Sunday, 19 May 2013
Scottish Premier League
Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall
Sunday 19th May 2013
Ross County ended what has been a fantastic season on a high with a well deserved win over our neighbours Inverness CT.
Andre Hainault was the person to seal the win with a great strike just before half time, and to deny Inverness that European slot they were chasing.
Derek Adams made four changes to the team that that was beat by Motherwell last week. Michael Fraser was replaced in goal by Paul Gallagher after Fraser tore his calf muscle in training on Thursday.
There was a surprise change in defence too with Scott Boyd being picked ahead of Grant Munro, but with Munro only one booking away from a suspension at the start of next season, maybe Adams was playing safe.
Midfield saw two changes with Captain Richard Brittain missing out due to injury, Stuart Kettlewell making a first team start in his place. Mark Fotheringham - who impressed after coming on as a sub last week - was picked ahead of Martin Scott who got a place on the bench.
County started well, and quickly took control of the midfield areas of the park, but the first chance of the match fell to Caley, but Danny Devine sliding in at the back post could only put his shot wide of the back post.
At the other end Ivan Sproule came close when he got onto the end of a cross by Evangelous Oikonomou, but Sproule side footed the ball over the bar from close range.
Mihael Kovacevic made a bursting run from deep in his own half towards the Caley penalty area, but his shot towards the near post was scooped up by the Caley Keeper.
Chances were few and far between for both sides in the opening half, but the game sparked into life on the 36th minute when the Caley fans went wild with celebrations in the away stand on hearing a goal had been scored at McDiarmaid Park - They forgot to listen to who scored it, as it was actually St. Johnstone and not Motherwell!
There joy turned to worry six minute later though and it was the County fans turn to cheer, as County took a deserved lead.
A corner from the right side was played in towards the middle of the goal, it was knocked back out to Lawson who sent the ball in again, Andre Hainault peeled off at the back post, and left totally unmarked he volleyed the ball through a ruck of players sending the ball smashing into the net giving County the lead.
County could have doubled their lead seconds later, this time Stefen Wohlfarth's shot skidded just past the left hand post with the Caley keeper scrambling across his line.
At the start of the second half, Aaron Doran had a long range effort for Caley, but Paul Gallagher easily smothered the shot, but County got back in control quickly, and a dangerous cross by Ivan Sproule was almost turned in at the near post, but somehow the Caley defence just managed to get it clear.
Paul Lawson tried his luck from distance, but Reguerro got down to smother his shot after it came through a forest of legs.
Caley thistle seems to lack any urgency, and ideas, but they almsot grabbed an equaliser in bizarre fashion when Raven's long range shot bounced off the heal of Billy MacKay, and with Gallagher already diving to his left, the deflection sent the ball spinning towards the opposite side of the goal, but luckily it spun over the cross bar.
Paul Lawson, Iain Vigurs and Stuart Kettlewell all had chances late in the game, but they were all saved by Reguerro.
Into injury time, and Oikonomou won County a free kick on the edge of the box. Iain Vigurs - who became a dad for the first time during the week - curled the ball towards the top left corner, the ball bounced back off the post with the keeper stranded. There was a sense of puzzlement as Vigurs picked up the rebound and the keeper gave a free kick - the infringement being the same player touched the ball twice without another player touching it!
There was one final chance for County though as a corner was swung in from the left, it fell to Vigurs again - who seemed desperate to score - but his volley from 15 yards was tipped over the bar.
There wasn't enough time for County to take the corner as the referee blew for full time, giving County a well deserved win over Caley.
The team made a lap of honour around the pitch, to richly deserved standing ovation from the County fans - who I think will all agree - really appreciated the efforts of the team not only in this game but throughout the entire season!
Full Time : Ross County 1-0 Inverness CT
County Team : Gallagher, Kovacevic, Oikonomou, Boyd, Hainault, Kettlewell, Lawson, Vigurs, Fotheringham (Scott), Sproule (Cooper), Wohlfarth (Glenn)
Friday, 17 May 2013
Scottish Premier League
Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall
Sunday 19th May - 12.45pm
The 2012/13 season draws to a close this weekend, but not before the small matter of a Highland Derby at the Global Energy Stadium.
