across the keeper from the edge of the D into Sharps bottom left corner. Exquisite! The game was now slipping away from Dundee and when Sweeney clumsily brought down Delaney on a seventy-yard run it was game over for Dundee and Sweeney who was given a second yellow and a red card for an early bath. FULL TIME: 2-3 A fabulous result for Inverness after a couple of lacklustre performances with Cammy Harper outstanding. Two tremendous goals and an assist for the penalty. Much more belief and much more passion on display. Defending from front to back with strikers willing to put their bodies on the line for the cause CTO Mantis: Dundee dominated but tbh Ridgers never had a lot to do. Deas and Devine won nearly everything they could throw at us from their many free kicks and corners. McMullan was probably their best player. Looked a bit ominous when they were able to throw on players like McGinn, Rudden and McGowan but after the red card we just took the p1ss. Delaney looks like being a player MotM Cammy Harper Date: 17/09/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4396 Referee: Peter Stuart Dundee FC: 2 Manager: Gary Bowyer Lineup: Sharp; French, Sweeney, McGhee, Marshall, Ashcroft, Mulligan (McGinn 70), Robinson (Rudden 70), McMullan, Williamson (McGowan 56), Grayson Subs (not used): Legzdins; Kerr, Sheridan, Strachan, Cameron, Anderson Scorers: Sweeney (12), McMullan Grayson(55) Booked: Grayson (16), Sweeney (42), Williamson (57), Sweeney (89) Sent Off: Sweeney (89) Inverness CT: 3 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Deas, Delaney, D Mackay (Hyde 86), Allardice, Harper, Samuels (Doran 40), Boyd, B Mckay (Oakley 75) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Ram, Shaw, C Mackay Scorers: Harper (15, 83), B Mckay (45+2 pen) Booked: Deas or Devine (5), Ridgers (56) Sent Off: none a
  4. Dundee Test   We head down the road to the City of Discovery this Saturday to discover that Dens Park is now the Kilmac Stadium. What next? The game is scheduled for a 3:00pm kick-off with away fans being housed in the Bob Shankly Stand in what will be a tough encounter for the recovering Caley Jags after a shaky couple of weeks where optimism was replaced by pessimism. However a welcome three points at Raith Rovers has lifted spirits and hopefully we are  getting back on track. MATCH/TICKET/SUPPORTERS BUS INFO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 16 7 8 1 27 15 +12 Away 19 6 8 5 25 23 +2 Neutral 2 0 0 2 2 4 -2 Total 37 13 16 8 54 42 +12 Surprisingly, the stats show that we have had the better of Dundee both home and away. The most recent scores are fairly even with Dundee just edging it. The two neutral venue wins both went the way of Dundee in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2003 and the Final of the Challenge Cup (Alba Cup) at McDiarmid Park Perth in 2009, where the Dark Blues edged out Inverness 3-2. FROM HEROES TO ZERO'S: Report by Hislopsoffsideagain Heroes at half-time: Zero's at the final whistle. Two up and coasting at the break, Inverness Caledonian Thistle suffered an extraordinary second half collapse and threw away their chance at a second Challenge Cup title, crashing 3-2 to Dundee. ICT had raced into a deserved half time lead thanks to goals from Adam Rooney and Nauris Bulvitis, and probably should have been further ahead. However, the scores were level within seven second half minutes after a Bulvitis own goal and a Gary Harkins strike, and Craig Forsyth popped up late on to score the winner. In front of 8,000 fans, this author predicted that both sides would be nervous and the match would be cagey from the off. Dundee followed that script; Inverness had other ideas. Terry Butcher had made only one change from the side which beat Airdrie United last week, with Jonny Hayes replacing Dougie Imrie. It quickly looked like a masterstroke, as the opening period might better have been known as The Jonathan Hayes Show. ICT came flying out of the traps, and dominated the early stages as their opponents looked nervous and worried. Hayes was at the centre of everything good, tormenting his full-back. He created the first chance of the match for Richie Foran, latching onto Grant Munro’s long diagonal pass and firing the ball across the face of the box. Foran, however, could only knock the ball into the side netting with the goal gaping. That spurned opportunity only served to spur Caley Thistle on. Danni Sanchez was to come even closer, smacking an Adam Rooney cutback against the crossbar. Like with Foran, he probably should have scored, but it was clear a goal was coming, and there was no surprise that Hayes was the creator; cutting in off the right flank, his inswinger cross was met by Adam Rooney’s forehead and the ball flew into the net. It was no less than ICT deserved for a blistering start. Dundee threatened on occasion, with a fabulous Munro block deflecting Sean Higgins’ header wide, but Inverness showed no interest in sitting on their lead. Bulvitis looked to have doubled the advantage when he flicked a loose ball home after Rab Douglas had dropped a corner, only for the referee to rule the Dundee keeper had been fouled. But the Latvian had the ball in the net again soon after, and this time it stood. Dundee made a hash of another set piece, and Grant Munro flicked the ball back into the danger zone for his centre-half partner to knock past Douglas from point-blank range. Dundee looked stunned, Caley were ecstatic. The hitherto quiet Harkins had a half-chance to get one back, but shot wide after Esson had flapped at a cross. As the first forty-five drew to a close, Inverness might have been even further clear. Sanchez wriggled free in midfield and played in Rooney, but his fierce shot was brilliantly blocked by Douglas’ right hand, the veteran using all his experience and size to deny the Highlanders a third goal. That save would turn out to be critical. But when the half time whistle blew, Inverness fans celebrated as if the game was won. Sadly, it turned out that most of the players were thinking along the same lines. Half Time: Dundee 0-2 Inverness CT It was no surprise that Dundee manager Jocky Scott fired a rocket up his underperforming side, but Terry Butcher’s words appeared to have the same effect as a heavy dose of rohypnol. Dundee made no changes at the break, but within seven minutes they were back level, and without having to break sweat. First Richie Hart got the ball on the right and, with Golabek standing off him, he whipped in a dangerous cross which Bulvitis, under pressure from Higgins, headed into his own net. Cue the familiar scenes of confusion and arguing amongst the defenders. But the warnings were not heeded, as Forsyth wandered down the right, and his shot was palmed by Esson straight to the feet of Harkins, with the former Partick man making no mistake from six yards. Inverness looked shell-shocked, and Butcher’s decision to replace Sanchez with the more defensive Lee Cox stank of shutting the door after the horse had bolted. Dundee continued to look more threatening, with Leigh Griffiths the next to pass up a chance; the forward took advantage of Ross Tokely’s failure to intercept a through ball, but Esson managed to get a hand on the ball as he attempted to round the keeper. But with little attacking threat from ICT, there was little surprise that the winner came for Dundee. With seven minutes left, Harkins turned creator – from the Dundee right flank again – and cut the ball back for Forsyth to smash into the top corner. There was no sign of a comeback, even when Butcher turned to his bench in the dying seconds to send on Eric Odhiambo and Dougie Imrie. The latter had time to make an impact of sorts; an appalling lunge from behind on Pat Clarke saw him sent off only four minutes after his arrival. Caley’s hopes of a dramatic equalizer went down the tunnel with him. Full Time: Dundee 3-2 Inverness CT As the Dark Blues celebrated, we were left in bewilderment as we navigated the wet A9 back North; how on earth did we manage to blow that? The patented Hislopsoffsideagain Man Of The Match Award There were eleven candidates for this at half-time; there were considerably fewer at the end. Adam Rooney probably shades it after an energetic effort with a deserved goal, while Russell Duncan also put in a phenomenal shift and, as stated above, Jonny Hayes was greased lightning early on but faded as the match progressed. Last 10 Competitive Meetings 1 - 1 (H) 1 - 2 (A) 2 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 1 (A) 0 - 1 (H) 2 - 2 (A) 2 - 0 (A) Biggest Victories May 14th, 2016 League (H) 4 - 0 Heaviest Defeats Aug 17th, 1994 League Cup (Rd 2) (A) 0 - 3 Highest Attendance Apr 20th, 2003 Scottish Cup (Semi-Final) (N) 14,429 Highest Home Attendance May 1st, 2010 League (H) 6,031 SATURDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER Dundee v Inverness  Hamilton v Queen's Pk Morton v Arbroath  Partick v Cove       Rovers v Ayr Utd   Last Time Out Dundee saw off Queens Park 3-0. Two first half goals from Zach Robinson and a third from Zak Rudden did the damage and that puts the Dark Blues in third place on eight points, two more than Inverness.  Inverness went to Starks Park after a mini slump and came away with all three points as we subdued then went on to get the better of Raith Rovers. Scott Allardice opened the scoring from the spot on the hour before Billy Mckay sealed the points at the death with a goal that put him second on his own in our all time scoring chart. That result moved us up to fifth in the table. Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts   1. Ayr United 6 4 2 0 12 7 14 2. Partick Thistle 6 4 1 1 14 8 13 3. Dundee 6 3 1 2 11 8 10 4. Queens Park 6 3 1 2 10 11 10 5. Inverness CT 6 2 2 2 8 7 8 6. Morton 6 2 2 2 5 5 8 7. Hamilton Ac. 6 1 4 1 7 8 7 8. Raith Rovers 6 2 0 4 5 8 6 9. Cove Rangers 6 1 1 4 7 11 4 10. Arbroath 6 0 2 4 3 9 2 Latest Team News Long Term casualties are still much the same with Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh recuperating. Doran, Samuels and Ram have had a weeks training. Still a reluctance to reveal all which makes me wonder if Sean Welsh might be nearing a return. Who knows, it's all guesswork at the moment, but the extra week off will be beneficial to all those recovering. Here's what Billy had to say about it.   Eric's Dundee FC update Departed from Dundee from last season: Centre backs Zeno Ibsen-Rossi end of loan from Bournemouth and Liam Fontaine transferred to FC Edinburgh. Christie Elliot right back has retired, and fellow right back Vontae Daley-Campbell's loan from Leicester U21 expired. One-time Rangers, Blackpool and Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam is posted as being without a club and may have retired at 36 years of age. Declan McDaid midfielder transferred to Bohemians and forward Danny Mullen is now at Partick Thistle. New era at Dens Park After the departure of manager Mark McGhee in his short and unsuccessful period in charge the Board at Dundee appointed Gary Bowyer as his replacement. Gary Bowyer was a central defender in England with Hereford United, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham before he was forced to retire aged 25 due to injury. Bowyer then turned to coaching and management spending the majority of that apprenticeship at Blackburn Rovers from 2004 being U18 manager, reserve team manager then progressing to the Senior team between 2012 and 2018. More recently he was manager of Salford FC for 61 games. A couple of centre backs have been brought in: Joe Grayson on loan from Barrow once a Blackburn U21 player and Tyler French signed from Wrexham. On Loan from Rangers FC is midfielder Ben Williamson who was on loan last season at Raith Rovers. Up front Zak Rudden has made his loan spell from Partick Thistle a permanent move and centre forward Zach Robinson has made a move up north on loan from AFC Wimbledon and he looks to be a big threat having scored twice against Queens Park a couple of weeks ago.   Second in line to the throne now.....  
