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Caley Thistle women target fresh promotion push after 12-goal show at Caledonian Stadium

Charlotte Arrowsmith gets on the scoresheet in ICT's 12-2 rout over Grampian.
Charlotte Arrowsmith gets on the scoresheet in ICT's 12-2 rout over Grampian.

Caley Thistle Women’s team boss Karen Mason hopes their crushing 12-2 Caledonian Stadium rout can lead to a month of victories to crank up the heat on their Championship North promotion rivals.

For the first time in the club’s current form, the Inverness team played at the home of the men’s Scottish Championship team on Sunday and they bagged a dozen dazzling goals against well-beaten Grampian.

Kayleigh Mackenzie’s hat-trick, doubles from Hannah Gordon and Abbey Ross and one each from Julia Scott, Lorna MacRae, Jana Brady, Charlotte Arrowsmith and Kirsty Deans secured a memorable result and was the ideal response after their 4-3 Championship Cup defeat to Falkirk the week before.

This Sunday afternoon, the Caley Jags women face ninth-placed Dunfermline in Rosyth as they seek to make it three wins from five league fixtures. 

Defeats against two of the early pace-setters, Montrose and East Fife, has left ICT playing catch-up, but their 5-0 win over Buchan and then their double-digit display last weekend has put them back on track.

After facing the Fifers, Caley Thistle face Stonehaven on October 17, Dundee West on October 24 before a Halloween home date with Westdyke. All their October opponents are currently below them in the table.

Target is three points in Fife

Mason hopes her confident players will kick on, starting against a team who have regrouped this season.

She said: “We didn’t get to play Dunfermline in the Championship pre-season friendlies as they were not entered into that, so we don’t know too much about them.

“They are quite a new bunch and they lost quite a lot of their original players. They have a new group and new management team this season, so we don’t know what to expect.

“We do know any team can take points off another in this league and we’ll just concentrate on our own performance and hopefully that will be enough for us to take the three points back up the road.

Abbey Ross scored twice against Grampian.

“Sunday’s win takes us up to fourth place behind Montrose, Dryburgh and East Fife, who have gone unbeaten so far. The next set of games are against teams in the bottom half of the league.

“While we will be taking just one game at a time, we’re looking to get more points on the board in October.”

Fitting display for stadium bow

Mason felt the level of performance from the Caley Jags on Sunday matched the historic setting of playing on the bigger stage and she was thrilled the players shone in the spotlight.

She added: “It was a great day for everyone involved in the club, from the players to the coaches and the supporters. The girls put on a performance that was fitting for the occasion.

Caley Thistle Women will play at Caledonian Stadium this Sunday.
Caley Thistle Women turned on the style at the Caledonian Stadium.

“It was great to get three points first and foremost, but the day itself could not have gone any better.

“It was great to have that platform for the team. I’m not saying women’s football can be staged in the stadium every week, but it did give it a more professional feel. It shows you can watch women’s games at these kinds of venues.

“That makes it more attractive for people to come along and see, rather than at a public park. There were also a lot of youngsters from the Thistle Girls, our youth pathway, to watch and that will have given them an inspiration as to what the women’s game can look like.”

Team ‘showcased their talents’

After losing to Montrose then Falkirk, the Inverness players reacted perfectly to kick-start their league season and Mason hopes the team get another chance to play at the Caledonian Stadium soon, following the success of the weekend.

She said: “We had been on a bit of a slump in terms of our performances, so we knew we wanted to put on a good show on Sunday.

“Three points was our main priority, but given the occasion, we wanted to make sure we showcased our talents. It was the best reaction we could have hoped for.

“We have another fixture at the stadium pencilled in for March, which we’re more than delighted about. If there are any more opportunities, I’m sure the club will let us know and we’d bite their hands off to get back on the big stage again.”

Delight as development team win title

Mason, meanwhile, was delighted that the club’s development team secured the Highlands and Islands League title on Sunday, beating last season’s champions Clach 2-0 to secure top spot.

She said: “I am really pleased for them all. The commitment all the girls put in along with (manager) Iain Firth has been fantastic.

“It has been a shortened season for them and to take the trophy away from Clach was all the more pleasing for them, especially on a derby day having lost to them in the Highlands and Islands Cup semi-finals on penalties.

“They were out there to prove a point and they certainly did that. I’m proud of them all and they deserve a great amount of credit for it.”

  • ICT have announced that Kirsty Deans will be stepping up to be the new club captain, with Jana Brady filling the role of vice-skipper.

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