Highland derby

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Highland derby
City or region Scottish Highlands
Teams involved Inverness CT and Ross County
First contested 1994
Most wins Inverness CT (23)
Stadiums Caledonian Stadium, Inverness and Victoria Park, Dingwall

The Highland derby[1] is a football rivalry that is based in the Scottish Highlands. It is contested between the only two senior league clubs in the Highland council area, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County. The city of Inverness and town of Dingwall are only 14 miles apart, whereas the nearest professional clubs (Aberdeen, Dundee United and St. Johnstone) are over 100 miles away from either club. The fixture is the most northerly professional football derby in the UK.

History[edit]

The rivalry first arose in 1994, when Inverness CT were formed out of the merger between Inverness Caley and Inverness Thistle.[2] Both the new Inverness club and County had been accepted as new teams into the Scottish Football League, starting a trend of Highland League clubs entering the SFL.[2] The first match between the sides was a Third Division contest, played on 27 August 1994 at Victoria Park, won 3–1 by Inverness.

Since that historic first match, the encounter has grown from strength to strength to the extent that both teams are now competing near the top of the Scottish football league system. Both teams have significant fanbases that have grown from both clubs successes since their inclusion in 1994. Often, attendances at the derby matches surpass the 5,000 mark, making the match itself a popular attraction. The clubs met in the top flight of Scottish football for the first time during the 2012–13 Scottish Premier League season.[3]

The increased level of media interest in the fixture led some outlets to humorously tag the derby as "El Kessocko" (a pun on Spanish El Clásico)[4] or "The Cold Firm."[5]

The relationship between the clubs is unusual in that there is "a level of goodwill" between them.[6] For example, both clubs closely co-operate in the Highland Football Academy.[7][8]

Head-to-head[edit]

In head-to-head matches, the teams have played each other in 47 games, with Inverness Caledonian Thistle winning 23 times, compared to Ross County's 11. A total of 13 matches have ended in a draw.[9] Inverness have won more league, Scottish Cup, League Cup and Challenge Cup matches.

As of 31 January 2015
Team League Scottish Cup League Cup Challenge Cup Total
Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. 19 1 1 2 23
Ross County F.C. 11 0 0 0 11
Draw 12 1 0 0 13

Matches played[edit]

League

Inverness CT v. Ross County Ross County v. Inverness CT
Season
Division
Date
Venue
Score
Attendance
Date
Venue
Score
Attendance
1994–95 Third Division 29.10.1994 Telford Street Park
0 – 0
2,440 27.08.1994 Victoria Park
1 – 3
3,157
06.05.1995 Telford Street Park
3 – 0
3,562 02.01.1995 Victoria Park
3 – 1
2,749
1995–96 Third Division 30.09.1995 Telford Street Park
1 – 1
3,625 18.11.1995 Victoria Park
2 – 0
4,288
23.01.1996 Telford Street Park
1 – 1
4,931 16.03.1996 Victoria Park
2 – 1
3,670
1996–97 Third Division 16.11.1996 Caledonian Stadium
2 – 0
4,562 28.09.1996 Victoria Park
1 – 3
3,598
15.03.1997 Caledonian Stadium
3 – 0
5,525 12.02.1997 Victoria Park
0 – 3
5,017
2000–01 First Division 16.09.2000 Caledonian Stadium
0 – 1
4,823 18.11.2000 Victoria Park
0 – 3
5,721
02.01.2001 Caledonian Stadium
3 – 3
5,291 31.03.2001 Victoria Park
0 – 1
5,876
2001–02 First Division 17.11.2001 Caledonian Stadium
3 – 0
4,513 15.09.2001 Victoria Park
2 – 1
4,679
23.03.2002 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 1
4,685 19.03.2002 Victoria Park
0 – 0
4,414
2002–03 First Division 24.08.2002 Caledonian Stadium
2 – 0
3,669 09.11.2002 Victoria Park
0 – 2
5,449
25.02.2003 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 5
3,443 08.03.2003 Victoria Park
0 – 2
4,621
2003–04 First Division 14.11.2003 Caledonian Stadium
3 – 3
3,523 30.08.2003 Victoria Park
1 – 1
5,020
27.03.2004 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 0
4,019 03.01.2004 Victoria Park
1 – 0
6,120
2009–10 First Division 29.08.2009 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 3
5,846 07.11.2009 Victoria Park
2 – 1
5,506
30.03.2010 Caledonian Stadium
3 – 0
5,411 20.03.2010 Victoria Park
0 – 0
5,928
2012–13 SPL 05.10.2012 Caledonian Stadium
3 – 1
6,766 02.03.2013 Victoria Park
0 – 0
5,959
16.03.2013 Caledonian Stadium
2 – 1
5,750 19.05.2013 Victoria Park
1 – 0
6,002
2013–14 Premiership 01.01.2014 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 2
4,332 25.02.2014 Victoria Park
0 – 3
4,805
04.04.2014 Victoria Park
1 – 2
4,433
2014–15 Premiership 05.10.2014 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 1
3,741 01.01.2015 Victoria Park
1 – 3
4,887
31.01.2015 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 1
4,021