  5. GAME OFF RIP Ma'am All games called off as a mark of respect for Queen Elizabeth II    Hamilton Accies are the visitors this weekend after we picked up a welcome three points last week at Raith Rovers. It's a 3:00pm kick-off at the Caledonian Stadium where three points are a must before we head to Dens Park next week in what will no doubt be a testing game. MATCH/TICKET INFO Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 15 5 4 6 25 19 +6 Away 11 6 2 3 17 13 +4 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 26 11 6 9 42 32 +10 It seems that the away side have the edge in fixtures between these sides over the years, but there;s not a lot in it. Recent games show that Accies have the edge although we pumped them 4-0 in the last meeting last season as we warmed up for the play-offs and Accies wound down their season. Last 10 Competitive Meetings 4 - 0 (H) 1 - 1 (A) 1 - 2 (H) 1 - 2 (A) 2 - 1 (H) 0 - 3 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 1 - 1 (A) 1 - 0 (A) 0 - 1 (H)   Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts   1. Ayr United 6 4 2 0 12 7 14 2. Partick Thistle 6 4 1 1 14 8 13 3. Dundee 6 3 1 2 11 8 10 4. Queens Park 6 3 1 2 10 11 10 5. Inverness CT 6 2 2 2 8 7 8 6. Morton 6 2 2 2 5 5 8 7. Hamilton Ac. 6 1 4 1 7 8 7 8. Raith Rovers 6 2 0 4 5 8 6 9. Cove Rangers 6 1 1 4 7 11 4 10. Arbroath 6 0 2 4 3 9 2 FRIDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER Cove 19:45 Dundee SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER Arbroath v Rovers    Ayr Utd v Partick Inverness CT v Hamilton        Queen's v Morton  Last Time Out Leighton McIntosh's late equaliser earned Cove a point at home to Accies. Jean Pierre Tiehi had put Hamilton in front in the first half but Jamie Masson equalised with a long-range strike. Daniel O'Reilly restored Accies' lead but supersub McIntosh came off the bench for the second week running to level matters. Accies footprint so far:  Draw 1-1 v MORTON ~ Draw 1-1 v PARTICK ~ Draw 2-2 v AYR Utd. ~ Lost 0-2 V RAITH ~  Won 1-0 v ARBROATH ~ Draw 2-2 v COVE. After some inept performances, Inverness came away from Stark's Park with all three points. A Scott Allardice penalty and a goal in time added on from Billy Mckay secured the win against a punchless Raith Rovers. Many were doubting if we had the bottle for the battle. Well, we won this fight, but the war will continue and some optimism and confidence will return after this game played without seven injured players. Credit where it's due for this mini turnaround. Latest Team News Sutherland, Walsh, Samuels, MacGregor, Ram, Welsh and Doran were all missing at Kirkaldy.   Eck's Accies catch-up With ex ICT player John Rankin taking over from outgoing manager Stuart Taylor in the summer break he has taken in some new faces at Hamilton. Rankin spent a season as assistant manager at New Douglas Park and prior managerial experience at Hearts U17 & U18 teams. Out are. Joe Hilton goalkeeper saw his loan from Blackburn U21 ended after 16 Championship starts last season. Backs Mihai Popescu end of loan, Adam McGowan currently on loan to Tranent JFC and Kieran Macdonald away on a free to FC Edinburgh. Of the midfield players departed are Ronan Hughes off to East Kilbride and Josh Mullin recalled to Livingston after loan expired. David Moyo, centre forward has been transferred to Barrow AFC. Winger Kai Kennedy the perpetual loan player from Rangers FC is now out on loan at Falkirk FC so will not appear against us in the Championship this season. Rankins new recruits. Michael Doyle a right back arrives from Queens Park FC, no fee involved. Three players added to the midfield are Lucas De Bolle on loan from Newcastle FC youth to U 21 level. Another Newcastle youngster is Reagan Thomson in on a free transfer and Jonny Ngandu has signed from the Coventry U21 squad. On the left-wing Dario Zanatta previously of the Hearts youth system signed via Raith Rovers FC. On loan from Fulham FC is centre forward Jean-Pierre Tiehi. Promoted from Hamilton U18s is Ryan One as an attacking centre forward.  
  6. Is the Pendulum Swinging... It's been a long time since Raith became the dominant force in these encounters, but given our less than impressive recent form, it looks like the pendulum will be swinging the other way very soon. Already bowing down to the likes of Arbroath, Morton, Hamilton etc, we need to get our house in order on and off the park and show the desire, passion and commitment to compete at this level. Failure will have massive repercussions which could well signal the demise of the Caley Jags as we know them. Raith Rovers will host Inverness on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick-off. MATCH INFO/TICKETS/SUPPORTERS TRAVEL Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 19 13 4 2 37 14 +23 Away 15 8 4 3 30 19 +11 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 34 21 8 5 67 33 +34 Last 10 Competitive Meetings 3 - 2 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 0 - 0 (H) 1 - 1 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 0 - 0 (H) 2 - 0 (H) 3 - 3 (A) 4 - 1 (H) Biggest Victories Jan 12th, 2002 League (H) 5 - 0 Heaviest Defeats Aug 26th, 2000 League (A) 1 - 4 Last League game We slumped to defeat at home to Morton, another side we became accustomed to beating regularly. A Gillespie penalty undoing us in another lack lustre performance, hot on the heels of the 4-1 drubbing at Firhill. Rovers lost out to Partick Thistle 2-1 at Firhill. Tiffoney and Lawless put Partick two ahead but Ethan Ross replied immediately just before the break. That's how it finished. That leaves Rovers one point above Inverness Games this Saturday Arbroath v Partick Cove v Accies Dundee v Queen's Morton v Ayr Utd Raith Rovers v Inverness CT Latest Team News Add Roddy MacGregor to the injury list after the Motherwell game, but George Oakley will rejoin the squad after being suspended in midweek. Usual suspects still out and two or three still carrying injuries. Eric's Stark Revelations Raith have a managerial change since last season with John McGlynn moving to Falkirk, his replacement is Ian Murray who joins after his contract expired at Ardrieonians. The defenders who have left Stark's Park are Kyle Benedictus to Dunfermline, Frankie Musonda now at Ayr United, David Mackay left to join Q.O.S. and Reghan Tumulty transferred to Hartlepool Utd. In addition Seam Mackie's loan spell ended while Greig Young has been sent out on loan to Elgin City. Finally at the age of 37 veteran Christophe Berra has retired. Midfielder Ben Williamson has been recalled to Rangers after his loan Of last seasons forwards Matej Poplatnik loan from Livingston ended and Ethon Varian who was on loan from Stoke U21 is now with Irish side Bohemians. New arrivals at Stark's Park. A fourth goalkeeper has been added to the squad in Andy McNeil from Berwick Rangers. Ryan Nolan an Irish born centre back saw his development with Inter U17 & U19 in Italy and came on a transfer via Northampton Town. Another centre back Connor O'Riordan is on loan from Crewe Alexandra. On loan from Aberdeen FC B is left back Kieran Ngwenya and at right back is Ross Millen transfer from Scunthorpe Utd previously with numerous Scottish clubs such as Dunfermline, Queens Park, Kilmarnock and Clyde FC. Scott Brown a central midfield player joins from Peterhead FC. Up front centre forward Kyle Connell is on loan from Kilmarnock. Long term injuries for Raith are. Tom Lang centre back, cruciate ligament surgery Ross Mathews midfield, sore toe Brad Spencer midfield, foot surgery Lewis Vaughan forward, cruciate ligament rupture. Cheers Eck. Breaking News Due to our inability to hit the target recently, new goalposts have been installed at the Caledonian Stadium to give us a better chance of scoring. A club spokesperson has said "we can't hit a coo in the arse with a banjo, so this should help us to improve our goals scored".
  7. Is the Pendulum Swinging... It's been a long time since Raith became the dominant force in these encounters, but given our less than impressive recent form, it looks like the pendulum will be swinging the other way very soon. Already bowing down to the likes of Arbroath, Morton, Hamilton etc, we need to get our house in order on and off the park and show the desire, passion and commitment to compete at this level. Failure will have massive repercussions which could well signal the demise of the Caley Jags as we know them. Raith Rovers will host Inverness on Saturday with a 3:00pm kick-off. MATCH INFO/TICKETS/SUPPORTERS TRAVEL Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 19 13 4 2 37 14 +23 Away 15 8 4 3 30 19 +11 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 34 21 8 5 67 33 +34 Last 10 Competitive Meetings 3 - 2 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 0 - 0 (H) 1 - 1 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 0 - 0 (H) 2 - 0 (H) 3 - 3 (A) 4 - 1 (H) Biggest Victories Jan 12th, 2002 League (H) 5 - 0 Heaviest Defeats Aug 26th, 2000 League (A) 1 - 4 Last League game We slumped to defeat at home to Morton, another side we became accustomed to beating regularly. A Gillespie penalty undoing us in another lack lustre performance, hot on the heels of the 4-1 drubbing at Firhill. Rovers lost out to Partick Thistle 2-1 at Firhill. Tiffoney and Lawless put Partick two ahead but Ethan Ross replied immediately just before the break. That's how it finished. That leaves Rovers one point above Inverness Games this Saturday Arbroath v Partick Cove v Accies Dundee v Queen's Morton v Ayr Utd Raith Rovers v Inverness CT Latest Team News Add Roddy MacGregor to the injury list after the Motherwell game, but George Oakley will rejoin the squad after being suspended in midweek. Usual suspects still out and two or three still carrying injuries. Eric's Stark Revelations Raith have a managerial change since last season with John McGlynn moving to Falkirk, his replacement is Ian Murray who joins after his contract expired at Ardrieonians. The defenders who have left Stark's Park are Kyle Benedictus to Dunfermline, Frankie Musonda now at Ayr United, David Mackay left to join Q.O.S. and Reghan Tumulty transferred to Hartlepool Utd. In addition Seam Mackie's loan spell ended while Greig Young has been sent out on loan to Elgin City. Finally at the age of 37 veteran Christophe Berra has retired. Midfielder Ben Williamson has been recalled to Rangers after his loan Of last seasons forwards Matej Poplatnik loan from Livingston ended and Ethon Varian who was on loan from Stoke U21 is now with Irish side Bohemians. New arrivals at Stark's Park. A fourth goalkeeper has been added to the squad in Andy McNeil from Berwick Rangers. Ryan Nolan an Irish born centre back saw his development with Inter U17 & U19 in Italy and came on a transfer via Northampton Town. Another centre back Connor O'Riordan is on loan from Crewe Alexandra. On loan from Aberdeen FC B is left back Kieran Ngwenya and at right back is Ross Millen transfer from Scunthorpe Utd previously with numerous Scottish clubs such as Dunfermline, Queens Park, Kilmarnock and Clyde FC. Scott Brown a central midfield player joins from Peterhead FC. Up front centre forward Kyle Connell is on loan from Kilmarnock. Long term injuries for Raith are. Tom Lang centre back, cruciate ligament surgery Ross Mathews midfield, sore toe Brad Spencer midfield, foot surgery Lewis Vaughan forward, cruciate ligament rupture. Cheers Eck. Breaking News Due to our inability to hit the target recently, new goalposts have been installed at the Caledonian Stadium to give us a better chance of scoring. A club spokesperson has said "we can't hit a coo in the arse with a banjo, so this should help us to improve our goals scored".
