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  1. Over and Out Inverness slumped out of the League Cup in unsurprising fashion after a 1-0 defeat at Tynecastle, Jamie Walker with a second half goal enough for the dominant Jambo's. Michael Gardyne was sent off just before the ninety minutes for a rash scissors tackle on Walker to add to our woes. The League Cup; its not for everyone, meh! Date: 25/07/2021 Venue: Tynecastle Park Attendance: 2989 Referee: Nick Walsh Hearts: 1 Manager: Robbie Neilson Lineup: Gordon; M Smith, Halkett, Kingsley, Cochrane, Pollock (Walker 66), Halliday (Haring 66), Mackay-Steven, Boyce, Gnanduillet (Henderson 84), Ginnelly Subs (not used): Stewart; McEneff, C Smith, Popescu, Watson, Denholm Scorers: Walker (75) Booked: Ginnelly (6), Pollock (56) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, Devine (Fyffe 76), Broadfoot, Deas (Harper 76), Walsh (McDonald 81), McAlear, McGregor, Gardyne, Sutherland (Jamieson 81), Duku (Allardice 70) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Hyde, Cairns, Hennem Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: Gardyne (88) a
  2. Hearts league cup Our involvement in this seasons opening event will come to an end once we face Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday in a 17:15 kick-off in our final Group A game. It's been another disastrous League Cup campaign after the optimism of the opening encounter against Peterhead. Subsequent flaky performances against part-time lower league sides have seen the optimism replaced by despair. Not so much the defeats, but the performances have been poor leaving new gaffer Billy Dodds the daunting task of breathing new life into this rapidly deflating side. This game will be broadcast by Premier Sports. OFFICIAL PREVIEW Premier Sports Group A HOME AWAY POS. P W D L GF GA W D L GF GA GD PTS 1 Heart of Midlothian 3 1 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 4 0 7 9 2 Stirling Albion 3 0 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 5 4 -1 5 3 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 1 1 0 4 2 0 0 1 1 3 0 4 4 Peterhead 3 1 0 1 3 3 0 0 1 0 2 -2 3 5 Cove Rangers 4 1 0 1 5 4 0 0 2 1 6 -4 3 Stirling Albion finish second after beating Peterhead in the other Group A game this weekend. (Final Score 3-1) Dodds talking after the defeat to Cove Rangers So, having said he has not done any work with his defenders, Doddsy has promptly gone shopping and brought in another striker to bolster his misfiring forwards. Nineteen year old Lewis Jamieson has come in for a season long loan from Premiership side St Mirren. Quite what he has to offer compared to our own academy graduates has yet to be seen, but good luck to him anyway. Sean Welsh is still out but David Carson who missed the Cove game could feature. Lewis Jamieson will be included in the squad with Billy Mckay and Anthony McDonald still sidelined. Young right back Harry Nicolson has been loaned to Elgin City until January 2022 and gets a start on Saturday against East Fife.
  3. Hearts end our season Our season looked over inside ten minutes after Mackay-Steven ran at the defence before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner as the defenders backed off. McEneff doubled the lead with the aid of a deflection in the ninth minute to nestle the ball in the bottom corner again. Mackay-Steven notched his second as he poked his leg in between Deas and Ridgers to kill the game with half an hour gone. The second half was an anti-climax for both sides with no further scoring, and with results elsewhere our challenge has come to an end. ____________________________ After the disappointing draw with Dundee in midweek, our destiny was in the hands of others. All we can do is gather points and hope that others can lend a helping hand by taking points of Dunfermline and Dundee as we visit Tynecastle to take on Champions Hearts. All games kick-off at 3:00pm on Saturday, it's a massive day of football in the Championship. Scott Allardice was cleared to play in this one but Brad Mckay was suspended after the disciplinary committee met on Friday to decide the outcome of the red cards against Dundee. In came Cameron Harper at left back with Miles Storey starting. Roddy MacGregor and Shane Sutherland would be the impact players on the bench. Jamie Walker was not involved at Cappielow and Raith bound Cristophe Berra was also missing. Young defender Harry Cochrane has not signed a new contract and none of them would feature against Inverness. Neilson has twelve players out of contract this summer. Mackay-Steven came back into the side with Naismith and Henderson on the bench. ___________________________ A sunny Tynecastle was echoing with the disturbed sound of silence as The Caley Jags clapped the Champions onto the park as this covid restricted game kicked off with no fans in attendance. Scott Allardice had a shot deflected for a corner in the first minute and from the resultant cut back corner Scott Allan almost opened the scoring, his shot just clearing the bar. Ridgers gathered a header from Gnaduillet but moments later Mackay-Steven was allowed to run at the defence unchallenged before drilling a superb low shot behind Ridgers. The lead was doubled when a slight deflection took the ball out of the keepers reach and right in the bottom corner, McEneff the one with the strike. Gnaduillet almost got on the end of a great Haring cross to the back post as Hearts continued to dominate midway through the half, the ball getting knocked out for a goal kick as Ridgers and his defence closed him down. Game over with half an hour gone when Deas and Ridgers got in a fankle and Mackay-Steven prodded the ball into the net as the keeper came to collect and Deas tried to usher. Nightmare half hour from the Caley Jags! Ridgers saved from McEneff as Hearts threatened to run riot and the same two were involved before the interval as Hearts cigared it. Half Time: 3-0 Roddy MacGregor replaced Scott Allardice at the break and Toddy forced Craig Gordon into a save as he shot from wide right, the keeper saving without spilling. Despite a spirited second half showing especially from young substitute Arran Lyall the visitors failed to get a foothold in the game with Hearts looking more likely to add to their tally. A tidy twisting run forward by Scott Allan ended with a stabbed shot which Gordon gathered comfortably with around ten minutes left. Full Time: 3-0 In truth, we huffed and puffed while Hearts went through the motions without inflicting any further damage. So a late run on the stand side ended at Tynecastle as we fell short of reaching our target of a play off slot. Them's the breaks and it was a familiar scenario of too little too late. On the plus side, there's only one more preview and report to go... From BBC Sport Hearts manager Robbie Neilson: "Delighted, delighted. It's been a tough season for everyone. I'm delighted for the players. "I thought we were great. I'm really pleased with the performance. The game really suited Gary. It was a bit more open and expansive and you see the real Gary Mackay-Steven." Inverness CT interim manager Neil McCann: "We were much better in the second half. That's to be expected because we were so unlike ourselves. I lost my cool. Frustration boiled over. I shouldn't have done that. "Sore one. I feel really sorry for everybody connected to the club. We've just come up short." Date: 24/04/2021 Venue: Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh Attendance: 0000 Referee: Bobby Madden Hearts: 3 Manager: Robbie Neilson Lineup: Gordon; Smith, Souttar, Haring (Irving 40), McEneff, Logan, Halkett, Halliday, Gnanduillet (Naismith 65), Mackay-Steven (Pollock 80) Boyce Subs (not used): Stewart; Popescu, McGill, Henderson Scorers: Mackay-Steven (6), McEneff (9) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Manager: Neil McCann (temporary) Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Deas, Devine, Harper, D Mackay, Welsh, Allardice (MacGregor 45), Allan, Storey (Sutherland 73) Todorov (Lyall 56) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Duffy, McHattie, Vincent Scorers: none Booked: Carson (19), Welsh (57) Sent Off: none a
  4. Joy at Jamboland: On Thursday Hearts sought a postponement of this fixture due to a flu epidemic sweeping Tynecastle. With two free Saturdays looming Caley Thistle wanted to avoid another rearranged match so were keen to play. The SPL refused the request and the match went ahead. Craig Brewster came back from injury for ICT with Graham Bayne reverting to the bench. John Robertson's weakened side played some neat passing football, and defended well for most of the game, but never troubled Mark Brown. A rare Hearts first half effort came in eight minutes when former Caley Thistle favourite Dennis Wyness shot high and wide from 22 yards. Juanjo tried an overhead kick at the other end but it went well wide. In 12 minutes Stuart Golabek sent a cross from the left towards the back post and Roy McBain headed powerfully goalwards. Craig Gordon was nowhere and Hearts were only saved by a fine Andy Webster goal-line clearance. Wyness set up Joe Hamill in 24 minutes but his early rising shot cleared the bar. Most of the first half was rather disjointed but things improved after the break. Half Time: 0-0 Wyness headed just over in 53 minutes with the home fans on their feet thinking it was in, but it was Caley Thistle who took the lead two minutes later. Not for the first time Juanjo was fouled on the right and Richie Hart took the free kick. Darren Dods rose high above a static defence to head home his first goal for the club. Hearts nearly equalised a minute later when Ross Tokely's attempted clearance skidded onto the top of the bar and over for a corner. Tokely redeemed himself seconds later with a fine block as Christophe Berra prepared to shoot. It was all over in 72 minutes when Barry Wilson chased a loose ball across the Hearts box and Gordon brought him down. Gordon saw yellow and Wilson hit the resultant penalty past the offending keeper to seal the points. The Hearts fans started to leave and their team spent the rest of the game on the back foot. Caley Thistle were content to play possession football over the final period. Wyness did have a sight of goal in 81 minutes but he hit it straight through to Brown. A Duncan lob into the Hearts box a minute later was taken by Gordon ahead of substitute Bryan Prunty. Full Time: 0-2 In added time Liam Fox made a good run through the middle but hit it too far and Gordon collected. A fine three points, eighth place maintained, seventh place in sight, undefeated in six SPL games, eleven points clear of bottom club Dundee United and all looking good. Celtic up next. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hearts: 0 Team: Gordon; Hamill, Berra, Webster, Wallace, Cesnauskis (Pereira 64), Thomson, Janczyk (Thorarinsson 69), Miller (Elliot 84), Wyness, Weir Subs not used: Lithgow, Pelosi, Tierney, Moilanen - Booked: Gordon (72) Inverness CT: 2 (Dods 55, Wilson 72 pen) Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Fox 90), Hart, Duncan, McBain, Juanjo (Prunty 79), Brewster (Bayne 79) Subs not used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Hastings, Fetai - Booked: Golabek(90) Attendance: 9822 - Referee: Craig Thomson
