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The end is nigh

 

For us, it's the final game of the season as we have missed out on the promotion play-offs despite a tremendous last six weeks which saw us go on a six game winning run including a derby Scottish Cup win over Ross County. Unfortunately we left ourselves an uphill task after the first two thirds of our season was decimated by injuries, covid and inclement weather. Ayr United head North with Championship survival high on their agenda as they look to avoid the relegation play-offs with Arbroath and Morton the other contenders. The game is a 19:45 kick-off on Friday night.

Our season ended last Saturday at Tynecastle in an error strewn first half where Hearts scored three times without reply. MotM Gary Mackay-Steven scored twice and McEneff netted the other via a slight deflection. Our misery was exacerbated at the third goal as Robbie Deas ushered the ball back to the advancing Mark Ridgers. Unfortunately, as Ridgers dived down to gather, Deas dropped his guard too early and the ever alert GMS stuck his leg between them to prod the ball into the now unguarded net. Comedy goal, but we were not laughing. It ended at 3-0 and season over with Dunfermline and Dundee consolidating their places in the play-offs. So near, yet so far!

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CTO MEDIA SILENCE

Enough is enough! CTO will join with Scottish football to support a boycott of social media in response to continuing racist and discriminatory abuse online aimed at players, staff, supporters and others associated with the game. It should and will not be tolerated and we will have no social media posts from 3:00pm on Friday through to midnight on 3rd of May.

Ayr United now find themselves in a three way battle for survival after a goalless draw at Queen of the South. Arbroath are sucked into the mire along with Morton, and they meet at the Smokie Dome on Friday night. Ayr are the best placed of the three threatened clubs and a draw will ensure their Championship status. An Arbroath win will also see Ayr safe and relegate Morton. All games kick-off at the same time of 7:45pm.

Table with one game to go before play-offs

    Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Hearts 26 16 6 4 59 24 35 54
2. Raith Rovers 26 12 7 7 45 32 13 43
3. Dundee 26 11 9 6 47 40 7 42
4. Dunfermline 26 10 9 7 38 33 5 39
5. Inverness CT 26 8 11 7 34 29 5 35
6. Queen of the South 26 9 5 12 38 49 -11 32
7. Arbroath 26 7 8 11 28 34 -6 29
8. Ayr United 26 6 10 10 29 35 -6 28
9. Morton 26 6 10 10 22 33 -11 28
10. Alloa Athletic 26 4 7 15 29 60 -31 19
Last 10 Competitive Meetings with Ayr United  ---  Ayr last five games DLDL--- ICT last five games WWDDL
win.png
2 - 0
(A)
draw.png
1 - 1
(H)
loss.png
0 - 1
(A)
win.png
2 - 0
(H)
win.png
2 - 0
(A)
draw.png
1 - 1
(H)
win.png
3 - 1
(A)
win.png
1 - 0
(A)
win.png
3 - 2
(A)
win.png
1 - 0
(H)
Venue (H to H) Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / -
Home 19 9 9 1 32 18 +14
Away 21 10 4 7 40 26 +14
Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 40 19 13 8 72 44 +28

Neither side have won in their last three games with points becoming difficult to claim as the season comes to a climax. We have had some memorable games against Ayr United over the years, this one might have too much tension to go down as a classic and with a point suiting Ayr, that's maybe where the smart money will go.  

***Latest Team News***

Neil McCann has indicated this will be his last game in charge according to this article in the Inverness Courier. I'm sure we are all grateful for his and Billy Dodd's input since coming in to cover for John Robertson. After an iffy start, we almost made it to the play-offs. So cheers guys. :drinking06:

Last outing of the season and it's a fair bet many will not be back next year with something like 18 players out of contract in the summer. Those that are already contracted to be here next season: 2022: M Ridgers, Duffy, Devine, Harper, MacGregor, D Mackay, Welsh.
2023: Allardice, Deas, 2024 Carson. The rest have not committed themselves yet or may not have been offered a new contract, so some tough talking ahead and none more important than who will be in charge. Brad Mckay is suspended after his red card against Dundee. 

Latest Ayr boss David Hopkin has brought in young Motherwell keeper Peter Morrison since the 3-0 defeat to Dundee as young Finnish keeper Viljami Sinisalo returned to his parent club, Aston Villa, after picking up an injury. Corrie Ndaba missed out against Queen of the South with a knock picked up at Arbroath. Tom Walsh and Joe Chalmers are still on the books and Michael Moffat returned to the starting XI last week.

