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Miles Better Inverness bagged their first win of the season against early pacesetters Hearts in an ultimately deserved 2-0 victory. It took a long time coming but we grew in confidence as the game went on and we were able to complete the job with a late clincher. James Vincent opened the scoring after 49 minutes and debut striker Miles Storey capped a whirlwind display with an Andy Shinnie like finish in the final minute. This was no more than we deserved as we finished the game with a flourish, Hearts on the other hand finished the game with ten men after Oshaniwa appeared to raise his fist against the napper of our other new face Tobi Sho-Silva. A very healthy away support swelled the attendance over the four thousand mark, no doubt looking to see if the Jambos could hit the top of the league, even if it might just be for one night ahead of the top of the table clash at Pittodrie. It was great to have James Vincent and Josh Meekings back in the side to stabilise the erratic recent performances and newbie Miles Storey was plunged in at the sharp end to address our lack of goals. On loan midfielder Ryan Christie started and Carl Tremarco was at left back with Danny Williams floating further forward. This looked to be our best starting eleven available given our injury problems. Iain Vigurs was on the bench along with another new signing, Tobi Sho-Silva and club captain Richie Foran. The visitors were pretty much at full strength and handed Danny Swanson his first start for his new club. Jamie Walker, Billy King and Gavin Reilly started on the bench. A bright evening saw Inverness strut their stuff on a well manicured pitch, and it was the home side that started better, but as in previous games, lacking any goalmouth action. One obvious difference was the pace shown by Miles Storey who was chasing balls, giving us another dimension that had been previously lacking. Hearts came more into the game after the first quarter and it looked as though it would be a repeat of the Hamilton game as errors began to creep into our play, offering Hearts the chances to get forward. If truth be told, whilst it was an entertaining enough encounter, the big away support was probably all that was keeping this game from slipping below mediocrity as both sides struggled to get behind defensive barriers and I imagine some stern words would be spoken by both managers at the break. Few first half highlights to report. Juanma tried to convince the referee he had been impeded in the box, aye right, and an appeal for handball against Ryan Christie who got in the way of a shot from a couple of yard distance on the edge of the box. Rightly dismissed and half time came without either keeper getting his hands dirty. Half Time 0-0 The pep talks seemed to get the message across that more was required and Inverness looked a yard smarter after the interval. We worked the ball down the left through Danny Wiliams but he was denied a cross into the box. He then back tackled the defender and Christie picked up the loose ball. He flicked it between two Hearts players and surged past them before arrowing a low ball into the box. Plenty to do yet, but James Vincent has done this before getting in ahead of the defender to ram the ball into the net for our first goal at home this season. Relief all round and joy in the North Stand. The game opened out after this but Fon Williams was still untroubled as Hearts were reduced to striking from distance, and striking them poorly at that. trundling a few wide of the mark. It was similar at the other end as we looked to add the killer second goal, but there were plenty of stoppages for niggly fouls and play was being repeatedly halted. At 1-0 there was always going to be the danger of losing the lead, something we have done twice already, but Yogi had other ideas and went for glory. Hearts sub Jamie Walker was lively when he came on and had a couple of attempts go wide and a jinking run into the box saw him prod the ball over. Yogi had seen enough and replaced Christie with Tobi in a bold move to get more out of this game. He had a dramatic impact after entering the fray, flashing a header over the bar when he could easily have scored. The tall striker certainly looks to be one to watch as he was winning headers and going on mazy runs, dragging the tiring defenders around the park. Hearts were still in it though and more misplaced efforts kept Inverness ahead as Iain Vigurs came on with fifteen to go, replacing scorer James Vincent. Ross Draper almost became an unlikely hero as he drifted forward, leaving defenders in his wake, but unfortunately he could