  8. League Cup drubbing As expected, Inverness were dismissed by a rampant Motherwell before half time. An early tap in from Kevin van Veen put Motherwell in control and before half an hour Danny Devine turned a Matt Penney cross into his own net. Our injury woes increased with Nathan Shaw being replaced by Steven Boyd after thirty minutes. Sean Goss won a penalty which was converted by van Veen and it was game over by the interval. Another van Veen penalty completed his hat-trick with twenty three minutes left. The game then descended into a substitution frenzy with Motherwell safely into the draw for the next round. Good luck to them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy were back in defence but Aaron Doran, Austin Samuels and George Oakley were all missing along with long termers Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh. This was a big ask for a struggling Championship side and a big step up in quality. And so it turned out, but the lack of passion and desire is something new to us and that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately this was no surprise as Motherwell brushed a poor Inverness team aside before the interval. Our highlight was in the 87th minute when Calum Mackay replaced older brother Daniel. Plenty for Billy Dodds to think about, and sadly we look out of our depth at the moment. Date: 31/08/2022 Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Attendance: 3982 Referee: Kevin Clancy Motherwell: 4 Manager: Steven Hammell Lineup: Kelly; McGinn, Solholm, Lamie, Penney, Goss (Maguire 79), Slattery (Miller 79), Spittal (McKinstry 72), Efford (Aarons 71), Tierney, van Veen (Shields 76) Subs (not used): Oxborough; O'Donnell, Mugabi, Cornelius Scorers: van Veen (9, 38 pen, 67 pen), Devine (og 26) Booked: Slattery (19) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine (Hyde 71), Deas, Harper, D Mackay (Calum Mackay 87), Carson, Allardice, MacGregor (Delaney 45), Shaw (Boyd 29), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; C Mackay, Scorers: none Booked: Deas (55), Ridgers (66), Boyd (86) Sent Off: none a
  9. More rubbish than the streets of Edinburgh The fans turned up looking for a reaction after the feeble attempt at Firhill last Friday. They would leave disappointed after 95 minutes with lots of questions unanswered as they slumped to a second defeat in a row to a bang average Morton side who had previously only ever won three games at the Caledonian Stadium in nineteen encounters. Goalless at the break, Grant Gillespie slotted home a penalty with five minutes remaining after Duffy handled in the box. Woeful stuff from Billy Dodds and his hapless team. Simply another inept performance from the Caley Jags who are now six points behind early leaders Ayr United. It could have been worse but for Mark Ridgers who saved well from Jaze Kabia's twenty yard volley and another great save from a Jai Quitongo effort. Steven Boyd had the first serious attempt in the tenth minute but it was comfortable for the Morton keeper and Austin Samuels shot high and wide as Inverness looked for an opening. However his game ended after 24 minutes through injury with Nathan Shaw replacing him. Roddy MacGregor had a close range effort saved and it was looking promising without being too critical, but in truth we were still too pedestrian with clear chances at a premium in the little goalmouth action there was on display, Morton looking more intent on not conceding than scoring one for themselves. Kabia produced the first bit of decent play followed a second later by the next, a great save in the top corner by Ridgers to deny Morton the lead five minutes before the break. Half Time: 0-0 An untidy opening to the second half came to a close when Ridgers did brilliantly again to deny Quitongo on the hour, tipping his 12 yard volley onto the bar and over for a corner, as we huffed and puffed without doing anything. Nothing noteworthy happened until Duffy handled, Gillespie scored and the fans were left frustrated once more as they could see all this coming a mile away. The decision was maybe a tad harsh as the ball was being knocked out of the box some 18 yards from goal and hit a flailing arm, but penalty was given. Hold on, the referee was Nick Walsh, maybe that explains it. A MacGregor header over and a Dan Mackay shot were all we could muster as the game petered out and another defeat it was. Full Time: 0-1 Well well well, where do we go from here. The two year olde question of where is our right back has not been addressed. Where has our desire gone is also a mystery. Where is our ability to take throw ins, (wait, we never ever had that), where is our ability to attack at pace. Gone are the days of swashbuckling moves late in the game to salvage something, we are now down to punting hopeful balls forward waiting for something to happen instead of making it happen. Below is a selection from the unhappy bunnies on the forum here on CaleyThistleOnline Match Reaction from CTO Well, that was horrendous. I really believe now that Dodds has no idea how to set up and inspire a team. There was no energy, no pace, no desire, no leadership, no tactics, unless you count the hopeful hoofball that the team likes to play. We keep hearing that their all happy campers but that is not what it appears like. You get the impression that something is upsetting the applecart. Battered by Partick mugged by Morton....and not a glove laid on either.... Was like watching a training exercise... no urgency, no creativity, no pace, no tactics, no inspiration, no imagination, no skill, and no heart! Looking at that team today, there's nothing there. There's nothing that says to me that this team can challenge for the title. And the winner is: Two blokes stranded on a desert island, with no way of contacting the outside world. "Caley Thistle got beaten again!" "How do you know?" "Back home, it's ten to five on a Saturday." Date: 27/08/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1924 Referee: Nick Walsh Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Deas, Harper, Samuels (Shaw 24) Allardice, MacGregor, Boyd, Oakley (D Mackay 67), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Delaney, Devine, C Mackay Scorers: none Booked: Allardice (38), B Mckay (50), Boyd (73) Sent Off: none Morton: 1 Manager: Dougie Imrie Lineup: Schwake; King (Strapp 67), O'Connor, Baird, Pignatiello (Hynes 81), Muirhead, Blues, Gillespie, Crawford, Kabia (McGrattan 80), Quitongo Subs (not used): Green, Lyon, Lithgow. Scorers: Gillespie (pen 85) Booked: Crawford (86), Gillespie (90+2) Quitongo (90+5) Sent Off: none a
  10. Ton of trouble   After last weeks sobering experience at the hands of Partick Thistle, Dougie Imrie's Morton head North looking to pose more problems for Inverness. It's a 3:00pm kick-off on Saturday with both clubs sitting on five points after four games, three behind early pace setters Ayr United. Our squad were somewhat depleted last weekend and there's no sign of much improvement on the injury front. We are a bit thin on defensive cover, especially down the right, but that's nothing new. We have only had a couple of years to sort that one out. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TICKET INFO   Venue - H2H v Morton Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 19 12 4 3 46 17 +29 Away 17 10 3 4 35 19 +16 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 36 22 7 7 81 36 +45 Head 2 Head results show that we have lost only three times at home to Morton in nineteen games, although the most recent was a 1-0 defeat at the Caledonian Stadium last season. That was a hard one to get your head round considering we had thumped them 6-1 in the previous league game at Cappielow before Xmas, our biggest ever win over Morton. It also coincided with a massive dip in fortunes when we never won a game for an eternity, possibly costing us automatic promotion. Overall the stats are heavily in our favour with a plus 45 goal difference. Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Morton. (click on scores to view more) 1 - 0 (A) 0 - 1 (H) 6 - 1 (A) 1 - 1 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 2 - 0 (H) 4 - 1 (A) 0 - 1 (H) 2 - 2 (A) 3 - 2 (H) Biggest Victories Dec 11th, 2021 League (Championship) (A) 6 - 1 Aug 30th, 2019 League (H) 5 - 0 Heaviest Defeats Nov 12th, 1999 League (A) 1 - 5 FRIDAY 26TH AUGUST Ayr United19:45Dundee SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST Hamilton v Arbroath Inverness v Morton     Partick v Rovers Queen's v Cove     The season so far Morton started their campaign at New Douglas Park with a 1-1 draw against Hamilton. That was followed by a 1-0 home win over Cove Rangers thanks to a Jai Quitongo strike then a defeat by Raith Rovers, going down 2-1 at Starks Park. Last week was a massive game for them with a no scoring draw against title favourites Dundee at Cappielow, Robbie Muirhead hitting the post with a late flick on target. After mediocre early draws culminating in a 4-1 beating of Cove, we got a rude awakening last Friday night when an error strewn defensive display saw us hammered 4-1 on the telly at Firhill. George Oakley got the definitive consolation goal, probably more than we deserved. We will need better if we want to get into the top four in what will be a tight division.  Dodds no happy after Partick Pumping... Latest Team News Sutherland and Walsh are long term absentees. Sean Welsh and Max Ram are recovering. Carson and Duffy are nursing injuries and Danny Devine missed out at Partick as he struggles for fitness. Prove me wrong Billy, but my money is team lines similar to Partick away!     Eric's Morton Movers (and there's plenty) Manager Dougie Imrie reshaped his squad after the summer break. Out go both keepers, Jack Hamilton in a move to Livingston and Joshua Bysouth currently without a club. Backs released: Jamie Brandon end of loan deal. Oisin McEntee end of loan from Newcastle FC Brian McLean moves to Clyde, and Mark Russell on a free move to Galway United. Imrie appears to have kept faith in the majority of his midfield. Kyle Jacobs sent out on loan to Edinburgh FC, Iain Wilson off to QOS and on loan Tom Allan returns to parent club Newcastle Up front only Robbie Muirhead remains from last seasons strike force. The following players have left: Gavin Reilly end of loan from Livingston. Gary Oliver joined Falkirk, Gozie Ugwu released no club and Alexander Easdale centre forward has retired at the tender age of 22 to take up a position in the family business. New faces at Cappielow. Between the sticks the manager has handed the No. 1 jersey to the American born Brian Schwake who at 21 years of age arrive on a season loan from Livingston. Back up keeper is a another young player in 19 year old Lawton Green, a New Zealander previously with Motherwell B. Centre backs Darragh O'Connor from Motherwell and Jack Baird last couple of seasons at Ayr United. Carlo Pignatiello a right back comes in from Livingston FC Robbie Crawford, midfielder from Partick Thistle, also in the middle of the park we have Grant Gillespie from Queens Park FC and he has been handed captaincy of the team. Up front on loan from Livingston is Jaze Kabia a right winger and in on a free from Queens Park is centre forward Jai Quitongo who is incidentally son of Jose Quitongo who had a long career with numerous clubs in Scotland.
