Cove kept at Bay
Our first visit to Balmoral Park on League business ended with a hard fought win, our fifth on the bounce. Inverness opened the scoring after twenty minutes through Steven Boyd, his first of the season. However Roddy MacGregor was helped off the pitch after being injured in the build up to that goal. Allardice stayed in the dressing room at the interval to be replaced by Lewis Hyde. Ridgers did well to deny Cove after the break and right at the end Cove were reduced to ten men as McIntosh was sent off. Still joint top as Partick also win with Dundee and Morton leading the chasing pack.
Billy Dodds named an unchanged side from the one that beat Partick Thistle last Friday. Roddy MacGregor would make his 99th appearance fot the Caley Jags, but that would be cut short, and Billy Mckay would be looking for his 86th goal since he first played for Inverness back in 2011. Jim McIntyre had Iain Vigurs on the bench. In a previous life Vigurs had scored 24 goals in 147 appearances for the Caley Jags.
Inverness got the game underway in their Kingsmills strip on a bright afternoon in Cove. Within five minutes the two Mckays had efforts wide of the Cove goal, Billy going closer than Daniel. A warning for the visitors in the tenth minute when Megginson headed into the net but was adjudged to be offside. Cove were monopolising the early pressure though and Cieran Dunne went close with a shot from outside the box.
However, it was the visitors that drew first blood from a less familiar name when Steven Boyd slotted home after great work by Billy Mckay. Unfortunately during the build up to the goal Roddy MacGregor was injured and had to be helped from the field with what looks like a nasty injury to be replaced by Aaron Doran. Five minutes before the interval Doran combined with Harper but his shot was too high and went over the bar.
HALF TIME 0-1
Lewis Hyde replaced Scott Allardice at the interval and Cove replaced Dunne with Leighton McIntosh.
Early corners for Cove at the start of the second half came to nothing and Boyd forced Kyle Gourlay into making a save to deny him from outside the box. Cove responded through dangerman Megginson but Mark Ridgers was equal to it to deny the striker from inside the box with a crucial save. Cove had their tails up and Ridgers then had to look lively to keep out a header from Jack Sanders. Play was opening out though and Dan Mackay saw a shot blocked at the other end.
image from CaleyJags.com
Ridgers saves from Megginson
After the hour Connor Scully headed goalwards but Ridgers denied him with another save. Into the final ten minutes and substitute Gerry McDonagh was next to test Ridgers from six yards as Cove upped the pressure in search of an equaliser.
Nathan Shaw had an effort saved by Gourlay as the clock ticked down after Doran fed him through on goal.
Right at the death Leighton McIntosh was red-carded for violent conduct as Cove finished with ten men.
FULL TIME: 0-1
Mark Ridgers was in tremendous form to keep Cove at bay and well done to Steven Boyd for opening his account with the all important goal. Cove fans were not happy about the offside decision.
Downside of this game, which was a brutal contest, is more injuries to contend with which will likely see Allardice and MacGregore miss the Hamilton game in midweek.
More match reaction to follow
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