Appearances & Goals To Date
|Youngest Player:||Roman Golobart (19 years 307 days)
|Oldest Player:||Graeme Shinnie (2013 years 172 days)|
|Average Player Age:||24 years 136 days|
|Domestic Players:||10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Roman Golobart (19 years 307 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Josh Meekings (2013 years 172 days)|
|Average Player Age:||25 years 173 days|
|Domestic Players:||15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
It was off to Fife tonight for what promised to be a gritty rather than pretty encounter between Caley Thistle and Dunfermline. The game was live on SKY and the sparse crowd, huddled into a single stand perhaps was an indicator of this.
Caley Thistle made three changes to the team that took full points at Fir Park on the weekend with Ross Tokely coming back into the side after injury replacing the suspended Kenny Gillet. Jonny Tuffey took his customary spot in goals for a cup game and Richie Foran was also back in the lineup with Nick Ross dropping to the bench.
TM4TJ provides this report .....
Calamity Smith is now player of the year at ICT
To further echo what Scotty has indicated in his preamble, Jonny Tuffey kept his Scottish Cup number one spot at the expense of regular keeper Ryan Esson, despite being the villain of the piece in the original game and Ross Tokely came into the back four to replace the suspended Kenny Gillet, with Richie Foran adding a bit of steel to the midfield. Nick Ross had dropped to the bench to accommodate the captain.
Neither side made any impression on the defences in the first quarter of an hour apart from Barrowman who forced Tuffey into a diving save early on as he went one-on-one with the keeper. That apart, the game resumed where the first one finished. A towsey affair with both sides guilty, but if anything Inverness were looking slightly slicker than the Pars. Misplaced passes were the order of the day as play became even more disjointed but Andy Kirk had the next strike on target after 22 minutes as he fired one straight at Tuffey, and he made a routine save.
This roused Inverness and after some neat possession play a Tansey effort from inside the box was stifled and Smith collected the loose ball easily. Defences were still well on top and with half an hour gone it was difficult to see past penalties deciding the outcome of this one. Surely there was better to come?
Cardle was upended by Ross Tokely on the edge of the box offering the Pars a chance to shoot from around 25 yards. Martin Hardie lifted the ball over the wall electing to go for placement rather than power but Tuffey was alert and plucked the ball comfortably away from the top corner.
Inverness were finding it difficult to get past the Dunfermline defence and you had to feel sorry for the watching Neil Lennon who would learn little from the poor quality on show from both sides. Oh what a shame!
Martin Hardie received a booking for tugging back Tansey, who took the free kick himself and fired it high and not so handsome. Like the first game, the ball was taking a battering.
However, embarrassment for the visitors as Cardle chased down a ball wide left, skipped round Foran and swung a cross to the back post where who else but Andy Barrowman climbed all over Shinnie and headed the ball down and into the net from two yards. Pffft
Inverness were now stung into action and forced their first corner and kept possession around the Dunfermline box but to no avail. Little was seen of Inverness as an attacking force in the last third of the park especially the enigmatic Jonny Hayes who had disappointed up to this point. Just on half time, Foran won a free kick 22 yards out but Piermayr's shot from the lay off was deflected into the arms of Smith with all the sting taken off the ball.
I fear for the players as Butcher must be fuming at that first half performance.
Half Time 1-0.
The interval break saw the result of Butcher's pep talk; Andrew Shinnie replacing Lee Cox and he almost made an instant impact as he sliced a twenty yard effort wide from a good position centre of goal. Better would come as the game wore on.
Piermayr still has not learnt the art of throw-ins taking an eternity to take a simple shy........ Andrew Shinnie broke on the left and he released McKay, but his angled drive was palmed without discomfort by Smith. The encouraging thing for Inverness was that the introduction of Andrew Shinnie was having an effect.
Lord almighty! Lightning does strike twice. Blunder keeper Chris Smith get's tangled with Rutkiewitz and the result of that is an extremely embarrassed but grateful Jonny Hayes who scores a replica of his goal in the first game .......unbelievable. It looks as though Ian Turner will have little opposition to him getting the number one shirt.
Tade did well as he turned the defenders inside out on the left wing but as he bore down on goal Dunfermline scrambled the ball out for a corner with two men in blue waiting for a lay off. Tade was now beginning to stretch the Pars defence and he flashed a ball into the box from the opposite wing but it was hooked clear. The game was now opening out.
One hour gone and Inverness were starting to turn the screw with the home defence getting more desperate. Scorer Barrowman was replaced by a mini nemesis, Liam Buchanan after 65 minutes, but it was the visitors who were playing any football on show. Chris Smith received a sarcastic cheer when he picked up a headed back pass; phew.
Buchanan broke on the right and drilled a low shot at Tuffey which he dealt with easily as the game entered the 70th minute.
