Inverness maintained their winning start to the league campaign, but it took a stunning half volley from substitute Roddy MacGregor to settle the points. It had been a relatively even game with the hosts having slightly the better of it throughout. Jamie MacDonald had pulled off three or four decent saves before Roddy struck from 25 yards, the ball flashing into the net past an outstretched keeper after some neat interplay outside the box involving Sutherland and Duku. Six points from two games, we could not have asked for a better start to the Championship.
Sean Welsh was still missing as were Anthony McDonald and Wallace Duffy. Aaron Doran and Billy Mckay were on the bench alongside Roddy MacGregor with Manny Duku starting up front against his former employers. Lewis Vaughan missed out for Raith, but James Keatings would make the bench for Rovers on his first return to the Caledonian Stadium which was loosely populated with fans as covid restrictions begin to ease. The new and improved stream maybe taking it's toll on the attendance with Auldy Boy and Rossco on the commentary, replays and all!
Big downpours ahead of kick-off ensured the pitch was well watered with steady rain being the order of the day as Inverness attacked the South Stand end in the first half.
An even opening to the game saw both sides struggle to create any clear cut opportunities. Manny Duku looked most likely to unlock the visitors defence. Could have been a red card before the break for Mathews after Duku pounced on a lofted ball forward, as he broke clear he was upended and Mathews got away with just a yellow for his troubles. Duku missed out from a great ball into the front post from Walsh and later in the half he was unfortunate after Michael Gardyne fed him into the left side of the box only for Berra to make a great interception as he shot, the ball spinning behind for a fruitless corner. Meanwhile, Raith were reduced to shooting from distance although we almost let them in when Broadfoot misjudged the bounce on a through ball but we swept it away eventually. Just on the interval Tom Walsh was close to connecting with a dangerous ball into the box from Gardyne on the left side, but a goal kick was the result. No scoring at the break but Inverness always looked the more likely to get amongst the goals. Sutherland saw a shot gathered by MacDonald with ease, but he was more troubled when Duku got on the end of a ball into the box from Sutherland and shot on the turn, MacDonald saving well to his left. The keeper did well to deny the same player direct from a free kick as he covered his top corner well to prevent the opener. Substitute MacGregor did well down the left to set up Gardyne for a pot at goal but he skied it badly. Ridgers saved comfortably after Raith burst along the left byeline and minutes later he was also fortunate not to be sent packing for a similar offence, bringing down Ethon Varian as he started to break clear, similar to Duku in the first half. When Allardice broke forward from the halfway line, it looked hopeful. Sutherland gathered the ball and shipped it to Duku who laid it off for MacGregor to strike a peach from twenty-five yards on the half volley with a bit of side spin on it. What a hit, what a goal! Rovers still pushed for a breakthrough but never really looked like creating the opportunity they needed and Inverness saw out the game relatively comfortably.
The managers speaking to BBC Sport
Inverness head coach Billy Dodds: "It wasn't pretty. You knew the first goal was going to win it and it took a pretty spectacular one to do it from Roddy. He responded well to being left out."
Raith Rovers manger John McGlynn: "We were well organised. We certainly didn't want to lose four goals like we did last week late on. It took a wonder strike for them to score. We are gutted."
Inverness were best served by the hard working Manny Duku with Scott Allardice and Ryan McAlear bossing the midfield. Wee Roddy maybe doesn't score many, but when he does they are pretty special. Best for Rovers were all in defence with keeper Jamie MacDonald making three or for crucial saves and he was certainly the busier keeper.
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Roddy on the half volley: Boom!!!