The season has been competitive from start to finish, and while last weekends result means County's challenge for Europe is over, this will be by no means a typical end of season game, not only do Inverness CT need to win to ensure European qualification, County will be looking to finally get a win over Caley, and give the fans the bragging rights over the summer break, but more importantly the win could, depending on results elsewhere, see County climb to a fourth place finish - an increase of £80,000 in prize money from their current position in fifth!
Of Course County will be without Captain Richard Brittain who was stretchered off injured in last weekends defeat t Motherwell, however the good news in that the injury is not as bad as first feared, and with only medial ligaments strain it is thought he will be back ready for pre-season training (wherever that may be!)
Fellow midfielder Rocco Quinn is also out of the game due to him requiring an operation on the broken nose he suffered in the recent win over Dundee Utd. Derek Adams will also be without long term injuries Mark Brown and Branislav Micic.
Other than those mentioned above, Derek Adams has a full squad to chose from due to having no suspensions this week, and the starting eleven is likely to remain largely unchanged from the team that took to the field last weekend.
Inverness CT's manager Terry Butcher also has some selection problems for this game with defender Gary Warren injured and Ross Draper and Richie Foran both suspended after picking up bookings recently.
This game will also give the fans a chance to salute the team for their efforts over the course of the season, as they will do a lap of honour at the end of the game (regardless of result).
And with the uncertainty over a lot of the players futures it could be the last chance to see the the core of the team that has been hugely successful over the past five seasons.
Fans should note that this game has a 12.45pm kick off due to being screened live on Sky Sports.
With this being a league match, season tickets are valid (Voucher 18).
Ticket sales have also been going very well, and there are very few tickets remaining for all sections of the stadium.
Tickets will continue to be sold up until kick-off, and as an extra measure to ensure fans can pick up tickets, they will also be on sale from the main reception at Victoria Park on Saturday from 9am to 5pm, where fans will also be able to purchase the newly released 2013/14 strips.
Any unsold tickets will go on sale from the ticket off on Sunday from 11.30am until kick-off (or until sold out)
Tickets can also be reserved at the clubs On Line Shop - and collected on Match Day
Tickets are priced at
£26 - Adults
£16 - Concessions
£12 - Under 16's
Jailend (restricted View seats only remain)
£22 - Adult
£14 - Concessions
£12 - Under 16's
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
With understandably huge demand for the final Highland Derby of the season, Ross County can confirm that it is not too late for Staggies fans to join the celebrations at the final home game of an unbelievable debut season in the SPL.
The game against Inverness Caledonian Thistle kicks off at 12:45 this Sunday (the 19th of May), and as if any extra spice was needed both Clubs are still fighting for league positions despite both having already secured the best finishes in their history.
Tickets are becoming extremely limited in certain areas of the ground, with the Jailend in particular proving very popular meaning only the restricted view seats are left available, however the East and West Stands still have good availability.
With the match not until Sunday, the Club have confirmed that the office will be open from 09:00 until 17:00 on Saturday, with the Club shop open having taken delivery of the 2013/14 replica home and away kits and match tickets also on sale (provided they do not sell out before then).
In addition to purchasing in person at the stadium, both tickets and replica strips can be purchased by telephoning 01349 860860 or visiting the online shop facility at www.rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk
Please note: Ticket sales for Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans are being handled by the Inverness side and with high demand for both ends of the ground fans are strongly advised to purchase their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
He posted a quick comment on his account (@RBrittain83)
'Injury is not as bad as I initially thought thank god. I'll be fit and ready to go for pre season. #Staggies'After suffering the injury during the second half of the game against Motherwell on Sunday, initial worries were that it could be a long term injury, one that could keep him out for six months or so, but this recent news must be a releif to him and his familiy.
Of Course there is the ongoing issue of where his pre-season will be after it recently became public that he was looking to cancel his pre-contract agreement with St. Johnstone in favour of staying at Ross County.
Where ever his future is, I am sure you'll agree that it is good news that that he will be fit again for next season.