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Inverness CT -V- Albion Rovers - LC - Preview


tm4tj

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Rovers Return

 

Albion Rovers, infrequent visitors to the Caledonian Stadium, head North on Tuesday for an evening kick off in Inverness. The third Group G game for the Caley Jags has a 7:45pm start against the League 2 side.

Inverness top Group G after two wins on the road at Kelty and Livingston and have a game in hand over Livi who share top spot on six points. Rovers have one win from their three games played, an excellent 0-2 win at Kelty where late goals from Sonkur and Reilly were the difference. They also ran Livi close before going down 3-2 and a narrow 1-2 loss at home to Cove Rangers. They do like a late goal, and came back well against Livi. Maybe a word of warning not to take the foot off the pedal.



Latest Team News

Sutherland, Walsh, Devine, Welsh, Duffy and Ram were all missing at Livingston.

 

Eric's Rovers Roundup

As you would expect from a bottom tier club there are no big name additions to the Squad, all below added on free transfers.

Jack Leighfield, goalkeeper from Edinburgh FC

Ayrton Sonkur a centre back from Stranraer FC

Lewis Kidd right back, previously spent a short spell with Albion in 2021, more recently with Edinburgh City which he left at the end of January 2022.

Michael Paton midfield from Brechin FC

Kyle Fleming another midfield player from Annan Athletic FC

Amaury Testa a French born winger both left and right side, from Caledonian Braves.


Blast from the past

We have played Albion Rovers 14 times with 9 wins and 4 draws and a solitary defeat. The last time we met Rovers was in 2009 and that was also in the League Cup. Here's our line up from that game, a 4-0 win at the Caledonian Stadium.
Esson
Tokely - Bulvitus - Munro - Djebi Zadi
Eagle - Cox - Stratford - Hayes
Rooney - Foran
Subs: Sutherland, Ross, Proctor
Goals: (Eagle 8, Rooney 16 Bulvitus 41, Munro 57)
Crowd: 681

That was the season we ended with a flourish. Fifteen games unbeaten to pip Dundee to the title. Feck you Dundee you'll never win the league. Same again this season would be much appreciated. Maybe a bit of Deja Vu.

 

 

 

 

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Complacency will do us in this game if we're not careful. We need to get on it from the start and not hold back or sit back. 

As for the last game...I don't remember Bulvitus. 

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Naurus Bulvitus was on loan to us and scored 5 goals. He is 35 now and still plays for FK Spartaks Jūrmala in Latvia.

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Never realised they have never beaten us. I can remember the first meeting when we beat them 1-0 away in 1994 with a goal from sub ‘spineless Norman *’ MacMillan. 
*older posters will understand the nickname which is not intended as an insult…

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7 hours ago, TheMantis said:

Never realised they have never beaten us. 

According to Soccerbase they beat us at home 0-2 in Div on Tue 11 Apr 95

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2 hours ago, Gringo said:

According to Soccerbase they beat us at home 0-2 in Div on Tue 11 Apr 95

Over to you @tm4tj 😜

So 12 league games in our first 3 seasons plus the game on the same day as the twin towers. I don’t remember the 2009 game at all in the context of a fantastic Championship winning season for us 🏆
Bulvitis was good. Daniel Stratford, not so much.

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51 minutes ago, Kingsmills said:

Do you think that those who founded Albion Rovers couldn't decide on a name so in the end went with both?

Obviously not United in their decision.:tongueincheek:

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2 hours ago, TheMantis said:

Over to you @tm4tj 😜

So 12 league games in our first 3 seasons plus the game on the same day as the twin towers. I don’t remember the 2009 game at all in the context of a fantastic Championship winning season for us 🏆
Bulvitis was good. Daniel Stratford, not so much.

My bad.

I normally set up the preview on the laptop. I started this one on the Mobile and just jumped back and fore adding text and missed the defeat. It's too difficult to copy and paste on mobile. Preview now amended to reflect that defeat.

