The first leg of the Premiership Play-Offs saw Inverness travel to Glasgow to take on the Maryhill Magyars as a place in the top division beckoned. Neither side were able to dominate on the Firhill tattie field and they went in goalless at the break although Logan Chalmers looked to be impeded as he tried to get a shot away. Crawford opened the scoring when he got onto a reverse ball from Graham to shoot high into the net from inside the box to put Partick in the driving seat. Inverness turned it round in the second half with goals from Shane Sutherland and Austin Samuels and it's back to the Highlands on Friday night to conclude this tie.
This one's for you big fellow RIP Stew x
Aaron Doran was missing along with Wallace Duffy and Roddy MacGregor as the fragility of both squads reared it's ugly head. Scott Allardice was a surprise inclusion on the Inverness bench, his return kept quiet. Lewis Mayo was a big miss for the Jagsters but as expected, Brian Graham and Scott Tiffoney took their place in an attack minded Partick Starting XI.
A frantic opening on the tattie field pitch saw a snapshot from players player of the year Shane Sutherland go wide inside five minutes. In the tenth minute Sean Welsh was just beaten to the ball by Crawford as he bust into the box.
Unfortunately Tom Walsh took a knock as he tried to shoot and the result of that was Lewis Hyde coming on to replace the wide midfielder in the twentieth minute. Early indicators are that Walsh will struggle to make Friday's game.
From a corner Mark Ridgers snatched the ball on his line as Tunji Akinola knocked goalwards and Kirk Broadfoot was the third Inverness player to receive treatment for his troubles in trying to defend. Scott Tiffoney lashed a ball over the bar after yet another corner with neither keeper overly troubled so far.
Inverness were denied a penalty when Logan Chalmers appeared to be blocked off from taking a shot by Akinola inside the box, but the referee was not interested. Seen them given, also seen them denied.
In truth the intensity of the game and state of the pitch made for a scrappy affair as neither side was able to impose themselves on the game in the first forty-five.
Some frantic defending and missed clearances led to an opportunity for Partick but we weathered the mini-storm. At the other end a Reece McAlear free kick was thumped into the body of keeper Sneddon five minutes before the break. A minute before the interval and Billy Mckay dollied a shot towards goal which Sneddon gathered easily.
Last effort of the first half fell to Robbie Deas wide on the left side of the box but after he brought the ball down well he dragged it across the goal without troubling the keeper.
The half ended goalless but it was the visitors that were having the better of the game so far.
HALF TIME : 0-0
Six minutes into the half and Ridgers flopped on the ball just as Brian Graham pulled the trigger from one yard. However a minute later Partick opened the scoring after a neat ball through from Graham found Robbie Crawford who hit the ball high past Ridgers from ten yards.
Samuels replaced Hyde in a tactical switch as Sutherland volleyed over, but Partick appeared motivated by their goal.
Sutherland showed good feet to get a shot away but it just cleared the corner of the bar. He did better ten minutes later after Billy Mckay hit a powerful shot towards goal. Sneddon parried it but it fell to Sutherland who knocked in the rebound from eight yards to restore parity.
Wow! A complete cock up by David Carson allowed Alegria a tremendous chance but the young striker curled his shot over when he should have scored. A let off for Inverness after a slip by Carson.
Substitute Austin Samuels put the visitors ahead when he got on the end of a sublime cross from Sutherland to score from six yards and that was enough to turn the game around and put Inverness in pole position.
Great away performance from the Caley Jags and our only worry is injuries to key players with Walsh taking a sore one tonight. MotM was Shane Sutherland, a goal and superb assist.
A hard fought win on a disgrace of a pitch which apparently will be in use tomorrow for another play-off game. God save the grass
CALEY AWAY IN GOOD VOICE
Here's the Goals that Mattered