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ICTFC Alloa Ath
3PM, August 25th
Ladbrokes Championship
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2. Morton 2 4
3. Ayr United 2 4
4. Inverness CT 2 4
5. Dundee Utd 2 3
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home dutdInverness Caledonian Thistle 1 v 0 Dundee Utd

In eleven minutes of this match, Marley Watkins slid into a Greg Tansey cross and slotted a controlled finish into Rado Cierzniak’s unguarded net.

No surprise really, given that Watkins has listened to his manager and added that finishing threat to an increasingly impressive game. In fact, the only surprise yesterday is that he didn’t get more.

The game started in blustery brightness, and United started likewise, Erskine bothering Brill’s upright before five minutes had elapsed. That was as close as United got before Caley Thistle’s mightily impressive defence decided enough was enough.

Superbly marshalled by Warren and Meekings, the normally lethal Armstrong and Cifcti had to work incredibly hard for any opportunity that they created. Yogi Hughes acknowledged this; “It’s the whole defence that are so good – from Dean Brill forwards. People are watching the strikers when we create chances, but I’m looking backwards to see that the back door is locked and it has been this season.”

Chances were created, including an outrageous lob by Danny Williams but Inverness went in at the interval with that slenderest of leads and a nagging suspicion that they might have had more. Josh Meekings certainly thought so on the half hour as his header clattered off the post with the centre back convinced he had doubled his tally for the season, but 1-0 it stayed.

The second half started in the same vein, Inverness creating all of the openings but without carving out that killer second goal. It wasn’t for the lack of trying, and how Billy Mckay personified that. The lad is going through a spell right now that seems to periodically visit every striker in the league, like some demonic shuffle on an mp3 player. He created some sublime space and chances yesterday with lightning turns and acrobatic overheads but until he was replaced by nick Ross on 75 minutes it just wouldn’t fall for him.

It’s our good fortune right now that he has some awesomely capable compadres willing to carry his torch – Watkins can, Christie can and there’s evidence that Ibra Sekajja (although he didn’t feature yesterday) can keep the supply of goals coming. When the shuffle moves on, his manager knows he will profit; “Billy Mckay is quality. Even when it’s not working for him, his work rate and movement are making it easier for the boys around him. He’ll score double figures this year, he just needs that first one to go in” It’s hard to disagree.

As referee Clancy signalled the end of proceedings, the significance of the three points wasn’t lost on the crowd, who roared mightily. A trip to Celtic Park is next, with a defence warming to the task and a lightning quick attack keen to make the hoops suffer a bit longer. A result there then sets up the next home game – a massive affair against the League leaders, Hamilton. I could be wrong, but four points from these games might see Caley Thistle top, and with a wee bit of clear blue water around them.

Fanciful? Possibly. Asking for trouble? Probably, but the only way you will find out is to join us for the next couple of games. Push this team on and goodness only knows how good they can be.

You heard it here first…………

Find all our latest videos at Photos by Report by Davie Balfour

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