Highland derby

The Highland derby[2] is a football rivalry that is based in the Scottish Highlands. It is contested between the only two full-time SPFL clubs in the Highland council area, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County. The city of Inverness and town of Dingwall are only 14 miles (23 km) apart, whereas the nearest other professional clubs (Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United and St Johnstone) are over 100 miles (160 km) away from either club. The fixture is the most northerly professional football derby in the UK.

Highland Derby
Other namesEl Kessocko, The Cold Firm[1]
LocaleScottish Highlands
TeamsInverness CT and Ross County
First meeting27 August 1994, (Ross County 1–3 Inverness CT)
Latest meeting2 April 2021 (Ross County 1–3 Inverness CT)
StadiumsCaledonian Stadium, Inverness and Victoria Park, Dingwall
Statistics
Most winsInverness CT (27)
Top scorerNorthern Ireland Liam Boyce, Ross County, 10 goals
Largest victoryInverness CT 1–5 Ross County, 25 February 2003
Smallest victory1–0, (7 times).
Inverness CT x5
Ross County x2
Largest goal scoring6 goals, (4 times).
3–3 draw x3
Inverness CT 1–5 Ross County
Longest win streakInverness CT, 4 games. (16 November 1996 - 12 February 1997)
Longest unbeaten streakRoss County, 10 games. (13 August 2016 - 2 April 2021)
Current win streakInverness CT, 1 game. (2 April 2021 – present)
Current unbeaten streakInverness CT, 1 game. (2 April 2021 – present)
Inverness CT
Ross County

HistoryEdit

The rivalry first arose in 1994, when Caledonian Thistle (whose name did not yet include the city) were formed out of the merger between Caledonian and Inverness Thistle.[3] Both the new Inverness club and Ross County had been accepted as new teams into the Scottish Football League, starting a trend of Highland League clubs entering the SFL.[3] The first match between the sides was a Third Division contest, played on 27 August 1994 at Victoria Park, won 3–1 by Inverness.[1]

Since that historic first match, the encounter has gone from strength to strength as both teams improved and came to compete near the top of the Scottish football league system. Both have significant fanbases that have grown due to their successes since their inclusion in 1994. Attendances at the derby matches often 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.[4] For a few months in 2016, the Highland clubs were simultaneously the holders of the country's two major cups, with Inverness's triumph in the 2015 Scottish Cup Final followed by Ross County's win in the 2016 Scottish League Cup Final (March).[1]

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)[5] or "The Cold Firm" (a pun on the Old Firm).[6][1]

The relationship between the clubs is unusual in that there is "a level of goodwill" between them.[7] For example, both clubs closely co-operate in the Highland Football Academy.[8][9]

Head-to-headEdit

In head-to-head matches, the teams have played each other in 62 games, with Inverness Caledonian Thistle winning 27 times, compared to Ross County's 17. A total of 18 matches have ended in a draw.[10] Inverness have won more league, Scottish Cup and Challenge Cup matches, with the teams tied in League Cup matches.

As of 2 April 2021
Team League Scottish Cup League Cup Challenge Cup Total
Inverness CT 22 2 1 2 27
Ross County 16 0 1 0 17
Draw 15 3 0 0 18

