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Inverness CT -V- Cove Rangers - Preview


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Hello Again

 

We meet again a mere three weeks after our last visit from newly promoted Cove Rangers. This time it's a Championship encounter at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday the 13th. Sounds a bit creepy if you ask me. The last meeting was a game in group G of the league Cup and was a close affair. It ended all square, and nothing less will be expected this time round.

MATCHDAY INFO/TICKETS/STADIUM BAR/PARKING

 

First Competitive Meeting
Jul 14th, 2018 League Cup (H) 2 - 0
Most Recent Competitive Meeting
Jul 23rd, 2022 League Cup (Group Stage Group G) (H) 1 - 1
All four Competitive Meetings
draw.png
1 - 1
(H)
loss.png
1 - 3
(A)
win.png
3 - 2
(H)
win.png
2 - 0
(H)

Last meeting with Cove ended 1-1:  A bright afternoon saw George Oakley Zak Delaney and Nathan Shaw start for the hosts with Mark Ridgers back between the sticks.

Roddy MacGregor opened the scoring in the thirteenth minute when he headed a Nathan Shaw cross into the top corner of the net. Mitch Megginson was left unattended to level the game when he scooped the ball behind Ridgers after twenty minutes. Just after the half hour Daniel Mackay turned and shot from the edge of the box, but the keeper saved low to deny Dan. George Oakley was put through by Robbie Deas but Kyle Gourlay pulled off a good save just before the break.

HALF TIME: 1-1

After a slow start to the second half, Megginson headed over following a corner and at the other end Cammy Harper put a free kick just over and then Deas diverted a Leighton McIntosh effort wide of the target. Billy Mckay went close to a winner but it went to penalties after ninety minutes and the Caley Jags prevailed 5-3 on penalties with Ridgers saving a weak spot kick from Fraser Fyvie.

 

Fixtures

(fri) Dundee 4-2 Arbroath (fri)

Ayr United v Hamilton    

Inverness CT v Cove Rangers

Queen's Park v Partick Thistle

Rovers v Morton

 

Opening League fixtures: Matchday 1 saw Inverness struggle to make much headway against newly promoted Queens Park. Jake Davidson gave the Spiders an early lead which they held until almost half time until Billy Mckay levelled. That's how it ended. Cove began life in the Championship with an excellent 2-0 win over Raith Rovers. Mitch Megginson scored both in a game dominated by Cove. Matchday 2 and a goalless draw at Arbroath leaves Inverness on two points from two games. Cove went down to a spectacular strike by Jai Quintongo at Cappielow on the same day. 

LATEST TEAM NEWS

Long term absentees are Shane Sutherland, Tom Walsh and Sean Welsh. Max Ram is also out. Robbie Deas returns after a two game ban,

Eric reports one in and one out at Cove since our meeting in the league cup:  In is Luis Longstaff a right wing player previously Youth to under 21 with Liverpool FC and on Loan last season at Queens Park, also featured in the England U16 &U17 squads. Out is one time ICT forward Rory McAllister who has signed a 2 year deal at Montrose FC.

 

 

 

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The pitch is looking great when I passed today, the forecast is good for tomorrow so I hope we get a good crowd and our players go at Cove from the start and bang in a few goals to improve on the last game against them.  Looking forward to our first 3 points in the league to move up the league after Dundee beating Arbroath 4 - 2 tonight and going top.

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Whilst it is still early in the season and every team has dropped points, we really need to win this afternoon or we will be slipping off the pace.

We have Partick away next Friday so going into that with 5 points rather than only 2 or 3 is important in my opinion.

Deas’ return should tighten us up at the back but we need to ensure we don’t get outnumbered in midfield and struggle to keep the ball as a result.

I didn’t like Cove’s approach in the cup game a few weeks ago and hope they are coming to play football, rather than be cynical, feign injury and waste time.

We need to take the game by the scruff of the neck and ensure it is played on our terms.

Three points please!

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Cove have also added Cieran Dunne to their squad. Formerly with Falkirk and Sunderland. Apparently he is a wide man.

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Short on players. No Carson ir Devine and only 5 subs. Hyde starting: at right back?

Ridgers

Hyde Delaney Deas Harper

Allardice MacGregor

Samuels Doran Mackay

Mckay

A tough afternoon ahead  

 

Edited by Robert
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4-1 FT, great result. I was somewhat concerned about the lack of defenders when I saw the team sheet and would have been delighted with any sort of win today, but to win so comfortably is impressive.

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A great win and three points, with quite a depleted squad, seven players out. We played some nice football first half, but lost our way a bit in the second, until we started short direct passes again. I thought Deas, Delaney Allardice and Samuels were the pick, but, for me, it was our best performance so far this season. When Cove came more into the game, we had to dig deep, because if Cove had equalised, we might have struggled to get the win. If we can play like we did for long spells in this game, we won't be far away from promotion at the end of the season. 

