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Hearts -V- Inverness CT


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Yeah, I am glad someone noted the difficult conditions..

First half showed our defence to be sound the midfield aware of shoreing up the defences and getting to the ball first, attack played well enough to warn off the hearts not to get too cocky.

Second half, after softening up the Hearts our attack and midfield combined to completely outshine the opposition and our defence stood firm. you could tell after fifty odd minutes that we were going to get goals and win the match. Well taken goals they were and if  conditions were better we would have scored a lot more.

I watched as much of our Yogi as I could and his body language showed he too knew the goals were coming and didn't need rant and rave at the team to get them.

All in all, highly satisfactory ................well done ICT.......... :ictscarf:

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Cracking day out spent with some old friends. Smooth journey and a nice pint before the game. 


Despite the cack weather it was a well worthwhile trip. The first half was fairly forgetful though Billy and Marley both passed up guilt edged chances while Doran nearly hit a corker before half time, forcing a top save from MacDonald in the process. Hearts saw plenty of the ball but did very little with it. Had one strike just over from Oliver and McHattie was wasteful from a free kick. A combination of dire weather and refereeing left the game a bit rigid at half time.


Much more urgency shown in the second half. Ross and Watkins were looking very dangerous on the ball while Tremarco and Shinnie were also making good runs down the flanks, worth noting that Foran and Draper were breaking down anything thrown at us through the middle.


Billy has been a great player for us but today we saw his true class, lovely dummy and curling shot for the first and a cracking first time strike on his weaker foot for the 2nd. Would have had a hat trick was it not for the post saving MacDonald, it was a stunning volley and ball in from Watkins, his best game today by far.


Great atmosphere and good numbers from up North and around the central belt. Must have more or less filled our allocation. Would like to note that the stewards were lovely folks today (no this isnt sarcasm). They were asking me about the game, crackin jokes and even wished me a merry christmas and safe trip on the way up - other clubs take note.


This is a great start for Yogi as boss and long may it continue. January will be a busy month. Im sure we will get a host of offers for Billy but he is under contract and playing the football of his life, its vital we hold onto him. 


Yogi Hughes red n blue army  :ictscarf:

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As has been said a deserved victory for us.  The conditions were very poor and in the first half especially it made playing decent football difficult.  We were playing into the wind in the first period and this meant that we were pushed back somewhat.  Hearts probably had most of the possession but they didn't really threaten us and never really got into any threatening positions, although Graeme Shinnie was caught out a couple of times - the first time during his run as a right back that he's looked vulnerable defensively.  We didn't really create any clear cut opportunities, the best attempts being a long range effort from Shinnie that was deflected wide for a corner and another effort from distance from Doran was saved very well by McDonald.


In the second half we raised things and, with the wind in our backs, pressed Hearts back.  I thought Marley Watkins had a great game, all our good attacks came through him.  He can cut inside and attack through the channels or stick to his flank and advance that way, in either situation he uses the ball very well.  Nick Ross also did well in the 'hole' and used possession very well again, great to see from him.  Doran had a poor game though and has dipped a bit.  He is capable from distance but in the last few matches hasn't taken the right option enough.


The first goal was a beauty.  Watkins slipped it through to McKay, who advanced into the box, then cut inside the defender and curled a shot into the far corner, a great finish.  McKay nearly added another shortly afterwards when he volleyed a pull back against the foot of the post, a great effort considering the ball was just behind him.  The second goal was another cracker, Watkins again set it up, attacking in the centre of the pitch, he fed the ball to McKay who cracked a shot left footed high into the net. 


We created a few other great chances in the second half, Warren should've hit the target when the ball was rolled into him from a corner and Watkins could easily have had a penalty when he was pulled to the ground just before the second goal.


Overall, three points we deserved although it's pleasing to take them without too much bother.  The conditions were terrible and it's the sort of game that could sometimes slip through a teams fingers.  With regards to Hearts, they looked like what they are - a young side who are lacking in confidence and can't get a result.  I didn't think they caused us any trouble and in the second half we walked over them without any trouble.  I don't think they are doomed though - I think they'll have an upswing before the end of the season and a few of the teams above them look as though they could have a dip and be caught.  The big thing that'll count against them is that Killie, County and Partick will all get a chance to strengthen in January whereas Hearts can't.

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Hang me, but I think the ref was correct not to award Watkins a penalty. Yes, he was pulled down, but he shoved and pulled the defender the same way, so the deeds cancelled each other out. He shouldn't have whistled off a clear advantage (good chance for a counter attack) in the first half only to give the Hearts player a talk. If you don't let such an advantage be played out a card is necessary and I would have thought of even a red card at the first moment.

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Can't think of many games I've watched where I've been so convinced from the kick off we were going to win. It was more a question of by how many. All a bit sad to see how far Hearts have fallen to be honest, Tynecastle is my favourite away trip by far.

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Just watched the game back again and even more impressed by Billy's 2 strikes especially no 2 where he never broke stride or even looked up.

A player high in confidence right now. To think Celtic got £5m for Hooper.

Watkins is a great prospect but needs to work on his final ball.

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One thing I noticed when I was at the game, was how good an interceptor of the ball Nick Ross is - far better than anyone else is, and I wish we'd see more of that throughout the team.  


I do also believe, that the time has come to rotate Watkins and Doran, even during the game as we used to do with Hayes and Imrie (and sometimes Eagle).  Butcher, in the past and also this season, seemed to be trying to turn Doran into a right footed Hayes.  The thing is though, they're not the same players - Hayes was far more direct for a start.  I thought Doran was better at the start of this season on the right, skinning the full-backs and crossing from the by-line.  Watkins seems just as comfortable on either side as well.

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First half was pretty dire for both sides but the weather was awful throughout. I didn't think we were ever in any real danger on Saturday though. Thought Ross was a bit Jekyll and Hyde in the first half with some good moments and some bad but very good in the second. Watkins was impressive, quite pleased he is beginning to shine. Billy's goals were lovely, if he had managed that woodwork strike aswell, what a treble that would have been but certainly cant complain with two great goals. Looking forward to the Dons this weekend.

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