Match Report: ICTFC 2-2 Alloa (25/08/18)
ICTFC kept their unbeaten domestic record going with a game that stuffed in penalties galore, a rapid-fire red card and many chances at both ends, but a few missed chances meant neither side could leave with all of the points as it ended 2-2.
In Carl Tremarco’s match programme notes, he expressed the team’s willingness to score an early goal to settle the game and from the start, the players were aggressive in pushing forward. It didn’t take long to see the ball nestling in the net for the Caley Jags; a good cross from Liam Polworth was bundled in by George Oakley, but any celebrations were premature as it was ruled off for offside. Not to be outdone, Alloa’s Dario Zanatta seemed to eat up the pitch at the other end as he broke into the box, forcing Ridgers into a smart save with a low shot at the near post.
But finally, the game was blown open at the 10th minute. A corner was won on the left-hand side and it was whipped in by Polworth. Brad McKay arrived late at the back post and stretched his neck to direct a hard header on target to make the tie 1-0 to the home team. With that goal notched up, it only gave confidence to ICTFC as they probed further to extend the lead. Returning the favour from his offside goal, Oakley played a neat through ball to Liam Polworth. But the angle was too tight, and he smashed it wide. George Oakley then latched on to a great chipped ball from Walsh, and his header forced Alloa’s goalkeeper, Neil Parry, into a stretched save to tip it over the bar.
But Alloa showed they had their own threat from set-pieces. On the 34th minute, Sean Walsh was booked for a late tackle and the ensuing free-kick was floated in by Iain Flannigan. The delivery caused some confusion as it bounced off some heads, before being directed in by Andy Graham via a George Oakley touch.Two set-pieces, two goals and it finished 1-1 at the break; with the home team feeling they could get more out of the game. The second half was opened with some early drama.
Alloa’s Zdravko Karadachki found it difficult to manage Oakley on the right hand side, fouling him in the process and receiving a yellow card. The freekick was swung in and in the stramash, Karadachki experienced deja-vu with another foul and a second booking to match, but this time the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Sean Welsh set the ball up and slotted it coolly into the right-hand corner, giving the Caley Jags the lead again. Alloa now had a small mountain to climb with a one-man deficit compounding the second goal.
About hallway into the second half and the second scorer, Welsh, was replaced by Ricky Calder. Within five minutes, the winger gave the side another penalty. After a left hand cross bounced back to him, Calder cut inside and was tripped by Brown inside the box. The referee pointed to the spot and it seemed like every opportunity was going in favour to the home team.
Without the last penalty taker on the pitch, Defender Coll Donaldson stood over the ball. While he hit it hard, it wasn’t low enough to extend the margin – the ball ricocheted off the crossbar and a freekick was given after Coll tried to connect with the rebound. In the last ten minutes, ICTFC forced some great saves from Neil Parry, Doran connecting with a pass by White and then a finer save by Parry, who had to make a stop to a smart shot from White.
But three points wasn’t to be after a foul was made by Caley Jags’ Shaun Rooney, chasing after Jack Hastie. In a last ditch counterattack, the winger threatened to cut onto his shooting foot in the box, and the right-back gave the referee a late choice to point to the spot for the third time in the game. Iain Flannigan yet again was involved with the equaliser and fired a ball low into the bottom left corner.
ICTFC sit 5th in the Championship, but only 2 points behind early league leaders Ayr Utd. ICTFC now travel to Dunfermline Saturday.
ICTFC: Ridgers, Rooney, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Welsh (Calder 64′), Chalmers, Polworth, Walsh, Austin (White 55′), Oakley (Doran 72′)
Unused Subs: Hoban (GK), McCart, Mackay, Trafford
Alloa: Parry, Taggart, Graham, Karadachki, Dick, Hastie, Flannigan, Hetherington (Burt 78′), Cawley (Brown 65′), Zanatta, Spence (Peggie 49′)
Unused Subs: Henry (GK), Trouten, Goodwin
Referee: Barry Cook
Listen to John Robertson’s Post-Match Press Conference HERE