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Chocolate cup delight Inverness made a number of changes for this Challenge Cup fourth round tie against Alloa Athletic but still came out on top after a somewhat listless game where errors were more commonplace than slick incisive football. Less than 1000 fans were in attendance as Mitch Curry scored his first goal for the club just before the interval. Debutant Nathan Gilhooly gave away the ball thirty yards out and Curry ran into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the net. We got a deserved second when Charlie Trafford crashed a shot goalwards. It took a big deflection to fly high into the net with keeper Jamie MacDonald stranded. Alloa hit the woodwork twice through Trouten and Graham before we wrapped the game up. In the last minute Matheus Machado was on hand at the back post to knock a Miles Storey cross into the net for his first senior goal. Brazilliant! Five or six non regulars were given the nod in this one, notably, keeper Cammy Mackay, Cammy Harper, Kevin McHattie and Mitch Curry who returned after injury, his first game in eleven weeks. The Wasps were along more familiar lines and made two or three changes from the side that beat Dundee United last Friday. Nathan Gilhooly was making his first start for the club with Robbie Deas missing. Steven Hetherington also missed out and Liam Buchanan started. It was a low key game and the performance echoed that in terms of urgency. Inverness were dominant in the first half but wasteful in the final third with some preferring to flatter to deceive rather than go for the jugular. Mitchell Curry had a couple of efforts as did Roddy MacGregor but either failed to make the keeper work or made it easy for him to gather the ball comfortably. Shooting practice might be on the agenda this week as Aaron Doran fired harmless efforts well over the bar. Curry opened the scoring just before the break after he cut out a loose ball from Gilhooly. He carried on across and into the box before cutting the ball back across the keeper and into the bottom corner. He wasted an equally good chance within a minute after bursting into the left side of the box but shot weakly with his left peg at the near post where MacDonald gathered the ball with ease. He would have been better opening his body looking for the far post or squaring to the incoming teammates. Half Time 0-1 The second period saw our dominance continue and Jamie MacDonald did well to stop a MacGregor shot on the line after a deflection took a bit of the pace off the ball. Aaron Doran looked as though he had scored with half the North Stand already on their feet. However his dipping volley sliced narrowly wide of the keepers left hand post. Close, but no cigar! Our dominance eventually paid off but it took a deflected shot from Charlie Trafford to get the two goal cushion. He bludgeoned the ball from outside the box and it deflected high into the net with MacDonald stranded. We seemed to stir a hornets nest after the second goal and the wasps almost stung us, three times, with Alan Trouten firstly taking forever to pick his spot. That spot was the post and it rebounded back towards the keeper. Adam Brown tried from distance and Cammy Mackay stopped the shot, but as it bounced away from him Robbie Thomson looked favourite to get to the ball first but Cammy dived full length forward to deny the Waspy. Andy Graham also saw a late header come down off the bar as we lost our focus a little. We rallied again and the often wasteful Storey managed to get a cross into the box. Jordan White challenged for it and it was met at the back post by young Matheus Machado who tidily and gleefully knocked it into the net. That's his first senior goal for the club, many more to come methinks. Good end to the contest by the Caley Jags who seemed to be in control but almost undid the good work prior to Alloa's wee revival bid. Overall we were comfortable winners, but had we taken a more urgent approach could have scored half a dozen goals. Unfortunately we were somewhat pedantic at times with Doran going round in circles and Storey often taking the wrong option when he should be using his best asset, his searing pace and power. Good cross for the third goal though. MacGregor is young and comes across as over eager to score. Very busy player though and will be a great asset once he gets off the mark. The goals can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=392555228366434 Not easy to spot the MotM. A few contenders with Charlie Trafford in particular having a good day. David Carson was also industrious and at the back Coll Donaldson looks more focussed than he was at the start of the season and Kevin McHattie will be knocking on the managers door very soon. No real failures, but some need to work to their strengths rather than be fancy Dans. Good to be back.......... The draw for the semi-finals will be made at 1:00pm on Wednesday 16th October. Also through along with Inverness are Stenhousemuir, Elgin City, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers, Wrexham and the winners of Solihull Moors v Rangers Colts(Tues 15th). Date: 12/10/2019 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 973 Referee: John McKendrick Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: C Mackay, Rooney, Donaldson, McHattie, Harper, Doran, Carson, Trafford (Vincent 78), Curry (White 75) , MacGregor (Machado 85), Storey. Subs (not used): Ridgers; Tremarco, McCart, Scorers: Curry (42), Trafford (64), Machado (88). Booked: none Sent Off: none Alloa Athletic: 0 Lineup: MacDonald; Taggart, Graham, Cawley, Robertson, Buchanan, Trouten, Flannigan, Brown (O’Donnell 86), Gilhooly, O’Hara (Thomson 65) Subs (not used): Henry; Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none a
