Karen Mason hopes fan power can help blow Championship Cup winners Dryburgh Athletic away as Caley Thistle Women press for a top-two Championship North push.
The Inverness team responded from their 14-0 Scottish Cup defeat at top-flight Hamilton Accies a fortnight ago by sweeping to an 8-0 win away to Grampian last Sunday.
Hannah Gordon and Rhea Hossack bagged trebles, with Kayleigh Mackenzie and Tina Kelly also chipping in with the goals.
The ideal reaction to the cup rout means ICT sit in third place in the league, three points behind Montrose, who have played two games fewer.
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle WFC (@ICTWFC) January 18, 2022
The Highlanders are six points behind leaders East Fife, who have played one match more than the Caley Jags.
On Sunday, they face a Dryburgh side who stunned Montrose in November by beating them in the Championship Cup final.
The Dundonians are three points behind their hosts and have a match in hand, so a home win would be a massive result for Mason’s squad.
Players missing, but crowd can help
With her player options limited for this crunch clash, the manager hopes supporters will turn out in force to roar the players on at Millburn Academy in the 12.30pm showdown.
She said: “The aim for us is to try and beat Dryburgh to then turn our attention to hunting down East Fife and Montrose. They are sitting in strong positions at the moment, so if we can win this weekend, our next target is to close the gap on the top two.
“It’s a big game on Sunday and if we’re still to have aspirations of being promoted we need the three points. As our positions in the table show, this is a big game for both sides as we aim for second place.
“Playing at home should always give us that advantage. Getting people along to watch games again will be a real bonus.
“Hopefully we can get as many bodies down to cheer us on. We’ll have seven players unavailable for this one unfortunately, so we’ll need that extra backing from the crowd.
“We were meant to play Dryburgh at the Caledonian Stadium in the original fixture, so this is the rearranged game.
“We beat them 3-1 away from home, albeit with a weakened team. It was a really close game and we got our third goal late on. It was a toughly contested match and I’d expect the same on Sunday.”
Eight goals and clean sheet lifts ICT
Mason was delighted her players, with improved numbers last week, got the club back to winning ways after the Hamilton nightmare.
She added: “Grampian were a much-changed side from when we last played them. They made improvements in terms of their performance, but it was good for us to get the squad back and firing as well as keeping a clean sheet.
“That was the main aim for us and it was pleasing to see, albeit it could have been 18 plus, but we can’t be too picky on the back of that result.”