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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)
Still in our Shadows Inverness kept Ross County in their shadows with a hard fought 2-1 win at the Global Energy Stadium. The damage was done just before half time in two brilliant counter attacking moves. The first came at the end of a multi player move and culminated with Miles Storey burying the ball behind Scott Fox. He was beaten again a couple of minutes later following a swift break by Storey. We won a corner and James Vincent neatly nodded home the ball home after a bit of head tennis in the box. County responded well in the second half but Fon-Williams and his defence held firm until Liam Boyce scored in the ninetieth minute to give the hosts some hope of getting a leveller in the six minutes that followed. It was not going to happen though and Inverness took all three points back over the bridge and the bragging rights remain with us until the League Cup encounter at least, on 27th October. It's official, we now get to keep Ross County after our fourth win in a row at the Global Energy Stadium. It was a great day for a game of football, dry and no wind and a large crowd for the first Highland derby of the season. The away end looked pretty full as the teams came out. Inverness had won the previous three meetings in Dingwall, but County had started the season the better of the two sides. John Hughes went with the same squad that started against Aberdeen, minus the suspended Ryan Christie. That meant that Liam Polworth kept his place in the starting X1 and Andrea Mutombo was the new face. Carl Tremarco started on the bench along with Iain Vigurs, but Tobi Sho-Silva was still not available. County had Andrew Davies suspended, and De Vita and Dingwall were on the bench. The early exchanges were a bit tentative as both sides probed for an opening. County looked to be trying to take the initiative with Inverness looking to contain and counter attack at pace. Both keepers were called into action, but were untroubled making comfortable saves from Stewart Murdoch and James Vincent respectively. The first big chance fell to Michael Gardyne after David Raven made a hash of cutting out a cross from the County right. The ball deflected off his boot and looped onto the boot of Gardyne in a menacing position eight yards from goal, but he skied his effort just over the bar much to the amusement of the away fans. County were beginning to see more of the ball as we sat deep and another couple of long range attempts went off target from Richard Foster and Liam Boyce as the first half hour of the game passed. Inverness got to grips with the game and started pushing forward, winning a couple of corners and that got the fans approval as half time approached. After 41 minutes, we made the breakthrough, and a fantastic team goal it was too. We collected the ball on the halfway line and worked it across the back line and up the other flank. Eight players were involved in this one with Liam Polworth contributing twice as he burst into the box to cross for Miles Storey who slotted home, sending Scott Fox the wrong way. A goal fit to win any game. County were stunned and they were caught out two minutes later, Miles Storey the creator this time. He turned and sprinted away from Boyd before smashing a shot from the left side which Fox blocked. The ball bounced out of the box where Vincent met it and his effort was also blocked, but at the expense of a corner. From the resultant corner, a hesitant County defence allowed Devine to head on to Vincent, who popped up in the right place to plant his header into the net to further stun the Jail End and send Inverness in at the break two up. Half Time 0-2 Jim McIntyre would have been reading the riot act after their first half collapse and County looked eager to impress after the break. Liam Boyce tested Fon-Williams in the first minute and the Welsh keeper saved down low to his left. Brian Graham shot wide as County surged forward and Williams again saved from Jackson Irvine down to his left once more. Boyce headed over as the home pressure continued with Inverness content to soak it up and Murdoch went close as well. On the hour, County had to replace Scott Fox in goal as the keeper landed awkwardly on his ankle after clearing a looping cross. He was applauded off the park by both sets of fans as he left the field on a stretcher with possible ligament damage. Ouch! Boyce was thwarted once more by a diving Fon-Williams as he handsomely clutched a header out of the air in spectacular fashion, and Irvine's header met with the same fate. County had bossed the second half in terms of possession, but the Inverness defence were standing tall and it looked as though the home side were running out of ideas with the clock heading towards the ninety. But, similar to the second Inverness goal, Boyce headed home as the defenders watched him get the second header unchallenged to give them a glimmer of hope. Five minutes of time were added on and the visiting fans were once more twitching their keeky winkers as County flooded forward, but they could not breach our defence for a second time and the Highland Derby was won by the boys from Inverness. Full Time 1-2 A pulsating game at times and this was a hard fought game between two decent sides. Miles Storey was the difference and his electric pace gave Boyd and Co plenty to think about. Our first goal was Storey's fourth goal in five appearances. Great return from the loan striker. And James Vincent is popping up with vital goals as well, making tremendous box to box runs and getting the rewards for his efforts. Fon-Williams was superb in goal and big Ross Draper put in some shift, booking included. Liam Polworth played a huge part in the first goal and his confidence must be getting a boost. To be honest, we had no failures and it was a standard away day counter attacking performance, and worthy of the three points. For his superb goal and loan striker performance, the lively Miles Storey is my MotM. International break next week, then off to Kilmarnock. Good times. Date: 03/10/15 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall Attendance: 5473Referee: Willie Collum Ross County: 1 Lineup: Fox (Woods 60), Boyd, Boyce, Gardyne, Foster, Graham (Dingwall 72), Irvine, Franks (De Vita 74), Murdoch, Fraser, Robertson Subs (not used): McShane, Holden, Reckord Scorers: Boyce (90) Booked: Murdoch (90) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Vincent, Meekings, Draper, Devine, Tansey, Williams (Vigurs 90), Polworth, Mbuyi-Mutombo (Tremarco 74), Storey Subs (not used): Esson, Lopez, Wedderburn, Horner, Sutherland Scorers: Storey (42), Vincent (45) Booked: Raven (56), Draper (64), Mbuyi-Mutombo (72) Sent Off: none