Cups

Season
Division
Round
Date
Venue
Score
Attendance
2003–04 Challenge Cup Quarter-final 26.08.2003 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 0
2,631
2004–05 League Cup 2nd Round 24.08.2004 Victoria Park
0 – 1
3,315
2009–10 Challenge Cup Semi-final 04.10.2009 Caledonian Stadium
1 – 0
2,755
2012–13 Scottish Cup 4th Round 01.12.2012 Victoria Park
3 – 3
5,077
4th Round Replay 11.12.2012 Caledonian Stadium
2 – 1
4,135

Goalscorer records[edit]

Players with 3 or more goals in the Highland derby.

As of 31 January 2015
Scorer Team(s) League Scottish Cup League Cup Challenge Cup Total
Scotland Dennis Wyness Inverness Caledonian Thistle 9 - - - 9
Scotland Iain Stewart Inverness Caledonian Thistle 7 - - - 7
Northern Ireland Billy McKay Inverness Caledonian Thistle 4 3 - - 7
Republic of Ireland Aaron Doran Inverness Caledonian Thistle 5 - - - 5
Scotland Jamie McPherson Ross County 4 - - - 4
Scotland Iain Vigurs Ross County 2 2 - - 4
Scotland Steven Ferguson Ross County 3 - - - 3
Scotland Brian Grant Ross County 3 - - - 3
Scotland Barry Robson Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 - - - 3
England Marley Watkins Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 - - - 3
Scotland Barry Wilson Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3 - - - 3
Scotland Steve Hislop Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Ross County
1
1
-
-
-
-
1
-
3
Republic of Ireland Richie Foran Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 2 - - 3

Notable players and managers of both clubs[edit]

A surprising number of players have played for both clubs. Craig Brewster is a former player and manager of Inverness, who then played for and coached Ross County.[10] John Robertson has had spells as manager at both clubs.

Among the players who have featured for both sides are:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bannerman, Charles (30 March 2010). "Inverness CT 3–0 Ross County". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b McLeod, Graeme (12 April 2008). "Highland clubs reluctant to join SFL ranks". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Highlands 'buzzing' ahead of first SPL derby of the season". BBC Sport (BBC). 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Inverness C T 3 Ross County 1: Clubs' first competitive meeting in the top flight proves worth the wait". heraldscotland (Herald & Times Group). 6 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "McKay settles Cold Firm clash". PA Sport. Yahoo! and Eurosport. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Fraser, Alasdair (5 May 2010). "Highland football has never had it so good after County's Cup run and Caley promotion, say Wilsons". Daily Record. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Highland Football Academy launched". Scottish Government. 10 April 2002. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "About Us". Highland Football Academy. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "All time results between Inverness CT and Ross County". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  10. ^ "Ross County sign Brewster at 42". BBC Sport. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "Hislop in Highland switch". BBC Sport. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Reguero Joins". Ross County website. 16 June 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Inverness pair join Ross County". BBC Sport. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 

External links[edit]