140709 forres tansey 001FRIENDLY : Forres 0 v 5 Inverness CT

John Hughes praised his players "effort" and "commitment" as they stepped up their preparations for the new season beating Highland League outfit Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park.

The Caley Jags manager watched his team knock five past the Can Cans without reply with five different scorers getting on the score sheet in the process.

Hughes happy with the workout even if it wasn't all good news "The boys trained very hard this morning (Wednesday) and then to come here and put in a performance like that was pleasing"

140709 forres christie 001"Some lovely football and goals too. I'd have liked to have gone through the game injury free but it wasn't to be. Ryan Christie has a dead leg, Danny Devine has tweaked his knee and Josh Meekings should be okay as he only got a kick to the face."

"Credit to the opposition, they worked us very hard. Their pitch was immaculate and we wish them all the very best for the season ahead"

The Caley Jags saw Billy Mckay return to the starting line-up, playing in his first pre-season fixture since returning from his prolonged summer break.

Twenty minutes in, Inverness gained control of the match opening the scoring twenty minutes in, doing so in spectacular style. Greg Tansey picked up possession in midfield with no Forres player near him, so was left with an inviting opportunity to shoot. An invitation he didn't pass up, lashing the ball past a helpless Stuart Knight from 40 yards.

140709 forres devine 001Defender Danny Devine, a first half sub for Josh Meekings who went off nursing a head knock, struck the woodwork on the half hour from a well worked short corner involving Nick Ross and Aaron Doran.

The move was to work again nine minutes later, this time Doran opted for the near post finding Devine for him to flick in a second.

By this time the visitors were starting to carve open the Highland League side at will and Nick Ross duly added a third on the stroke of half time. Former Forres loanee Graeme Shinnie skipped in off the left hand side beating three home players in the process to find Ross, who slid the ball home from inside the 18 yard box.

140709 forres mckay 001Into the second half and Billy Mckay was starting to smell the sweet scent of goals once more. Callum Ferguson was fouled in the area on 65 minutes leaving Mckay the job of taking the penalty. However Forres sub keeper Mark Bowden was equal to the spot kick diving down to his right hand side.

A fourth Caley Thistle goal did arrive on 73 minutes with substitutes Danny Williams and Callum Ferguson combining, with the latter striking from the edge of the penalty area to beat Bowden.

140709 forres ferguson 001Mckay put his penalty miss behind him adding a fifth right at the death. Markey Watkins worked well on the right hand side eventually finding the Northern Irishman who dancing past two Forres defenders before placing the ball into the bottom right hand corner.

Only ten players in black and red ended the game with Christie and Devine joining Meekings on John McCreadie's physio table. But plenty of positives for John Hughes in Moray including the second half performance of Callum Ferguson.

The youngster hit a hat-trick for the Under 20's in Fort William and continued his impressive streak at Mosset Park.

Something that Hughes didn't fail to notice "Fergie has that in him; he's that over the top player. He needs to work on his movement but always good for a goal and I'm really pleased for him.

ICTFC: Ryan Esson, David Raven, Josh Meekings, Gary Warren, Graeme Shinnie, Ross Draper, Greg Tansey, Nick Ross, Aaron Doran, James Vincent, Billy Mckay
Subs: Brill, Watkins, Ferguson, Christie, William, Devine, Polworth, Tremarco

Forres: Stuart Knight, Simon Allan, Paul Smith, Steven Fraser, Graham Fraser, Ross McPherson, Ross Paterson, Davie Calder, Andy Fraser, Kyle Scott, Craig McGovern
Subs: Duncan Jones, Scott Moore, Ross Archibald, Stuart Soane, Kris Duncan, Brandon Hutcheson, Conor McIver, Jamie Pick, Ryan McIntosh, Mark Bowden