So, get your old Ayr guitar out one last time...

 

Official Player of the Year voting

 

Voting is now open for the ICTFC Supporters' Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Goal of the Season!...

Posted by Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC on Monday, 26 April 2021

 

 

 

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Some very encouraging comments from McCann: https://ictfc.com/post-match-neil-mccann-ictfc-2-2-ayr-utd  

I agree DD and we should credit Devine too. Some questioned us signing him, but he has been the leader at the back and become the mainstay of our defence. 

I’m sorry but I feel ever so let down.  ICT could have gone out on a high but, no, just again an uninspiring draw.   Now we have to wait nearly three months before another game and, even then will we

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I know it is a “nothing game” for us, but let’s hope the guys put on a show and get a positive result.

Anyone know what the announcement tomorrow about something different in the livestream entails?

Edited by Robert
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1 hour ago, Jack Waddington said:

Anyone know what the view from the layby is like?

It will be restricted viewing without the commentary which might be better 🤣

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Seems there is no Andrew Bannerman (?) on tonight as Ian Auld and Stevie Riley take up the commentary gig for the match,

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2 hours ago, RiG said:

Seems there is no Andrew Bannerman (?) on tonight as Ian Auld and Stevie Riley take up the commentary gig for the match,

Best news all year!! 

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Whatever happens tonight, we look destined to finish 5th.  It is possible we could finish 6th, but for that to happen we would need to lose to Ayr, QOS would need to beat Dundee and there would need to be a change of 16 goals in goal difference.  Two 8-0 results would do it.  Fair to say that we are safe in 5th.

What is more interesting is the range of scenarios about which team will face the agony of the relegation play offs.   Ayr are in the thick of the battle after a poor run, whilst Arbroath and Morton could also face the drop, and they play each other tonight.  So what are the scenarios?

If Arbroath beat Morton, Arbroath stay up and Morton stay in the play-off place.  However, there is a remote scenario that if we beat Ayr by 7 goals more than Arbroath beat Morton, Ayr would then slip into the play-off spot on goal difference.  I think we'll settle for beating them by 5 or 6 as we enjoy our games against Ayr.

If Arbroath and Morton draw, Morton would be in the play-off places if Ayr get anything against us.  If we beat Ayr, then Ayr will be in the play-off places.

If Morton beat Arbroath then Morton will be safe.  Ayr would slip into the play-off place if we beat them, but a draw would be enough for Arbroath to slip 2 places into the play-off slot.

So a point tonight will secure survival for Ayr tonight.  We can therefore expect Ayr to be looking to keep it tight at the back.  Previous meetings between the 2 sides this season have not produced many goals and I don't expect many tonight.  But hey.  This is the last game of the season and I live in hope.  I've gone for 3-2 in Gringo"s NPL!

 

 

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Team for tonight

  • 1Ridgers
  • 8Carson
  • 6Devine
  • 24Deas
  • 16Harper
  • 27MacKay
  • 12MacGregor
  • 4Welsh
  • 11Sutherland
  • 23Allan
  • 77Todorov

Substitutes

  • 3McHattie
  • 10Doran
  • 14Vincent
  • 17Storey
  • 18Allardice
  • 19Lyall
  • 21MacKay
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MacGregor 1-0!

Great play with Welsh picking him out and a cool finish. 

Edited by Robert
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I still can’t get into the game after purchasing on PPV half an hour ago. So watching the Raith game on TV just now while trying and the commentators said that Dan Mackay is on the shopping list of several SPL clubs.

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1 minute ago, Yngwie said:

I still can’t get into the game after purchasing on PPV half an hour ago. So watching the Raith game on TV just now while trying and the commentators said that Dan Mackay is on the shopping list of several SPL clubs.

Not a great surprise after his recent performances. Hopefully he knows he will develop better getting game time with us.

As an aside, the BBC have wrongly credited the goal to Mackay. 

Edited by Robert
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Great pity we can't get more noise from the pitch, It's all very surreal.  Sounds like two blokes in my living room talking about the game with the sound down.

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Soft penalty but looked right decision to me.

Edit - just saw a replay and not so sure now.

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1-1. Penalty. All our players protested and it looked soft.

At least one booked for protesting, possibly Carson. 

Edited by Robert
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