Pre-season, when it’s blessed with good weather relaxed fans and visits to grounds you might not otherwise ever venture to are the stuff that keeps the average footie fan on the treadmill until the real stuff slams into life in August.
July can be balmy, even in the Highlands and so it was as John Hughes side rolled into Borough Briggs looking for another step towards League fitness.
A line up along usual form was maybe a wee bit relaxed as Elgin took the lead in 3 minutes with their first chance of the game. Shane Sutherland had a hand in things as Brill parried a rasping drive. Craig Gunn coolly dispatched the rebound.
Inverness then proceeded to dominate the game as their passing game got into gear. Hampered slightly by a pitch that was a bit too fiery and sticky, it was at least a lesson in maintaining tempo and it was pleasing to see the interchanging of positions and recycling of the ball that gave Inverness almost complete possession.
The equaliser had to come and Billy Mckay provided it, his trademark nous in the area providing a tap in at the back post from a Shinnie cross.
The raft of changes that happens at these occasions…happened. Almost immediately the increasingly impressive Tansey began to boss the midfield and the second and winning goal arrived via Marley Watkins head from a Meekings cross.
There were other chances, but Elgin defended well and Michael Fraser showed that he was, in truth, a better goalkeeper than Division 2 standard. Ferguson and Rennie impressed in their run outs, the young striker coming close on one occasion.
In the end John Hughes was happy with the result and the way that his side had played. “I thought we kept the ball well and passed it with pace. Results at this stage of the season don’t matter so much – it’s the way you play and I was happy with that. Add that to the fact that it was (largely) injury free and that’s another step up in intensity”.
Josh Meekings sustained another knock to the head and Greg Tansey looked slightly uncomfortable but neither injury appeared serious.