  11. Friday Footie Frills at Firhill It's Friday Footie Frills at Firhill for a TV spectacular as we take on fellow contenders Partick Thistle in the Championship. This game can be seen on BBC Scotland, that's cooncil TV to you and me, or even better get yersel along to Firhill and cheer the lads on. It's a 7:45pm kick off as two of the fancied teams for a play-off place meet head on. We have history of course. We ended Partick's ambitions last season with home and away wins in the play-offs. Early doors yet, but both teams will be looking to keep pace with favourites Dundee at the top of the table. MATCH/TICKET/SUPPORTERS BUS INFO Venue H2H v Partick Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 23 10 6 7 37 33 +4 Away 22 6 6 10 23 30 -7 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 45 16 12 17 60 63 -3 Home advantage looks to be the deciding factor in these fixtures. We did however get the better of Partick in last seasons play-off games, winning 2-1 at Firhill:- Advantage Inverness: The first leg of the Premiership Play-Offs saw Inverness travel to Glasgow to take on the Maryhill Magyars as a place in the top division beckoned. Neither side were able to dominate on the Firhill tattie field and they went in goalless at the break although Logan Chalmers looked to be impeded as he tried to get a shot away. Crawford opened the scoring when he got onto a reverse ball from Graham to shoot high into the net from inside the box to put Partick in the driving seat. Inverness turned it round in the second half with goals from Shane Sutherland and Austin Samuels and it's back to the Highlands on Friday night to conclude this tie. And that turned out to be a 1-0 home win for the Caley Jags. Here's the goals from that last game at Firhill Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Partick 1 - 0 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 0 - 1 (A) 3 - 3 (H) 0 - 0 (A) 3 - 1 (H) 1 - 3 (A) 1 - 3 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 1 - 2 (H) Saturday fixtures Arbroath v Queen's Park Cove v Ayr Utd Accies v Rovers Morton v Dundee This Season Partick Thistle started the season with a bang. A tremendous away win at Dens Park in a five goal thriller was followed up by a home draw against Hamilton Accies, Brian Graham salvaging a point with a late equaliser in a game that Partick always had the edge but had to battle to get their point. Last week the big Glasgow derby ended in defeat as newly promoted Queens Park stunned the visitors faithful with a 3-2 win. Makes Inverness' opening day draw with Queens feel like a point gained instead of a point lost. Our second game was a predictable no scoring draw at Arbroath and last Saturday brought our first win of the campaign by 4-1 over Cove Rangers. Austin Samuels the one responsible for most of that with a couple of goals along with Aaron Doran and Nathan Shaw who opened his account at the Caledonian Stadium. Latest Team News Alas, Sutherland and Walsh are out long term with Sean Welsh and Max Ram also in recovery mode. Wallace Duffy and David Carson missed out last week which left us a bit lop sided at the back. To compound that, left sided defender Lewis Nicolson has gone on loan to Elgin City until January. Austin Samuels' performance last week earned him a 'place' in the team of the week. Eric's Partick probe Exodus from Firhill: Mason McCready goalkeeper on loan to Dalbeattie Star. The following players had their loans terminated by parent club Rangers FC, Andy Firth goalkeeper, Lewis Mayo centre back and centre forward Juan Alegria. Loan player right winger Kyle McCallister back to St Mirren and forward Alex Jakubiak returned to Dundee FC. Three players have gone on free transfers to Queen of the South, backs Ciaran McKenna and Stephen Hendrie also right-winger Connor Murray Moving on from Firhill on free transfers are Steven Bell centre back to Kelty Hearts, Shea Gordon a midfield player now at Larne FC and forward Ross MacIver to Alloa. Zak Rudden confirmed signed for Dundee after being on loan there for the second half of last season. Another couple of players have left, Ricky Foster is off to Detroit City and midfielder Robbie Crawford has just joined Morton this afternoon. New faces at Firhill that have arrived on a free transfer basis. David Mitchell goalkeeper from Hibernian: Harry Milne left back from Cove Rangers: Jack McMillan right back from Livingston FC Another right back in Aaron Muirhead from Ayr United: Aiden Fitzpatrick from Queen of the South plays on the right of midfield. Steven Lawless right winger previously at Dunfermline Athletic: A couple of centre forwards added to the squad are Danny Mullen from Dundee FC and Anton Dowds ex Falkirk. Loan players in include Lee Hodson a right back from Kilmarnock, and no surprised to find a couple of Loan ins from Rangers FC in Cole McKinnon in midfield and forward player Tony Weston. Thanks Eric, Partick Thistle keeping you on your toes I see View full article
  12. Firhill Flops A Brian Graham double gave Partick a first half lead. For the first the defenders got the wrong side of him, the second a gift from the Inverness defence with a loose pass across the box. It was a lacklustre performance from the visitors in the first forty-five with Billy Mckay having the best effort after an Aaron Dorran lay off, but David Mitchell was equal to the shot to deny the striker from twelve yards. We almost gifted a third early in the second half with a short header back, but Ridgers stood tall to deny Graham his hat-trick. A third did come from the spot after Carson was alleged to have brought down his man. Kevin Holt kept his cool to slot home. Anton Dowds bulleted a header home with five minutes left to add to our miserable night. George Oakley powerfully headed a consolation in time added on, but that won't detract from the rubbish on show tonight. Embarrassing night for the Caley Jags, and on national TV too! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inverness were without half a dozen regulars for this fixture. Out were Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh on long term injuries. Sean Welsh and Max Ram are in recovery mode with Danny Devine struggling. Wallace Duffy and David Carson are both nursing injuries and were on the bench. Scott Tiffoney and Brian Graham started up front for Partick with Steven Lawless. From the off it was clear that Partick were up for this clash, the inexperienced Lewis Hyde being thrown to the wolves in this one. It's a difficult enough task for an official right back to try and contain the trickery of Scott Tiffoney, but without a go to right back, Billy Dodds hung young Lewis out to dry on TV at Firhill. Already skinned a couple of times in the opening minutes an opportunity arose for Cole McKinnon at the back post but he screwed his effort wide. Perennial thorn in our side Brian Graham also shot wide after eight minutes just after Delaney sliced a clearance over his own bar from another Tiffoney moment. Five minutes later and Steven Lawless brought a save out of Mark Ridgers. The opening goal came after a tremendous reverse pass from Lawless released Mckinnon on the right side for him to cross to the front post where Graham got in front of his marker to score high into the net from a few yards out. Good strikers goal, poor defensively from Inverness. We grew into the game after this and Aaron Doran chested down inside the box for Billy Mckay to get a shot away, but his controlled effort was well saved by David Mitchell in the Partick goal. Moments later a long ball forward was closely watched by Robbie Deas. He cut the ball back across the box to the safety of keeper Ridgers. Unfortunately the first person to spot this move was Tiffoney who nicked the ball away from Ridgers which allowed Graham to step forward to score his second goal. HALF TIME: 2-0 Doran and Hyde were withdrawn at the interval, but the damage was already done, with Carson and Oakley replacing them. The alterations saw a flurry of activity in the opening minutes of the second half, but that would change around the hour. Graham almost notched his hat-trick courtesy of another error when substitute Carson was shorts with a headed back pass but Ridgers stood tall to snatch the attempted lob out of the air. Before the hour Graham was upended as he latched onto a loose ball in the box by the over eager Carson who was booked for his protests. Harsh, maybe, penalty, maybe, goal definitely. Graham was denied his treble though as Kevin Holt took the spot kick calmly slotting into the opposite corner from the keeper. The game was put to bed with six minutes remaining as Anton Dowds stooped to bullet a header behind Ridgers to compound our misery. We ended the game firing in long range efforts from all angles which has probably skewed the statistics somewhat, but lets not beat about the bush, even before our consolation, we were well beaten. George Oakley scored the consolation goal in the 92nd minute to round off the scoring and close the book on a poor night for the Caley Jags as he headed in from a corner. FULL TIME:4-1 One of our worst ever results at Firhill. Our second 4-1 defeat there beaten only by a 4-0 on December 13th, 2014. We were set up wrong and reacted too late to make a difference. Billy Dodds needs to take this one on the chin. Yes we were without some regulars, but that will be the same for big parts of this season. Second to every ball, lack of cover for young defenders, lack of bite in midfield, lack of quality where it was needed. I'm afraid there was only ever going to be one outcome, and frankly, we got off lightly. Meh! Highlights from Partick Thistle FC Date: 19/08/2022 Venue: Firhill, Glasgow Attendance: 2632 Referee: Grant Irvine Partick Thistle: 4 Manager: Ian McCall Lineup: Mitchell: McMillan, Holt, Milne, Tiffoney (Fitzpatrick 74), Bannigan, McKinnon, Docherty (Turner 45), Lawless (Weston 85), Hodson (Brownlie 45), Graham (Dowds 69) Subs (not used): Sneddon; Akinola, Lyon, Mullen Scorers: Graham (21, 35), Holt (pen 59), Dowds (84) Booked: Bannigan (13) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Hyde (Carson 45), Deas, Delaney, Harper, Samuels, Allardice, MacGregor (Shaw68), Doran (Oakley 45), D Mackay (Boyd 62), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy Scorers: Oakley (90+2) Booked: B Mckay (33), Carson (58) Sent Off: none a
  13. Friday Footie Frills at Firhill It's Friday Footie Frills at Firhill for a TV spectacular as we take on fellow contenders Partick Thistle in the Championship. This game can be seen on BBC Scotland, that's cooncil TV to you and me, or even better get yersel along to Firhill and cheer the lads on. It's a 7:45pm kick off as two of the fancied teams for a play-off place meet head on. We have history of course. We ended Partick's ambitions last season with home and away wins in the play-offs. Early doors yet, but both teams will be looking to keep pace with favourites Dundee at the top of the table. MATCH/TICKET/SUPPORTERS BUS INFO Venue H2H v Partick Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 23 10 6 7 37 33 +4 Away 22 6 6 10 23 30 -7 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 45 16 12 17 60 63 -3 Home advantage looks to be the deciding factor in these fixtures. We did however get the better of Partick in last seasons play-off games, winning 2-1 at Firhill:- Advantage Inverness: The first leg of the Premiership Play-Offs saw Inverness travel to Glasgow to take on the Maryhill Magyars as a place in the top division beckoned. Neither side were able to dominate on the Firhill tattie field and they went in goalless at the break although Logan Chalmers looked to be impeded as he tried to get a shot away. Crawford opened the scoring when he got onto a reverse ball from Graham to shoot high into the net from inside the box to put Partick in the driving seat. Inverness turned it round in the second half with goals from Shane Sutherland and Austin Samuels and it's back to the Highlands on Friday night to conclude this tie. And that turned out to be a 1-0 home win for the Caley Jags. Here's the goals from that last game at Firhill Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Partick 1 - 0 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 0 - 1 (A) 3 - 3 (H) 0 - 0 (A) 3 - 1 (H) 1 - 3 (A) 1 - 3 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 1 - 2 (H) Saturday fixtures Arbroath v Queen's Park Cove v Ayr Utd Accies v Rovers Morton v Dundee This Season Partick Thistle started the season with a bang. A tremendous away win at Dens Park in a five goal thriller was followed up by a home draw against Hamilton Accies, Brian Graham salvaging a point with a late equaliser in a game that Partick always had the edge but had to battle to get their point. Last week the big Glasgow derby ended in defeat as newly promoted Queens Park stunned the visiting faithful with a 3-2 win. Makes Inverness' opening day draw with Queens feel like a point gained instead of a point lost. Our second game was a predictable no scoring draw at Arbroath and last Saturday brought our first win of the campaign by 4-1 over Cove Rangers. Austin Samuels the one responsible for most of that with a couple of goals along with Aaron Doran and Nathan Shaw who opened his account at the Caledonian Stadium. Latest Team News Alas, Sutherland and Walsh are out long term with Sean Welsh and Max Ram also in recovery mode. Wallace Duffy and David Carson missed out last week which left us a bit lop sided at the back. To compound that, left sided defender Lewis Nicolson has gone on loan to Elgin City until January. Austin Samuels' performance last week earned him a 'place' in the team of the week. Eric's Partick probe Exodus from Firhill: Mason McCready goalkeeper on loan to Dalbeattie Star. The following players had their loans terminated by parent club Rangers FC, Andy Firth goalkeeper, Lewis Mayo centre back and centre forward Juan Alegria. Loan player right winger Kyle McCallister back to St Mirren and forward Alex Jakubiak returned to Dundee FC. Three players have gone on free transfers to Queen of the South, backs Ciaran McKenna and Stephen Hendrie also right-winger Connor Murray Moving on from Firhill on free transfers are Steven Bell centre back to Kelty Hearts, Shea Gordon a midfield player now at Larne FC and forward Ross MacIver to Alloa. Zak Rudden confirmed signed for Dundee after being on loan there for the second half of last season. Another couple of players have left, Ricky Foster is off to Detroit City and midfielder Robbie Crawford is going spare. New faces at Firhill that have arrived on a free transfer basis. David Mitchell goalkeeper from Hibernian: Harry Milne left back from Cove Rangers: Jack McMillan right back from Livingston FC Another right back in Aaron Muirhead from Ayr United: Aiden Fitzpatrick from Queen of the South plays on the right of midfield. Steven Lawless right winger previously at Dunfermline Athletic: A couple of centre forwards added to the squad are Danny Mullen from Dundee FC and Anton Dowds ex Falkirk. Loan players in include Lee Hodson a right back from Kilmarnock, and no surprised to find a couple of Loan ins from Rangers FC in Cole McKinnon in midfield and forward player Tony Weston. Thanks Eric, Partick Thistle keeping you on your toes I see
