Friday 14th September, 2018 at 10:49am
Scottish First Division
8th December 2001
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 Partick Thistle 2
It was anticipated that this battle of the “Thistles” would be a jaggy affair and so it proved. The hero of the hour would be Martin Hardie, who came up with two late goals at time when we were on the brink of defeat and facing that long journey down the road with a degree of trepidation.
It was a chilly December day with a tricky, swirling wind. The home team won the toss and opted for the wind advantage, so we did pretty well to reach the half-time interval with a blank score-line. The game was turned on its head when Dennis Wyness opened the scoring for the home team after 58 minutes. This was definitely not in the script. However, Thistle rolled their sleeves up and went after an equaliser. It was a long time coming, but well worth the wait. The sight of Martin Hardie running around the back of the goal after equalising in 82 minutes was well worth the long trip north. Better still was to come. He did it again in 89 minutes, leaving Inverness no possible chance of recovery. For those of you who know the Caledonian Stadium, this was down at the bottom end, looking left from the Main Stand(or should I say the only stand at the time)! It was a great victory at a difficult venue, achieved by the following team:- Kenny Arthur, Mark McCulloch(later in the season to score a crucial goal at Love Street), Alan Archibald, Stephen Craigan, Scott Paterson, Paul Deas, Paul Walker, Danny Lennon, Scott McLean, Jamie Dolan, Derek Fleming.
Strange Note:- Martin Hardie was on the bench and only entered the action after 66 minutes. One can only speculate as to how many goals he might have scored had he played the full ninety. I’m only kidding. I know it doesn’t work like that.
As a matter of interest, Thistle played in the 125th anniversary jersey, mainly silver with a navy band and navy shorts:- quite liked it, but not my favourite.
Victory from the jaws of defeat – a lovely feeling as long as it’s in your favour!