Written by Adam Sturrock
The Caledonian Stadium treated fans to a goal glut in during frigid and icy conditions as ICTFC drew 2-2 against Dunfermline to equal a club record of 22 matches unbeaten.
Two goals dispatched by Keena and one each for Riccardo Calder and Jordan White tied the game ahead of the Caley Jags’ big Highland Derby against Ross County.
It was a first start of the Championship season for 17 year old Dan Mackay as Robbo looked to shuffle his deck. Riccardo Calder filled in for injured captain, Carl Tremarco and Charlie Trafford also started in the middle of the park, for the first time after a short period out. George Oakley made a recovery to make it to the bench of the squad but didn’t make an appearance on his return.
From the beginning of the match, the pitch conditions were playing havok with each side. Its frosty exterior causing boots to lose grip and the ball to skid more than it should. Carl wrote in his matchday notes that the team should do more to breakdown opponents and from the off the Caley Jags were close to fashioning an early effort on goal. Liam Polworth looked to his right to thread through Daniel Mackay on goal for an early attempt, but he slipped just before taking aim. A warning shot for the visitors
Shortly after that the the ball was worked between players and Ricky Calder carried the ball from the middle to have a pop on goal from long range; his effort low but the keeper stooped down to meet it.
On that right hand side, Myles Hippolytte and Calder battled for the ball as they each tried to create chances for their side. After receiving the ball, the former Falkirk man jinked inside and out with a step over just outside the box, causing his marker to lose his footing on the turf. The Englishman then cracked an effort right footed at Ridgers, but he was more than equal to the attempt.
The same winger would create the opening goal a few minutes later.
Shaun Welsh misplaced a pass to Hippolytte inside the ICT half. He drove into space and cut inside past Donaldson to then thread through Aidan Keena in space bounding into the box. After settling into onto his right foot, he hit it across Ridgers and into the right hand corner.
Not to allow the visitors to get a grip on the game, ICT were at the other end with a corner. Jordan White aimed a header on target but it was cleared off the line by a Pars leg.
Soon after the teams were level with a very well worked goal.
Liam Polworth looked up and tried to set up Daniel Mackay with a chance in the middle from the ground. But noticing Calder behind him, a cheeky fake from the Scotland youth international allowed Ricky to gobble up the attempt and equalise for the home team.
The first half was like a ping pong game, with both sides really having a go at trying to break down the other defence.
Keena again received the ball, dovetailing with Hippolytte on the right hand side and he twisted and turned onto his left foot to try to curl across Ridgers. But Mark met the attempt.
A whipped cross from Tom Walsh was half chested down by Daniel Mackay for White to aim an effort on the half volley. But it wasn’t enough to ripple the net.
The next goal didn’t require much build up.
The Northern Ireland player, Aidan Keena was in space in the middle of the park and took aim from an outrageous distance. From 35 yards he smacked a high ball into the top corner and doubled his and The Pars’ goal tally.
Jordan Walsh would make the game level again five minutes later in this entertainkng first half. Shawn Welsh spotted the run of Tom Walsh and teed him up for a cross on the right hand side. The ball was squared across the box and White nipped around the defender to flick the ball into the net.
The second half was a less break-neck affair, with far fewer chances created.
The best chance for either side was from a dead all scenario from 25 yards out. Connolly tool a freekick left footed and it was well struck, only for it to clip the crossbar.
It was a game that offered many chances in favour of each side. But the match ended with the score still 2-2.
ICTFC: Ridgers, Rooney, Mckay, Donaldson, Calder, Trafford (Chalmers 70′), Welsh, Polworth (Doran 75′) , Mackay, Walsh (Austin 70′), White
DAFC: Robinson, Thomson, Devine, Ashcroft, Longridge, Connolly, Martin, Craigen, Hippolyte, Ryan, Keena (Muirhead 81′)
Referee: Barry Cook