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  1. Inverness were dealt a blow when an own goal from Brad Mckay was enough to give Rangers all three points despite the hosts being played off the park by a lively Inverness. Martyn Waghorn cut along the byeline and prodded the ball into the box, unfortunately it cannoned off Mckay for the only goal of the game. The goal came seconds after Lonsana Doumbouya spurned a great chance to score at the other end, Foderingham stopping the ball on the line as the big striker looked to be impeded before poking the ball goalwards. Larnell Cole almost benefited from slack play across the Rangers back line but Foderingham saved well again. Greg Tansey saw another effort saved by the keeper and Carl Tremarco almost got on the end of a deep cross that was just missed by Doumbouya as the visitors dominated in everything but the scoreline.. The best chance before the break fell to Liam Polworth after another cock-up in the home defence, alas he side footed the ball just the wrong side of the post. It was more of the same after the break but Rangers did break forward occasionally only for players to squander the chances. Owain Fon Williams was a virtual spectator as Inverness searched for the goal their slick play deserved, but he was eventually called into action to deny Jason Holt an undeserved second for the hosts. The last major action saw Foderingham deny sub Alex Fisher who spun and fired a superb volley towards the top of the goal, unfortunately the keeper was alert enough to tip it over for a corner. Full Time 1-0 So, bottom of the table as expected, but that was as good a performance as we have had all season and deserving of so much more. I'm not sure the goal will stick with Waghorn as it was going across the face of the goal before striking Mckay, but we will have to wait and see on that one. As I said, great performance, but wrong result. Motherwell next, a win would be nice. Alternative Maryhill was slightly more restrained in his summary. Really frustrating to come away without anything there. We looked stronger at the back than we have in ages - Meekings was superb and Mckay again showed that he has been an excellent signing - and we pressed the ball really well further up the park; Tansey and Doumbouya deserve particular praise in this regard. Cole also had probably his best game for us to date - nominally starting on the left of a three behind Doumbouya, he actually played a bit of a free role and looked far more willing take players on than he has in previous games. The drawback of the line-up and tactics we adopted was that we were very short of pace up front, and, especially with Doumbouya dropping back to support so much, we lacked anyone overlapping or taking the ball on. The chances we created - and there were more than there have have been for a while - were mostly created through sheer hard graft, forcing Rangers back by degrees. The fact that we weren't able to take any of them points to a fundamental weakness in the current squad that will probably see us struggling all season, even if we can turn in performances as impressive as this on a consistent basis. Then again, six points against Motherwell and County and we could be back in the top six for the start of 2017. Funny league this year. Merry Christmas btw, CTO folks. Richie Foran was quoted on BBC Sport as saying "I think the fact Rangers struggled is all down to us. I thought we controlled the game and absolutely dominated the first half. We cut them open on numerous occasions and were solid at the back. I can't ask for much more than that We were just lacking that wee bit of magic. Unfortunately we were up against a goalkeeper in unbelievable form. It's soul-destroying how we don't come away with more than a point today." Date: 24/12/16 Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow Attendance: 48,528 Referee: Don Robertson Rangers: 1 Lineup: Foderingham; Hodson, Kiernan, Hill, Wallace; Tavernier (Windass 58), Halliday, Holt; Waghorn (Forrester 70), Garner, McKay (Miller 58) Subs (not used): Gilks, Wilson, Dodoo, O’Halloran Scorers: Waghorn (13) Booked: Tavernier (42) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, McKay, Warren, Meekings, Tremarco, Tansey, Polworth, Draper, Cole (Boden 83), Vigurs (Doran 72), Doumbouya (Fisher 78) Subs (not used): Esson, Mulraney, King, Sutherland Scorers: none Booked: Cole (36), Vigurs (45), Meekings (84) Sent Off: none a
  2. Ho Ho Ho It's Xmas Eve and we have to get on our sleigh and head to the home of the bad Santa's at Ibrox to deliver our Xmas presents. Wrapped up nicely ready for delivery are no clean sheets, loads of injuries, gift goals and Richie Foran's beard, bless him. And to make matters worse, Barbara is on her way and we kick off at 12:30, yes, you read that right, 12:30 (in the afternoon). It's a daunting task at any time of the year, but the powers that be think it's no problem to go to Govan on Christmas Eve for a wee kick about with the bears. Maybe someone should send them a calendar and a map for New Year so they can get the fixture list sorted. Anyway, the bears den it is and we just have to get on with it. The Rangers have done as well as could be expected after their meteoric rise through the divisions, lurking in the top quarter of the Premiership. With Aberdeen fluffing their lines at Dingwall and Hearts stuttering under new boss Ian Cathro, the Gers find themselves a distant second behind Champions elect Celtic and look like being the best bet for the second spot and the Euro place that goes along with it. It's all happening below them though as seven or eight teams vie for the right to enter the Championship. Unfortunately, one of the front runners at the moment are Inverness Caledonian Thistle. However, this can all change at the drop of a Santa hat, noticeable last weekend as County displaced Kilmarnock in the top-six for now, being the only winners from the bottom half. Last time out the Rangers