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Good 1st half and end to the game.

Dodds didn’t react to the change in formation when Vigurs came on at half time and the extra man in the middle exploited the space between the defence and midfield.

The 3rd goal steadied things particularly after Cove made further changes which helped both defence and midfield.

Many positives but we need to lose the habit of losing control of games including when the opposition makes changes.

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I was nervous when I saw the line up with seven players missing (Duffy, Carson, Devine, Ram, Welsh, Walsh and Sutherland) and only three defenders in the team, all left sided.

We came out fast and Samuels’ well finished early goal set us up for as good a 45 as I’ve seen in a long time. I thought Mackay’s shot was goal bound but Doran made sure for the second. We could have had more, with the Cove ‘keeper making several good saves. Our most nervous moment came when Delaney (I think) tried to head the ball wide but instead forced Ridgers to make a great save to avoid an own goal.

Cove started the second half with Vigurs on, and scored in their first attack. Ridgers could only parry a shot towards a Cove player who scored.

We were then unable to keep the ball and were looking poor for the next 20 minutes or so, with Cove looking the more likely to score, but we gradually grew back in to the game.

Mckay set Samuels up for the third, which steadied things and Shaw got the fourth after Samuels came close to a hat trick but the goalie palmed his effort towards Shaw.

4-1 maybe flattered us a bit, but it was in the main a good team performance, with four Academy products starting.

Ridgers had a couple of saves, with one down at the post as well as stopping the potential own goal. He was also talking the defence through the game well.

Hyde is not a natural full back and it showed at times, but he acquited himself well. Delaney and Samuels both assisted him.

I thought Delaney did well, playing on the wrong side of the defensive pairing for a left sided player, whilst Deas steadied everything and got forward a few times, coming close with an overhead kick.

Harper has improved from last season, both defensively and with his delivery.

Allardice was great in midfield, supported well by MacGregor.

Mackay had a couple of decent runs, whilst I thought Doran had a very good game. Mckay was very busy and kept the ball well to bring others into the game.

The pick, though, was Samuels, who took his goals well and could have had a third. He had the beating of the defence and made a lot of good runs into space, which seemed to be a deliberate ploy today with players looking for him. What a contrast from his performance against Queens Park.

Three subs were used late on with Boyd coming close from a free kick and Shaw being in the right place to get the fourth.

All in all, a satisfying afternoon, particularly after the wobble early in the second half.

Well done to all, and I hope Douglas Ross “enjoyed” the stick he got. 

Edited by Robert
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Enjoyable game that 😃 cove were poor in the first half and we could have finished the game then. It was on the cards that they would have a go second half; lost an early goal to their renewed efforts. However a 2 goal deficit was too much and we created plenty more chances killing the game off with the third. A really positive performance by everyone. Another plus is that Boyds shots are getting closer to goal ; they will soon be flying in 😃

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Decent report Robert !   Agree with most of your post.

However..  I thought Mcgregor was poor today,  he needs to muscle up and stop getting caught in posetion,  He gets shoved off the ball, and during the first 20 mins of the second half when we really needed someone to take the ball stop and think he gave away too many passes, Hyde no bad but was guilty of some **** passes, Dodds giving a telling off at one point.

But to be fair the team did very well and our experienced players got us the win. 

Bring on Plastic!!

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14 minutes ago, caley100 said:

Decent report Robert !   Agree with most of your post.

However..  I thought Mcgregor was poor today,  he needs to muscle up and stop getting caught in posetion,  He gets shoved off the ball, and during the first 20 mins of the second half when we really needed someone to take the ball stop and think he gave away too many passes, Hyde no bad but was guilty of some **** passes, Dodds giving a telling off at one point.

But to be fair the team did very well and our experienced players got us the win. 

Bring on Plastic!!

For me MacGregor is best when playing in the no 10 role when his creative skills are his focus. I thought he did ok on the whole but your comment is fair.

I agree that Hyde did misplace some passes but as he was playing out of position I forgave him for that and he was not an easy option for Cove to target, which I feared beforehand. Delaney was looking out for him, which helped a lot, and Samuels was tracking back too.

With seven players out, a very encouraging outcome which gives confidence for the season ahead.

Roll on Partick!

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It was a bit nervy for much of the 2nd half but a good striker's goal from the excellent Samuels got us back on track for a well deserved win.  With Devine, Duffy, Carson and Welsh all missing, we do look a little vulnerable defensively at times but Harper and Hyde are developing well and Delaney looks to be a useful signing.  If we look a little bit vulnerable defensively, we are more than making up for it with our attacking play.  At times we displayed some really good short passing moves with excellent movement.  At times it came to nothing, but as players get to know each others games better, our cutting edge will only get sharper and we should be a really exciting team to watch. 