Venue Pld Won Drn Lst For Agst + / -
Home 7 4 2 1 18 7 +11
Away 7 5 2 0 12 3 +9
Neutral 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 14 9 4 1 30 10 +20

Report by Ian Broadfoot: This re-arranged match took place on a cold Tuesday night and Albion recorded only their fifth win of the season.

The opening goal came in 26 minutes when Martin Scott ran from midfield before passing to Thomson who scored from the edge of the box.

At the other end a Colin Mitchell shot was cleared off the line by Ryan and Wight denied the home side when he saved at the feet of Charlie Christie.

In the second half Caley Thistle were denied what many thought was a clear cut penalty when Colin Mitchell was sandwiched in the area. Albion pressed forward and a superb Joe McBride 30 yard drive crashed off the post. The second goal for Albion came 6 minutes from time when Scott scored after a good solo effort.

Rovers were bottom of the league after 31 games on 18 points and we were 7th on 38 points.

Mark McRitchie
Mark McAllister
Mike Noble
Steven MacDonald
John Scott
Norman MacMillan
Charlie Christie
Alan Hercher
Colin Mitchell
Mike Sanderson
Billy Urquhart

Here's the game you can't remember

CIS Progress:

It was another convincing win by Inverness Caley Jags tonight with 3 goals in the first half and a goal in the second half securing them a place in the next round of the CIS Cup.

It was "Job Done" in the first half and Caley Thistle seemed to step off the gas a bit in the second, being content to hold possession and force Albion Rovers to do a lot of running and chasing.

We have to wait till Tuesday to find out who we get in the next round, and with the SPL teams coming in at this stage then there's every chance we'll finding ourselves heading off to one of last seasons stomping grounds.

Inverness and Albion Rovers met with 2 divisions of difference between the two teams on a cold and clear Tuesday evening, and the gulf in class was evident by the end of the tie.

Both clubs started with strong line-ups, with ICT fielding a 4-4-2 formation and Albion Rovers matching the home side. The only changes Terry Butcher decided to enforce was Tokely replacing Proctor at right-back, and Rooney coming in for Sanchez in attack.

Esson started in goals for Caley, with a strong back four of Djebi-Zadi, Tokely, Munro and Bulvitis. The midfield compromised of Hayes, Eagles, Cox and Stratford, with Rooney and Foran completing the first 11 and leading the line.

The Wee Rovers, as they are affectionately known, started with Gaston in goals. The defence consisted of O’Byrne, Benton, McGowan and McKeown. In midfield, the Rovers boss Paul Martin went with Canning, Tyrell, Reid and young starlet Bobby Barr. Pat Walker and former Clyde striker Marc McCusker started up front for the visiting team.

Albion Rovers started brightly and came close to opening the scoring, the captain Paul Tyrell placing a shot onto the crossbar from 20 yards. Inverness seemed unfazed and took the lead after 8 minutes, Jonny Hayes breaking loose in midfield and pinging a ball across to Eagles, who found himself free on the left hand corner of the box. The winger picked his spot, stroking the ball past Gaston and into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

What was a poor start to the cup tie for the wee Rovers became a disastrous one on the 16th minute mark. Richie Foran found space on the right to cross for Adam Rooney. Rooney outmuscled O’Byrne to volley a shot at goal, going in via Derek Gaston’s flailing hand.

This cup tie was as good as over and for the rest of the match, despite some good passages of play from the visitors, it was a case of 'how many' for Caley Thistle. Both Alan Reid and Ross Tokely were booked for persistent fouling after the second goal, not a surprise to the 681 in attendance, including 3 Albion rovers fans who kept the atmosphere alive within Caledonian Stadium.

Before half-time it was three for the home side. Lee Cox picked the ball up in midfield, and lobbed a nice ball over the Rovers defence, straight to Grant Munro. Munro, beating Gaston to the ball, attempted a shot across the face of the goal, which eventually found its way to Bulvitis to slot home his first goal for the club.

