Tonight’s Highland derby will decide whether Caley Thistle or Ross County will make it to the last eight of the Scottish Cup tonight but it won’t settle everything between the two.
The Staggies have unquestionably had the better season, they sit atop the Scottish Championship while Caley Thistle are 12 points behind them in fourth place.
But which side has the better goalkeeper? Is it County’s Scott Fox or Caley Thistle’s Mark Ridgers?
Back in September after a 0-0 stalemate in the first Highland derby of the season, Staggies co-manager Steven Ferguson heaped praise on Fox, calling him the best goalkeeper in the division.
Ridgers meanwhile has developed into one of Inverness’s most important players and made a stunning save to earn his team a point in a 2-2 derby draw in Inverness in November.
Let’s take a look at each of them in turn.
Having come through the ranks at Celtic, Fox was tipped for big things and was part of the Scotland squad that famously reached the final of the U19 European Championship in 2006.
He never made the breakthrough at the Bhoys however, going out on loan to East Fife before signing with Queen of the South in 2010.
His six-month stay there ended in the summer and he had a short-lived spell with Dundee which ended when the club plunged into administration in October 2010.
Fox was picked up by Partick Thistle next and was finally able to put down some roots, staying for five years and picking up a First Division championship medal in 2012-13.
His form in the following season in the Scottish Premiership earned him a Scotland call-up in November 2013 although he was never called into action.
A desire to return to the Scotland fold was the reason he left the Jags behind to sign for County in 2015 – and he did win a recall in 2016 but again without making his international debut.
Last season was a difficult one for Fox, County were relegated, he lost his place to Aaron McCarey and he made a couple of high-profile blunders, most notably when he was dispossessed by Alfredo Morelos during a defeat to Rangers in Dingwall.
But this season has been altogether more positive. Fox has earned plenty of plaudits from colleagues and fans alike, starting all 23 of the Staggies’ matches, keeping nine clean sheets and conceded only 21 goals.
The 27-year-old started his career with Ross County and much was expected of the Inverness-born youngster, partly because he made his first team debut at the tender age of just 15 in 2006.
Hearts paid the Staggies £40,000 for his services in 2007 but despite impressing in Edinburgh, opportunities were extremely limited and Ridgers made only four appearances during seven years with the Jambos.
Loan spells at East Fife and Airdrie along the way gave him a taste of first team football but even after he signed permanently for St Mirren, he still only managed 25 league outings in two-and-a-half years with the Buddies.
A six-month spell with Partick Thistle yielded only two appearances before Ridgers set off on an American adventure, spending 2016 with Orlando City B.
When he arrived back in Inverness, he came with a reputation of being somewhat of a perennial backup. It wasn’t initially clear whether that would change either as newly-relegated ICT still had Welsh international Owain Fon Williams on their books too.
— Official ICTFC (@ICTFC) November 4, 2018
As it happened, Fon Williams was benched before eventually being shipped out to Indy Eleven in the US and Ridgers made the spot his own.
A golden spell of five consecutive clean sheets during a club record-breaking run helped endear himself to the Inverness fans and this season, most are in agreement he has taken his game to another level and developed into one of the club’s most important players.
In 22 league matches this season, he’s kept eight clean sheets and conceded 25 goals.
There’s no doubt both have been in great form this year, but who would you rather have in your team?