Inverness Caledonian Thistle 9Keith 0
Graham Lonie must have been delighted to secure SPFL opposition for his testimonial, but the long serving full back’s team mates must have been sick of the sight of them long before the final whistle. Goals by Mckay (3) Shinnie (2) Christie (2) Warren and Ross finished the Highland League Champions off, and gave Terry Butcher a real boost as the new season looms.
Keith’s ground was bathed in sunshine yesterday, and the Kynoch Park side were as charitable as the conditions as they allowed Inverness to speed into a three goal lead through two from Ryan Christie and the opener from a trademark Warren bullet header. Ben Greenhalgh looked pacy and direct and if Inverness fans were worried about the departure of Tudur Jones, his replacement seemed to have arrived in the shape of James Vincent. His control of midfield in the first half was almost total, and he will only get better as he adapts to the pace of the Scottish game.
Butcher made several changes in the second half, not least in replacing Billy Mckay who looked pin sharp for this time of year and who could have scored five or six on his own if the truth be told. Even a Shinnie penalty miss was converted on a day when nothing could really go wrong. The passing and attacking shape of Inverness were far in excess of what Keith could cope with on the day, but they will face sterner tests, starting with St. Mirren. Consider also that Raven, Foran and Doran were missing from what you might name as ICT’s strongest eleven and the promise of an exciting season ahead was burning brightly in Moray yesterday.
Lounging around on the grass sandwiched between the pitch and the disinterested cows in the field, talking to friendly opposition supporters and experiencing the hospitality of the home club was the essence of what preseason trips are about. Chairman and Manager were both relaxed enough to mix and engage with fans of both sides who were amazed at the level of friendliness and accessibility from a top league club. Why not join us on this preseason, as the ICT media team take you through all the matches and beyond. We’d fair enjoy your company.
REPORT: DAVIE BALFOUR