  5. Capital Punishment Caley Thistle travelled to Tynecastle in the hope that they could maintain the excellent form they showed in the game against Rangers and though they did produce another fine display, once again a defensive error was punished and the need to net at the other end let them down. Former ICT player Dennis Wyness was in the Hearts starting line-up and former Hearts star Juanjo Carricondo was in the ICT line-up as the teams kicked off on a beautiful afternoon. Caley Thistle immediately attacked the Hearts goal and in the early stages Stuart Golabek, Juanjo and Russell Duncan all had efforts at goal. Hearts took the lead in 15 minutes when Richard Hastings, making his first appearance of the season for the suspended Grant Munro, took too long to control the ball and Paul Hartley was onto the ball in a flash, moved forward and chipped over Mark Brown. The rest of the half was very even and entertaining and the half-time whistle went with the home side leading by the solitary goal. Half Time: 1-0 At the start of the second period Hartley’s corner was powerfully headed goalwards by Steven Pressley but Liam Keogh did an excellent job on the line and cleared the ball. Caley Thistle took the game to Hearts and Ross Tokely had the best chance of the game when he headed over from inside the six yard box from an excellent cross by Barry Wilson. Richie Hart had to come off with a back spasm after getting Patrick Kisnorbo's knee in the lower back and was replaced by Roy McBain and Steve Hislop replaced Juanjo on the hour mark. ICT continued to press for an equaliser and Tokely and Wilson both failed to hit the target. With 10 minutes remaining, substitute Hislop had to be stretchered off with a leg injury and he was replaced by Bryan Prunty. Caley Thistle kept pressing and Golabek shot wide from the edge of the penalty area. The last real chance of the game fell to substitute Prunty but he headed over from close range. Full Time: 1-0 Once again a tireless performance by the lads but nothing to show for it. Four home games in October will be critical for the team to move off the foot of the table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hearts: 1 (Hartley 15) Team: Gordon; Neilson, Pressley, Webster, Maybury, Hamill, Kisnorbo, Hartley, McAllister (Janczyk 83), Stamp (Sloan 83), Wyness (Elliot 63). Subs Not Used: Moilanen; MacFarlane, Berra, Stewart - Booked: McAllister (32), Pressley (58). Inverness CT: 0 Team: Brown; Tokely, McCaffrey, Golabek, Hastings, Wilson, Duncan, Keogh, Hart (McBain 53), Bayne, Juanjo (Hislop 60), Hislop (Prunty 82). Subs Not Used: Fraser; Dods, Thomson, Black - Booked: McBain (60) Att: 10,340 Ref: Kenny Clark
  6. Caley Thistle travelled to Tynecastle off the back of 2 victories and some much improved performances. Unfortunately, this game turned out to be a pretty drab affair that had 0-0 written all over it until Hearts youngster Gary Glen played a nice one-two before slotting the ball away on the 80th minute. Caley Thistle stay in 9th spot and now wait for the visit of Gretna on Saturday. 26/04/08 Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN 1 (Gary Glen 80) Team: Banks, Thomson, Karipidis, Berra, Goncalves, Jonsson, Palazuelos, Cesnauskis (Wallace 52), Mikoliunas, Elliot (Zaliukas 76), Glen (Robinson 92) SUBS: Screpis, Rapnik, Ivaskevicius, Ridgers INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE 0 Team: Fraser, Tokely, Proctor, Hastings, McBain, Wilson (Paatelainen 72), Duncan, Imrie, Cowie, Wyness (Bayne 65), Niculae (McAllister 83) SUBS: Vigurs, Black, Kerr, Malkowski Referee Dougie McDonald Attendance 15,423 Immortal Howden Ender has this Starometer for us. He's no a happy bunny. Fraser **** Looked very assured today and saved us from a much bigger defeat - Impressed - MOM Rosscoe ** Real Jekyll and Hyde performance Proctor ** Despite what the eejit Brewster may think - he proved today that he is not a central defender. Hastings ** If only Caley 100 was here - he would have been crucified - Sturdy enuff defensively but hoof hoof hoof. McBain - ***: Looked good in the first half but went a bit Invisible in the second - but that is Ok at left back - Worth a run here as I had strenuously advocated. Bazza - ** Struggled - why is he playing him from the start - he is a half hour man away from home :029: Cowie ** can someone tell me where he was supposed to be playing. Brewster is totally wasting him. Duncan ***: Excellent defensively until he is forced to pass !!! :029: Imrie *** Played his heart out but still looks like an SFL player in the SPL. Wyness * Bye Bye Denzil - why did you last so long today - ANSWER - Brewster humiliation. Niculae ** Usual totally ineffective away performance. I am NOT going to say anything about the subs BREWSTER was totally INEPT tactically - we went 4-4-2 when it was crying out for a 4-5-1. :018: :018: :018: He played Marius as the hole and Wyness and Bayne as the front men - FECKIN RIDICULOUS. What a feckin waste - Marius played a few good touches but did bugger all :023: :023: Brew actually appeared to be taunting Black - The game totally cried out for his introduction. Brew is an arrogant power mad .......... censored
  7. Caley Thistle made it 5 wins out of 5 with a hard fought 3-2 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle. An excellent strike from Russell Duncan gave ICT a half time lead and a Rankin penalty extended it early in the second. Hearts fought back through Berra on the hour mark, and seemed to have secured a point with a 90th minute penalty strike. Graham Bayne however scored deep in injury time to win it for ICT. 22/12/07 Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN 2 (Berra 62, Velicka 90pen) Kurskis, Neilson, Zaliukas, Berra, Wallace, Ivaskevicius (Mikoliunas 65), Jonsson, Palazuelos, Driver, Ksanavicius (Elliot 34 (Pospisil 65)), Velicka Subs: McGowan, Cesnauskis, Goncalves, Basso INVERNESS CT 3 (Duncan 22, Rankin 53pen, Bayne 90 ) Team: Fraser, Tokely, McGuire, Munro, Hastings, Cowie, Black (Wilson 81), Duncan, Rankin, McBain (Bayne 70), Niculae Subs: McAllister, Gillespie, Kerr, McCaffrey, Malkowski Referee William Collum Attendance 16202 Craig Brewster stuck with the same formation that has done him so well over the last four games, but due to David Proctor's red card las week, he was forced to make one change to the side with Ross Tokely returning from suspension to take his place. For Hearts, the surprise was probably that they kept faith in Eduardas Kurskis in goal and after gifting a late winner to Rangers last week, he was to have a late impact on this game too. Caley Thistle had the first attempts on goal in this skirmish with a couple of Ian Black efforts that had Kurskis looking a little less than confident and in 6 minutes, Hearts Velicka tested Fraser who couldn't hold his shot, but had McGuire on hand to clear. A couple of minutes later and it was Marius Niculae having a chance at the other end courtesy of a Rankin pass. Just as Marius was about to unleash his shot, Berra nipped in and cleared. Back to the other end now - in the 11th minute - this time with Lee Wallace tearing down the left. He then cut the ball across but Ivaskevicius was denied by an excellent Fraser block. The ball quickly broke back to the midfielder, whose second effort was deflected wide. Less than a minute later Ksanavicius hit the crossbar with a great 22-yard shot. A goal was coming, and with play ranging from end to end it really could have come from either side ... luckily for us, it was Caley Thistle who opened the scoring through Russell Duncan in 21 minutes and what a well worked goal it was. Ian Black started the move by finding John Rankin in space on the left, Rankin then managed to play a crossfield ball to Don Cowie who was on the edge of the box with his back to goal. He took a touch then played it short for Russell Duncan who blasted it low into the corner of the net. Hearts were dealt a blow just after the half-hour mark, with Ksanavicius limping off after a challenge from Ross Tokely. He was replaced by Calum Elliot. Hearts did have one more decent chance before half-time but Driver could only play the ball directly at Fraser after receiving a Velicka cross. Half Time: Hearts 0-1 ICT Into the second half then and five minutes in, it was Hearts who had the first real attack when Velicka had a chance from the edge of the box but it was pushed away by Fraser and the danger was gone. A minute later Hearts would be left rueing this chance as Caley Thistle went upfield and scored ! Russell Duncan broke up a Hearts attack deep in his own half, ran down the wing and waited until just the right moment before playing a perfectly weighted pass to Niculae that left the last defender helpless. Niculae bore down on goal and Kurskis was left with no option but to bring him down. A penalty was awarded, and perhaps surprisingly, the colour of the card issued to Kurskis was only yellow. John Rankin took the penalty, and although the keeper went the right way, the ball had been placed perfectly and he couldnt get a touch to it. 0-2. It was do or die for Hearts now and in the 60th minute, Mike Fraser, who had an excellent match once again, tipped a dipping Palazuelos shot over for a corner. From the corner however, Hearts equalised through Berra who powerfully headed it down and into the net, although, with so many bodies in the box and on the line, the last touch could have come from anyone. After this lifeline, Stevie Frail committed his last two subs in an effort to get something from this game and this was to prove decisive in the end. For the next 20-25 minutes Caley Thistle and Hearts traded attempts at goal, with both Niculae and Mikoliunas coming close but it was to be the final five minutes that would provide a lot of talking points. 5 minutes from the end, Russell Duncan chased down a ball that Kurskis was attempting to shield out for a goal kick and as the keeper picked it up after it had crossed the line, the two players briefly tangled. Kurskis however raised his hands to Duncan and when all was said and done, both players received yellow cards. Unfortunately for Hearts, Kurskis had been booked earlier when conceding the penalty and his yellow was quickly followed by a red card. Worse still for Hearts was that they had used all three subs so could not take off an outfield player and use their sub keeper so Lee Wallace was the player who was given the Keeper's top for the last five minutes. Despite the drama, Hearts went up the park and scored a last gasp equaliser... In what looked like a very soft award, McGuire was adjudged to have fouled Velicka in the box, was booked for it, and then Velicka himself sent Fraser the wrong way from the penalty spot. 2-2 and literally seconds to go. But it was not over yet!!! This time it was Caley Thistle's turn to go up the park and score. McGuire started the move on the half way line with a pass to Bayne, Bayne then passed wide to Cowie and he sent the ball into the box. A Hearts defender (Zaliukas) carelessly backheeled it into the path of Bayne and he sent it low into the net past a helpless Wallace from 15 yards. Final Score: Hearts 2-3 ICT and 15 points out of 15 for Craig Brewster !!