Challenging Times Challenging times ahead both on and off the park. Let's concentrate on the park for now as we entertain Alloa Athletic in the Challenge Cup on Saturday as the Wasps come North for a 3:00pm kick off at the Caledonian Stadium. It's the fourth round, or if you prefer, the quarter finals of the Chocolate Biscuit Cup sponsored by Tunnock's Caramel Wafers. If they like it up here, they will be back the week after to face us in the Championship. Bit of Deja Vu there as we also had a double header with Morton which went 8-1 in our favour. In the last round of this competition we put Morton out 3-1 at the Caledonian Stadium the week after pumping them 5-0 in the League. It was a much changed side that took to the field for the second game as Robbo introduced fringe players to the squad and added the returning Sean Welsh to the team to get some game time in his recovery from injury. That went well until last week when it was feared he had broken a metatarsal in his other foot! That has now been confirmed. He will be a big loss as the season unfolds. Anyway, goals by Todorov, Doran and Storey saw us comfortably beat the Ton despite making eight changes from the previous week. Many of them had tasted first team football but not on a regular basis. Cammy Mackay was in goal with the likes of Cameron Harper, Roddy MacGregor, Kevin McHattie and Nikolay Todorov all starting. All in, it was an excellent result given the alterations. Our last competitive match saw us take all three points at Ayr thanks to a rare goal from James Vincent and one from photographer Shaun Rooney with a superb solo goal. Great result from us against one of the form teams in the Championship. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SPORTS BAR OPEN FROM 1PM TICKET PRICES FOR THIS MATCH ARE AS FOLLOWS Adult: £10 Concessions (Over 65s, 16-25s, Juniors): £5 Under 12s: FREE* when accompanied by a ticket holding adult/concession. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Alloa's progress was less clear cut but they pulled off a tremendous away win at Dunfermline, beating the Pars 1-2. Robert Thomson and Alan Trouten were the scorers as the Wasps came from behind to win this one, but at a cost Keeper Neil Parry was injured and Alloa have since taken Jamie MacDonald on emergency loan from Kilmarnock to cover the position. They finished the game with ten men after Blair Malcolm pulled up but held on to go in to the draw for the next round. Alloa's last outing was an even better performance as they deservedly beat League Leaders Dundee United at Recreation Park. Kevin O'Hara scored the only goal but Alloa were brilliant on the night and the Arabs could have no complaints at the result which could have been greater. They certainly showed the rest of the league how to tackle United. Given that we will tinker with our squad somewhat, I feel that Alloa will be more direct in their approach to this game and will see it as a tremendous opportunity to pick up some silverware, whereas we have bigger fish to fry as the season goes on. That could make it more difficult for us to progress although the squad will be along similar lines to the one that performed so well at Ayr last week. Robbo will draft in some more fringe players and we could see the likes of Tremarco, White and Doran rested. Brad Mckay and Mitch Curry could come into contention for a start, but Sean Welsh is definitely out. Tom Walsh is reportedly suffering from a hamstring injury. This will be a good benchmark for the game next week against the Wasps and any shortcomings will surely be addressed for the Championship encounter. Don't forget to listen to the latest offering from the Wyness Shuffle guys. If you like a wee flutter, our partnership with FansBet can offer you something. Just click on FansBet to get started. "Remember to select CaleyThistleOnline when you register and you’ll be helping us support ICT fan causes." FansBet are partners with Supporters Direct Scotland and already have many impressive stories of giving back to and empowering fans, ranging from funding away travel, share purchases, backing safe standing projects and many more. You can read some of FansBet’s Giving Back stories on their blog at https://blog.fansbet.com/fansbet-giving-back/partners/fan/ Always remember to adopt safe gambling and responsible policies.