  14. Hello Again We meet again a mere three weeks after our last visit from newly promoted Cove Rangers. This time it's a Championship encounter at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday the 13th. Sounds a bit creepy if you ask me. The last meeting was a game in group G of the league Cup and was a close affair. It ended all square, and nothing less will be expected this time round. MATCHDAY INFO/TICKETS/STADIUM BAR/PARKING First Competitive Meeting Jul 14th, 2018 League Cup (H) 2 - 0 Most Recent Competitive Meeting Jul 23rd, 2022 League Cup (Group Stage Group G) (H) 1 - 1 All four Competitive Meetings 1 - 1 (H) 1 - 3 (A) 3 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (H) Last meeting with Cove ended 1-1: A bright afternoon saw George Oakley Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw start for the hosts with Mark Ridgers back between the sticks. Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game when he scooped the ball behind Ridgers after twenty minutes. Just after the half hour Daniel Mackay turned and shot from the edge of the box, but the keeper saved low to deny Dan. George Oakley was put through by Robbie Deas but Kyle Gourlay pulled off a good save just before the break. HALF TIME: 1-1 After a slow start to the second half, Megginson headed over following a corner and at the other end Cammy Harper put a free kick just over and then Deas diverted a Leighton McIntosh effort wide of the target. Billy Mckay went close to a winner but it went to penalties after ninety minutes and the Caley Jags prevailed 5-3 on penalties with Ridgers saving a weak spot kick from Fraser Fyvie. Fixtures (fri) Dundee 4-2 Arbroath (fri) Ayr United v Hamilton Inverness CT v Cove Rangers Queen's Park v Partick Thistle Rovers v Morton Opening League fixtures: Matchday 1 saw Inverness struggle to make much headway against newly promoted Queens Park. Jake Davidson gave the Spiders an early lead which they held until almost half time until Billy Mckay levelled. That's how it ended. Cove began life in the Championship with an excellent 2-0 win over Raith Rovers. Mitch Megginson scored both in a game dominated by Cove. Matchday 2 and a goalless draw at Arbroath leaves Inverness on two points from two games. Cove went down to a spectacular strike by Jai Quintongo at Cappielow on the same day. LATEST TEAM NEWS Long term absentees are Shane Sutherland, Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh. Max Ram is also out. Robbie Deas returns after a two game ban, Eric reports one in and one out at Cove since our meeting in the league cup: In is Luis Longstaff a right wing player previously Youth to under 21 with Liverpool FC and on Loan last season at Queens Park, also featured in the England U16 &U17 squads. Out is one time ICT forward Rory McAllister who has signed a 2 year deal at Montrose FC. View full article
  15. Austin Powers: Man of Mystery Goals Austin Samuels scored twice as Inverness registered their first win of the Championship this season. Aaron Doran and substitute Nathan Shaw opened their accounts with Robbie Leitch tapping in for Cove just after the interval. An ultimately comfortable win for the hosts that bumps them up the table into second spot behind Dundee. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Megginson got the game underway and in the sixth minute Aaron Doran fed Austin Samuels in to score the opener. Thereafter Inverness mostly dominated the first half before losing their way until Samuels restored the two goal advantage. From CTO Robert: I was nervous when I saw the line up with seven players missing (Duffy, Carson, Devine, Ram, Welsh, Walsh and Sutherland) and only three defenders in the team, all left sided. We came out fast and Samuels’ well finished early goal set us up for as good a 45 as I’ve seen in a long time. I thought Mackay’s shot was goal bound but Doran made sure for the second. We could have had more, with the Cove ‘keeper Gourlay making several good saves. Our most nervous moment came when Delaney (I think) tried to head the ball wide but instead forced Ridgers to make a great save to avoid an own goal. Cove started the second half with Vigurs on, and scored in their first attack. Ridgers could only parry a shot towards Robbie Leitch who scored. We were then unable to keep the ball and were looking poor for the next 20 minutes or so, with Cove looking the more likely to score, but we gradually grew back in to the game. Mckay set Samuels up for the third, which steadied things and Shaw got the fourth after Samuels came close to a hat trick but the goalie palmed his effort towards Shaw. 4-1 maybe flattered us a bit, but it was in the main a good team performance, with four Academy products starting. Ridgers had a couple of saves, with one down at the post as well as stopping the potential own goal. He was also talking the defence through the game well. Hyde is not a natural full back and it showed at times, but he acquitted himself well. Delaney and Samuels both assisted him. I thought Delaney did well, playing on the wrong side of the defensive pairing for a left sided player, whilst Deas steadied everything and got forward a few times, coming close with an overhead kick. Harper has improved from last season, both defensively and with his delivery. Allardice was great in midfield, supported well by MacGregor. Dan Mackay had a couple of decent runs, whilst I thought Doran had a very good game. Billy Mckay was very busy and kept the ball well to bring others into the game. The pick, though, was Samuels, who took his goals well and could have had a third. He had the beating of the defence and made a lot of good runs into space, which seemed to be a deliberate ploy today with players looking for him. What a contrast from his performance against Queens Park. Three subs were used late on with Boyd coming close from a free kick and Shaw being in the right place to get the fourth. All in all, a satisfying afternoon, particularly after the wobble early in the second half. Well done to all, and I hope Douglas Ross “enjoyed” the stick he got Thanks Robert, great summary of today's game Good win for the Caley Jags that moves them on to five points, one point behind Dundee who sit top on six points. It was also a good day for Austin Samuels to bag a double, his sixth in total, with Nathan Shaw getting his first goal for the club. Aaron Doran's goal was his 51st goal in 337 appearances. Date: 13/08/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2106 Referee: Greg Aitken Inverness CT: 4 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Hyde, Deas, Harper, Delaney, Samuels, Allardice, MacGregor, Doran (Shaw 83), D Mackay (Boyd 79), B Mckay (Oakley 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson Scorers: Samuels (6, 74), Doran (31), Shaw (90+3) Booked: Samuels (45), Deas (89) Sent Off: none Cove Rangers: 1 Manager: Jim McIntyre Lineup: Gourlay; Logan, Ross, Reynolds, Neill (Vigurs 45), Scully, Leitch (McIntosh 80), Fyvie (McDonagh 80), Masson (Longstaff 69), Dunne, Megginson Subs (not used): McKenzie: Thomas Scorers: Leitch (46) Booked: Scully (60) Fyvie (68) Ross (82) Logan (87) Sent Off: none a
  16. Hello Again We meet again a mere three weeks after our last visit from newly promoted Cove Rangers. This time it's a Championship encounter at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday the 13th. Sounds a bit creepy if you ask me. The last meeting was a game in group G of the league Cup and was a close affair. It ended all square, and nothing less will be expected this time round. MATCHDAY INFO/TICKETS/STADIUM BAR/PARKING First Competitive Meeting Jul 14th, 2018 League Cup (H) 2 - 0 Most Recent Competitive Meeting Jul 23rd, 2022 League Cup (Group Stage Group G) (H) 1 - 1 All four Competitive Meetings 1 - 1 (H) 1 - 3 (A) 3 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (H) Last meeting with Cove ended 1-1: A bright afternoon saw George Oakley Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw start for the hosts with Mark Ridgers back between the sticks. Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game when he scooped the ball behind Ridgers after twenty minutes. Just after the half hour Daniel Mackay turned and shot from the edge of the box, but the keeper saved low to deny Dan. George Oakley was put through by Robbie Deas but Kyle Gourlay pulled off a good save just before the break. HALF TIME: 1-1 After a slow start to the second half, Megginson headed over following a corner and at the other end Cammy Harper put a free kick just over and then Deas diverted a Leighton McIntosh effort wide of the target. Billy Mckay went close to a winner but it went to penalties after ninety minutes and the Caley Jags prevailed 5-3 on penalties with Ridgers saving a weak spot kick from Fraser Fyvie. Fixtures (fri) Dundee v Arbroath (fri) Ayr United v Hamilton Inverness CT v Cove Rangers Queen's Park v Partick Thistle Rovers v Morton Opening League fixtures: Matchday 1 saw Inverness struggle to make much headway against newly promoted Queens Park. Jake Davidson gave the Spiders an early lead which they held until almost half time until Billy Mckay levelled. That's how it ended. Cove began life in the Championship with an excellent 2-0 win over Raith Rovers. Mitch Megginson scored both in a game dominated by Cove. Matchday 2 and a goalless draw at Arbroath leaves Inverness on two points from two games. Cove went down to a spectacular strike by Jai Quintongo at Cappielow on the same day. LATEST TEAM NEWS Long term absentees are Shane Sutherland, Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh. Max Ram is also out. Robbie Deas returns after a two game ban but Wallace Duffy to be assessed before kick-off. Eric reports one in and one out at Cove since our meeting in the league cup: In is Luis Longstaff a right wing player previously Youth to under 21 with Liverpool FC and on Loan last season at Queens Park, also featured in the England U16 &U17 squads. Out is one time ICT forward Rory McAllister who has signed a 2 year deal at Montrose FC. Blair Yule is out with an ankle injury. Robbie Leitch should have recovered from a hamstring injury and Luis Longstaff will be added to the squad for Saturday