  8. Substitute Michal Pospisil scored with his first touch of the ball in the 81st minute to give Hearts all three points in this match. Club Historian Ian Broadfoot supplies the official report from this match. HEARTS 1-0 Inverness CT 10th February 2007 Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh HEARTS 1 (Pospisil 82) Team: Banks, Tall, Zaliukas, Berra, Fyssas, Kingston, Brellier, Driver, Klimek (Pospisil 81), Jankauskas (Bednar 61), Elliot (Jonsson 73) Subs: McCann, Karipidis, Wallace & Kurskis INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 0 Team: Fraser, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (McSwegan 84), Duncan, McBain, Rankin (Morgan 63), Bayne, McAllister Subs: McCaffrey, Black, Soane, Paatelainen, & Ridgers Referee Eddie Smith Attendance 16631 Not a good performance by either side and it looked for a long time as if 0-0 was on the cards. Michael Pospisil came off the Hearts bench with nine minutes left and he proved to be an inspired substitution as, within a minute, his goal changed all that. Barry Wilson was ICT captain for the day to celebrate his 300th appearance but it proved a sore defeat for the veteran in more ways than one. He collided with Julien Brellier in 20 minutes and, after treatment, came back wearing a head bandage. The one thing you can be sure of when playing against Hearts these days is that you can be sure of nothing. Charlie Christie had no idea of the probable Hearts line-up so could only concentrate on preparing his own side – he fielded the same eleven that started last week against Dundee United. Once the team lines were issued much of the chatter surrounded the fact that Craig Gordon was once more not in the Hearts squad. Stevie Banks continued in the Hearts goal and the substitute ‘keeper was Eduardas Kurskis who arrived from Lithuanian club Kaunas in the January transfer window. The starting eleven included Polish striker Arkadiusz Klimek – another January arrival at Tynecastle. The match kicked-off at 2pm to avoid a clash with the Scotland v Wales rugby international at Murrayfield. Banks was the Hearts’ hero with just one minute on the clock when he parried a net-bound Graham Bayne volley then, at the other end, Klimek shot over the bar. A Takis Fyssas shot went past Mike Fraser’s post in 18 minutes then the ‘keeper blocked an Andrew Driver shot with his legs in 24 minutes. The rest of the half produced little but Banks did save from Wilson and Rory McAllister just failed to connect with a Wilson low ball inside the area. Half Time: 0-0 Into the second half but little of note until the closing period. A Driver volley went wide, Fraser blocked a Roman Bednar shot and a Bednar header went over the bar. In 70 minutes Rory McAllister latched onto a Richard Hastings cross but his header came off the bar – a rare chance for the visitors. Hearts could have scored with ten minutes left when a Calum Elliot cut-back ran across the face of the goal but no one was there to take advantage. With eight minutes left, just when it looked like ending in stalemate, substitute Pospisil popped up and netted with a back post header after a Driver cross from the left. Full Time: 1-0 Charlie Christie responded by bringing on Gary McSwegan as a third striker but despite a surge towards Banks no equaliser was forthcoming. Eighth place was retained but with just a goal-difference lead over Dundee United.
  9. Hearts 4 - 1 ICT "Mother said their would be days like this" - Hearts ran out 4-1 winners in todays encounter at Tynecastle. Unfortunately the score doesn't reflect the game in which ICT battled hard, played well and created the chances... 26th August 2006 Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh HEARTS 4 (Pinilla 20, Mole 42, Driver 80, Aguiar 91) Team: Gordon, Costa, Pressley, Karipidis, Zaliukas, Wallace, Mikoliunas, Hartley (Aguiar 79), McCann (Driver 76), Pinilla (Makella 86), Mole Subs: Beslija, Lithgow, Fyssas, Banks INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE FC 1 (Bayne 31) Team: Brown, Tokely (Duncan 82), Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson, Black, Rankin, McBain (Keogh 82), Wyness (McAllister 44), Bayne Subs: Sutherland, Keogh, Morgan, McCaffery, Fraser Referee Steve Conroy Attendance 15912 Man of the Match Jamie Mole (Hearts) While ICT were beating Dumbarton in midweek, a nine –man Hearts team was crashing out of the Champions League in Athens. It was hard to predict whether they would be tired, and therefore ripe for the taking, or would be determined to bounce back quickly. In the event five personnel changes resolved the tiredness problem and they won this match convincingly. It was not quite as one sided as the scoreline suggests and ICT had chances to take something from the game – at 2-1 there was always the possibility of ICT taking a point but two Hearts goals in the last ten minutes sealed the victory. Caley Thistle reverted to the regular line-up, but with Craig Dargo not quite recovered from injury, Graham Bayne partnered Dennis Wyness up front. This changed just before half time when Wyness left the field injured and Rory McAllister replaced him. The first real challenge on the ICT goal came from an unlikely source in seven minutes. A long Craig Gordon clearance bounced awkwardly and Mark Brown was forced to tip it over. From Paul Hartley’s corner Saulius Mikoliunas hit over the bar. A Hearts breakthrough looked like coming in 11 minutes when Jamie Mole latched onto a Neil McCann cross and headed low towards the bottom corner. The large home support began to salute a goal but Brown dived to expertly push it behind for a corner. Nineteen proved an unlucky number for Caley Thistle when number 19 Mauricio Pinilla opened the scoring in the nineteenth minute. After a period of Hearts pressure McCann sent a cross from the left and Pinilla sidefooted it low past Brown from a few yards out. The visitors pressed for an equaliser and Barry Wilson came close in 27 minutes – he cleverly twisted past Mikoliunas and shot but Gordon punched it for a corner. On the half hour mark the small travelling support had something to cheer about when Graham Bayne made it 1-1. Wilson crossed from the right and Bayne lost his marker before heading the ball past Gordon from a couple of yards out. Dennis Wyness, making his 199th appearance for the club, came very close to scoring against his old team in 39 minutes when he dived to head a Richard Hastings cross from the left. It went wide and Wyness dislocated his shoulder in the process. He left the field a few minutes later and McAllister replaced him. Half Time: 2-1 Four minutes in to the second half Bayne raced through the centre with two defenders in close formation but he could only send the final ball wide. Hearts regained control and it was nearly 3-1 in 66 minutes when McCann hit the bar with Brown beaten. At the other end in 75 minutes Barry Wilson dived to head a Ross Tokely cross but he failed to connect six yards out. Any hopes of an ICT revival died in 80 minutes when Mikoliunas crossed from the right to the back post and Ross Tokely’s attempted headed clearance fell for Hearts substitute Andrew Driver – he sent an angled ball past Brown for 3-1. In the final minute another substitute Bruno Aguiar slid onto a low ball from the left and scored to make the final result 4-1. Full Time: 4-1 Disappointment for ICT after a good performance and they remain in tenth place.
  10. Grim Stuff. Our miserable form continues as Hearts swept us aside in a comfortable 2-0 win for the Jambos. It was another uninspiring performance from Inverness, although it's hardly surprising with nine players receiving treatment and Ross Draper suspended. A goal in either half from Jamie Walker and Abiola Dauda condemned us to life outside the top-six for now. With another trip to Edinburgh on Sunday for the Scottish Cup tie at Easter Road, it could be a grim week for the Caley Jags unless Yogi can lift he team for the defence of our trophy. Here's a report from a Hearts perspective: Jamie Walker on scoresheet again as Hearts beat Inverness: Jamie Walker continued his goalscoring streak as Hearts moved to 50 points for the season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Inverness. The midfielder netted in his fourth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership game after latching on to Arnaud Djoum's searching pass to get in behind a packed Caley Thistle defence in the 35th minute at Tynecastle. Inverness had not got going as an attacking force before Abiola Dauda capitalised on Greg Tansey's mistake to give the home side a cushion within eight minutes of the restart. The victory moves Hearts six points behind second-placed Aberdeen while Caley Thistle remain in the bottom six. Inverness looked content to sit in from the start and they frustrated Hearts for long spells of the first half. The first chance fell for Dauda after Walker had brought down Alim Ozturk's diagonal ball, but Danny Devine threw himself in the way of the striker's shot. Hearts continued to probe patiently. Prince Buaben had a shot saved and right-back Liam Smith - deputising impressively for the injured Callum Paterson - played a one-two with Gavin Reilly and fired a left-footed shot from 20 yards which just cleared the bar. A touch of desperation crept into the home side when Ozturk shot from the edge of the centre circle, although Owain Fon Williams had to watch the bounce carefully before clutching the ball. The breakthrough came following another diagonal ball to Walker, who took down Djoum's 50-yard pass on his foot, kept it away from two Inverness defenders, nipped round Williams and squeezed a shot inside the near post. Caley Thistle had to come out and attack after the interval but they were caught out after one of their first attempts broke down. Tansey tried to play the ball back to Williams from the halfway line but under-hit the pass and Dauda pounced before rounding the goalkeeper and finding the empty net. Inverness, who missed the suspended Ross Draper, plugged away without looking like getting back in the game. Jordan Roberts shot weakly at home goalkeeper Neil Alexander and Dauda had a good chance to score his fourth Hearts goal, but side-footed straight at Williams after being set up by Sam Nicholson. Alexander was busier in the final 10 minutes, saving from Carl Tremarco and Iain Vigurs, but it was too little, too late from the visitors. Date: 01/03/16 Venue: Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 15767 Referee: Alan Muir Hearts: 2 Lineup: Alexander, Smith, Ozturk, Souttar, Rossi (McGhee 80), Nicholson, Buaben, Sutchuin, Walker (Zanatta 66), Reilly, Dauda (Cowie 78) Subs (not used): Hamilton, Augustyn, Pallardo, Delgado Scorers: Walker (35), Dauda (53) Booked: Sutchuin (54) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Horner (Hughes 82), Warren, Devine, Tremarco, Tansey, Polworth, D.Williams, Roberts (R.Williams 70), Vigurs, Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Brown, Maclennan Scorers: none Booked: Roberts (53), Vigurs (59) Sent Off: none
