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Caley Thistle boss Billy Dodds hails his heroes after nine men win spot-kick semi-final at Arbroath

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.
Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.

Billy Dodds refused to talk about whistler Willie Collum after he dished out two red cards – but Caley Thistle still won their Premiership play-off semi-final on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Arbroath.

His side defied the odds after red cards for Danny Devine and Wallace Duffy left ICT holding on against their fired-up hosts. They then summoned up enough energy to clinch the shoot-out 5-3 to edge through, sparking celebrations in the away end.

The final, which lines up a double-header against St Johnstone from the Premiership on May 20 and 23, also saw Shane Sutherland stretchered off as ICT went down to nine men late within regulation time.

Inverness players celebrate after Kirk Broadfoot scores the winning penalty.

By the end of an incredible night, the Inverness head coach was full of raw emotion.

He said: “We felt hard done by but this isn’t about Willie Collum – it’s about my players.

“They were fired up by it, they felt that way.

“Sometimes you get it wrong on the sidelines, I know I do and when you do you put your hands up.

“Sometimes you’d like to see people do that. But it’s not about that tonight, it’s about my players. Guts and determination – that’s what it was all about.

Inverness manager Billy Dodds celebrates the dramatic penalty shoot-out win, with hero keeper Mark Ridgers.

“Once we had the first man sent off we knew it would be about that and then when the second went I knew we’d have to give everything.

“I knew if we got to the penalties it would be our night and I was so calm because I felt we’d done our job by then.

“We’d done our job by hanging in and getting that far. It was all about the players, to overcome that and get through is incredible.”

With eight wins from their last 12 games, ICT are bang on form before facing Saints.

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