held on to beat Hamilton Accies at the Superseal Stadium thanks to a brace from Martyn Waghorn. Dougie Imrie made their keekie winkers twitch with a late strike but it was the Blues that took all three points to tuck in behind Celtic. Our last game saw us score late again to earn a point at Rugby Park. Souleymane Coulibaly scored a contentious stunner only for Gary Warren to level matters to get us what looked like a distant point at times during the game. Credit to us for keeping the energy levels high despite suffering more injury blows with Lonsana Doumbouya, Brad Mckay and Lewis Horner all being replaced because of injury. The Ibrox club are on a great run of results in their last nine games since losing to Celtic. Their only defeat was 2-0 at Tynecastle, but they rectified that a couple of games later by beating the Jambos at Ibrox by the same score. Three wins on the trot and five games without defeat at Ibrox sends out a grim message to Inverness that this is not going to be an enjoyable festive frolic. We have scored only two goals less than the Rangers but it's in defence where the difference is obvious as we have conceded almost twice as many as them (34 to 18). Our last result at Ibrox was a 3-0 League Cup win in October 2012. Goals from Andy Shinnie and Gary Warren were added to by a Graeme Shinnie penalty. The first encounter this season was won by a stunning Kenny Miller volley as Inverness offered their visitors the freedom of the park. Our generosity knows no bounds. It looks as though we withdraw our attacking intent when we go on the road and remove Mulraney, Doran, and King looking to fill the midfield with more bodies instead. Problem with this is that we can't buy a clean sheet either and once we start chasing the game it's difficult to see where the goals are going to come from. Our one paced midfield has to work harder and will need to get up to speed quickly at Ibrox or they will be overrun. Injuries are rearing their ugly head once more with three players limping out of Rugby Park. Lewis Horner took a more than robust challenge and will be out for a couple of months with knee damage. Brad Mckay suffered a bleeding nose on top of his sore shins courtesy of Graeme Shinnie against Aberdeen and Lonsana Doumbouya was singled out for some rough treatment. It was good to have Liam Polworth back though, and sooner than expected as well, so that's a bonus. Keeper crisis is ongoing with both still suffering in silence. Kev McNaughton will be out for months and David Raven till at least the end of January. Scott Boden and Alex Fisher are ready for action. Mark Warburton can look forward to this one with less pessimism. The Joey Barton revolution looks like it's over. Apparently he likes a bet and he is set to join Burnley again. Jordan Rossiter and Nico Krancjar will miss out but Matt Crooks, and Josh Windas should be available for selection. tm4tj prediction:- I'm expecting the worst to be honest and fully expect us to be propping up the league by the time 2017 comes along. We are dangerous when the chips are down but if our heads go down as well we could be on a steep learning curve here. We have taken points from Ibrox before but will need to be at our best and cut out the slackness. I'll happily take a point now although I fear that is more a wish than a prediction. Interesting times ahead and we could do with more attacking intent, drive in midfield and a no nonsense defender. The Xmas wish list will be sent to Santa, I hope he has the presents that Richie requires, although we will maybe have to wait until the January sales to get our bargains. I'm not sure it will be a Whyte Christmas at Ibrox, but it could be a white Christmas in the Highlands. Rock Star Rod, AKA Naelifts has this Xmas message for everyone................ And finally, Richie looks ahead to the challenge at the bears den.................. Merry Christmas
  3. If you know your History Friday night Footie returns to the Highlands with a bang as new club The Rangers visit the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for the first time in their short history, the game kicking off at 19:45. They have made a meteoric rise to fame since their inception, climbing through the leagues in four years and getting to the final of the Scottish Cup. It's a touch of Gretna revisited. Unfortunately for them, like Gretna they also failed to win the cup at the hands of an Edinburgh club. They do look pretty slick though, having tailored their needs for each division as they made their way into the Premiership and they now have a squad capable of challenging most with Mark Warburton leading the way. Richie Foran has been named Manager of the Month for September after turning the fortunes of his slow starters around. However, we all know the repercussions of the curse of the Manager of the Month. Sounds like an adventure from Scooby Doo. Yikes! Come to think of it, have you ever seen Richie Foran and Shaggy in the same room? Me neither. Immortal Howden Ender has given us this fabulous whirlwind history lesson to rival Charlie Bannerman's Against All Odds This could be entitled the Inaugural meeting of the “Young Firm” of Scottish football. Both teams having painful and traumatic experiences in the not too distant past. Both teams are lamenting and many still grieving for the teams that they did support, whose existence was sadly terminated. Caley were even called “The Rangers of the North”. Caledonian Thistle F.C. was formed in August 1994 by the merger of Caledonian and Inverness Thistle who had been members of the Highland Football League since 1885.The league restructured in 1994 to four divisions of ten teams each. The merged clubs were elected in to the Scottish Third Division. The club's name was amended to Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. in 1996 at the request of Inverness District Council. Many still refer to the team as Caley or Thistle. They rose through the divisions at some speed, given