The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Shootout hero Ridgers saves superlatives
Caley Thistle goalkeeper Mark Ridgers was happy to take the penalty shootout plaudits against Clyde, but he would rather have seen a safer passage to the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Ridgers was the key figure in the shoot-out after a dire 0-0 draw against the League 1 outfit at Caledonian Stadium, with his saves from Tony Wallace and Chris McStay ensuring Inverness ran out 4-2 spot-kick winners.
Although Ridgers was happy to play his part, he insists the scrappy nature of the victory will quickly be forgotten if Caley Jags go on to lift the trophy for the second time in three years.
Ridgers said: “I enjoy it, it’s one of those moments where you can make yourself a hero. It’s not the way we wanted to do it, but we are through to the next round.
“In any cup competition it’s not really about how you win, getting through is the most important thing. We have done that, and got ourselves into another semi-final of this competition.”
Ridgers was disappointed by his side’s inability to break down the Bully Wee during the 90 minutes, with the Inverness-born goalkeeper adding: “It was a really frustrating game for us. These games are always difficult, when we’re expected to come out and score four or five.
“If we had scored early doors it might have been the case. In the first half I thought we dominated, we kept the ball and moved it around well.
“That final third is just lacking just now – that’s three games we haven’t scored in. It’s something we know we need to sharpen up on.
“I don’t think you can fault the boys’ effort, it was a lot better than last week in terms of how we played and what we looked to do.
“That final third is just letting us down, and we need to try to get that right on the training ground to take into Saturday against Dundee.”
Ridgers took positives from his side’s defensive resistance following successive 3-0 losses to Dundee United and Arbroath, and the 29-year-old added: “The big thing is the clean sheet. When we have lost goals this year we have ended up losing two or three, which is not like us since I have been here. It has only really been one or two.
“The objective was to keep a clean sheet, which we did, but we are disappointed we didn’t manage to score.”