In a good all round performance, Austin Samuels was a clear MOTM.  His goals were both well taken, but he was also very effective in receiving the ball a bit deeper, turning his man and finding a team mate ahead of him to get an attack going. Aaron Doran had another excellent game and seems to be playing better than at any time since his lengthy injury.  Billy Mckay may not have been on the score sheet but it was another really good performance from him.  His work rate, link-up play and movement causes real problems for defences and creates space for his team mates.  We somehow seem to expect Billy to score but it is clear that we have several players who are capable of scoring.  

We may have several players out but there is still real competition for places.  Today's performance shows great promise for the season ahead.  Well done, lads!

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57 minutes ago, DoofersDad said:

It was a bit nervy for much of the 2nd half but a good striker's goal from the excellent Samuels got us back on track for a well deserved win.  With Devine, Duffy, Carson and Welsh all missing, we do look a little vulnerable defensively at times but Harper and Hyde are developing well and Delaney looks to be a useful signing.  If we look a little bit vulnerable defensively, we are more than making up for it with our attacking play.  At times we displayed some really good short passing moves with excellent movement.  At times it came to nothing, but as players get to know each others games better, our cutting edge will only get sharper and we should be a really exciting team to watch. 

In a good all round performance, Austin Samuels was a clear MOTM.  His goals were both well taken, but he was also very effective in receiving the ball a bit deeper, turning his man and finding a team mate ahead of him to get an attack going. Aaron Doran had another excellent game and seems to be playing better than at any time since his lengthy injury.  Billy Mckay may not have been on the score sheet but it was another really good performance from him.  His work rate, link-up play and movement causes real problems for defences and creates space for his team mates.  We somehow seem to expect Billy to score but it is clear that we have several players who are capable of scoring.  

We may have several players out but there is still real competition for places.  Today's performance shows great promise for the season ahead.  Well done, lads!

You are right about Delaney I thought he had some good clearances today for a young player who along with Hyde you could say were thrown in at the deep end but managed well apart from the goal that Cove got, I hope they do well for us in the future.

A good performance and result today from all the team well done to all I went home very happy :ictscarf:

And just to add I don't think there are many Tory supporters in the north stand :lol:

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7 minutes ago, IBM said:

And just to add I don't think there are many Tory supporters in the north stand :lol:

From my seat in the main stand, the clearest chants from the North Stand were the regular renditions of “fxxx the Tories”.

In fairness, other than a couple of decisions on fouls he should have helped the ref with (and had he done so, Samuels’ challenge and yellow card would not have happened as we’d have had a free kick for a challenge on Allardice) he got most decisions right. 

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11 minutes ago, Robert said:

From my seat in the main stand, the clearest chants from the North Stand were the regular renditions of “fxxx the Tories”.

In fairness, other than a couple of decisions on fouls he should have helped the ref with (and had he done so, Samuels’ challenge and yellow card would not have happened as we’d have had a free kick for a challenge on Allardice) he got most decisions right. 

I totally agree Robert about the Samuels yellow card!  I never heard the fxxx word coming from the family stand and it wasn't me just Booooooooo :lol:

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A really enjoyable Team performance and i havent said that since the Yogi days. I am now also seeing a defence with a bit of belief.OK there were four major slip ups one of which could have been a game changer but as what often is the case our Mark saved the day brilliantly... sorry Mark I didn't choose you as one of the top three today as I had to give Deas, Samuels and Allardice the plaudits this time... but still a stralwart performance from you.

Qne swallow doesn't make a summer but i will have a few swallows as time goes by if we can continue to play winning football like that.

Well done ICT a very deserved victory and a pleasure to watch you all.   :ictscarf:🥃

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Billy produced a captain's performance yesterday. We are currently very youthful which is honorable. However, the 'old guard' of Billy, Mark, Aaron (youthful) Robbie and Scot were vital to the win which was very enjoyable yesterday. Hope we haven't peaked too early as we did last year. However, we do need experience long term in the middle of the defence so hopefully Danny's niggly injury is resolved or Davie Carson is put on height growth hormones to extend his utility.

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I thought Aaron Doran had his best game for us in a long time, and he looked to have a good pass in him every time he got the ball.

I think if one piece is unfortunately missing from the team, it's Sean Welsh, he controls the midfield, and when Cove made changes to the second half, and brought on Vigures, that's when the game nearly changed against us. Dodds needed to react to the change, we were being overrun in the midfield, but the third goal eased our worries. For me, the Jags best CM trio is Welsh, Allardice and Macgregor. In an ideal world, another right back would be great, and that would allow Carson to play in his preferred role in CM, giving us more options in there. Someone said to me that Max Ram can play there, but as he has an injury problem, we will have to wait and see. Let's just carry this good form through to the battle of the Jags on Friday.

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