Appearances & Goals To Date
|Youngest Player:||Ross Tokely (27 years 63 days)
|Oldest Player:||Craig Dargo (2007 years 276 days)|
|Average Player Age:||27 years 63 days|
|Domestic Players:||11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Ross Tokely (27 years 63 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Stuart Soane (2007 years 276 days)|
|Average Player Age:||30 years 257 days|
|Domestic Players:||18 (100.00 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
With 7th place assured, manager Charlie Christie rested a few first team regulars and gave starting places to Stuart McCaffrey, Zander Sutherland and Mike Fraser. Russell Duncan and Craig Dargo netted the goals that won it for the Caley Jags.
With seventh spot guaranteed this was a chance for Charlie Christie to give a start to squad players. Stuart McCaffrey and Alan Morgan came into the side and Mike Fraser made a first start in goal after 139 bench appearances and two occasions when he came on as a substitute for Mark Brown. Brown ended a fine consecutive record of 176 starts as he gave way to his young rival. Youngsters Zander Sutherland and Stuart Soane made debut appearances – Sutherland played for 90 minutes and Soane for the last eight. All three youngsters impressed and their efforts were appreciated with cheers from the home crowd. Falkirk were missing four regulars including influential midfielder Russell Latapy and they never really got going.
Caley Thistle were always ahead without ever reaching top gear. A 20 yard shot from Vitor Lima went wide in 14 minutes then four minutes later Russell Duncan made it 1-0 to the home side with one of the goals of the season. A Ross Tokely ball into the box was cleared from the feet of Dennis Wyness to Duncan 30 yards out – he steadied himself then sent a rocket past the helpless Mark Howard. On the half hour mark a Wyness low ball was deflected for a corner. Morgan’s kick from the left flag was headed on by Darren Dods and Dargo hammered home from the right side of the box. This was Dargo’s 20th goal of a fine season. Another Lima effort went wide in 34 minutes but this was a rare attempt on the ICT goal.
Half Time: 2-0
Just after the break Fraser had to be alert to collect a rising 25 yard shot from Liam Craig. On the hour mark there was a flare up after Pedro Mountinho fouled Morgan but no cards were produced. Howard punched clear a Morgan corner in 65 minutes and follow-up shots from Liam Keogh and McCaffrey were blocked. It was all one way with a Sutherland shot being blocked, a Morgan effort running wide, Howard collecting a Morgan free kick then punching away a 25 yard shot from Keogh. With ten minutes left a Morgan free kick from wide right was headed just over by Ross Tokely then in added time another Tokely header was cleared off the line by Jack Ross amidst protests that it had gone in. Substitute Graham Bayne had tried to make sure but took a head knock for his trouble. He recovered to join his team mates in a salute to the home crowd at the final whistle.
Full Time: 2-0
Four wins in a row and four clean sheets. The only black spot was Hearts 1-0 win over Aberdeen – this left Hearts in second spot, Gretna to qualify for the UEFA Cup at the expense of Hibs, and ICT unlikely to be in the Intertoto Cup. The only remote possibility is that Hibs decide to back out. One game to go then a well earned rest for all.
Match report written by Ian Broadfoot