not pick out Storey or get his shot away and the moment was gone. Great work by the big man though. You could sense something was going to give and it almost did in a goalmouth melee, Storey involved amongst others, but too many bodies got in the way and the ball was hacked off the line eventually. Oshaniwa saw red after clashing with Tobi on the goal line whilst waiting for a corner to be taken. I hope Gary Cornish has a better chin than Tobi, but no excuse for the defender pushing his fist onto Tobi's head. From the corner that ensued he almost headed the second, but Bauben got in the way in front of the line and the ball deflected off him just wide. We would not be denied though and Vigurs sent over a tantalising ball similar to Christie's for the opener and Storey picked up at the back edge of the six yard box. He shimmied and thrashed a left footer home from eight yards to settle the points and the jangling nerves. Still time for Hearts to salvage some pride, but Patterson headed wide and the game had passed the Jambos by as Inverness recorded their first win of the season. Full Time 2-0 tm4tj MotM:- Tough one to call with a few players performing well. James Vincent got the sponsors award, probably for his goal on his comeback from injury, but he did have a decent game. Most of the plus performances came in a better second half and Christie, showed why Celtic bought him as he set up the opener. Carl Tremarco was another who showed up well, linking defending with providing the extra man wide left. New strikers Miles Storey and Tobi indicated that they will be a handful for the best of them and look to be an exciting prospect. Storey might even be quicker than Marley Watkins, but for me, MotM goes to Ross Draper for his industry up front and at the back, not to mention his Diego Maradona impression where he burst through the Hearts midfield into the box. Deserved better, but he is my choice for Man of the Match. Date: 11/09/15 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4160 Referee: Steven McLean Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Meekings, Devine, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Vincent (Vigurs 76), Christie (Sho-Silva 72), Williams, Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Lopez, Foran, Wedderburn, Horner Scorers: Vincent (49), Storey (89) Booked: Devine (51), Tansey (82) Sent Off: none Hearts: 0 Lineup: Alexander, Paterson, Ozturk, Rossi, Oshaniwa, Buaben, McKirdy (Reilly 77), Nicholson, Sow (King 59), Swanson (Walker 67), Delgado Subs (not used): Hamilton, Augustyn, Pallardo, McGee Scorers: none Booked: Paterson (43), Delgado (90) Sent Off: Oshaniwa (86)
The Season has started Inverness beat St Johnstone 2-1 with a Josh Meekings goal in time added on to kill off a stubborn Perth outfit. It might not have been the best strike Meekings has ever hit, but the important thing here is that the ball ended up in the net and we have finally got our season off and running. With challenging games ahead after the international break, this was a vital win to lift the fans, players and Richie Foran alike. Ross Draper rose highest in the box to crash a header home, but that goal was cancelled out by a thunderous strike from Richard Foster before the scrambulated (there's that word again) winner after the ninety. Manager Richie Foran promised a couple of changes and he was bold enough to do just that. Dropping to the bench were Scott Boden, Jake Mulraney and David Raven. In came Alex Fisher, Billy King and Lewis Horner. New signing Lonsana Doumbouya was on the bench also and he would make his debut late in the game. Tommy Wright had Murray Davidson on the bench, but he would replace Blair Alston at the interval and the dangerous Danny Swanson was looking for his eigth goal of the season playing wide left. A typically meagre crowd for what has been historically dour affairs saw St Johnstone kick off on a bright and pleasant day for a game of football, the crowd bolstered by Paul Gablonski all the way from down under and wee Ava hoping to see Inverness beat St Johnstone this time. Staright from the kick off, you could sense that this was going to be be an open game played with pace and a bit of freneticism thrown in. And it was as we took the game to the visitors from the off. Alan Mannus made the first of many saves from a Gary Warren header as we pressed for an opener, and Danny Swanson was drifting past defenders at the other end, creating havoc along our back line but missing the vital telling cross that would create the chances. The heavily criticised Owain Fon Williams had to look spritely to stop a Steven Anderson header as the Super J's began to