their finances and many teams trying to halt their rise, especially when initially promoted to the SPL. The original Rangers came into existence in 1872, 13 years before the Inverness giants. The Rangers Football Club PLC entered liquidation on 31 October 2012. Sevco Scotland Ltd later changed its name to The Rangers Football Club Ltd. The new team, The Rangers FC started off life, akin to ICT, in the Scottish Third Division in the 2012-2013 season, a mere 18 years after Inverness. Due to their superior finances they climbed the leagues far quicker than ICT and made it this season. So Inverness Caledonian Thistle and The Rangers FC take to the park to on Friday 14th October 2016 in the first ever league meeting between the two clubs. Sadly I suspect that there may be as many old Caley and Thistle diehards (and their families) in the Rangers End as there are in the Main Stand and The North Stand. The two previous outcomes of meetings between the new clubs have been Scottish League Cup affairs. Inverness hammering Rangers 3-0 at Ibrox in October 2012 and Rangers scraping a fortunate 1-0 win in September 2014. In their history Inverness have only met the old Rangers team in League encounters and, at home, it does not make good reading with Rangers winning 8 and Inverness 1 and two drawn. The only ICT win was in December 2006 (Live on Setanta Sports !!) and the match was an all ticket SELL OUT. Nacho Novo scored for Rangers from the penalty spot (Craig Thompson was at it even then) before Darren Dods equalised. And many will recall the winner screamed in by John Rankin in the last minute. And we all had a fleeting look at the wondrous SEBO. We have a better record at Ibrox, winning three and drawing four of the thirteen encounters. My own personal lasting memory has to be the injury time penalty winner by Iain Black in March 2009. And Zjebi-Zadi was MotM and David Proctor won the penalty, drawing a foul from Davie Weir who was sent off. And Rangers were frightened by the pace of Dougie Imrie and Eric Odhiambo. It was fair rocking in “Brechins” that night. Going back to the Howden End days memories fade back to 18 February 1984 when the mighty old club known as Rangers visited Telford Street Park on Scottish Cup duty. A crowd of 5,500 packed in to watch Rangers win 6-0. Somebody called McCoist scored a brace that day and somebody called Billy Urquhart played against his old team. He should have stayed in Wigan !! I fail to recall any great Inverness Thistle v Rangers encounters although that was probably reserved for Brora Rangers. And finally on the trip down memory lane – we simply can’t leave out the initial Scottish Cup meeting with the old Rangers. A quarter final moved to the “neutral” ground of Tannadice Park in Dundee, on the 9th of March 1996. A crowd of 11,296 was in attendance (an estimated 5,000 from Sneck) when Rangers were the “visitors”. Rangers won 3-0, with Brian Thomson scoring an own goal and a certain Paul Gascoigne hitting a double. I can only suggest that you read the account made by Pele Paterson in his book “Confessions of a Highland Hero” - “We were Third Division and they were Champions”. That was one feckin hoore of a weekend. Hopefully the thought of the forthcoming Betfred Cup tie with Celtic will be a distraction and the Joey Barton debacle lingers on and on. Rumours are rife that Joey has put a pony on Inverness winning 2-1. That is certainly worth a wee gamble although it is unclear whether he is purely doing this out of churlish malice. Rangers have had what only can be described as an inconsistent start to the season and are clearly struggling to identify a starting eleven. The Central Belt Bluenoses however appear confident that Rangers have a clearer starting XI and expect to line up in a 4-3-3 formation. Wes Foderingham should keep his place in goals ahead of veteran Matt Gilks. James Tavernier and Lee Wallace will start in the two full-back positions. Rob Kiernan missed the last few games with an injury but looks likely to start. Kiernan and Wilson appear to have claimed the first-choice centre-back pairing (unfortunately) despite the arrival of experienced but aging duo of Clint Hill and Philippe Senderos. Andy Halliday should start in defensive midfield with Joey Barton missing (or running scared of Ross Draper). Jason Holt provides a lot of energy in the middle of the park and should keep his place whilst Niko Kranjcar impressed against the Plastic Whistle. Kenny Miller is likely to start up front as the target man with Martyn Waghorn operating as the wide forward from the right. Barrie McKay, to me the big danger, will keep his place on the left. If that is the Rangers line up then we need to go wide and offensive. Both Wallace and Tavernier are prone to leave their defensive duties and will leave space up front. Personally I would go with Fisher up front, if he has shaken off his knock, rather than Doumbuoya. Keep Draper “in the hole” behind him Tansey and Polworth to hold central midfield. I have not been impressed by Tansey this season but this is a “shop window” and I expect him to put in a MotM performance. Two wide players are a must and it looks like it will be Mulraney and King to start with. The back five pick themselves. McKay and Tremarco will be tested by McKay (need to check with CaleyD about the spelling). We certainly went backwards at Hamilton but escaped with a point, leaving us on a 5 game unbeaten run. That has led to Richie Foran being awarded the coveted Manager of the Month Award. Let’s hope that his lucky shamrock can ward off the curse that the award has placed on previous ICT Managers. And a 2-0 win would take us into the Top Six and ahead of Rangers on goal difference. But three points and a scabby one goal win will suffice. Shaggy Richie looks ahead to the game........
  4. http://caleythistleo...league-cup-r981 Preview ahead of Wednesday nights game against The Gers now published.
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