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MacGregor Stunner 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. Pld W D L F A +/- Pts 1. Partick Thistle 2 2 0 0 6 2 4 6 2. Kilmarnock 2 2 0 0 3 0 3 6 3. Inverness CT 2 2 0 0 2 0 2 6 4. Morton 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 4 5. Hamilton Academical 2 0 1 1 4 5 -1 1 6. Raith Rovers 2 0 1 1 4 5 -1 1 7. Arbroath 2 0 1 1 2 3 -1 1 8. Ayr United 2 0 1 1 2 4 -2 1 9. Dunfermline 2 0 1 1 2 5 -3 1 10. Queen of the South 2 0 0 2 2 4 -2 0 Roddy on the half volley: Boom!!! Date: 07/08/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 1675 Referee: Alan Muir Inverness CT: 1 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Devine, Broadfoot, Deas, Gardyne, Allardice, McAlear (MacGregor 63), Walsh (Doran 81), Sutherland, Duku (Hyde 88) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Harper, B Mckay, Jamieson, Scorers: MacGregor (80) Booked: Devine (28), Ridgers (78) Sent Off: none Raith Rovers: 0 Manager: John McGlynn Lineup: MacDonald; Benedictus, Berra, Lang, Tumilty, Connolly, Mathews, Tait (Riley-Snow 73), Dick, Zanatta (Keatings 85), Poplatnik (Varian 66) Subs (not used): Thomson; Arnott, Mckay, Fotheringham. Scorers: none Booked: Dick (24), Mathews (53) Sent Off: none a
Winning start for Dodds The season kicked off in earnest tonight for the Caley Jags with a group 'A' League Cup encounter against Peterhead. It was a winning start for Billy Dodds in his first competitive game in charge of Inverness. It was a second defeat for Peterhead who been beaten in their opener by Hearts at the weekend. After a cautious start Inverness began to control the pace of the game but chances were at a premium. The best chance came when Aaron Doran spectacularly flicked a cross goalwards but Brett Long dived to his right to prevent a goal. Tom Walsh blazed a strike over on the run after a dummy from Duku put him through. Manny Duku was causing problems on the ground and in the air. Sean Welsh missed a tremendous opportunity as he headed just over when it looked easier to score, but it remained goalless at the interval. Early in the second half Duku broke the deadlock with a drilled effort from just inside the box and Aaron Doran doubled the advantage with a stunning thirty yard shot into the top corner four minutes later. The hosts saw out the remainder of the game well in control with Peterhead rarely threatening. New signings Kirk Broadfoot, Manny Duku, Reece McAlear and Tom Walsh all started with Michael Gardyne coming on from the bench. Kirk Broadfoot and Manny Duku both impressed on their debut's with Tom Walsh and Aaron Doran playing with a spring in their step. Match Reaction CTO Robert said: "Enjoyed that. Very dominant and two early goals in the second half secured the win. A couple of thoughts driving home. Broadfoot and Fyffe swapped centre half roles at half time. The whole defence clearly had confidence in Fyffe which was good to see. We looked stronger down the right with Carson and Walsh than down the left with Harper and Doran, but then Doran turned up with his goal! A word for Sutherland. He put a real shift in and didn’t give Peterhead a minute. MOM for me was actually Welsh. He was pulling the strings in midfield. A very encouraging start and we still have Deas, McDonald and Mckay who have not featured so far." CTO Jaggernaut said: "I thought the first hour was very encouraging. We were closing them down well when they had possession and our passing was brisk and on point. We lost a bit of our rhythm with all the subs, but there were a lot of good performances out there tonight." Date: 13/07/2021 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 300ish Referee: Peter Stuart Inverness CT: 2 Manager: Billy Dodds Lineup: Ridgers; Carson, Fyffe, Broadfoot (Devine 65), Harper, Doran (Gardyne 57) Welsh, McAlear (MacGregor 57), Walsh (Hyde 78), Sutherland, Duku (Allardice 66) Subs (not used): C Mackay; Nicolson, Duffy Scorers: Duku (50), Doran (54) Booked: none Sent Off: none Peterhead: 0 Manager: Jim McInally Lineup: Long; Mulligan, Conroy, Jason Brown, McDonald, Ritchie (Strachan 86), S Brown, Cook (Ferry 55), Kesson (Cameron 46), Jordon Brown (Payne 55), Lyle (McLean 55) Subs (not used): Wilson; Mushanu Scorers: none Booked: Jason Brown (86), McLean (89), Conroy (90) Sent Off: none a