  11. Maroon 5 It might be a good name for a band, but it is not a great score to be on the wrong end of. Inverness were simply overrun by a rampant Hearts who were in Festival mood and handed us our worst defeat on the road for ages. Former Inverness favourite Don Cowie opened the scoring early in the first half and Conor Sammon added a second soon after. It got worse after the interval as Cowie scored on the restart and Sam Nicholson scored a quickfire double to leave us floundering. Ross Draper notched the proverbial consolation goal as the game ran away from us leaving the visiting fans none too happy with the fare they witnessed from Richie Foran's side. Immortal Howden Ender was less than impressed after making his way from Chorley to witness this shambles. His initial thoughts have found their way into the report, but after chilling out, he has a brief summary of the days events which were going well until he entered Tynecastle. ***Warning***. This report is not for the faint hearted. TOOTHLESS CALEY THISTLE This is how the report would have read if I had typed it last night - "MATCH REPORT - Home Safe - Pishedd but ICT were pisheddedder" Well were do I feckin start - Lets look at this comment first - Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Richie Foran: "I don't think it was a 5-1. We had more chances on goal today than we had in the previous three games, but you've got to put the ball in the net." It could actually have been 25-5. We were slaughtered. It was embarrassing. 44% possession but NO width and NO penetration. 13 shots on goal and 7 on target - for on target add weak or directly at keeper. 7 corners all aimed at Gary Warren. Fer fecks sake. "They had that bit more belief when they had their chances. That's what we lacked." And where do they get that belief from. Sure Rice was barking orders but that is lukewarm. Foran looked like a feckin mannequin. Take the feckin suit off and give them laldy. Be more of Foran the nasty, snarling player, forget they were team mates and give them some good old Irish bollockings. "We had too many players underperforming as well. I've got to take a big part of the blame for that as well - I picked the team, I picked the tactics, I picked the training through the week." Fair enuff - Neither Butcher or Hughes would have said that. But the tactics are WRONG. However, we don't have any real replacements. I thought "If it was me - how could I change it ?" - Only by being ruthless and perhaps playing the yoof. "These players have proven over the years they are top players, but I'm not getting the best out of a few of them at the moment, so I'll take the blame for today." That is a fellow player talking - a buddy - a friend - not a manager. The blame will rest with Foran in the end but we have some of his old buddies playing cards in the feckin trenches. There are some who frankly are not playing for the shirt becos they probably think - "well who else is there". Apart from Warren and Tremarco NOBODY else looked like they were giving 100% - please refer to Grumpometer, because there is NOTHING to smile about !! So the only positive about yesterday was pre-match. Great to have trains running from Englandshire all the way to Embra. Great to be at a game again. And great to see many of the old faces and enjoy a dram or twenty. But then I had to go to Tynecastle - in the Over 65 gate though with the adult Mantis So to the game. Lets summarise. We made Don Cowie look like Wayne Rooney and Conor Sammon look like Slatan Ibrahimovic. Nuff feckin said. We played some neat stuff for 7 minutes. I don't know about anybody else but I hate that 1-2 touch technique fresh off the training ground. Toothless. And then I am sitting there looking at two banks of four that would have won a Synchronised gold feckin medal. But then it didn't change. It stayed like that. And I thought to myself - Somebody with guile will suss that and the olde 1-2 will be easy peasy. And then it was delivered by those two masters of skill - Cowie and Sammon - Fer fecks sake!! And then we allow Cowie time to measure and deliver a cross to a totally unmarked Ibrahimovic who rose UNMARKED like a majestic flounder at the back post. 2-0 and GAME feckin over. But did we pull up our sleeves and show what we were made off. NO we feckin didn't. We sat back and admired. We did not have the energy to press and we had holes all over the place. We were second to every ball. And we did get a chance - which we did - we fluffed the lines like an Amateur Dramatics line up in the West End. The lights were too bright for Boden (especially), Warren and Draper. GRUMPOMETER!! Von Willems - Looked like a POW at the back. Starved off confidence but equally starved of protection. Appeared too weak to shout and cajole the culprits in front of him. To be fair he had little chance with the goals but he is "invisible" to me. And why - oh why - the feck did he come out with Esson early at half time. WHY? Well should have been to change feckin jerseys. Raven - Sorry Mr Hughes - you were right !! Warren - 100% no doubt but 120% is too much. Too eager to get forward and left Meekings stranded at times. Meekings - Simply was NOT 100 % fit. He must have thought - who is the geezer at right back and where are the people who are supposed to be in front of me!! Tremarco - My MotM if only for determination and not putting his head down. Polworth - Why oh feckin why play him wide left. End of. Tansey - Shocking Draper - Drifted in and out of the game - said it a long time ago but Draper + Tansey does not equate. Vigurs - Why oh why play him in the feckin "hole". Totally wasted and he gave up. Mulraney - I was looking forward to see him play. Well he looked like a white Mutombo with less awareness. Nuff said. Cramp after an hour and stretchered off. *****. Boden Proven goalscorer in the lower English leagues. BUT he is NOT a feckin lone striker. And he had NO support. He did a lot of good running off the ball and got in positions to score twice before half time. Sure he fecked them both up but he got in that goalscoring position. Looked the most likely to score and what to we do. We feckin SUB him !! So take Fisher on and hook Mulraney and help out Boden. Too feckin simple. And Fisher looked and is a target man but NOT a lone striker. Great overhead kick attempt though Little Jack Horner should have been kept sitting in the feckin corner. Nice to see Doran back and he HAS to start next week which means that he wont. And I thought that McLean was very lenient. And we still amassed 4 needless yellows which bodes well for future suspensions!! Thanks IHE, I take it you were less than impressed then. Look away now...... Date: 20/08/16 Venue: Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 15880 Referee: Steven McLean Hearts: 5 Lineup: Hamilton; Paterson, Rherras, Souttar, Rossi, Nicholson, Cowie (Muirhead, 80), Djoum, Kitchen (Buaben 68), Watt, Sammon (Johnsen, 72) Subs (not used): Noring, Ozturk, Smith, Nowak Scorers: Cowie (7,47), Sammon (18), Nicholson (78,79) Booked: Kitchen (29) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Raven (Horner, 59), Meekings, Warren, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Mulraney (Doran, 64), Vigurs, Polworth, Boden (Fisher, 53) Subs (not used): Esson, Brown Scorers: Draper (87) Booked: Tremarco (11), Mulraney (12), Polworth (40), Horner (77) Sent Off: none abca
  12. Jambos edge it. After a minutes silence for former Hearts player Marius Zaliukas and all the fallen heroes, Hearts kicked-off just after 3:00pm. There was no scoring at the interval with few clear chances either way, although Boyce might have done better early on. Kai Kennedy looked most likely to unlock the home defence; Peter Haring booked after being nutmegged by the winger. Steven Naismith opened the scoring just after the interval and Nemesis Boyce added a second with twenty minutes left. Aaron Doran scored a late goal for the visitors with a superb header five minutes from time. Inverness pushed hard for a leveller but Hearts held on for the three points. Cristophe Berra made the bench for the Jam Tarts who had Steven Naismith and Peter Haring starting with Liam Boyce leading the attack. Aaron Doran, James Vincent and Shane Sutherland were fit enough to warm our bench as youngsters Daniel Mackay, Cameron Harper and Roddy MacGregor kept their place in the side after some bright performances. The sides were changed a bit from the recent League Cup encounter with Hearts bringing in the big guns for this Championship game. Inverness started brightly and Nikolay Todorov had the first chance in five minutes but Craig Gordon saved comfortably. Liam Boyce should probably have opened the scoring twelve minutes in but headed wide. That was moments after he just failed to get on the end of Kingsley cross. Wallace Duffy and Brad Mckay both made crucial blocks as Hearts threatened to break through but the visitors defence stood firm at the break. Half Time 0-0 The second half had barely started when Steven Naismith swept a ball from Kingsley on the left side behind Mark Ridgers to break the deadlock. Inverness responded well and when Kai Kennedy broke forward his shot was deflected behind for a corner. A spell of further persistence followed but Duffy had an effort blocked as we looked to get back on level terms. With twenty-two minutes remaining Liam Boyce doubled Hearts advantage when he flicked a cross from Ollie Lee into the net after some neat work down the right side. Aidy White almost made it three but his shot smacks the woodwork and Boyce had an effort deflected wide. The visitors plugged away and we got our just reward when substitute Aaron Doran head flicked a super Duffy cross into the opposite corner with Craig Gordon stranded guarding his near post. The ball bouncing in despite a despairing dive from the long keeper. We proceeded to make life uncomfortable for the Gorgie side but despite some flurries around the Jambos box the final ball always fell short of the intended target. When it did get through a couple of wild slashes at the ball went high and wide and time ran out for us. Despite the result, it was a decent performance from the young Inverness team and good to see Shane Sutherland and Aaron Doran getting on the park. Sean Welsh took some heavy challenges and Kai Kennedy looked lively. This was against a strong Hearts side whilst we were still without four or five regulars such as Miles Story, Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney with Doran, Sutherland, Devine Vincent and Keatings still building up towards full strength. The next two games are league cup ties and that will give us some more time to prepare for the rigours of Championship football while bedding in our new players and welcoming more back from injury. All is not lost yet! ROBBO POST MATCH Goals from Hearts Twitter Date: 07/11/2020 Venue: Tynecastle Park Attendance: 0 Referee: Bobby Madden Hearts: 2 Lineup: Gordon; Smith, Halkett, Popescu, Kingsley, Halliday, Naismith (White 72), Haring (Irving 61), Lee, Wighton, Boyce (Frear 84). Subs (not used): Stewart; Berra, Brandon, Henderson. Scorers: Naismith (47), Boyce (70) Booked: Haring (22), Halliday (56) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy, B Mckay, Deas, Harper, MacGregor (Sutherland 68), Welsh, Allardice, Kennedy (Doran 75), D Mackay (Keatings 75), Todorov Subs (not used): C Mackay; Fyffe, Devine, Vincent, Scorers: Doran (86) Booked: Deas (39) Sent Off: none a
