Inverness Caledonian Thistle 4 v 2 Hamilton
There are games in every season that make people sit up and take notice. Games whose real significance becomes apparent sometimes way down the line when the fog of battle clears and this result might well have been of that variety.
Upbeat but measured, John Hughes and his players all made much of the lack of expectation and pressure on their shoulders. One game at a time was the mantra and if that is what is allowing them to play with the power and verve that they displayed in this game, long may it continue.
Billy Mckay returned to the starting eleven in place of Carl Tremarco in an altogether offensive formation that saw Mckay and Watkins as a twin threat up front. Both sides were intent on taking something and Andrieu struck a 35 yard free kick first for the visitors.
Something little reported elsewhere was the wicked deflection it took off the wall of defenders and past a wrong footed Brill, the press corps being blinded by the low winter sun and not having the benefit of a north stand viewpoint spy!
If there was concern at this juncture, it was beautifully dealt with by Mckay. Scoring in reply from a typical collect well, create space, finish viciously Mckay formula, his joy and relief were palpable. What was even more noticeable was the warmth of the crowd’s reception – this is a striker genuinely valued by those around him, and it must make his scoring goals on their behalf all the sweeter.
His Boss was pleased: “He's had a wee barren spell and been taking a bit of flak in the dressing room - he's a big character there - small in stature but the boys look up to him for that inspiration. I don't think with the barren spell he's had, he'll score the goals that he did last year but he'll get way into double figures."
Once level, Inverness never really looked back and in the second half they really turned the screw.
One imagines that the oppositions heart must sink when Inverness are awarded any corner during the 90 minutes, and in 59 of them Gary Warren planted a header of such ferocity into McGovern’s net it might as well have been fired from a cannon.
At this point Inverness really motored ahead, and Mckay’s second was a striker’s trademark rapier reaction to hesitant defending.
The fourth arrived when an arrowed pass from the quite brilliant Watkins set Vincent free to apply a subtle and sweet finish.
Amongst all of this, Hamilton countered again through the impressive Andrieu but in truth Inverness had too much for them on the day. In attempting to put some perspective on the result, John Hughes said: “Today, we've really merited the victory. Hamilton can take great pride in what they're doing. On another day, it might've been their day but we were worthy of the victory."
It’s that mantra again, but I’ll let you into a not so secret secret; it’s the first time this club has been top of the League at this point of the season. It’s the first time in over three years we have come from behind and won. It’ might be post November the fifth, but the fireworks are a long way from over!
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