get to grips with the game and as play opened out Liam Polworth went close with a shot from outside the box, unfortunately the ball always just the wrong side of the post. Mannus saved headers from Ross Draper and Alex Fisher in quick succession as we continued to take the game to St Johnstone, but Chris Kane fired over at the other end with the goal gaping. Iain Vigurs, Billy King and Alex Fisher all went close with Mannus required to save two of the three attempts as the game raced towards the interval, but try as they might, Inverness were unable to get the ball behind Mannus who was largely responsible for the 0-0 scoreline at the break. Half Time 0-0 The chances kept coming after the break and Fisher fired over from the angle. A goal was coming as we kept pressing forward and a cracker it was too, just before the hour. Billy King drew a foul and a booking from David Wotherspoon and from the resultant free kick, Ross Draper wanted the ball most and he powered a header beyond Mannus for the opening goal. No more than we deserved really. St Johnstone forays forward were becoming rarer, but in one such attack, Murray Davidson headed wide from a decent position. A warning that the visitors were still very much in the game. St Johnstone sub Graham Cummins was seeing plenty of the ball now as the visitors sensed they might snatch an unlikely draw. He had fired a free kick just over then Williams had to save a header from him. Wright's men were given some hope though when out of the blue, Foster bludgeoned a shot home with the keeper well beaten with over ten minutes remaining. That goal sparked Foran into action and soon after Lonsana Doumbouya entered the scene. He is slightly ungamely, but looks like he will cause problems with his height and power. Boden and Mulraney joined him on the park soon after as Richie layed all his cards on the table, going for all three points. Boden brought Mannus into action again and MotM Ross Draper shot narrowly past before testing Mannus with a header. That looked to be it as the clock reached the ninety, but a minute into time added on, Josh Meekings jabbed the ball home after a scrambulation on the goal line when it looked as though the bobbling ball would not fall kindly for us, but persistence paid off and it eventually found the back of the net from Meekings' toe. Mulraney almost added a third as he broke forward with Saints trying to salvage a point, but he sliced his shot at pace as he drove into the box and it went high, wide and not very handsomely into the North Stand. Full Time 2-1 A highly entertaining game with both sides giving it a go. You could see what it meant to the players as they broke their duck. Massive celebrations in the corner of the stadium after the goal and relief all round. Richie Foran was delighted to get off the mark as you can see with his match reaction here, talking to Davie, who is showing a tremendous appetite for this interviewing lark. Lewis Horner did brilliantly coming in at right back and shows plenty of promise when going forward. Fon Williams looked much more assured as his Euro holiday fades into the past. The whole back line worked tirelessly and did a great job of eventually shackling Danny Swanson. Greg Tansey looks as though he is still holding something in reserve and Vigurs and Polworth were good in flashes. Striking has been a problem area but I thought Alex Fisher led the line well and all the substitutes played their part when they came on. But for sheer industry and his goal, Ross Draper was head and shoulders above everyone else and is my MotM. So, international break coming up, then away to the Dons and home to Celtic after that. Tough games ahead, but nobody said it was going to be easy. However, a weight was lifted off the shoulders yesterday and it should set us up nicely for the rest of the season. Foran is still trying to add a couple of players and that should be good enough to see us start to climb the table. Onwards and upwards! Here's Davie talking to match winner Josh Meekings after his screamer....... Footage of game from SPFL website -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inverness CT - 2 - Draper (59) Meekings (90 + 1) Fon Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Boden 84), Tansey, Horner, Fisher (Doumbouya 82), King (Mulraney 85). Subs not used: Esson, Raven, Doran, Sutherland. Booked: Draper (67) St Johnstone: - 1 - Foster (79) Mannus, Alston (Davidson 46), Anderson, MacLean, Wotherspoon, Swanson, Shaughnessy, Paton (Craig 67), Foster, Easton, Kane (Cummins 63). Subs not used: Clark, Millar, Coulson, Gordon. Booked: Wotherspoon (58) Referee: Stephen Finnie. Attendance: 2729.