Strangely enough, Richie Foran and Jonny Hayes fell out and both were booked by Euan Norris with fifteen minutes to go and extra time looming. I wonder if they were fighting over the captain's armband. Back to the football and some tidy interplay saw Andrew Shinnie sting the fingers of Chris Smith who turned his ferocious left footer over the bar for a corner. Dunfermline had weathered the storm though and were now crossing the half way line and forced their second corner as Mason tested Tuffey, but it was wasted.
Golobart produced one of his trademark arse clenching errors but Tuffey saved his blushes with an excellent block as the game swung from end to end now. Hayes fired a free kick into the box and Chris Smith punched clear but took a knock in the process and after some confusion, play resumed with a goal kick to the Pars.............I think.
Golobart was pushing his luck now but got away with it, almost, although from the following play the Pars hooked a shot just wide. The Pars were now believing in themselves and forced another corner as Thompson was thwarted on the edge of the box by a crunching Golobart redemption tackle. Oh lordy!
Nick Ross enters the arena as the ineffective Billy McKay is subbed with five minutes of regulation time left, but it's Dunfermline who now look the most likely to snatch a winner and Kirk is just short of reaching a ball into the box as three minutes of injury time is announced.
More distress for Butcher as Golobart takes a sore one and turns his ankle and is stretchered off in agony after an ill timed challenge from Willis.(wotchu doin boy!) David Proctor replaced the young Spaniard as the ninety minutes came and went and more injury time beckoned.
With the last kick of the ninety, Hayes floats a ball into the box but there is nobody near it and it's extra-time and all to play for
Ninety Minutes 1-1.
Another thirty minutes of football before penalties can be considered and Inverness start on the ascendency and no sooner had they taken the initiative when Tade out wide right fed Andrew Shinnie, and as he turned inside the right hand side of the box he lashed a sublime curling strike behind Smith who played no part in the goal this time. Tremendous goal eclipsing Tade's effort at the weekend.
A routine save by Tuffey from Buchanan after Shinnie is upended at the other end, but no free kick, and Ryan Thompson gets the break of the ball in the box but the defenders block well, it's all happening now. Hayes sprinted forward with the ball to ease the pressure from the Inverness defence but his pass is too heavy for Tade who had made a great run into space.
Martin Hardie is trying the refs patience as he upends Hayes right on the break.
Extra Time Half Time 1-2
Inverness start the fourth period with the same vigour and Hayes darts forward but the final ball to Shinnie is cut out. Piermayr was booked, probably for his rubbish throws........only kidding, and Tade once more turns the defender, but is baulked as he tries to sprint through.
Goal number three for Inverness and it's another cracker. Tade forces the error from a high ball and Nick Ross does brilliantly to keep it in play and pick out Tansey on the edge of the box who promtly guides the ball expertly behind an exposed Smith.
Dunfermline are not finished though and Tuffey has to save again as the Pars look to get a quick reply, but it's Inverness who have the extra class and look likely to add to their lead to the delight of the 54 Inverness fans who made the journey; big respect.
Fair play to Dunfermline as they went straight up the park after Tade almost scored number four and Tuffey had to stop another Buchanan shot with three minutes left. Jonny Hayes was now tormenting Dunfermline and they knew it. He was upended at every opportunity and the game was now beyond Dunfermline as the referee ended the contest with Inverness making the accountant happy.
Extra Time Full Time 1-3
This was the result that Inverness were looking for. Not just to get into the next round of the cup, but to send out an SPL warning to Dunfermline that the first division is not for the Highlanders.
It was a game that was disappointing until the second half was lit up with a goal fit to win the cup final itself. Shinnie curling a beaut into the rigging before anyone knew what was happening; stunning goal and worth the wait. After that it looked a long way back for the Pars and the third goal stroked in with applomb by Tansey was the icing on the cake. Chris Smith will no doubt be the scapegoat and he was culpable in both games, but Dunfermline's issues lie deeper than that and they look like a team destined for the next division down unless they come up with something special in the transfer window.
Motm for me was the half time substitute Andrew Shinnie, who has quite frankly been a revelation since he came here and despite a slow start is now a fans favourite. His goal tonight woud be fit to lift any cup and exudes quality.
Golobart has been a standout recently and it was disappointing to see him stretchered off after making a superb defensive recovery but then taking a whack on the legs which turned his ankle. It looked nasty for him and something that Butcher will not enjoy as we have been thin on the ground for central defenders all season due to injuries, suspensions and departures. On the bright side, Steve Williams will be chomping at the bit to get a start and he is a big lad, so all is not doom and gloom in the back four, but we don't have our troubles to seek.
So as far as the cup is concerned, we now have a home tie against Celtic in February...............sounds good to me. This report comes to you courtesy of online streaming..........
Match report written by tm4tj