Written by Marko Srsen
Inverness Caledonian Thistle earned a hard fought point at home against league rivals Morton in the Scottish Championship.
The draw means Inverness remain in 6th place – with Morton trailing by just 1 point in the table.
Ethan Cairns’ first goal for the club would prove to be vital, earning Inverness a point. The other goals would come from Calvin Miller, Robbie Muirhead and Billy McKay. Inverness would have to come back from being behind twice.
First Half –
Both sides started the half off aggressively, but it would be Morton who would draw first blood on the 5 minute mark.
Zak Delaney would look for a man in the midfield, but the pass would be a stray one that wide-man Calvin Miller would latch onto – driving towards the Inverness goal and striking the ball well with his left foot. The ball would bounce over Ridgers and into the bottom right corner.
Delaney would make another mistake in the 22nd minute whilst trying to clear the ball over his head. Crawford showed awareness to get to the ball and cross it into Morton new-boy Calum Waters who volleyed it just wide of Ridgers right post.
Inverness started to try and create chances down the right and left hand side – both Dan Mackay and Jay Henderson putting dangerous crosses in to trouble the Morton defence.
The best chance for Caley Thistle in the half would come in the 37th minute – Jay Henderson using his great pace on the right hand side to play a dangerous cross towards Dan Mackay at the back post, however, Grimshaw would get a vital touch to stop the Inverness born Mackay.
Although Caley Thistle had most of the ball during the first half – Morton showed more when on the ball, and created more chances.
Second Half –
Billy Dodds would make two vital changes at half-time – Nathan Shaw would come on for Aaron Doran, and Zak Delaney would make way for Lewis Hyde. Dodds would change his formation to a 4-4-2, with Daniel Mackay moving up front to give top-scorer Billy McKay some much needed support.
Shaw and Hyde would combine well just 2 minutes after coming on. Shaw would play the ball from the right hand side into Lewis Hyde who then found Dan Mackay, who just managed to chest it down onto his left foot, but American Brian Schwake would make a good save to put it out for a corner.
Shaw would continue to cause problems on the right-hand-side, then, in the 57th minute, Caley Thistle found an equaliser through Billy McKay.
Cameron Harper, who was moved from midfield to left-back at half time, would put a good cross into David Carson who laid it off to Scott Allardice on the edge of the box. Allardice would unleash a fierce shot that Schwake would struggle to keep a hold off. McKay would pounce and put the ball into the back of an empty net.
Both sides would push to find a winner, and Morton thought they had exactly that through Robbie Muirhead in the 81st minute – who scored his 10th goal of the season.
The ball was played through by Alexander King towards Muirhead. Wallace Duffy looked sure to get there, but slipped trying to clear the ball, giving Muirhead a clear path to goal. He would take the ball into the box and slide the ball through Mark Ridgers’ legs to take the lead.
It looked all over for Caley Thistle – until the 85th minute when Dodds would have his final throw of the dice, bringing 18 year old Ethan Cairns on for Dan Mackay.
It would not take long for Cairns to score his goal and level it for Inverness. In the 86th minute, Nathan Shaw who had a great game, crossed the ball into Danny Devine who would head it down towards Cairns, who would slide in from a tight angle and put the ball past Schwake.
10.Aaron Doran(CAM)(Nathan Shaw 45’)
17.Daniel Mackay(LM)(Ethan Cairns 85’)
20.Jay Henderson(RM)(Steven Boyd 75’)
23.Zak Delaney(LB)(Lewis Hyde 45’)
Subs Not Used:
21.Cameron Mackay 29.Robbie Thompson 34.Matthew Strachan
Billy McKay(57’), Ethan Cairns(87’)
David Carson(65’) Lewis Hyde(67’)
9.Robbie Muirhead(ST)(Alistair Roy 87’)
10.Jai Quitongo(RM)(Lewis McGrattan 61’)
14.Robbie Crawford(CM)(Alexander King 77’)
Subs Not Used:
20.Lawton Green(GK) 2.Carlo Pignatiello 12.Efe Ambrose 18.Michael Garrity
Calvin Miller(5’), Robbie Muirhead(81’)
Robbie Crawford(45’), Lewis McGrattan(83’)