Published: 02/09/2017 16:46 - Updated: 03/09/2017 12:46

Caley Thistle see off young Dons in IRN-BRU Cup

Written byPaul Chalk


ICT's Carl Tremarco was back on the field and on the scoresheet against Aberdeen under-20s
ICT's Carl Tremarco was back on the field and on the scoresheet against Aberdeen under-20s
CLINICAL Caley Thistle made it into Tuesday's IRN-BRU Cup third round draw after beating Aberdeen colts 4-2 at Brechin this afternoon.


Goals from Riccardo Calder, Liam Polworth and David Raven had them on easy street by the break.

Seb Ross cashed in on a weak back pass from Coll Donaldson to pull Aberdeen into the tie early in the second half, but, on his return from injury, Carl Tremarco finished the job for ICT.

The Inverness side made two changes to the team which won here 4-0 against Brechin in the Championship seven days ago.

Calder came in for Connor Bell, while Donaldson replaced Matthew Elsdon.

The young Dons, bossed by former ICT star Paul Sheerin, who was a contender for the Highlanders' job in the summer before John Robertson got it, made four changes to the team which drew 0-0 with Motherwell in the SPFL Development League in midweek.

Toby Wells, Dean Campbell, Lewis Hutchison and Harlaine Mbayo were all handed starts.

ICT got off to the perfect start as they took the lead after just four minutes when Brad Mckay clipped the ball into the box and Riccardo Calder nodded over keeper Archie Mair and into the net.

Five minutes later, midfielder Iain Vigurs went for goal from distance, but his effort had too much height to trouble Mair this time.

Aberdeen were not afraid to have a go though and it took a fine diving save from Mark Ridgers to push away a net-bound 20-yarder from Frank Ross.

At the other end, Mair got a hand to an effort from John Baird after the Caley Thistle forward made space for himself to shoot from an angle.

Ridgers came to the Highlanders' rescue twice from the same attack as he blocked Lewis Hutchison then Bruce Anderson on 23 minutes. Then from the follow-up corner, he saved a low drive from Anderson again.

Caley Thistle's Alex Cooper then drew a fine stop from Mair when he pounced to strike from just inside the box.

However, on 25 minutes Polworth tucked the ball home from close range when he met an inviting delivery from Cooper.

A swift counter attack almost led to an Aberdeen goal on 33 minutes, but Hutchison flashed his shot wide from 20 yards to the right of the box.

Baird was then close to adding to the tally but his volley was saved by Mair seconds after Mckay headed off the post.

Five minutes before the break, full-back Raven made it 3-0 when his sweet connection from a Polworth corner gave Mair no chance from 20 yards.

The first opportunity of the second half fell to Seb Ross after a quick Reds attack which had ICT pegged back, but Ridgers got down well to hold it.

Aberdeen were given a lifeline when Donaldson's short back pass to Ridgers left the keeper little time to react and his clearance smashed off Ross and flew into the empty net.

Donaldson and Ridgers pointed the fingers of blame at each other, but it was too late as the damage was done.

Calder was creative throughout the afternoon and he played another telling cross into the box and Baird's effort was saved by Mair on 73 minutes.

Nine minutes later, ICT's Tremarco made his return following his cruciate ligament injury, replacing stand-in skipper Vigurs.

Cooper advanced for the Caley Jags next, but his low drive finished wide of the right post.

Aberdeen sub Antoniazzi had a chance to test Ridgers when he nipped in on a moment of slackness, but the keeper denied him.

The final goal arrived for ICT though with eight minutes to go when Tremarco tapped home an cut-back from sub George Oakley.

Frank Ross and Trafford were given their marching orders with three minutes to go after a heated clash in the midfield. It was a second booking for the Caley Jags man.

Frank Ross's challenge on Joe Chalmers began the melee.

There was still time for another goal as Bruce Anderson buried a low shot past Ridgers.

Aberdeen 20s: Mair, Harrington, Wells, Campbell, Mbayo, Roscoe, Hutchison, Frank Ross, McLennan, Seb Ross (Antoniazzi 79), McLennan. Subs not used: Craddock (GK), Dangana, MacPherson,, MacKenzie, Ethan Ross.

Caley Thistle: Ridgers, Raven (Elsdon 84), Chalmers, Polworth, Baird (Oakley 81), Vigurs (Tremarco 72), Calder, Cooper, Mckay, Donaldson, Trafford. Subs not used: Esson (GK), Foy.

Referee: Alan Newlands.

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