HOT TODDY SCORES A PEACH
This crucial week kicked off at Cappielow and despite the condition of the pitch Inverness managed to score twice in the first half. We benefitted from what looked like an infringement for a pass back seven minutes before the break. Scott Allardice lashed the ball high into the net after much confusion and two minutes later Nikolay Todorov turned in the box to lash the ball into the net after some defensive bloopers. Two up at the break but the next goal could be important and it was Muirhead that gave Morton some hope. However Todorov superbly volleyed home after chesting down the ball to restore our two goal cushion and Danny Mackay scored a tremendous fourth with a curling shot from the edge of the box. Back up to fourth for Inverness with Dundee also winning at Ayr.
After the Scottish Cup heroics at Dingwall we went to Cappielow on a more serious mission, to capture three points in our bid for a play-off slot. Morton find themselves in desperate need of points at the other end of the table and something was going to give. Three league defeats on the trot for Morton, three league wins on the trot for Inverness, but Morton were the last side to beat Inverness.
Gus MacPherson made four changes from the side that put East Fife out of the cup. In come Luca Colville, Steven McGinn, Gary Oliver and Robbie Muirhead. For Neil McCann, Wallace Duffy and James Keatings disappear without trace as he goes with the same line-up that put County out of the cup.
Morton kicked off on a dry but chilly night in Greenock with Inverness playing in their pink away strip with a change before a ball was kicked as Roddy MacGregor replaced Sean Welsh in the starting XI.
It was a scrappy opening to the game on a pitch that has seen better days after a testing winter.
First opportunity to make a keeper work fell to Todorov from a Scott Allan free kick but it was headed well wide. Ridgers made a comfortable save fifteen minutes in but the pitch was making passing difficult. He made another save a couple of minutes later from a close range header pushing it out for a corner as Morton threatened.
However, it was brutal stuff akin to a welfare league match at the Bught Park. Claims for a penalty were dismissed as an Inverness player went down in the box as the ball bobbled around.
Storey ballooned a bouncing ball well over the bar from a decent position on the left side of the box as the surface dictated the pace of the game.
Friday's goal hero Danny Mackay was fed through on goal by Scott Allan but his initial shot was weak and McAdams blocked it; when the rebound came back to him he lifted it over the bar from close range. Great opportunity missed.
Morton then forced a couple of corners that came to nothing although Aidan Nesbitt was looking dangerous wide on the right.
Mystery moment in the Morton box soon after as referee Reid picked up the cleared ball and carried it thirty yards back into the hosts penalty box via the linesman. Rumour has it it may have been a pass-back spotted by the line judge. Unperturbed Scott Allan touched it to Scott Allardice and he ended up lashing the ball high into the net from eight yards. Two minutes later another Scott Allan free kick caused havoc in the Morton box and when the ball was headed back in by Daniel Mackay and Colville fresh aired it, Nikolay Todorov swivelled and opened up his body before hammering it into the net from around 15 yards, the keeper rooted to the spot.
Half Time: 0-2
The second half saw no changes and it was only two minutes in when Mark Ridgers had to make a crucial block when McGinty burst into the left side of the box. The resultant corner was perilously close to the goal line as well as Morton's urgency looked to get them a foothold in the game.
Morton were pressing the Inverness midfield better in this half and the visitors were living dangerously at times as they forced a number of corners.
It was little surprise when Morton pulled a goal back on the hour when Robbie Muirhead drilled a loose ball into the net from twelve yards, swiftly followed by two attacking substitutes with scorer Muirhead going off.
Shane Sutherland replaced Scott Allan with twenty minutes left as we became increasingly desperate as our composure deserted us momentarily.
He made an immediate impact after collecting the ball on the right before fighting a great ball into the box. Todorov scored a goal of the season contender as he chested the ball down from high and volleyed it into the net on the turn from fifteen yards before the ball hit the deck, the ball flashing high past the astounded keeper. What a fekkin strike from a hot Toddy!
Danny Mackay got in on the act as he picked up another great ball from Sutherland before curling a beauty into the top of the net from the edge of the box. Another beauty.
James Vincent was denied a fifth as McAdams did well to block the substitutes effort from inside the box and Toddy looked for his hat-trick diving low to try and head a cross goalwards.
The game was over as a contest and the points were heading North long before the final whistle with Morton lucky not to concede more.
Great win for Inverness who keep the pressure on the top six and jump back up to fourth, but Morton are deep in trouble at the bottom.
Dundee beat Ayr 3-0 on the night
Match reaction and highlights to follow