Matches playedEdit

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 Oct 1994 Telford Street Park 0 – 0 2,440 27 Aug 1994 Victoria Park 1 – 3 3,157
6 May 1995 Telford Street Park 3 – 0 3,562 2 Jan 1995 Victoria Park 3 – 1 2,749
1995–96 Third Division 30 Sep 1995 Telford Street Park 1 – 1 3,625 18 Nov 1995 Victoria Park 2 – 0 4,288
23 Jan 1996 Telford Street Park 1 – 1 4,931 16 Mar 1996 Victoria Park 2 – 1 3,670
1996–97 Third Division 16 Nov 1996 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 0 4,562 28 Sep 1996 Victoria Park 1 – 3 3,598
15 Mar 1997 Caledonian Stadium 3 – 0 5,525 12 Feb 1997 Victoria Park 0 – 3 5,017
2000–01 First Division 16 Sep 2000 Caledonian Stadium 0 – 1 4,823 18 Nov 2000 Victoria Park 0 – 3 5,721
2 Jan 2001[1] Caledonian Stadium 3 – 3 5,291 31 Mar 2001 Victoria Park 0 – 1 5,876
2001–02 First Division 17 Nov 2001 Caledonian Stadium 3 – 0 4,513 15 Sep 2001 Victoria Park 2 – 1 4,679
23 Mar 2002 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 1 4,685 19 Mar 2002 Victoria Park 0 – 0 4,414
2002–03 First Division 24 Aug 2002 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 0 3,669 9 Nov 2002 Victoria Park 0 – 2 5,449
25 Feb 2003 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 5 3,443 8 Mar 2003 Victoria Park 0 – 2 4,621
2003–04 First Division 14 Nov 2003 Caledonian Stadium 3 – 3 3,523 30 Aug 2003 Victoria Park 1 – 1 5,020
27 Mar 2004 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 0 4,019 3 Jan 2004 Victoria Park 1 – 0 6,120
2009–10 First Division 29 Aug 2009 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 3 5,846 7 Nov 2009 Victoria Park 2 – 1 5,506
30 Mar 2010 Caledonian Stadium 3 – 0 5,411 20 Mar 2010 Victoria Park 0 – 0 5,928
2012–13 Premier League 5 Oct 2012 Caledonian Stadium 3 – 1 6,766 2 Mar 2013 Victoria Park 0 – 0 5,959
16 Mar 2013 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 1 5,750 19 May 2013 Victoria Park 1 – 0 6,002
2013–14 Premiership 1 Jan 2014 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 2 4,332 25 Feb 2014 Victoria Park 0 – 3 4,805
4 Apr 2014 Victoria Park 1 – 2 4,433
2014–15 Premiership 5 Oct 2014 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 1 3,741 1 Jan 2015 Victoria Park 1 – 3 4,887
31 Jan 2015 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 1 4,021
2015–16 Premiership 2 Jan 2016 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 0 5,388 3 Oct 2015 Victoria Park 1 – 2 5,473
19 Mar 2016[1] Victoria Park 0 – 3 5,912
2016–17 Premiership 13 Aug 2016 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 3 4,204 31 Dec 2016 Victoria Park 3 – 2 5,111
18 Mar 2017 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 1 4,123 28 Apr 2017[1] Victoria Park 4 – 0 4,928
2018–19 Championship 3 Nov 2018 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 2 4,353 22 Sep 2018[1] Victoria Park 0 – 0 6,402
2 Apr 2019 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 2 3,795 29 Dec 2018 Victoria Park 2 – 1 6,313

CupsEdit

Season Division Round Date Venue Score Attendance
2003–04 Challenge Cup Quarter-final 26 Aug 2003 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 0 2,631
2004–05 League Cup Second round 24 Aug 2004 Victoria Park 0 – 1 3,315
2009–10 Challenge Cup Semi-final 4 Oct 2009 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 0 2,755
2012–13 Scottish Cup Fourth round 1 Dec 2012 Victoria Park 3 – 3 5,077
Fourth round replay 11 Dec 2012 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 1 4,135
2015–16 League Cup Quarter-final 27 Oct 2015 Caledonian Stadium 1 – 2 3,004
2018–19 Scottish Cup Fifth round 11 Feb 2019 Victoria Park 2 – 2 2,600
Fifth round replay 19 Feb 2019 Caledonian Stadium 2 – 2[a] 3,608
2020–21 Scottish Cup Third Round 2 April 2021 Victoria Park 1 – 3 0[b]
  1. ^ After Extra Time; Inverness CT won 5–4 on penalties.
  2. ^ Game was held behind closed doors due to COVID Pandemic
Locations of the two competing teams

Goalscorer recordsEdit

Players with 3 or more goals in the Highland derby.