The whistle sounded 4 minutes later, ending a one-sided first half in which ICT had put 3 past the Rovers goalkeeper with no reply. Paul Martin’s team had a mountain to climb in the second half, and it was proving too much to ask for the away side to compete with their 1st division opponents.

Half Time 3-0

Early on in the second half, Alan Reid and Marc McCusker were both substituted, replaced respectively by Cris Boyle and Marc Pollok. The pair couldn’t prevent Inverness extending their lead in the 57th minute, captain Grant Munro benefiting from slack Rovers defending to divert in Stratford’s cross for the 4th goal of the game.

This goal signalled the opportunity for the young players to impress, Shane Sutherland replacing Foran on the hour mark and Nick Ross coming on for Robert Eagle. Both appeared glad for the run-out, Ross making headway out on the left wing and impressing with direct runs, while Sutherland showed neat touches to link with Rooney up front.

Full Time 4-0

In the end, the game petered out with no real opportunities of note for either side. ICT ran out worthy winners, while Albion Rovers had certainly not disgraced themselves against a team finding their feet in the first division. After a 2-2 draw with the league favourites Dundee the previous weekend, another positive result was welcome with the home support and ICT manager Terry Butcher. An away game to Motherwell loomed in the next round.

MOTHERWELL 3-2 (aet) INVERNESS CT
Goalscorers

lol Bulvitus scored again, this time an og.

McHugh (33)
Bulvitus (94 o.g.)
Forbes (119)
Andrew Barrowman (70)
Grant Munro (110)

As a bonus, here's Broadfoot's report from the first encounter:

Albion Rovers 0-1 Caledonian Thistle

Caledonian Thistle's good start to the season continued with this win at Coatbridge.

Both sides came close in the first half. Albion's Martin Scott had three chances with two shots being saved by McRitchie and a header hitting the post. McRitchie saved a shot from Gordon Young and at the other end Davidson saved twice from Wilson Robertson.

Alan Hercher was unlucky when in 20 minutes a good drive was blocked by team mate Danny MacDonald.

In the second half substitute Norman MacMillan scored the winning goal in 67 minutes - a header from a Bennett cross.

Albion Rovers pushed forward but Mark McRitchie made 2 tremendous saves from Young and Docherty to deny the home side a share of the points.

 

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Just gone back through my achieve to find my first viewing of Albion Rovers. It was 2 Sept 95 and 2-2 draw. A late equaliser denied us the three points. Hercher got both our goals. Legend.

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This one Gringers:

The visitors went ahead in 13 minutes when Alan Hercher neatly chipped the Albion 'keeper after a goalmouth scramble.

14 minutes later it was 1-1 when Joe McBride scored direct from a 20 yard free kick.

In 35 minutes the visitors went 2-1 ahead when Alan Hercher headed home with a diving header after a Norman MacMillan cross.

In the second half Albion came more into the game and Jim Calder saved from Seggie and Strain. With a minute to go Jim Calder saved well but could not hold the ball and in the resultant confusion Gordon Young netted from close range to steal a draw for Albion.

Jim Calder
Dave Brennan
Mike Noble
Richard Hastings
Robbie Benson
Graeme Bennett
Norman MacMillan
Charlie Christie
Davie Ross
Alan Hercher
Iain Stewart

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It's a beautiful day here although heavy rain forecast before the game, I hope we get a decent crowd in the main stand.  Looking forward to the game and hope to see lots of action and goals for us!

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7 hours ago, TheCaleyOne said:

Does anyone know if there is a supporters bus running to the game from the bus station and back tonight? I asked on twitter but didn't get a reply, thanks.

I believe there is, but got that second hand. 

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I hate this season. 

Our best squad for years. Youth hopes and senior quality. Covid gone. 

But I feel totally disconnected from the team . 

I can't believe how much more I felt involved with the live streams and away matches. 

I get to 5 to 10 home games a season but other commitments keep me away. The streams made the season ticket worthwhile. No coverage tonight no radio. 

