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Inverness CT Crusaders
Sun 18th February 2018 : 5.15PM
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  • Crusaders Preview (Home) : IRN-BRU CUP : 18/02/18 +

    ICTFC face Crusaders on Sunday evening, with a place in the Irn-Bru Cup final on the line. It’s the first time the Caley Jags have Read More
  • Message for Supporters – 14 February 2018 +

    Dear Supporters With an IRN BRU Cup semi-final to look forward to on Sunday I thought it was a good time to give you an update of Read More
  • Centenary Winners 29 Jan - 09 Feb 2018 +

    Centenary Club winners for 29 Jan - 09 Feb 2018 Read More
  • IRN-BRU CUP : v CRUSADERS : Ticket Info +

    Please find below Ticket Information for our Irn-Bru Cup Semi Final match versus Crusaders FC on Sunday 18th February.  Advance ticket prices are available until Read More
  • Dunfermline Match Rescheduled +

    Our Ladbrokes Championship match versus Dunfermline Athletic which was due to take place at East End Park on Saturday 17th February has been rescheduled due Read More
  • Free Match Tickets for Kids Who Read +

    ICTFC, the SPFL Trust and Scottish Book Trust have teamed up to launch a pioneering pilot project, which aims to encourage kids to read.  The Read More
  • Open Letter to SPFL : Irn-Bru Cup +

    Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC have written to Iain Blair of the SPFL to express their disappointment in regards to the scheduling of our Irn-Bru Cup Read More
  • ICTFC Golf Day : 3rd April 2018 +

    Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC's, Castle Stuart Golf Day, will take place on Tuesday 3rd April 2018. Teams of 4 will cost £500+vat, with the option to Read More
  • GAME OFF : Dundee Utd Preview (Home) : 03/02/18 +

    Following the 8am Pitch Inspection, this match has been postponed.  Those requiring ticket refunds should contact the ticket office from Monday onwards. ICTFC host Dundee Read More
  • Dundee : Robbo's Reaction & Highlights : 30/02/18 +

    Caley Thistle exited the William Hill Scottish Cup to a narrow 0-1 loss at the hands of Dundee FC on Tuesday 30th January. Read More
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150214 stmirren crowd 001St Mirren 1 v 2 Inverness CT

It’s one of the great privileges of writing this column that it doesn’t have to be churned out straight after the game [That's changing soon - Ed], when perceptions can be clouded by what has only just happened and what you write is in isolation. I’m lucky. I can read what others have written, digest that and then formulate a view that takes it all into consideration. This week, we have considered that a Scottish media love fest for Caley Thistle finally started...and on Valentine’s Day of all days..!

150214 stmirren tansey 001New St. Mirren Park is a happy place for Inverness, and one that the players genuinely seem to like playing at. The facilities, pitch and infrastructure like the indoor football dome outside are aspirational and the place welcoming. So it proved on Saturday as what the BBC’s Jonathan Sutherland refered to as the Caley Thistle “juggernaut” rolled into town.

If it is a juggernaut, it started with the speed and finesse of a finely tuned Ferrari as the side, with Ryan Christie starting in place of James Vincent, simply blew St. Mirren away. Greg Tansey dispatched an acute Graeme Shinnie cutback with an arrow finish past Ridgers before four minutes had elapsed and the Ferrari roared into top gear.

John Hughes, happy to see his team draw level with Aberdeen, rued his team’s lack of a ruthless cutting edge though. He said: “Our first-half performance was exquisite, but the game should have been over at half-time had we taken our chances.” He wasn’t wrong, and even the normally lugubrious Gary Warren was quoted as saying that Inverness “should have been four or five up” by half time. Such was the ferocity of the Inverness attack that St. Mirren’s defence looked powerless to react, never mind counter it as Inverness created chance after chance.

150214 stmirren shinnie 001Therein lies the rub. Caley Thistle tend (especially away from Home) to tear into oppositions with such intensity and tempo that maintaining it for ninety minutes is nigh on impossible. Add that to the fact that especially away from home, those oppositions feel obliged to attack at the outset and there is a recipe for getting in behind them. It’s happening again and again and it’s almost impossible to play against.

Invariably, those sides stiffen the midfield after half time inquests that can only be imagined and things become tougher for Caley Thistle. To be fair that only happened at St. Mirren after a sublime second for the Caley Jags that was a joy to watch.

150214 stmirren christie 003The resurgent Nick Ross, after sitting out a fair portion of the season thus far on the bench is showing the midfield mastery he is capable of. His close control is a joy, and is being used to the full in those tight triangles that Inverness use with devastating effect to play through the opposition. His sublime flick in front of David Raven was judged to perfection, and the full back ran on to it as Naismith failed to get there on time. He had left a gaping hole in the St. Mirren rearguard that was rapidly filled by Ryan Christie, the pass was made and a sweeping finish dispatched beyond Ridgers. That a crestfallen Saints scored through Jim Goodwin’s crashing header was a sideshow in reality as Inverness finished the game with the majority of the possession, the better chances and all of the points.

It was, if you are of a blue and red persuasion, wonderful to watch and the reviews reflected that:

“Caley continued to look like they could have played with a cigar in one hand and a malt in the other such was the consummate ease they bossed every area against a dismal Paisley outfit” (Scotsman),

“Confidence is brimming throughout Caley Thistle, easily one of the most entertaining teams in the top flight and unbeaten in eight games so far in 2015 – seven of them victories” (Daily Record)

“The race is well and truly on second place in the Premiership as Inverness stretched their unbeaten run to eight matches and drew level on points with second top Aberdeen” (Herald)

Indeed that race is developing into a fascinating three way slugging match that will see Celtic, Aberdeen and Caley Thistle battle out the top places in the Premiership. There are, however, crucial battles to come and the home and away matches with Dundee United (starting next Tuesday) and away to Aberdeen (early April) could prove pivotal. Let’s not look too far ahead though and just enjoy, for the moment, being the best team in the land.

All our latest videos at Photos by Report by Davie Balfour

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