  13. Capital Tester Most difficult fixture on the calendar coming up this weekend as we head to Gorgie to take on overwhelming Championship favourites Hearts. Another covid restricted game which kicks off at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon with Hearts one game behind leaders Dunfermline and Raith Rovers, having been at Hampden last weekend knocking Capital rivals Hibs out of the Scottish Cup. Hearts will be streaming the game live and I'm sure it will be superior quality to the "linesmans head" guff that we have been subject to at the Caledonian Stadium. However, many fans will draw the line at the price of the Tynecastle stream. £18.50 is taking the pi55. Have a word with yourself Hearts. Sad news this week as it was announced that former Hearts player Marius Zaliukas has passed away after battling with Motor Neuron Disease. Lithuanian Marius was the captain when Hearts won the Scottish Cup in 2012 beating Hibs 5-1. Taken too soon at the tender age of just 36. RIP Marius. The club's met at Tynecastle a few weeks ago in the group stages of the Betfred League Cup. An injury stricken Inverness side went down narrowly to the Jambos. Despite having to field many youngsters, we created a couple of great chances but it was a harsh penalty incident that saw Jamie Walker score from the spot. Hot Toddy missed a late chance to level but Hearts took the points. The opening game of the Championship season saw Hearts crush Dundee 6-2 with an outstanding performance. They followed that up with an edgy 1-0 win at Gayfield. Last week they dumped Hibs out of the Scottish Cup at Hampden to reach the final, Wighton and Boyce from the spot ending the interest of the Leith club. Keeper Craig Gordon was once again in top form to deny Hibs and will be a difficult man to get the ball past this season. Daniel Mackay opened his account for the season with this header just after the break against Arbroath. Other Championship games this weekend Alloa Ath v Dundee (Friday night) Arbroath v Queen of the South Ayr United v Dunfermline Ath Raith Rvrs v Greenock Morton ***LATEST TEAM NEWS*** Great to have Aaron Doran stretching his legs last week, albeit for only the last five minutes but it's a step in the right direction. Some are still a few weeks away from returning. Strikers Miles Storey and Shane Sutherland are out with hamstring injuries. Defenders Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney are out and Daniel Devine has been used sparingly. Midfielders David Carson and James Vincent were missing against Arbroath, Carson seemingly longer term. Sean Welsh and Robbie Deas returned to the starting XI last week and hopefully they showed no reaction to what turned out to be a rather gruelling match in Siberian conditions. Robbie Neilson has the luxury of a large squad to select from. Josh Ginnelly was outstanding in the League Cup encounter but was injured at Arbroath and missed the cup tie against Hibs. Jordan Roberts came in to replace him, but he is now a doubt. Such is the depth of the Jambos squad they can afford the luxury of Steven Naismith on the bench. And why not when former Dundee striker Craig Wighton is scoring goals. Liam Boyce is back as well so it's a strong Hearts team that will be looking to keep up with the leaders. They have their own injury problems with long term absentees like John Souttar (Ruptured Achilles) and Cristophe Berra (Torn Achilles) to contend with but the depth of talent at Tynecastle will minimise the damage by their absence. Peter Haring is building towards full fitness and Jamie Walker might need a late assessment. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OFFICIAL PREVIEW £££ PPV Streaming £££ Aye Right! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don't forget to have a listen to the Wyness Shuffle. There's plenty to get your teeth into in the Podcasts and they have managed to get some Caley Jags legends to talk to them over the months. Hear from real life legends like Charlie Christie and his loon Ryan, Greg Tansey, Gary Warren, Barry Wilson, Carl Tremarco, James Keatings, Josh Meekings... The list goes on right down to the marmite of Yogi Bear, The Magic Roundabout a seagull in a carrier bag and even Marge Simpson's mother! Robbo talking ahead of the trip to Tynecastle
  14. Hearts -V- Inverness CT Championship Football Matchday 4 Saturday 7th October 15:00 Tynecastle Park Unfortunately these will be closed doors games due to Covid19
  15. Betfred Action at Tynecastle An empty Tynecastle greeted the teams for the first competitive game for nearly seven months, the fans deprived of live action due to the covid19 restrictions. Both sides were much changed from last March with Inverness requiring a whole new back four amongst other departures. New signing Kai Kennedy was on u19 international duty but should be available for the Cowdebeath tie next week. Defender Wallace Duffy comes straight into the squad along with the returning Daniel Mackay and Shane Sutherland and newbies Robbie Deas and Scott Allardice. Danny Devine, Lewis Toshney, Kevin McHattie, David Carson, James Vincent and Aaron Doran never travelled down with injury concerns hanging over them all. Keeper Craig Gordon has returned to Tynecastle. Former Caley Jag forward Jordan Roberts, Elliott Frear, Mihai Popescu and Josh Ginnelly are all new down Gorgie road and left back Stephen Kingsley is a late signing. Christophe Berra and John Souttar are out long term and Michael Smith and former Ross County striker Liam Boyce are on International duty. Here we go........... A relatively inexperienced Inverness took to the field with Wallace Duffy going straight in at right back for Inverness and Shane Sutherland, Robbie Deas and Scott Allardice also making their competitive debuts. James Keatings and Nikolay Todorov were on the bench. The Jambos had Craig Gordon in goal and the main threats up front would be former Dundee striker Craig Wighton and Scotland International Steven Naismith with Josh Ginnelly the provider. Jordan Roberts was named as a substitute. Mark Ridgers kept the scoreline blank with a tremendous double save in only the second minute from Jamie Walker and Craig Wighton but three minutes later it was Craig Gordon with the heroics to deny a point blank Daniel Mackay header from a Shane Sutherland cross, diving low to his left to keep the ball out. Josh Ginnelly was prominent for Heart in the early exchanges and Sutherland was probing well for the visitors. Gordon was able to clutch a dangerous free kick from Scott Allardice when a touch might have produced a goal and Ridgers was alert to a Ginnelly effort from the hosts. Halfway through the half Craig Halkett headed narrowly over, but it was defences on top thus far. Sean Welsh came close to the opener but unfortunately for the visitors he sliced his shot from 15 yards and the ball spun agonisingly over the bar. Wighton went even closer but his shot hit the bar and was put behind for a corner as Hearts began to pressure the Inverness defence. Ginnelly was pulling the strings for Hearts wide right and a cut back saw Andy Irving have his shot charged down brilliantly by Wallace Duffy. Game over for Shane Sutherland as he pulled up around three minutes before the break as we won a free kick which was cleared for a corner, and when it came in Robbie Deas fired a low volley back across the goal and out for a goal kick. The dangerous Ginnelly cut inside for the umpteenth time and fired just over from the edge of the box as Nikolay Todorov replaced the injured Sutherland. Half Time 0-0 No changes at the break and Ginnelly continued to provide for his strikers, Steven Naismith blocked by Robbie Deas as tried to pick his spot from the edge of the box. Good play by Roddy MacGregor won Inverness a free kick wide on the left but Allardice disappointingly lofted the ball harmlessly over. Ridgers pulled off a great save from Brandon after good work by Ginnelly, pushing the ball round the post for a corner. Five minutes later he produced another save in the top corner as Ollie Lee let fly from distance. A tricky run from Ginnelly saw the ball poked out for a corner and a second followed where Propescu slid a header just over the bar. Ridgers flapped at a high ball in the box and the resultant driven ball into the box saw Cameron Harper adjudged to have handled the ball. Harsh, but Jamie Walker didn't mind and he stroked home with Ridgers going the other way. PENALTY OR NOT! Duffy was replaced by Lewis Hyde just after the goal. Allardice moved to right back and made a good sliding tackle to deny Hearts a crossing opportunity. Inverness spurned a great opportunity as Todorov blazed a shot high and wide with 15 minutes left. Soon after, a James Keatings free kick saw the ball cleared and the follow up to Todorov who should have done better than volley wide. Jordan Roberts headed a good ball into the box wide in the last minute as the game entered three minutes of injury time. A good effort from Inverness but time ran out for the visitors as Ridgers diverted a Henderson shot for a corner in the final embers. Another injury concern for Robbo as Sutherland appears to have done his hamstring. Date: 06/10/2020 Venue: Tynecastle Park Attendance: 0 (covid) Referee: Steven McLean Hearts: 1 Lineup: Gordon; White, Brandon, Halkett, Popescu, Lee (Haring 82), Irving (Roberts 62), Walker, Ginnelly (Henderson 82), Wighton (Halliday 62), Naismith (Kingsley 74) Subs (not used): Stewart; Frear, Scorers: Walker (pen 62) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers; Duffy (Hyde 66), B Mckay, Deas, Harper, MacGregor, Welsh, Allardice, Sutherland (Todorov 44), Storey, D Mackay (Keatings 80) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Fyffe, Harkness. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none