Is this the first season I give it up? 

I can't even watch on a recording. 

 

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Albion Rovers last visit to the Caledonian Stadium thirteen years ago ended in a 4-0 League Cup defeat. It went the same way this time, another 4-0 thumping. An early header from Billy Mckay was added to before the interval by a super free kick from Cameron Harper. Rovers were not without their moments in the first half but Cammy Mackay was equal to the occasion. Wallace Duffy added a third just after the restart following a corner and Harper got his second minutes later.

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Billy McKay my pick for tonight. Just too strong for Albion really. Could have scored a few more. We appear to be shaping up okay. Let's see how we go against stronger teams. Early signs are positive. Didn't think I would have got wet and cold though 😂

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A great start with Mckay’s early goal, but Albion were competitive in the first half and we needed Harper’s excellent free kick to make things comfortable at half time.

The two early goals made the second half very routine (Duffy’s came from an excellent set piece and his run into space was brilliantly picked out by Harper),and we must have had 80% of possession in the second half.

We looked like we wanted more but the changes broke the game up a bit, and we were lucky when Albion hit the woodwork twice in one rare foray forward.

A job well done on what turned into a very wet night.

Harper was the pick for me whilst of the new players, Delaney looked comfortable and Shaw looked a tricky player.

Cairns and Nicolson will have enjoyed their game time too, and brought the number of Academy Graduates used in the game to six.

Next up Cove and a chance to get full points in the group. Our goal difference got a boost too, so the group is there for the taking.

 

Edited by Robert
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A good game and performance from all the team including the young guys who came on as subs.  From the start Cameron Harper got the ball on the left a great pass to Dan MacKay who crossed for Billy Mckay to score.  The second goal was a brilliant left foot free kick into the top left corner from Cameron Harper.  Our third goal was from a corner from Cameron Harper into the center of the box and a volly from Wallace Duffy.  Harpers second was a header from a good assist from Duffy.  Shaw and Hyde looked good when they came on as well as the other subs.  Albion had a late chance for a consultation when David Carson let slip giving the ball away but it came to nothing but Billy Dodds let his feelings known from the edge of the dug out!  My MOM was Cameron Harper followed by Wallace Duffy and Billy Mckay who looks a lot sharper than this time last season.

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The  game definitely had an early season feel to it and  the scoreline flattered us somewhat.  After a bright start and a good early goal it looked as though some players thought it would be easy.  We were slack on and off the ball and as a result Rovers had a lot of possession and some decent chances in the first half.  Better teams would have punished us for that slackness and we could have found ourselves behind at half time.  As it was, we went in the break comfortable at 2-0 courtesy of a great Harper free kick following excellent work on the right by Samuels.  If that didn't knock the stuffing out of Rovers, the 3rd goal just after the break surely did.  A 4th followed soon after together with a number of substitutions. 

Plus points are the 4 well taken goals, Allardice looking sharp and commanding, Doran involved in some quality link up play and the involvement of so many Academy graduates.  The negative points  are the slackness at the back and a couple of players who looked like they didn't really want to be there.  It is early days yet but there is no real sign that any of the new signings will be regular first team picks.  It would be good to see a couple of the new signings start against Cove on Saturday to get a bit more of an idea of what they can bring to the team.

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The club’s report along with the goals and interviews is now on line.

Harper’s free kick is definitely worth seeing again, whilst Duffy’s run and Harper’s pick out of him for the third must be a move off the training ground. And what was Harper doing that far up the pitch when Duffy’s long ball found him for the fourth?

Good goals and hopefully a lot more to come this season!

https://ictfc.com/match-report-ictfc-4-0-albion-rovers-19-07-2022 

And my apologies to Cammy MacKay: rather than the 6 I said last night, there were 7 Academy Graduates involved in the match: MacKay, Harper, MacGregor and Mackay started, with Hyde, Cairns (for his debut) and Nicolson coming off the bench. 

Edited by Robert
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