  17. Matchday Two   Last season's nearly men are the hosts on matchday 2 as we visit Gayfield to take on Arbroath. Saturday at 3:00pm is the time to be there with both clubs looking to improve on opening day draws in the cinch championship. Its a tough place to take points away from although we were the only club who managed that last season in the league. Hibs were the only other side to defeat them there, and that was in a Scottish Cup tie. Arbroath had a fantastic season last term and may find it difficult to emulate that this season. Nonetheless, its still a massive challenge to get something from these games with Dick & Dom at the helm. MATCH/TICKET/SUPPORTERS BUS INFO On day one, the Smokies were held to a scoreless draw at Somerset Park. They ended the game a man short when Thomas O'Brien was red carded. He will now miss Saturday's game. We fared little better with a 1-1 draw at home to newbies Queens Park who took an early lead through Jake Davidson before Billy Mckay equalised just before the break. Both teams spurned numerous opportunities and both keepers did well to keep the score level. Venue H2H v Arbroath Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 22 16 3 3 56 18 +38 Away 20 9 5 6 26 22 +4 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 42 25 8 9 82 40 +42 First Competitive Meeting Aug 13th, 1994  League ((Div 3)) (Hercher hat-trick: Legend) (H) 5 - 2 Most Recent Competitive Meeting May 13th, 2022 League (Playoff) (Semi Final 2nd Leg) (A) 0 - 0 Last 10 Competitive Meetings 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 0 (H) 3 - 0 (H) 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 1 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 1 - 1 (A) 3 - 1 (H) 0 - 1 (H) Biggest Victories Jul 30th, 2016 League Cup (Group C) (H) 7 - 0 LATEST TEAM NEWS  Robbie Deas misses out again in his second game for accumulated bookings. Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh are long term injuries. Sean Welsh is recovering after minor surgery and Max Ram is out for a while. Danny Devine is not 100% and needs to be used sparingly at the moment. Apart from that, we are good to go with youngsters, fresh faces and Aaron Doran.    Eric's Smokies catch-up 💻 Departures Calum Antell, reserve keeper off to Berwick Rangers on a free: Backs Liam Henderson now at Falkirk and Chris Hamilton end of loan. In the January window last season Arbroath brought in a number of forward players in their push for the title, they have now left the club. Jack Hamilton end of loan from Livingston. Craig Wighton back at Dunfermline after loan spell. Sam Ford now plying his trade with Hume City FC in Australia, and Michael Bakare centre forward is now with Helsinki FK. A notable departure is Gavin Swankie who has retired at the age of 38 after four spells at Arbroath, his first appearance for the club back in season 2000/2001. New Arrivals Replacement reserve keeper Cammy Gill from Cowdenbeath FC. Mason Hancock a left back on loan from Aberdeen FC B. Keaghan Jacobs central midfielder on a free transfer from Livingston FC. Daniel Fosu a midfield player from an amateur team called Thatcham Town FC which is seemingly in Berkshire. Keiran Shanks from Inverurie Locos, a centre forward once an Aberdeen U18 player. Oh and Bobby Linn is still there after 9 years at the club. (some things never change) View full article
  18. Smokies held in the wind A first half of few clear cut opportunities ended scoreless with Arbroath just shading the territorial advantage. An enforced change at the break saw Delaney replace Duffy. The second half went much the same way as the first with Arbroath creating more but Inverness attacking on the break and holding out for a point on the road. With both keepers on fine form, it was no surprise it ended honours even at Gayfield. This will be seen as a better point for the Caley Jags than the Smokies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Billy Dodds was without five regulars, but Danny Devine was deemed fit enough to start. George Oakley accompanied Billy Mckay up front. Arbroath had Daniel Fosu up front with Bobby Linn the provider. Late signing Deri Cofu, a former Man City youth squad player, was on the bench. Daniel Fosu threatened in the first minute with a header that went wide and George Oakley had a shot cleared away from the goal line by Colin Hamiton after clipping the ball past Gaston as the game opened out. Mark Ridgers saved from Bobby Linn and Daniel Mackay did well after cutting in from the left, his shot saved by Derek Gaston. Billy Mckay and Michael McKenna tested the keepers before Mckay dragged an effort wide after twenty minutes from the edge of the box Ridgers made a double save to deny Bobby Linn's cross come shot and the follow up from Daniel Fosu, McKenna involved in the mix as well. The whistle blew to halt the move for offside, nonetheless Ridgers kept the ball out. The half time whistle ended an untidy spell where Oakley picked up a yellow card after half an hour. This game needed someone to put their foot on the ball and show some composure, sadly nobody did that in a frantic first forty-five Half Time: 0-0 Zak Delaney replaced Wallace Duffy at the interval. Hamilton headed over from a corner after fifty-two minutes as the hosts tried to make the breakthrough now playing with the wind early in the second half. The same player headed over minutes later after a couple of corners in quick succession as Inverness lived dangerously. Austin Samuels almost beat the offside trap but a marginal decision saw his 'goal' chalked off after he sprinted clear onto a great ball from Dan Mackay. Scott Stewart fizzed a wind assisted strike just wide from thirty-yards as Arbroath forced the play with the wind behind them, Inverness by now content to hit on the break. Mark Ridgers did well late in the game as he stood tall to deny Kieran Shanks who was through on goal and he reacted quickly to scoop the loose ball clear as the ball bounced towards goal with Shanks lurking. Shanks went down in the process amidst big shouts from behind the goal for a penalty. Full Time: 0-0 A draw was probably about right given both sides were on the ascendency with the wind at their tails. Nothing new in these fixtures, one of the most daunting on the calendar. A lack of clear cut chances and some good blocks and saves resulted in a point apiece. Mark Ridgers probably mostly responsible for the point in his 201st game for the Caley Jags. Date: 06/08/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1861 Referee: Colin Steven Arbroath: 0 Manager: Dick Campbell Lineup: Gaston; Gold, Little, Hamilton, Hancock, Stewart (Shanks 76), Donnelly (Craigen 68), Low, Linn (Corfe 68), McKenna (Hilson 68), Fosu Subs (not used): Gill; Jacobs, Paterson, Scorers: none Booked: Fosu (51) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy (Delaney 45), Devine, Harper, Shaw, MacGregor, Allardice, D Mackay (Boyd 67), B Mckay (Doran 75), Oakley (Samuels 56) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde, Scorers: none Booked: Oakley (29), Carson (90+3) Sent Off: none a
  19. Matchday Two   Last season's nearly men are the hosts on matchday 2 as we visit Gayfield to take on Arbroath. Saturday at 3:00pm is the time to be there with both clubs looking to improve on opening day draws in the cinch championship. Its a tough place to take points away from although we were the only club who managed that last season in the league. Hibs were the only other side to defeat them there, and that was in a Scottish Cup tie. Arbroath had a fantastic season last term and may find it difficult to emulate that this season. Nonetheless, its still a massive challenge to get something from these games with Dick & Dom at the helm. MATCH/TICKET/SUPPORTERS BUS INFO On day one, the Smokies were held to a scoreless draw at Somerset Park. They ended the game a man short when Thomas O'Brien was red carded. He will now miss Saturday's game. We fared little better with a 1-1 draw at home to newbies Queens Park who took an early lead through Jake Davidson before Billy Mckay equalised just before the break. Both teams spurned numerous opportunities and both keepers did well to keep the score level. Venue H2H v Arbroath Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 22 16 3 3 56 18 +38 Away 20 9 5 6 26 22 +4 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 42 25 8 9 82 40 +42 First Competitive Meeting Aug 13th, 1994  League ((Div 3)) (Hercher hat-trick: Legend) (H) 5 - 2 Most Recent Competitive Meeting May 13th, 2022 League (Playoff) (Semi Final 2nd Leg) (A) 0 - 0 Last 10 Competitive Meetings 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 0 (H) 3 - 0 (H) 0 - 0 (A) 0 - 1 (H) 1 - 0 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 1 - 1 (A) 3 - 1 (H) 0 - 1 (H) Biggest Victories Jul 30th, 2016 League Cup (Group C) (H) 7 - 0 LATEST TEAM NEWS  Robbie Deas misses out again in his second game for accumulated bookings. Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh are long term injuries. Sean Welsh is recovering after minor surgery and Max Ram is out for a while. Danny Devine is not 100% and needs to be used sparingly at the moment. Apart from that, we are good to go with youngsters, fresh faces and Aaron Doran.    Eric's Smokies catch-up 💻 Departures Calum Antell, reserve keeper off to Berwick Rangers on a free: Backs Liam Henderson now at Falkirk and Chris Hamilton end of loan. In the January window last season Arbroath brought in a number of forward players in their push for the title, they have now left the club. Jack Hamilton end of loan from Livingston. Craig Wighton back at Dunfermline after loan spell. Sam Ford now plying his trade with Hume City FC in Australia, and Michael Bakare centre forward is now with Helsinki FK. A notable departure is Gavin Swankie who has retired at the age of 38 after four spells at Arbroath, his first appearance for the club back in season 2000/2001. New Arrivals Replacement reserve keeper Cammy Gill from Cowdenbeath FC. Mason Hancock a left back on loan from Aberdeen FC B. Keaghan Jacobs central midfielder on a free transfer from Livingston FC. Daniel Fosu a midfield player from an amateur team called Thatcham Town FC which is seemingly in Berkshire. Keiran Shanks from Inverurie Locos, a centre forward once an Aberdeen U18 player. Oh and Bobby Linn is still there after 9 years at the club. (some things never change)
  20. Arachnophobia Should we fear the Spiders from Hampden as the new Championship season gets underway on Saturday with the visit of Queens Park. It's a 3:00pm kick off and a season of anticipation or maybe trepidation is almost upon us. TICKET PRICING Only form to go on for this season is the League Cup which saw Inverness qualify to face Motherwell in the knock out stages of group G. We ended our League Cup Group G games with a disappointing home draw against Cove Rangers despite Roddy MacGregor heading the opening goal. Megginson pinned us back but we took the bonus point in the ensuing penalty shoot-out. Queens Park failed to progress from their play-off Group H where Dundee and Hamilton Accies progressed. However they did manage a couple of wins thumping Stranraer and Forfar and drawing with Accies. They lost narrowly 1-2 against Dundee. Accies qualified a point ahead of the Spiders virtue of the penalty shoot-out win to pip Queens by a point. Queens Park, a club steeped in history, join us in the Championship this season along with Cove Rangers. They only finished fourth in the table behind Cove, Airdrie and Montrose, but came through the promotion play-offs to get into the Championship having beaten Dunfermline over two legs and then beating Airdrie in extra time to win promotion thanks to a Simon Murray penalty. Mind you, they have won the Scottish Cup ten times, albeit the last time was back in 1893. I remember it well. They have been playing out of Ochilview Park recently as they await Lesser Hampden to be upgraded. Here's one for you: They can boast a record attendance of 95,722 against Rangers in a Scottish Cup first round encounter on January 18th 1930 at their home ground of Hampden Park. That's a world record for an amateur side. They are now a professional outfit as of 2019 and on the up, consecutive promotions will see them ply their trade in this seasons Championship after years in the doldrums. Welcome to the Spiders Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Queens Park 3 - 0 (H) 1 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 3 - 2 (A) 2 - 2 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 3 - 0 (A) Venue H2h v Queens Park Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 9 4 3 2 14 11 +3 Away 6 5 0 1 13 8 +5 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 15 9 3 3 27 19 +8 League - (Div 3) Saturday, August 20th, 1994, 3:00 PM at Telford Street Park, Inverness Attendance: 1,500: Referee: M Pocock Ian Broadfoot reporting on our first ever competitive meeting against Queens Park. Caley Thistle's mid week efforts against Dundee had taken their toll and they went a goal down in 14 minutes - a McAllister header to McRitchie was short and Garry Orr took advantage with a goal from 15 yards. Four minutes later Maxwell made it two when he bundled in Edgar's corner. In 53 minutes McKenzie had rare chances for the home side but he hit the 'keeper twice. The match was over a few minutes later when a Garry Orr pass set up Graham who beat McRitchie with an angled drive. Two minutes later Maxwell headed a fourth. Full Time: 0-4 Mark McRitchie Dave Brennan Mike Andrew Mike Noble Mark McAllister John Scott Danny MacDonald Graeme Bennett Alan Hercher Paul McKenzie Wilson Robertson First Competitive Meeting Aug 20th, 1994 League ((Div 3)) (H) 0 - 4 Most Recent Competitive Meeting Jul 31st, 2010 League Cup (Rd 1) (H) 3 - 0 League Cup Match: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2003, 7:00 PM at Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 968 This report comes from Ian Broadfoot back in 2003, the last time Queens Park beat Inverness in the Highlands. The Spiders gave Caley Thistle a dose of their own medicine when they produced a shock cup win away from home. Barry Wilson played for the first time following his return to the club. Queens belied their third division status with some lively play and they soaked up early pressure - a Steve Hislop drive was turned over the bar and Richie Hart hit the woodwork. It was not