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Inverness CT Raith Rovers
7:45pm, July 24
Betfred Cup
Full Fixture List
Pos Team Pld Pts
3. Dundee Utd 36 61
4. Dunfermline 36 59
5. Inverness CT 36 57
6. Q.O.S. 36 52
7. Morton 36 50
Full League Table
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140809 hamilton williams 001Hamilton Accies 0 v 2 Inverness CT

They say that one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but if Caley Thistle’s display against newly promoted Hamilton Accies is anything to go by it might be a long hot one.

Inverness made a couple of changes, raising a few eyebrows as Doran and Watkins started on the bench with Williams and Christie taking the field.

Talking of the pitch, it was pristine and it should be – its artificial grass. Smooth and level as a billiard table it should have lent advantage to the kind of passing game that Yogi Hughes is instilling in his charges and so it proved.

140809 hamilton tansey 001After six minutes, the first clear chance of the game fell to Ryan Christie, who was to profit all afternoon from the avalanche of possession held by Inverness. He snatched at that first chance, but was to do better later. Inverness lined up in a loose 4-2-3-1 and shepherded the ball from the outset and pulling the opposition more and more out of shape as the game went on.

Prompted by the imperious Tansey, they invited mistakes from an increasingly anxious opposition and the first arrived after ten minutes.

140809 hamilton mckay christieA pressured back pass landed on Hamilton centre back Devlin, who cushioned the ball in the direction of his goalkeeper, ex-Ross County stopper Michael McGovern. Unfortunately for him, his thoughts were read by the predatory Billy Mckay, who nipped in and sweetly lobbed the keeper for his first of the season.

It got better for Inverness in twenty five minutes when another loss of possession was punished by Ross Draper. He played in Williams, whose initial shot was parried by McGovern. Unfortunately for him, Ryan Christie arrived at the same destination as the ball in double quick time and two nil was the result.

Inverness continued to make chances, and Billy Mckay could easily have had them three up by the break with a narrow miss in the last minute of the half.

140809 hamilton brill 001Hamilton had chances – a header from Neil and a shot from the now evergreen Imrie, but had they left the park four goals down they couldn’t have complained too much.

As is always the case in this kind of game, the home side made immediate changes and Inverness chased the game less.

Hamilton changed things and had much more possession in the second half, but without ever looking like they could force a way back into proceedings. Indeed they couldn’t address their defensive frailties either and Mckay was presented with another chance on the hour.

Things only really changed for the home side when Antione–Curier replaced the ineffective Jason Scotland and they became a bit more incisive.

140809 hamilton hughes 001However, if you looked for impact substitutions you didn’t have to look any further than Doran and Watkins, who replaced Williams and Vincent for the last twenty minutes or so. The Irishman’s craft and guile added to a midfield that simply released the rapier pace of Watkins time and again. 
One shot that he crashed off the crossbar deserved accolade of a goal, but it wasn’t to be.

The match finished two nil, and just like last year Inverness found themselves gazing down on the rest of Scottish football from the top of the tree. Next up are Dundee at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium on Wednesday and you really ought to do yourself a wee favour and come along. It’s great to watch.

Find all our latest videos at Photos by Report by Davie Balfour

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