Christie Elliot (75)
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Youngest Player:||Marley Watkins (24 years 119 days)
|Oldest Player:||Graeme Shinnie (2016 years 193 days)|
|Average Player Age:||28 years 205 days|
|Domestic Players:||7 (63.64 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Cameron Mackay (15 years 64 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Josh Meekings (2016 years 193 days)|
|Average Player Age:||25 years 50 days|
|Domestic Players:||12 (66.67 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
Inverness moved into the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup after stinging this seasons bogey side Partick Thistle. First half counters by Marley Watkins and Greg Tansey were scant reward for a brilliant first forty-five from the visitors. Partick needed to up their game in the second half and they did just that. Returning striker Lyle Taylor scored to open the door for the hosts to make it an anxious last twenty-five for Inverness. They almost got the replay they were seeking but for a tremendous save by Dean Brill's replacement, Ryan Esson, who tipped away a netbound header from Danny Seabourne as the game drew to a conclusion.
Great result for Inverness who enter Monday's draw along with Celtic, Hibernian, Queen of the South, Falkirk, Dundee United. Spartans and Berwick have a replay to contend with and the Rangers play Raith Rovers later today.
Immortal Howden Ender had this to say :– A game of two halves or probably two quarters and a half. As I suspected Yogi had wound them up to the hilt in a pre-match “forget wee Billy” address. They came out of the traps like greyhounds on heat and nearly caught the stuffed rabbit at the first corner. We completely and utterly dominated the first 20-25 minutes and sailed through the remainder of the half.
Just before the quarter hour Marley Watkins should have opened the account but fluffed the finish. Marley was not to be denied and slotted in a well taken finish hardly a minute later. It was however fashioned by the very impressive Ross Draper. Thistle defender Stephen O'Donnell played a terrible to pass to Abdul Osman in the middle of the park who was robbed by our feisty Ross. The ball fell to Marley who held off Frederic Frans before clipping it low past Paul Gallacher to put us 1-0 up. Moments later Watkins was one-on-one again after Nick Ross sent him away but this time his low effort slid inches past the post.
Now at this point we should have been 3-0 up and before the inevitable comment of “But if wee Billy was there he would have scored a hat trick” – NOT – Watkins may not be, and sorry never will be a centre forward, but he fashioned the chances through strength and pace. Wee Billy would not have got himself in those positions.
And then I recalled our previous league visit to Firhill when we cruised for 20 minutes, went 1-0 up and then imploded and left 1-3. There was a slight PTSD feeling but that was well and truly therapised by Greg Tansey and what has to be a major contender for Goal of the Season. Good old O'Donnell again lost possession in midfield and Greg Tansey picked the ball up 30 yards from goal. Tansey advanced forward, like a modern day Archie Gemmill, shimmied past Frans like a Scouse ballerina and struck a superb right foot shot into the bottom left hand corner of Gallacher's goal.
Half Time 0-2
And then came the second half, possibly as long a second half as I have witnessed in a long time. Thistle came out like a bunch of Taz’s and our back four must have felt that they were starring in a remake of the Alamo. To be fair they stood firm – too feckin deep for my liking – but Warren and Meekings were immense and there was a true Churchillian feel to the determination – ably abetted by one Ryan Esson. He first produced a fine diving save on the hour to deny Stuart Bannigan. His handling was awry at times but he is more than a capable stand in for Deano.
Lyle Taylor then threw the Jags a massive lifeline – and got a MotM from the home support for it !! -when he latched on to O'Donnell's long ball over the top and he appeared to out-muscle Josh Meekings, TV evidence seemed to show that Taylor fouled Meekings but he got away with it.
The Alamo then joined forces with the Mafeking. It was boering and nerve tingling to watch but we deservedly survived. And thanks for that go to Ryan Esson who produced a “world class save” in the 90th minute with a superb diving save to earn us a place in Monday's draw.
Full Time 1-2
Ginger Jaggy agrees and added:- Same sentiment as everyone else about the game. Great first half helped by a very disjointed Partick defence where we should have been out of site and Marley could have grabbed a load of headlines with a great hat trick. He was brilliant running the defence ragged but he isn't a natural scorer and that was shown in his first chance that he hit straight at the keeper. If we are to continue with him front we have to give a couple of the young lads a chance or bring in one or two because he will run himself into the ground he had to come off 10 mins before the end. I don't think the second half was as bad as people make out as I think we could have scored more but we lacked a final ball. We did become hemmed in after a dodgy goal by Taylor that looked a foul and we were left hanging on. With Watkins running out of steam we lacked an out ball but we got through and deservedly so. The away support was great and fingers crossed we get a decent draw we could get at least one trip to Hampden hopefully two.
Well Ginger Jaggy got his wish as we drew Raith Rovers at home in the next round. Ties to be played on 7th or 8th March.
Inverness CT v Raith Rovers Queen of the South v Falkirk Hibernian v Spartans or Berwick Rangers Dundee United v Celtic
Match report written by Immortal Howden Ender