all one way as Ross Clark hit the bar at the other end. Caley Thistle scored in 26 minutes when Paul Ritchie turned in a Wilson cross but the lead only lasted two minutes. Bobby Mann brought down Clark and Steve Reilly converted the resultant penalty. Half Time: 1-1 Queens took the lead in 59 minutes when poor defending allowed a Reilly free kick to reach Ally Graham and he shot low past Mark Brown. With four minutes left Queens substitute Derek Carcary should have made it 3-1 but he shot wide with only Brown to beat. The drama was not over as the home side were awarded a penalty in injury time when Reilly handled in the box. Mann's kick came off the post. Full Time: 1-2 There was bitter disappointment in the home camp but no real complaints. Latest Team News Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh are long term casualties. Wallace Duffy came off injured against Cove Rangers. Danny Devine has missed all the League Cup games and pre-season along with Sean Welsh. Eric's Queens Park roundup: Under new manager Owen Coyle, Queens Park have trimmed the Squad with more than 10 departures in the summer. Four players have arrived all on free transfer basis. Jason Naismith a right back signed from Kilmarnock Fc: Dom Thomas midfielder from Dunfermline FC: Pat Jarret an attacking midfield player, from Stoke City where he has gone from Youth teams to the U23 level: Grant Savoury who spent last season at Peterhead FC is a centre forward. Loan in: Josh McPake, forward (Rangers). Out: Jai Quitongo, forward (Greenock Morton); Grant Gillespie, midfielder (Greenock Morton); Michael Doyle, defender (Hamilton Academical); Stuart Morrison, defender (Queen of the South); Willie Muir, goalkeeper (Alloa Athletic); Peter Grant, defender (Clyde); Bob McHugh, forward (East Kilbride); Darren Lyon, midfielder; Will Baynham, forward. Loan ended: Luca Connell, midfielder (Celtic); Luis Longstaff, midfielder (Liverpool); Connor Smith, midfielder (Heart of Midlothian); Connor McBride, midfielder (Blackburn Rovers); Ronan Darcy, midfielder (Bolton Wanderers). Queens main threat will come from the now experienced Simon Murray. The thirty year old striker has previously been at Arbroath, Dundee United and Hibs. Dom Thomas will be an excellent asset and along with Louis Longridge will provide stability in the midfield. View full article
  21. Queens make their point. Queens 39 year hiatus from this tier of football ended as they ventured into the Championship, and it all started well when Jake Davidson opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute. In a half of many chances, Billy Mckay levelled the score a minute before the interval. That's how it stood until the final whistle with neither side able to make the breakthrough despite numerous opportunities at both ends with thanks to Calum Ferrie and Mark Ridgers and some wayward finishing. Queens Park showed they are not here just to make up the numbers and were good value for their point. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For the hosts, Robbie Deas was suspended for two games and George Oakley and Nathan Shaw dropped to the bench with Billy Mckay, Austin Samuels and Steven Boyd starting. Dom Thomas and Simon Murray started up front for the Spiders. The visitors were first to test a keeper when Mark Ridgers was called into action in the first minute to deny Simon Murray. The hosts responded well with the eager Steven Boyd having three attempts, one blocked and two off target and in the eighth minute Calum Ferrie denied Roddy MacGregor. Queens opened their Championship account in the thirteenth minute when Jake Davidson ran through unchallenged from the halfway line and his early snapshot was not dealt with by Ridgers, the ball slipped under his hands and body and rolled into the net. Five minutes later and Simon Murray shot narrowly over the bar as Queens grew in confidence with Daniel Mackay doing likewise at the other end. After a few blocked efforts at both ends of the park, Dan Mackay saw Ferrie save his shot from distance in the bottom corner and Boyd went close with another effort that was near the top corner. Josh McPake was denied by Ridgers when one on one with the keeper as Queens responded yet again in a see-saw game. A minute before the break Billy Mckay squared matters when he got on the end of a loose clearance of a Boyd cross to drill home from just inside the box with a low shot into the bottom corner. Charlie Fox almost restored Queens advantage just on the interval but he headed narrowly wide. The early goal from Davidson had rocked Inverness and we still had plenty work to do after the break. HALF TIME 1-1 The second half saw Inverness more in control and numerous chances came and went. Ferrie made a tremendous save to deny Billy Mckay, diving to his right to palm the strikers shot away. Queens Park were not so prominent after the interval but were still dangerous on the break, McPake once more forcing Ridgers to block with just the keeper to beat after he dribbled into the box, Ridgers did well to deny him. A scramble in our box saw another effort blocked as we lived dangerously, Grant Savoury pouncing on the loose ball after a corner. Ferrie clawed a corner away from under his crossbar and smothered a low shot from Doran. The same player would sting his palms later in the game with a ferocious thirty yard effort. Biggest sinner though was George Oakley who miscued from a great position twelve yards out and his shot stayed in play on the right side. In golfing terms; a shank. Naismith took one for the team when he pulled MacGregor back as he burst over the halfway line picking up the only booking of the contest, and that ensured the score stayed level. FULL TIME 1-1 Another disappointing result after the poor game against Cove Rangers. Queens Park looked the sharper side in the first half but Inverness were busier after the break. Mark Ridgers in his 200th game for the club will be disappointed with his contribution for the opening goal. Again substitutions disrupted the flow of the game and Queens were quick on the counter. Both keepers had work to do in the second half and they ensured it would be point apiece. David Carson reached a milestone as well, 100 not out for David. Highlights from Queens Park TV Owen Coyle Date: 30/07/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1993 Referee: Grant Irvine Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Bily Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Duffy, Delaney (Devine 72), Harper, Samuels (Shaw 63), Allardice, MacGregor, D Mackay (Doran 74), Boyd (Oakley 62), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Hyde Scorers: B Mckay (44) Booked: none Sent Off: none Queens Park: 1 Manager: Owen Coyle Lineup: Ferrie; Davidson (Bannon 73), Kilday (Naismith 78), Fox, Robson, Brown, Thomson (Jarrett 45), McPake (Longridge86), Savoury, Thomas, Murray (Williamson 78) Subs (not used): Heraghty, Moore, Bruce, Nicol Scorers: Davidson (13) Booked: Naismith (90+2) Sent Off: none a
  22. Arachnophobia Should we fear the Spiders from Hampden as the new Championship season gets underway on Saturday with the visit of Queens Park. It's a 3:00pm kick off and a season of anticipation or maybe trepidation is almost upon us. TICKET PRICING Only form to go on for this season is the League Cup which saw Inverness qualify to face Motherwell in the knock out stages of group G. We ended our League Cup Group G games with a disappointing home draw against Cove Rangers despite Roddy MacGregor heading the opening goal. Megginson pinned us back but we took the bonus point in the ensuing penalty shoot-out. Queens Park failed to progress from their play-off Group H where Dundee and Hamilton Accies progressed. However they did manage a couple of wins thumping Stranraer and Forfar and drawing with Accies. They lost narrowly 1-2 against Dundee. Accies qualified a point ahead of the Spiders virtue of the penalty shoot-out win to pip Queens by a point. Queens Park, a club steeped in history, join us in the Championship this season along with Cove Rangers. They only finished fourth in the table behind Cove, Airdrie and Montrose, but came through the promotion play-offs to get into the Championship having beaten Dunfermline over two legs and then beating Airdrie in extra time to win promotion thanks to a Simon Murray penalty. Mind you, they have won the Scottish Cup ten times, albeit the last time was back in 1893. I remember it well. They have been playing out of Ochilview Park recently as they await Lesser Hampden to be upgraded. Here's one for you: They can boast a record attendance of 95,722 against Rangers in a Scottish Cup first round encounter on January 18th 1930 at their home ground of Hampden Park. That's a world record for an amateur side. They are now a professional outfit as of 2019 and on the up, consecutive promotions will see them ply their trade in this seasons Championship after years in the doldrums. Welcome to the Spiders Last 10 Competitive Meetings v Queens Park 3 - 0 (H) 1 - 2 (H) 2 - 0 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 1 - 0 (H) 3 - 2 (A) 2 - 2 (H) 2 - 1 (A) 1 - 1 (H) 3 - 0 (A) Venue H2h v Queens Park Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / - Home 9 4 3 2 14 11 +3 Away 6 5 0 1 13 8 +5 Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 15 9 3 3 27 19 +8 League - (Div 3) Saturday, August 20th, 1994, 3:00 PM at Telford Street Park, Inverness Attendance: 1,500: Referee: M Pocock Ian Broadfoot reporting on our first ever competitive meeting against Queens Park. Caley Thistle's mid week efforts against Dundee had taken their toll and they went a goal down in 14 minutes - a McAllister header to McRitchie was short and Garry Orr took advantage with a goal from 15 yards. Four minutes later Maxwell made it two when he bundled in Edgar's corner. In 53 minutes McKenzie had rare chances for the home side but he hit the 'keeper twice. The match was over a few minutes later when a Garry Orr pass set up Graham who beat McRitchie with an angled drive. Two minutes later Maxwell headed a fourth. Full Time: 0-4 Mark McRitchie Dave Brennan Mike Andrew Mike Noble Mark McAllister John Scott Danny MacDonald Graeme Bennett Alan Hercher Paul McKenzie Wilson Robertson First Competitive Meeting Aug 20th, 1994 League ((Div 3)) (H) 0 - 4 Most Recent Competitive Meeting Jul 31st, 2010 League Cup (Rd 1) (H) 3 - 0 League Cup Match: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2003, 7:00 PM at Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 968 This report comes from Ian Broadfoot back in 2003, the last time Queens Park beat Inverness in the Highlands. The Spiders gave Caley Thistle a dose of their own medicine when they produced a shock cup win away from home. Barry Wilson played for the first time following his return to the club. Queens belied their third division status with some lively play and they soaked up early pressure - a Steve Hislop drive was turned over the bar and Richie Hart hit the woodwork. It was not all one way as Ross Clark hit the bar at the other end. Caley Thistle scored in 26 minutes when Paul Ritchie turned in a Wilson cross but the lead only lasted two minutes. Bobby Mann brought down Clark and Steve Reilly converted the resultant penalty. Half Time: 1-1 Queens took the lead in 59 minutes when poor defending allowed a Reilly free kick to reach Ally Graham and he shot low past Mark Brown. With four minutes left Queens substitute Derek Carcary should have made it 3-1 but he shot wide with only Brown to beat. The drama was not over as the home side were awarded a penalty in injury time when Reilly handled in the box. Mann's kick came off the post. Full Time: 1-2 There was bitter disappointment in the home camp but no real complaints. Latest Team News Shane Sutherland and Tom Walsh are long term casualties. Wallace Duffy came off injured against Cove Rangers. Danny Devine has missed all the League Cup games and pre-season along with Sean Welsh. Eric's Queens Park roundup: Under new manager Owen Coyle, Queens Park have trimmed the Squad with more than 10 departures in the summer. Four players have arrived all on free transfer basis. Jason Naismith a right back signed from Kilmarnock Fc: Dom Thomas midfielder from Dunfermline FC: Pat Jarret an attacking midfield player, from Stoke City where he has gone from Youth teams to the U23 level: Grant Savoury who spent last season at Peterhead FC is a centre forward. Loan in: Josh McPake, forward (Rangers). Out: Jai Quitongo, forward (Greenock Morton); Grant Gillespie, midfielder (Greenock Morton); Michael Doyle, defender (Hamilton Academical); Stuart Morrison, defender (Queen of the South); Willie Muir, goalkeeper (Alloa Athletic); Peter Grant, defender (Clyde); Bob McHugh, forward (East Kilbride); Darren Lyon, midfielder; Will Baynham, forward. Loan ended: Luca Connell, midfielder (Celtic); Luis Longstaff, midfielder (Liverpool); Connor Smith, midfielder (Heart of Midlothian); Connor McBride, midfielder (Blackburn Rovers); Ronan Darcy, midfielder (Bolton Wanderers). Queens main threat will come from the now experienced Simon Murray. The thirty year old striker has previously been at Arbroath, Dundee United and Hibs. Dom Thomas will be an excellent asset and along with Louis Longridge will provide stability in the midfield.