As of 2 April 2021
Scorer Team(s) League Scottish Cup League Cup Challenge Cup Total
  Liam Boyce Ross County 10 10
  Dennis Wyness Inverness CT 9 9
  Billy McKay Inverness CT 4 3 9
Ross County 1 1
  Iain Stewart Inverness CT 7 7
  Aaron Doran Inverness CT 5 1 6
  Alan Hercher Inverness CT 4 4
  Jamie McPherson Ross County 4 4
  Iain Vigurs Ross County 2 2 4
  Ross Draper Inverness CT 3 3
  Steven Ferguson Ross County 3 3
  Brian Grant Ross County 3 3
  Barry Robson Inverness CT 3 3
  Miles Storey Inverness CT 3 3
  Marley Watkins Inverness CT 3 3
  Barry Wilson Inverness CT 3 3
  Greg Tansey Inverness CT 2 1 3
  Steve Hislop Inverness CT 1 1 3
Ross County 1
  Richie Foran Inverness CT 1 2 3
  Ross Stewart Ross County 1 2 3
  Jordan White Inverness CT 1 2 3
  Michael Gardyne Ross County 1 1 1 3

Managerial recordsEdit

As of 2 April 2021. Minimum 5 Highland Derby games as manager.

Name Team Years Overall Record League Record
Games Wins Win % Games Wins Win %
John Hughes   Inverness CT 2013–2016 10 6 60.00% 9 6 66.66%
Ross County 2020– 1 0 0.00% 0 0 0.00%
Steve Paterson   Inverness CT 1995–2002 18 9 50.00% 18 9 50.00%
Terry Butcher   Inverness CT 2009–2013 11 5 45.45% 8 3 37.50%
Robert Wilson   Ross County 1987–1996 8 3 37.50% 8 3 37.50%
Jim McIntyre   Ross County 2014–2017 11 4 36.36% 10 3 30.00%
Stuart Kettlewell   and Steven Ferguson   Ross County 2018–2020 6 2 33.33% 4 2 50%
Derek Adams   Ross County 2007–2010,
2011–2014
14 4 28.57% 11 4 43%
John Robertson   Inverness CT 2002–2004,
2017–
14 4 28.57% 10 2 20.00%
Alex Smith   Ross County 2002–2005 8 2 25.00% 6 2 33.33%
Neale Cooper   Ross County 1996–2002 14 2 14.28% 14 2 14.28%

Notable players and managers of both clubsEdit

A number of players have played for both clubs. Craig Brewster is a former player and manager of ICT who then played for and coached Ross County.[11] John Robertson and John Hughes have had spells as manager at both clubs.

Among the players who have featured for both sides are:

Clubs' honoursEdit

These are the football honours of Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County since they joined the Scottish League in 1994–95:

National Titles Inverness Caledonian Thistle Ross County
First Division/Championship 2 (2/0) 2 (1/1)
Second Division 1
Third Division 1 1
Scottish Cup 1
Scottish League Cup 1
Scottish Challenge Cup 3 3
Total 7 8

These are the football honours of Caledonian, Inverness Thistle and Ross County until they joined the Scottish League in 1994–95:

National Competition Caledonian Inverness Thistle Ross County
Highland Football League 18 8 3
Highland League Cup 5 3 4
North of Scotland Cup 20 13 4
Total 43 24 11

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Amy MacBeath (19 February 2019). "Inverness CT v Ross County: 25 years of Scotland's friendly rivalry". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  2. ^ Bannerman, Charles (30 March 2010). "Inverness CT 3–0 Ross County". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b McLeod, Graeme (12 April 2008). "Highland clubs reluctant to join SFL ranks". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Highlands 'buzzing' ahead of first SPL derby of the season". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "McKay settles Cold Firm clash". PA Sport. Yahoo! and Eurosport. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Highland Football Academy launched". Scottish Government. 10 April 2002. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  9. ^ "About Us". Highland Football Academy. Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  10. ^ "All time results between Inverness CT and Ross County". Soccerbase. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  11. ^ "Ross County sign Brewster at 42". BBC Sport. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  12. ^ "Hislop in Highland switch". BBC Sport. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  13. ^ "Reguero Joins". Ross County website. 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 16 June 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Inverness pair join Ross County". BBC Sport. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010.

External linksEdit