  16. Betfred League Cup Kicks Off It will be a step into the unknown as the Caley Jags head to an empty Tynecastle Park to face relegated Heart of Midlothian in the group stages of the League Cup. Many teams will see this competition as another step in the pre-season when the covid disrupted campaign gets underway for teams outwith the Premiership. For teams below the Premiership, it's been almost seven months since their last competitive game. Our last one was a 3-1 win over Queen of the South on Tuesday night 10th of March. The world has changed a lot since then as Covid19 has taken over and as someone once said; "there's life Jim but not as we know it" Falkirk were the first team to take full points in the competition as Kilmarnock are unable to field a side due to recent covid infections. Six players have tested positive at Rugby Park and with quarantine affecting the rest of the squad, the Bairns have been awarded a 3-0 victory. Our next League Cup fixture against Cowdenbeath has been brought forward to 6:30 on Tuesday 13th October. Hearts will be smarting from their induced relegation as last season ended early and will feel they have a point to prove. They have played Partick Thistle twice in pre-season, winning 2-0 on both occasions. They have also beaten East Fife, and Falkirk scoring eight times without reply. The Gorgie side open their Championship campaign with a tough game against Dundee on the 17th October. Like most clubs, Inverness are feeling the pinch and a mass exodus in the summer has meant we have had to replace those that left. Col Donaldson, Jamie McCart, Shaun Rooney, Carl Tremarco have all gone. That's our entire back four offski. In midfield Tom Walsh will be difficult to replace with Charlie Trafford also moving on. Up front, Jordan White found a move to Motherwell an attractive proposition. It's not all doom and gloom though and Shane Sutherland returned from Elgin City. Danny Devine has also come back for a second shot at it. Defender Robbie Deas comes in from Alloa/Celtic and Scott Allardice will add some steel to the midfield. We will also see more of Daniel Mackay who returns from his loan at Elgin and the likes of Lewis Toshney, Cameron Harper and Roddy MacGregor. Stepping up to join the big boys are Academy graduates Ryan Fyffe and Harry Nicolson who have developed considerably in their loan spell at Ft William FC. ***Latest signing news*** We have secured young Rangers player Kai Kennedy until January and he could be a straight replacement for Tom Walsh out wide. Kai was a standout when Rangers colts came North in the Tunnocks Challenge Cup games last season. Unfortunately, Kai is joining the Scotland U19’s squad as they travel to England for a double header against them this week. That means he will be unavailable for selection until he returns North. We wish him well in both games and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the Highlands on his return where he will go straight into the 1st team squad. Wallace Duffy is a later than the latest signing and he joins on a two year deal from St Johnstone. The 21 year old was released from the Perth side and snapped up by Robbo. He looks destined for the number 2 shirt at the Caledonian Stadium and will go straight into the first team squad. Here's Wally..... Our friendlies started with 14 goals in two games against Elgin City and Nairn County before a youngish side beat Clach 2-0. Our final outing was against Elgin where we struggled to a 1-1 draw on a miserably wet Saturday afternoon. James Keatings has impressed in pre-season and Sean Welsh has had some game time. Shane Sutherland has been prominent and Miles Storey has bagged some goals as we search for our best formation and team selection. Lewis Toshney picked up a knock and could be rested. Brad Mckay has come through unscathed and could be needed at right back. There has been no sightings of James Vincent, David Carson, Kevin McHattie or Aaron Doran so far which could leave us light on experience across the midfield but could well open the door for Roddy MacGregor, Cameron Harper and Daniel Mackay to show their talent. Danny Devine is also out. Hard to say what Robbo feels will be his best options, but it looks likely that this game will mean more to Hearts than it will to the Caley Jags as we continue to build towards the opening Championship game at East End Park on Saturday 17th October. Robbo has already publicly stated that being ready for the start of the Championship is his priority as that is where we will be judged at the end of the season. Therefore I doubt we will see any of the missing players in the Hearts game and anyone carrying a knock will be given ample time to get to full fitness before the 17th. This may irk some of the fans but in reality it's in our best interest to prepare for bigger things. The likes of Keatings and Toshney took knocks and Brad Mckay is maybe not up to speed yet. Anyway, I'm sure some of the fringe players will be delighted to get some game time and stake a claim for regular football. Over to you guys..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OFFICIAL PREVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robbie Deas talks about his new job..... You can watch the action live on Premier Sports which is on Sky TV channel 412 or 429. Virgin Media Channel 551 or 552.
  17. Hearts -V- Inverness CT Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh Tuesday 6th October 19:45 League Cup (Group Stages) Unfortunately these will be closed doors games due to Covid19
  18. Hearts Trump Caley Jags Aces Inverness had few tricks up their sleeves as they were brushed aside and out of the Betfred League Cup after losing 5-0 to Hearts at Tynecastle. A display of clinical finishing saw Hearts into the draw as goals from Ikpeazu (2), Garuccio and Naismith (2) settled the tie. Uche Ikpeazu was the man who taunted Inverness all afternoon with a powerful display and capped it with two great goals. Hearts made three changes from the midweek thrashing of Cowdenbeath. Uche Ikpeazu's man of the match performance gained him a start. Aaron Hughes got his first start with Michael Smith injured and Olly Lee returned in place of Andrew Irving. Kyle Lafferty made the bench after struggling with a back injury. Jake Mulraney joined him on the wood. For Inverness, Robbo made a couple of changes, George Oakley and Nathan Austin dropped to the bench with Jordan White and tough midfielder Charlie Trafford starting, no doubt looking to stifle the midfield and hold the ball well up front. Immortal Howden Ender watched through clasped hands as we were tortured....................... Well I probably can proffer thanks that this game was changed to a Sunday and prevented me from doing a British Rail Away day from Englandshire. It was difficult to take on BT Sport so I can really feel fer the 317 faithful who managed to get there. Can understand - to a degree - why Robbo started off as he did do. I expect that he was hoping to go in 0-0 at half time or even in the hope of a breakaway goal. For the first half hour there was little in it. Ikpeazu was the difference. As the BT punters kept on pointing out our central defenders were far too tight on him and he outmuscled them regularly. We could have gone in front on the 13th minute when the sweet left foot of Chalmers malfunctioned. My gripe about the first Ikpeazu goal was that White was given the role of shadowing him. It still was a fine finish. The free kick was unstoppable. Take a bow Garuccio. The third by Ikpeazu was a fine powerful header but we should have learned the earlier lesson. And the Zlamal makes two good stops to thwart Doran and Trafford. You began to start thinking that it was not our day. We could have been 4-0 as Hearts also hit the post but by then were fully in control, full of confidence and had the crowd behind them. In the second half we gain started well enuff but we NEVER looked like scoring. Naismith has always had a reputation of being good in the air for his size but he was left totally unmarked for his brace. Unfortunately it always looked as if Hearts would add to their tally rather than us pulling one back although Austin could have done that with a couple of minutes left. I will detract from an individual Smiley allocation BUT - Ridgers had little chance with all five goals. Rooney blew hot and cold. Donaldson and Brad McKay did not appear to be an understanding partnership. McKay looked the poorer. Tremarco did well enuff until limping off. Our tactics (by Robbo) proved to be wrong. We bypassed midfield and therefore we "lost" the influences of Polworth and Doran. They were played wide whilst the centrally operating pairing of Trafford and Chalmers were overrun - but Hearts went wide most of the time with Lee, McLean and Morrison bossing throughout. I would give Walsh MOM and cant understand why he was hooked. White was evidently chosen for his height but he lost most balls in the air and was not exactly adept at holding things up. I am sure that in retrospect Robbo wishes that he had gone for Austin from the off and played Doran in the number 10 role. I would also have consider taking on wee Danny for either Chalmers or Trafford at half time. Video footage to be added when available Date: 29/07/2018 Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh Attendance: 10,030 Referee: Willie Collum Hearts: 5 Lineup: Zlamal, Souttar, Hughes, Berra, Haring, Morrison, Lee, Garuccio, Naismith, MacLean, Ikpeazu Subs (not used): Doyle, L Smith, Burns McDonald, Mulraney, Lafferty, Bozanic Scorers: Ikpeazu (28, 33), Garuccio (33), Naismith (64, 81) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Ridgers, Rooney, B Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Walsh, Polworth, Trafford, Chalmers, Doran, White Subs (not used): Hoban, McCart, Austin, Calder, Elbouzedi, Oakley, D Mackay Scorers: Walsh Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  19. Group C decider against Jambos Inverness and Hearts play at Tynecastle to decide who tops group C in the Betfred League Cup group stages. A draw will do Inverness whilst a win for Hearts will see the Edinburgh side through to the next round. Kick off is 3:00pm on Sunday 29th July. Inverness top the group at the moment, but Hearts could secure the qualification spot by beating the Caley Jags despite being deducted two points and fined £10,000 after fielding in ineligible player against Cove Rangers. Did the punishment fit the crime? I'm not so sure, a little bizaarre if you ask me. Anyway, we are here now and a visit to Tynecastle it is. Hearts kick re-ignited their season in fine style with a 5-0 hammering of ten-man Cowdenbeath in midweek as we laboured over a 2-1 win against Raith Rovers. The Jambos were kept out until the second half when the floodgates opened, and coupled with the sending off of Cowdenbeath's Martin Scott after half an hour it was all too much for the Blue Brazil. Goals from Steven Maclean, Uche Ikpeazu, Peter Haring, Steven Naismith and Michael Smith boosted Hearts goal tally and they are now level on goal difference with Inverness at plus six. Inverness were a little over elaborate against Raith on Tuesday night and it took a late goal from substitute Daniel Mackay to see us take maximum points. Nathan Austin had opened the scoring but Grant Gillespie bludgeoned the ball into the roof of the net to level before Daniel's late intervention. John Robertson scotched nonsensical talk about his old club as he focuses solely on getting Inverness into the next round. So, all to play for at Tynecastle in a game being shown live on BT Sport if you can't make it to the stadium. Hearts are still searching for their best eleven at the moment as they gear up for the Premiership. Not sure what to expect from them this early in their preparation, but they still have some experienced quality players on their books like Naismith, Lafferty and Berra. They also have none other than Jake Mulraney who departed for the bright lights. I wonder if Brad might like a tangle with Jake. Arnaud Djoum, Don Cowie and Harry Cochrane are out but making good progress on their injury comebacks. Rangers target Lafferty will face a late fitness test to assess his readiness for action. I expect Inverness to be along similar lines to the team that started against Raith although Mackay and Calder did well when they were introduced. Angus Beith has not featured since signing from Hearts and is set to miss this one, but Mark Ridgers and Brad Mckay will re-visit their old haunt. A leap into the unknown for the Caley Jags and difficult to guess the outcome with both sides stepping up a gear with each game played. Suffice to say that we will more than likely qualify for the next stages even if we lose, but a point would confirm our place in the draw. We might have to settle for second best as Hearts begin to peak for the Premiership, a draw would be a great result, a win would be a bonus.