  23. Inverness stay put It was a winner takes all game tonight after a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Caledonian Stadium on Friday night. Inverness were bolstered by the return of Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy to the squad after their harsh dismissals at Arbroath. A big following went down to Perth, alas after a tremendous first half where we created the better opportunities, it was all undone within a minute of the restart by substitute Stevie May. A second goal killed any lingering hopes from a deflected MacPherson shot. The final two goals from Hendry & Rooney mattered not when the game was being chased and the dream ended, but the memory lives on. Fantastic endeavour from the Caley Jags and a magnificent following on the night. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy started at McDiarmid Park with Aaron Doran dropping to the bench from the side that drew 2-2 at Inverness. St Johnstone went unchanged. It was a much more positive Inverness that took to the park amid a tumultuous welcome from both sets of fans and with only one minute on the clock Logan Chalmers had an effort on goal but it did not trouble Zander Clark. Danny Devine headed over and Sean Welsh saw a shot blocked as the visitors took the game to their more fancied opponents. In the twentieth minute Billy Mckay tried his luck from distance but his shot was too straight at the big keeper. A minute later saw the hosts first half chance when Murray Davidson headed wide of Ridgers' goal frame. A Wallace Duffy header was blocked en route to goal and at the other end Daniel Cleary headed wide as he Saints came marching on. As in the first leg, Austin Samuels' pace was causing all sorts of problems down he right and Chalmers was having some success down the left. Clark pulled off a good save to deny Samuels as he cut into the box on the end of a Mckay pass. Possession began to level out as we approached the interval, but it was the visitors who had the better of the first forty-five and left Callum Davidson with plenty to think about. HALF TIME 0-0 Davidson brought on Stevie May at the interval for Middleton who had taken a knock in the first half. That was unfortunate for Inverness as inside a minute he pounced on a loose ball in the box after the keeper pushed out a header from Hallberg to knock the ball high into the net. What a body blow for Inverness who had defended so well in the first half just to see all the excellent work undone in a flash. Worse was to follow in the fifty-third minute when Cammy MacPherson took a shot from outside the box. Ridgers moved to cover it but the ball deflected off Sean Welsh to leave the keeper stranded. 2-0 and virtually game over. A great chance for the dangerous Samuels on the hour but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Clark, alas nobody was on hand for the rebound and the defence cleared. Them's the breaks you have to take, but when you need them, they often don't go your way, unlike the opening goal for Saints. We went for broke with a spate of substitutions but it was never going to end well, especially after Aaron Doran missed a glorious chance from seventeen yards when he sliced his shot wide when a goal looked a better option. More substitutions late in the game and we were always going to be caught out on the break as we went gung ho. And so be it when Callum Hendry ran through onto a great ball from Hallberg to finish with aplomb. During the ensuing exodus, who else but Shaun Rooney did the same to dink Ridgers to complete our downfall. Booked as well for an over enthusiastic celebration. Hey ho. FULL TIME: 4-0 If ever there was not a 4-0 scoreline, then this was it. But left chasing the game after two adverse moments then who could blame the guys for dropping their guard momentarily. Better team for forty-five, beaten team over ninety, no disgrace and they did their fans proud against a battle hardened St Johnstone who made flares fashionable again. I thought the back four for Inverness were superb with Danny Devine immense. Wallace Duffy had a tremendous first half and Kirk Broadfoot can be proud of his last game for the Caley Jags. Robbie Deas was solid as he has been all season. David Carson had an eventful night and not even an early booking would stop him from playing his own game. Great effort from him with Sean Welsh also prominent. Up front Austin Samuels was the most effective with his bursts of power and pace. Overall, heads held high after a gruelling six game schedule in a season that could have been. From BBC Sport: St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "Probably relief more than anything else. It's a fantastic achievement from the players. We were in a really dark place November, December. The chairman backed us and we managed to bring some players in. "All credit to everybody involved. This is probably a bigger achievement than winning the cups. It's mentally really tough when you're losing games. Big thanks to my staff, my players and everybody involved." Inverness CT manager Billy Dodds: "Proud and disappointed. Proud of the players for the season. Disappointed the way it turned out. We played really well first half. I thought we had them. "The goal changed the game. When they get the goal and then the deflection, we had to chase and then we're open and they catch us. I think 4-0 was harsh on my boys. We gain experience from it and get ready for next season." That's it for another season from CTO Editorial Team. Grateful thanks to Iain for all the PotY Polls and Eric, who despite being unwell has worked tirelessly behind the scenes updating the stats. A truly mind numbing task, especially with nine subs now to be added. With these guys working mostly in the background that enables me to churn out Previews and Reports. If you enjoyed them, I'm tm4tj, if not then I'm CaleyD (Disclaimer. Only joking) See you next season. 283763016_998965004103204_147483247694216505_n.mp4 Date: 23/05/2022 Venue: McDiarmid Park, Perth Attendance: Lots&Lots Referee: Nick Walsh St Johnstone: 4 Manager: Callum Davidson Lineup: Clark; Rooney, Cleary, Gordon, McCart, Brown, Hendry, Davidson, Middleton (May 45), MacPherson, Hallberg Subs (not used): Parish; Mahon, Sang, Gilmour, Craig, Ciftci, Butterfield, O'Halloran Scorers: May (46), Macpherson (53), Hendry (87), Rooney (90) Booked: MacPherson (5), Rooney (90) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Carson (Harper 74), Broadfoot, Devine Hardy (82), Deas, Samuels, Welsh Allardice (82), McAlear, Chalmers Doran (65), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde Scorers: none Booked: Carson (20), Broadfoot (71) Sent Off: none a
  24. What a turnaround An understrength Inverness struggled badly for an hour against a solid St Johnstone who took a two goal lead into the interval. Shaun Rooney and Melker Hallberg put the Saints in the driving seat. However, step forward Reece McAlear and take a massive bow. A thumping strike off the underside of the bar and an exquisite curling free kick levelled matters and gives us something to play for in the return leg at Perth, where we should have Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy back after suspension. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After seeing off Partick Thistle and Arbroath, The Caley Jags faced St Johnstone in the first leg of the Premiership play-off final at the Caledonian Stadium. Unfortunately the final has already been influenced by other factors. Injuries to Tom Walsh, Shane Sutherland and Roddy MacGregor have been added to by the incompetence of referee Willie Collum at Gayfield where he wrongly sent off Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy. What that means is that Inverness will be short on players in an already wafer thin squad. Youngsters Mathew Strachan and Calum Mackay made up a six man bench. Tony Gallacher Chris Kane, David Wotherspoon and Craig Bryson are all long term injuries for St Johnstone who rested six players for their final league game, a 4-0 loss to Hibs. Rain an hour before kick off dampened the atmosphere at the Caledonian Stadium and made for great conditions on a good pitch with Inverness getting the game underway. A breathtaking save from Mark Ridgers denied Glen Middleton as he unleashed a ferocious shot after cutting across the outside of the box in the fifth minute. Ridgers diving high to his right to pull off a fantastic one handed save. As expected, the visitors playing in red and white striped shirts, were making most of the early play and Ridgers was brought into action again to save a low shot from Shaun Rooney after fifteen minutes with a more routine save. St Johnstone opened the scoring after eighteen minutes when Rooney powered in a header after an inviting cross into the box, probably from the area where Danny Devine would normally have been. After a scramble in the home box when Ridgers pushed away a shot from Callum Hendry the ball was eventually forced over the line by Hallberg to double Saints lead. Inverness were finding it difficult to make any headway against a robust looking premiership side and all the half chances were falling to the visitors. When one did come our way Sean Welsh snatched at it and volleyed high and wide. Ten minutes later makeshift central defender Welsh took a knock but continued after treatment with five minutes to go before the interval. Plenty to do for Inverness in the second half with St Johnstone cruising. HALF TIME: 0-2 Dodds replaced Doran and Hardy with Chalmers and Samuels. Early second half pressure saw another scramble in the home box however this time we managed to keep the ball out. St Johnstone were all over us like a rash. If that was not bad enough we made a number of basic errors that led to more opportunities for the Perth side. Scott Allardice replaced Lewis Hyde as we looked to get back into the game, but it was a long shot with the midfielder just back after serious injury. Just after the hour, Middleton went close with a low shot that Ridgers looked to get a fingertip to, however a goal kick was the result. Best effort for Inverness was a run down the left by Billy Mckay where his cross was cleared for a corner. From the corner Welsh volleyed high over again. Chalmers was showing some great touches and turns and he also knocked a dangerous ball into the box but there were no takers. Out of the blue Samuels went down the right and cut the ball back to the edge of the box where Reece McAlear smashed a superb shot into the roof of the net via the underside of the bar from fifteen yards. Game on! Ten minutes before the end McAlear won a free kick about twenty five yards out. He picked himself up and curled a beauty into the top right corner of Zander Clarks goal. What a strike from a man who doesn't do tap ins against a 6ft 5" keeper. Another great burst forward by Samuels almost resulted in a third for Inverness but Mckay was blocked out for a corner at the front post. FULL TIME: 2-2 What a turnaround from Inverness after a torrid first hour. The second half substitutions were crucial to the outcome of this one and has reignited the Premiership flames for the Caley Jags. MotM was Reece McAlear with two absolute belters. On to McDiarmid Park on Monday night and the tie is still very much alive. From BBC Sport Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds: "I had to change it at half-time, I had to do something. Luckily it worked but it wasn't just the changes, it was because of the desire of my players. "We really played well second half, once we got our goal. The subs were good. Two great goals from Reece McAlear. "We just want to go to McDiarmid with a fighting chance and put some pressure on because pressure tells in football. We've still got a big ask, we have to play better from the start than tonight but I think they realise they're good enough now." St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "It's a poor refereeing decision for their first goal. It's two yards offside and it was a head knock. Two really poor decisions let them back in the game. They got a little bit of momentum. "For the first 60 minutes, we were outstanding. It's probably a little bit disappointing we didn't score more goals. It goes back to McDiarmid and it's up to us to win the game. "We need to go and perform like that on Monday. If we do, we'll be confident we can win the game. It's one game so let's go." More match reaction Date: 20/05/2022 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4811 Referee: Bobby Madden Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers, Carson, Broadfoot, Deas, Harper, Doran (Chalmers 45), Welsh, Hyde (Allardice 56), McAlear, Hardy (Samuels 45), B Mckay Subs (not used): C Mackay; Strachan, Calum Mackay Scorers: MacAlear (73, 80) Booked: none Sent Off: none St Johnstone: 2 Manager: Callum Davidson Lineup: Clark; Rooney, Cleary, Gordon, McCart, Brown, Hendry, Middleton (May 69), MacPherson, Davidson, Hallberg (Butterfield 69) Subs (not used): Parish; Mahon, Sang, Gilmour, Craig, Ciftci, O'Halloran Scorers: Rooney (18), Hallberg (24) Booked: Middleton (52) Sent Off: none a
  25. One Game Shootout Well well, after the drama of Friday night, it all comes down to this game in a winner takes all final. It's another blank canvas after a 2-2 draw at the Caledonian Stadium for the final game at McDiarmid Park Perth on Monday night at 7:45pm. We can thank Reece McAlear for that after his two stunning second half goals cancelled out two first half goals for the Perth side. We should have Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy free from suspension after the Willie Collum debacle. (I notice he was also rubbish in the Showpiece Scottish Cup Final as well. Seriously useless. Maybe VAR will make our refs pull their socks up). Unfortunately, Nick Walsh is allegedly the man in the middle on Monday. That also gives me the fear more than St Johnstone. Buses for play off final 23rd leave stadium at 4pm. Book through Facebook or on 07462218717 Here's our summary from CTO: An understrength Inverness struggled badly for an hour against a solid St Johnstone who took a two goal lead into the interval. Shaun Rooney and Melker Hallberg put the Saints in the driving seat. However, step forward Reece McAlear and take a massive bow. A thumping strike off the underside of the bar and an exquisite curling free kick levelled matters and gives us something to play for in the return leg at Perth, where we should have Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy back after suspension. It was great to see Scott Allardice back on the park on Friday. Along with the tricky Logan Chalmers and the rapid Austin Samuels he helped to get us back on track in the second half after a torrid first forty five where our tactics were a bit pear shaped as Dodds tried to match Saints 3-5-2 formation. Fortunately Billy realised by the interval that we needed to go back to a more standard 4-4-2. After an hour the momentum swung in our direction and up stepped Reece McAlear to thunderblast us on our way to Perth still in the tie. Who to look out for Glen Middleton caught the eye on Friday with his pace, willing running and workrate. Shaun Rooney is as powerful as ever as he bounced a few bodies off him. Melker Hallberg showed quick feet when scoring. In fact with St Johnstone seasoned campaigners in the top division, thirteen seasons now, that gap in stature was massive until we got to grips with the game. Once the belief was there, we turned the tide. All hands to the pumps on Monday, good luck guys.
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