The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Ca­ley Jags are spo­ton.

In­ver­ness clin­i­cal from 12 yards to de­feat Clyde IN­VER­NESS 0 CLYDE 0 CALEYTHIST­LEWON 4-2ON PENS

- BY ANDY SKIN­NER AT CALE­DO­NIAN STA­DIUM Sports · League One · Inverness · Championship · John Tait Robertson · Scotland · Cyprus · Arbroath · Lyon · Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. · Aaron Doran · Mike Jones · David Carson

It was any­thing but pretty – but Ca­ley This­tle dug deep to progress to the last four of the Tun­nock’s Caramel Wafer Chal­lenge Cup.

Fol­low­ing a drab 90-min­utes against League 1 out­fit Clyde, sup­port­ers of both sides would have taken great re­lief in the fact the match went straight to penal­ties, by­pass­ing an­other 30 min­utes of ex­tra time on a bit­terly cold High­land af­ter­noon.

In­ver­ness were clin­i­cal in the shootout, with Niko­lay Todorov, Carl Tre­marco, Coll Don­ald­son and James Keat­ings all scor­ing. Goal­keeper Mark Ridgers was the hero, with his saves from the Bully Wee’s Tony Wal­lace and Chris Mc­Stay mak­ing sure of a semi-fi­nal berth.

De­spite In­ver­ness’s pro­gres­sion, it was far from the con­vinc­ing dis­play they were look­ing for to atone for their poor re­cent form which has seen them win just one of their last five Cham­pi­onship matches.

How­ever, they will now be hop­ing to take the winning feel­ing into a cru­cial home match against Dundee on Satur­day.

In­ver­ness’s dugout pres­ence was ham­pered by a sick­ness bug which kept man­ager John Robert­son and assistant Scott Kel­lacher at home, with both fail­ing to re­cover in time for the visit of the Bully Wee.

That meant coaches Barry Wil­son and Ryan Es­son were joined in the tech­ni­cal area by academy di­rec­tor and for­mer Ca­ley Jags boss Char­lie Christie, who went into the game buoyed by news of his son Ryan open­ing his in­ter­na­tional goalscor­ing ac­count for Scot­land against Cyprus.

Wil­son said: “A win is a win.

“We started off on Mon­day look­ing to get into the semi-fi­nal of the Chal­lenge Cup and we have got there.

“It has been a hard week.

“We would have liked to have given the man­ager a com­fier af­ter­noon in his bed.

“We missed our chances in the first half but in the sec­ond half we looked nervy and like a team short in con­fi­dence. It’s frus­trat­ing but it’s a cup com­pe­ti­tion. If you do go on and lift the tro­phy, no­body re­mem­bers that you scraped past Clyde on penal­ties.”

In­ver­ness’s start­ing XI was also much-changed from the side which went down 3-0 against Ar­broath the pre­vi­ous week­end. Aaron Do­ran, James Vin­cent, Mitch Curry and Jor­dan White were drafted in, at the ex­pense of Niko­lay Todorov, Tom Walsh, James Keat­ings and David Car­son.

It was a bright start by the home side, with

for­ward White in the thick of the early ac­tion.

After send­ing a free-kick nar­rowly over, White went even closer on 17 min­utes when his header from a Miles Storey de­liv­ery flashed inches over.

Ca­ley Jags con­tin­ued to look the more threat­en­ing team, with Curry twice fir­ing ef­forts off tar­get after find­ing de­cent shoot­ing po­si­tions in­side the penalty box.

Clyde had of­fered lit­tle dan­ger in the open­ing stages but were pre­sented an open­ing on 34 min­utes when Jamie Mc­Cart’s mis­placed pass was in­ter­cepted by Ross Lyon.

He played a pass through to Darren Smith but Mark Ridgers was equal to his low driven ef­fort.

Do­ran then had two op­por­tu­ni­ties to break the dead­lock before the in­ter­val.

How­ever, the Ir­ish­man saw his first ef­fort on goal par­ried by David Mitchell before float­ing a sec­ond ef­fort over the bar after latch­ing on to a loose header by Scott Rumsby.

That drew an unin­spir­ing first half to a close – and it did not get much bet­ter after the break.

Although Char­lie Traf­ford struck an ef­fort over the cross­bar fol­low­ing a cor­ner shortly after half-time, it was Clyde who be­gan to pose the greater threat as the half wore on, with Tony Wal­lace see­ing an ef­fort held by Ridgers, before send­ing an­other strike marginally wide.

Ridgers was forced to make a telling con­tri­bu­tion even before the shoot-out, when he dived spec­tac­u­larly to tip Mc­Stay’s goal-bound ef­fort from the edge of the box wide.

In­ver­ness could not find a way through in a late rally, with Ridgers tak­ing his mo­men­tum into the shootout to edge Ca­ley This­tle through a tense en­counter.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Top­pled: Char­lie Traf­ford feels the brunt of a chal­lenge by Clyde’s Tony Wal­lace
Top­pled: Char­lie Traf­ford feels the brunt of a chal­lenge by Clyde’s Tony Wal­lace
 ??  ?? Head man: Carl Tre­marco out­jumps Tony Wal­lace
Head man: Carl Tre­marco out­jumps Tony Wal­lace
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 ??  ?? SPOT ON: Ca­ley Jags striker James Keat­ings scores his penalty before, in­set, Clyde’s Chris Mc­Stay misses his own spot kick to hand In­ver­ness the vic­tory
SPOT ON: Ca­ley Jags striker James Keat­ings scores his penalty before, in­set, Clyde’s Chris Mc­Stay misses his own spot kick to hand In­ver­ness the vic­tory

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