  20. Still life left in Foran's squad. Inverness managed a battling 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle to show the supporters that their season is not over yet. Carl Tremarco scored with a powerful header to give the Highlanders a first half lead but Arnaud Djoum leveled matters just after the hour. Neither side could make the breakthrough after that as Inverness defended in depth to ensure they took a welcome point back North. Richie Foran's depleted squad fought well considering he had to start without the suspended Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and villain of the piece Iain Vigurs. With Josh Meekings injured that meant a start for new signing Louis Laing and young Celtic loanee Jamie McCart. Immortal Howden Ender was watching from afar and has this TV report for us........ Ní raibh mé ann. Tá mé numpty. Bhreathnaigh mé ar an buaicphointí ar BBC Alba. Toirtíní Jam versus Inbhir Nis. It will be interesting to see how a report from watching on the big screen compares with views from the Gorgie Road Terraces. Only difference to me was that I did not frequent Diggars before the game but at least with a 23.00 start I was probably just as drunk as I would have been at 15.00. For once the comments of the two managers probably very accurately summed up the whole game for me. Many people have criticised Ian Cathro and suggested that he has little idea of the game. But he commented - "[Inverness] worked very, very hard. They stayed strong, they stayed compact and they gave us some difficulties in breaking them down. "However, I think we have dominated the game and we have created enough chances to win one-and-a-half games. Ultimately we suffered the frustrations of having perhaps not been clinical enough when those opportunities arise and defending the set play properly in the first-half. "It's not great (the pitch). Of course it adds another level of difficulty but it is a situation we need to manage with and deal with collectively." Now who would have thought that we would have been described as a hard working outfit - compact - hard to break down But we were, we feckin were. Richie Foran added - That was the old Inverness today I thought. Going forward we have been fine this season, going back we have been lazy. We haven't had enough fight - the fight was there today, that's for sure. "The boys are flat out on their feet and I think it's a deserved point. They've hit the post, we've hit the post. We looked dangerous on the counter-attack, they looked dangerous on the counter. "It wasn't a pitch to play football on. There were a lot of long balls. The most pleasing part was our going back up the park, our spirit, our work-rate. That was the old Inverness." That was more like the old Inverness today but we still have a lot of work to be done. The team today was selected out of need not design. Lets hope we learned some valuable lessons and lets hope that reality sets in. Yes The boys are flat out on their feet and that should be the comment every week but it sadly hasn't. The pitch was horrendous and more suited to an Edinburgh Sunday Football setting but it is the same for both teams - although it probably went more in our favour. Yes - one of the most pleasing aspects was our going back up the park, our spirit, our work-rate. Again that was more like the old Inverness." Only misquote may be the "that's for sure" as I am sure that it would have been "to be sure". Poor OFW has had a lot of stick recently. I still suspect that our Da Vinci has been painting with a dodgy easel. Did the close up clip of his visage after the penalty not paint a fine picture. He looked more composed yesterday and more lithe. He made a couple of other good saves. That can only have gone some way to mend his fractured confidence. Who would have ever thought that our central defence pairing would be Laing and McCart. They looked strong enough. Laing was evidently not match fit but to me his experience and apparent pace steadied the inexperienced McCart who is definitely a "green" prospect. I can see Laing keeping his place against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. I can see him being paired with Gary Warren. That is an experienced pairing, both know the central defending role and Laing's pace may suit Warren.I feel that Gary has been playing too deep in recent games, almost in the old "sweeper" role. He can now relinquish that to Laing who appears more Meekings-esque. I was not at all surprised by the steady performance of Tremarco but Raven stood out as well. There just appeared to be a more compact and high line feel. Tremarco was left unmarked for the goal. That was probably because of his size but Cathro had not done his homework as we know how effective Carl can be in that position. Will Raven keep his place against the team who may still be managed by Warburton? Personally I would take back in Brad McKay but that is not a reflection on the Scouse legends performance at Tynie. The only blot on the defensive copybook was bookings for both full-backs. Bookings that we simply can not afford. What a joy to see Draper and Tansey playing in more favoured roles. I have always alluded that they can not play together in midfield but they appeared to both have been given roles that suited them. Draper as the destroyer with release to go forward and Tansey as the creator. I thought that Tansey had his best game of the season. He was one who ran his socks off, wanting the ball and that has not always been the case. I am afraid that Vigurs will be the sacrifice against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. He may be the "footballer" in our squad but we need workers and, on song, Draper and Tansey are as good as any pairing in Scotland. Polworth surprised me. To me he was given the "chaser" role, almost "in the hole" but in a very defensive manner. He was effective enough but to me wasted. He did however also allow Draper to move forward. We have several players who could do that better. I would put Anier in that role the team who may still be managed by Warburton. He does not look like an out and out forward to me. He is a runner, he is a chaser but he is also more adept at linking with Mckay and could be a real threat in the hole. Playing Cole and Mulraney wide was another acceptable strategy. But did they play wide enough? Did they penetrate deeply enough? I suppose that given our position and the occasion that this was sacrificed to flood the midfield. Mulraney looks more of a finished version than Cole. I am puzzled as to why Doran has not got a run in the team. I would be playing Mulraney and Cole against the team who may still be managed by Warburton. And then we come to wee Billy. Has he learned from his Englandshire experience or not. He always was a clever "mover" but that skill has clearly been enhanced. There was no other option than to play him up front there by himself. That should be different when we are playing at El Dumpo. The only away fixture left that we may have to consider that is at Aberdire. I am really looking forward to seeing him the team who may still be managed by Warburton. As for the actual game it was probably thankful that we scored first. Tansey delivered his "usual" dead ball service and Tremarco surprised the Jam Tarts with a great header at the far post. Bjorn Again then came close when he clipped the bar but it was always going over. It must have been hard to "bear" for him !! Struan then produced a fine save from OFW and the bustling, clumsy Goncalvez missed a bit of a sitter. If he eats more Pie suppers he could end up like Akinfenwa. In the second half they took on Walker, probably looking for more width and a better service. The Akinfenwa lookalike missed another chance but then they threw the Kitchen sink at us and Perry found Djoum who equalised. That will probably just about be his finest moment other than winning the African Cup of Nations. And we really could have stole three points if Draper had put more meat on a header. And then you sensed that our bad luck had sank in once again and was destined to break our hearts. But OFW broke Hearts hearts. It was not a badly struck penalty but OFW chose correctly and pulled off a fine save. That must have boosted everybody. Was a draw a fair result? I thought that it was. The pitch was a leveller, the Jam Tart final product had a soggy bottom, they had a lot more shots on and off target, they missed a penalty but for once we rode our luck and IMHO deservedly so. Lets end with the picture of the day and a fitting tribute to the Man of The Match SPFL website Hearts v Inverness CT Date: 18/02/17 Venue: Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 16372 Referee: Bobby Madden Hearts: 1 Lineup: Struna, Hughes, Avlonitis, Sowah, Djoum, Kitchen (Martin, 77), Tziolis, Choulay (Currie, 62), Johnsen (Walker, 49), Goncalves Subs (not used): Noring, Nicholson, Nowak, Smith Scorers: Djoum (64) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Raven, McCart, Laing, Tremarco, Draper, Mulraney (Doran, 62), Tansey, Polworth, Cole, Mckay (Anier, 80) Subs (not used): Hoban, Ebbe, Fisher, Boden, Gilchrist Scorers: Tremarco (24) Booked: Tremarco (15), Mulraney (36), Raven (38) Sent Off: none a
  21. Tough Times Ahead. Our season has been a shambles and it looks like getting worse over the next three fixtures, Hearts, Rangers and Celtic. A raft of players are missing this one through injury, suspension and loan arrangements. With little likelihood of picking up points in these games and time starting to run out, it looks like we are heading one way. We were swatted aside last weekend in the cup by a rampant Celtic side who look to be a good bet for the treble. One-nil or ten-nil, it matters not a jot, the end result is the same, we are not in the next round of the cup. Maybe that's a good thing as we can concentrate solely on one thing now, avoiding relegation. Richie Foran is not adjusting to life in the office as well as we would have liked and the club are sliding into oblivion at an alarming rate. Many managers have lost their jobs for less; fourteen league games without a win is a statistic that has seen managers on the dole, but with Foran on a four year contract there seems to be little chance that he will be shown the door any time soon. The rookie manager appointment has backfired big time on the Caley Jags board and the team look resigned to the fact that they are bottom of the table with little prospect of getting away from the relegation zone in the near future. Our last visit to Tynecastle was a 5-1 thrashing where we were simply overrun as Hearts scored at will. We fared better in a topsy turvey game at Inverness, blowing a two goal lead before eventually earning a point in a 3-3 draw. The Edinburgh side are the second top scorers in the league with 45 goals. That's as many as we have conceded and 17 more than we have scored. Hearts have perked up in the last few games after a slow start in the capital for new boss Ian Cathro. Since losing to Aberdeen and Celtic, they have thrashed Motherwell and Rangers, scoring seven goals for the loss of only one. However, they were held to a goalless draw in the Scottish Cup by local rivals Hibernian last weekend on their tattie field style pitch where fluent football looked difficult. Our results are as poor as they have ever been. Fourteen league games without a win leaves us languishing at the foot of the table. Despite an encouraging fightback against Dundee (2-2), we were cuffed 6-0 at Parkhead in the cup. The previous game was a bigger disappointment, going down 3-0 at Hamilton without a fight. Confidence looks to be at an all time low and games are fast running out before the split. In fact there are only fourteen games left to save our season. If they are anything like the previous fourteen, then it's Championship football for us. Hearts will be without Callum Paterson who is out for the season with knee ligament damage and John Souttar who has ruptured his Achilles tendon. Prince Bauben is also out and former Caley Jag Don Cowie looks like he will sit this one out as well with a rib injury. Inverness have been dealt a blow with player absentees like they are going out of fashion. Gary Warren, Brad Mckay and Iain Vigurs are suspended. Warren for too many players getting the better of him and having to resort to fouling, similar for Mckay, and Vigurs for too many niggly, petty and unnecessary fouls when he can't be arsed getting back to help. Billy King will be missed as a supplier through parent club ruling for loanees and the usual crop of injuries are still wreaking havoc. Kev McNaughton, Lewis Horner and Josh Meekings are out long term. Aaron Doran could return; he has had more comebacks than Lazarus now. To alleviate these problems, Richie Foran has managed to secure former Motherwell defender 23 year old Louis Laing until the end of the season and he is eligible to play on Saturday against the Jambo's. tm4tj prediction:- The next three games are difficult and this one will be particularly harrowing given our list of unavailable players. It's hard to see anything other than a convincing win for Hearts considering we have had only two clean sheets all season. Owain Fon Williams looks like a man short on confidence, having a mare every other week and back up keeper Ryan Esson was unavailable last week through injury. Iain Vigurs is a passenger just now and our back four is in tatters. Midfield is bereft of any pace and drive and up front we couldn't punch a hole in a wet paper bag. Nuff said, another heavy defeat on the cards. Anything less will be a miracle. Not sure if it's Louis Lang or Lois Lane, but I reckon it's superman we need.
