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Caley Thistle women’s promotion push not dented by Dunfermline’s withdrawal, says boss Karen Mason

Caley Jags women's team manager Karen Mason.
Caley Jags women's team manager Karen Mason.

Caley Thistle women team’s boss Karen Mason insists losing Dunfermline Athletic from Championship North won’t hamper their promotion push.

The Fifers have confirmed they will no longer be able to participate in the division, which means all results to date were declared null and void.

At the start of October, ICT posted a 6-0 victory against Dunfermline, so they are now three points poorer, although many other sides have also suffered the same impact.

ICT are fourth in the table, nine points behind leaders Montrose with a game in hand, but within six points of second-placed East Fife, with a one-match advantage over them too. Dryburgh are three points and one place above the Highlanders.

Mason explained the loss of the Fife side has an impact more on the league overall than hitting their top-two target.

She said: “It takes the three points and six goals away from us, but that happens to everyone who has gained points and goals against Dunfermline. It won’t, therefore, hinder us in any way.

“It is a shame to see them go. Dunfermline have been around for a while and it’s a shame for this to happen at this stage of the season as we’ve now only got nine teams and one will be idle every weekend.”

Hope for a Dunfermline revamp

Dunfermline have pledged to continue to develop their youth section and provide a role within the local community.

Mason hopes there might be a way back in the future for the Pars, although they will have to work their way back up the ladder.

She added: “They might well regroup, although they’d have a tougher process to get back to this level.

“You can’t just come straight back into the Championship. They would have to work their way up the leagues with the restructuring next season.

“Hopefully we will see them back in the future.

“Dunfermline are a big name in football and it would be a shame if they didn’t resurrect a team again, but I’m sure with the right people around they will sort it out.”

Caley Jags go seven up in Dundee

Staying focused on the job on the park, Caley Thistle’s women continued to win in style, with a cracking 7-0 rout of hosts Dundee West last Sunday making them the division’s third top scorers.

Leaders Montrose, who have won all seven matches so far, have netted 49 goals, with Dryburgh on 39 goals and ICT on 36, which is three more than East Fife.

Kayleigh Mackenzie helped herself to a hat-trick, Natalie Bodium bagged a brace and Hannah Gordon and Lorna Macrae got one apiece.

Caley Thistle women’s team manager Karen Mason.

Having also scored nine without reply against Stonehaven the week before, Mason was happy with another strong display and insisted the scoreline could have been even more emphatic.

She added: “It was a good result and pretty dominant throughout the 90 minutes. We played some really nice football at times, but were not as clinical as we could have been in front of goal.

“It was a grass pitch, pretty heavy and difficult underfoot, so given these circumstances, to win by seven was really pleasing for us. It was another good performance we can take confidence from.”

Spread of scorers delights Mason

Mason takes satisfaction from the range of scorers hitting the net from the Inverness pool of players.

She said: “When we look at the table right now, it is more about the points than the goals scored, but it is pleasing to be scoring so many.

“It shows we can score when we need to and the goals are not coming from the same players – we’ve got a good spread of scorers.

“It gives us confidence if some people can’t make some games.”

ICT’s focus fully on Westdyke

Inverness, going by form, should make it five wins on the spin on Sunday when they welcome seventh-placed Westdyke to the city’s Royal Academy for a 2.30pm kick-off.

After a break next weekend, ICT return with back-to-back showdowns against East Fife at home and Dryburgh away, so there can be no slip-ups as they seek to stay in the promotion hunt.

Mason stressed the players and coaches are not thinking beyond trying to get another victory on the board.

She added: “Westdyke have had a lot of player changes since we last played them. It will be a bit of an unknown entity for us.

“We just need to again have another professional approach to ensure we build up our performances before we play East Fife on November 14. We need to make sure everything is clicking into gear.

Kirsty Deans is sidelined for Sunday’s game with Westdyke.

“After losing our opening two games, we knew we had to keep winning and looking at the next game only.

“Our full focus this week has been on Westdyke to ensure we get the three points then it will be heads down to prepare for East Fife.

“We can’t take any team lightly and make sure we get the job done on Sunday.”

Kirsty Deans and Jana Brady miss out this weekend through injury, while Lorna Macrae is unavailable.

Scottish Cup ties for north sides

Meanwhile, two Highlands and Islands clubs have learned their fates in the Scottish Cup this week.

Clach Ladies, who defeated Murieston United 4-3 at Grant Street at the weekend, will travel to Raith Rovers in the first-round proper, while Highlands and Islands Cup winners Sutherland, are home to Bishopton. Both ties are down for November 21.

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