  22. POINTS NEEDED URGENTLY It's off to the Capital on Saturday to visit Tynecastle for a 15:00 kick off as Inverness face the Jam Tarts, where we will be looking to get our season off and running. Old Caley Girl has been running the rule over the teams ahead of this one and had penned this Preview. If you ask most Caleyjags fans to name their favourite away day Tynecastle is normally top of the list. The mood is despondent at the moment, unfortunately, but hopefully Caleyaway will turn out in large numbers as is normally the case in Edinburgh. The league campaign hasn’t really gone the way we had all hoped it would this far and the fixtures for Foran’s men are not getting any easier. Last week’s derby loss was a hard one to take especially given the lack of passion seemingly on display. Our small squad seems to be straining at the seams already and the news that Kevin McNaughton has a serious Achilles injury was a further blow. Due to the lack of options at present, predicting our team is not really a challenging task. Losing 3 goals to our neighbours will hopefully add to the determination to tighten up at the back with OFW in particular needing a morale boosting performance. I’ve heard a few comments lately suggesting the club should have retained Dean Brill as number one keeper so it is up to Owain to prove that the decision made was indeed the correct one. Josh Meekings turned out in a friendly on Tuesday v Nairn but whether he is fit enough to be risked a start here is doubtful. Therefore a back four of Horner, Raven, Warren and Tremarco looks likely. The midfield should line up the same as against County and I think most fans feel that Ross Draper should be the first name on the team sheet, being one of the few who gained any pass marks last Saturday. Up front the jury is out re our strikers but Boden appears to be hard working and hopefully will come good. No Billy King this week due to SPFL rules so up to Richie who comes in with choices of Polworth, Doran or Mulraney. Hearts appear in good shape this season however, rumours persist of Neilson being a puppet on a string for Craig Levein and their fans have high expectations. Up front they look very healthy with new signings Tony Watt and Conor Sammon. They apparently, have the opposite problem to us with trying to accommodate their large squad. They will try and stretch us at the back from the off and not losing an early goal is vital. The crowd will be quick to get on their backs if we can strike the first blow. It is early days for us but getting points on board is getting urgent. It’s hard to see where a win will come from and even a point from Tynecastle could be seen as a good result. The one thing I’m hoping for is a bit of fight and passion which surely a Foran team should be able to show. OCG Prediction – Hoping for a win but would settle for draw. We do not want to get marooned at the foot of the table this early in the season. NB – Tickets now available on the day at Tynecastle. Pity it took so long for common sense to prevail.
  23. Tynecastle Test Inverness make the first of two consecutive trips to the capital with a Tuesday night game against Hearts at Tynecastle in a 19:45 kick off. On Sunday we continue our mission to retain the Scottish Cup at Easter Road, but it's the Tynecastle game we will concentrate on for now. Hearts sit comfortably in third place in the Premiership on 47 points, fourteen ahead of Inverness who are just outside the top-six, but theoretically could jump into fourth place with a win over the Jambos. The Gorgie side are the second top scorers in the league and can also boast the second best defensive record as well. They have just one defeat in their last nine league games, at the hands of a battling Dundee United, although four of the other eight games were draws. Inverness are in the congested area between fourth and eleventh, separated by just eight points, and a quick learning Dundee United who are making a late charge to stave off relegation. We have two defeats in the last nine games with three wins and four draws, so there's not that much between the sides in terms of current form. In the only meeting between the clubs this season, Inverness recorded their first win in a 2-0 victory over the much fancied Hearts side. James Vincent opened the scoring that day and Miles Storey opened his account on his debut. How we could do with some more goals from our young striker now to end his barren spell. No goals in nine games since he scored against Ross County on January 2nd. I'll discount his credited goal against Motherwell as it was clear that Steven McManus knocked the ball home, Miles was miles away from the ball. Losing a two goal lead against their bitter city rivals Hibernian, then losing the replay will have knocked the confidence from Hearts young squad somewhat. That was followed by a 2-1 loss at Tannadice, although the Arabs are on a bit of a resurgence, but nonetheless their form has been more erratic in recent weeks which will give Yogi's lads plenty of optimism about facing Hearts. Robbie Neilson had made five changes to the side that faced Kilmarnock from the previous game. Callum Paterson could shrug off a shoulder injury from the Killie game and Jordan McGhee is free from suspension having missed the win over Killie. Liam Smith is ready to fill in should Paterson not recover in time. Otherwise, Hearts should have an unchanged side unless tactical changes are made. John Hughes conceded that we played second fiddle to Dundee, especially after we went ahead, and will be looking to change that. David Raven has missed the last three games with Lewis Horner deputising. Josh Meekings, James Vincent and Alex Fisher are out with Foran and Doran on the permanent casualty list. Andrea Mutombo missed out at Dundee, but that was seen as precautionary with bigger games coming up. Danny Williams will start in place of the suspended Ross Draper. tm4tj Prediction:- Well, if we try to defend in depth against the free scoring Jambos I fear for our goal difference. We struggled badly at Dens Park looking to hold what we had, but we surrendered territory and paid the price at the end. Jordan Roberts will be a key figure for us along with Miles Storey, but it's our defence that will have to work hardest to keep the eager Tynecastle lads at bay. Our midfield should be able to compete with a Don Cowie fuelled Hearts engine room and that will be another important area where we need to challenge well and set the ball rolling. Sam Nicholson and Jamie Walker will be lively customers and we have to make sure they are not given the freedom of Tynecastle, but with Osman Sow off to China then we might have enough to stifle the free flowing Jambos. Score draw at best, but we need to be on our toes until the final whistle. A win would be a huge bonus, defeat keeps us deep in the mid-table dog fight.
  24. Capital Return Game Off A welcome return to the Capital for Inverness Caledonian Thistle this weekend. It's been too long and this is our first League visit to Tynecastle since February 2013 after both Hearts and Hibs tasted relegation over the last couple of seasons. We have all missed our trips to Edinburgh since the demise of the Capitals big two, and this one comes along just in time for some Xmas retail therapy and mulled wine ahead of the festivities. However, if you are travelling from the North side of Edinburgh, be aware that the Forth Road Bridge is closed both ways for structural repair and you will have to take the long way round. I don't see why we can't use the fifth bridge. It doesn't rain but it pours, and a pitch inspection will be carried out at 07:30 tomorrow. Inverness looked relatively comfortable last weekend against Celtic but the same old failings cost us dear. A bit of slackness in defence and a lack of creation were evident as Celtic ran out eventual winners by three goals to one. It was great to have Gary Warren and Ross Draper back in the starting line up, but without the tenacity and creativity of the injured Ryan Christie, we were pretty toothless up front, despite the best efforts of Miles Storey who scored his seventh goal of the season. Celtic recovered well from their disappointment in the Ajax tie. They were deservedly hauled level at the break but they were able to ease towards the three points without much fear of retaliation in the second half. We could consider ourselves a tad unlucky given the circumstances of the killer third goal, but if you don't create sufficient chances for the front men, then you will invariably come up short. We had to play Danny Williams at left back against Celtic with Carl Tremarco out through injury. That is no bad thing, but one wonders why we are persisting with Josh Meekings at right back and David Raven on the bench, unless of course he is carrying an injury. Meekings and Warren were a formidable force in our cup winning season, but since Warren's injury, we have played Danny Devine in the centre back position. That was fine when we had no other options, but what are we waiting for now. Scoring goals has been a problem all season and with Yogi penning a new deal, will we see one or two following in his footsteps. It would be prudent to try and get Miles Storey on board before someone else notices his potential and prises him away. We have yet to see the best of Tobi Sho-Silva since he arrived. His best wee cameo was in our first win of the season ironically against Hearts in Inverness. He played a starring role in that game when he came on as a substitute, hitting the woodwork and winning headers in the box. He was involved in the sending off of Juwon Oshaniwa just before we sealed the points with a debut goal from Miles Storey. James Vincent had opened the scoring earlier in the second half after great work by Ryan Christie. Since that game in September, we have picked up only eight points from a possible twenty-seven, while Hearts have accumulated sixteen points in their nine games. That damning stats are consistent with the season so far as the Jambo's have almost twice as many points as we have, (31 against 17). The table is a good reflection on the difference between the sides this year. Hearts sit third and we are hovering just above the relegation play-off place. The Edinburgh side are ahead of us in every statistic, scoring 29 against our 17, and conceding 17 compared to our 22. It makes you wonder how we managed to beat them already. It's a funny old game. Our injury crisis has improved to just drastic now after the return of Warren and Draper, with news that Foran has also returned to playing some development games. Andrea Mutombo and Sho-Silva were substitutes against Celtic and will benefit from more game time. Dean Brill has even managed some glove work so things are looking up, although Carl Tremarco missed out against Celtic and could miss out again to add to Ryan Christie, Aaron Doran and Jordan Roberts on the sidelines. Dani Lopez is clear of SFA suspension and it will be up to the Inverness management if he is to feature. Hearts were boosted by news that Arnoud Djoum and Igor Rossi have signed contract extensions until May 2017. Alim Ozturk is fit enough to be added to the squad but Jamie Walker is out. tm4tj Prediction:- We are not in the best of condition right now and although we won the first encounter this season, we don't look capable of stringing a few results together to get us out of the rut we are in. Hearts on the other hand are sitting pretty, third in the league on merit and can produce some sparkling results. I hope we have turned the corner in terms of injury, but I still fear for us in games like this when we could get overrun. I hope I am wrong here, but we are still a long way from our best and it could be a bleak day out in the capital.
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