Inverness CT 2-0 Motherwell: Match Report
Inverness CT 2-0 Motherwell: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Caley breeze past Well
Two first-half goals were enough to keep Inverness top of the Scottish Premiership with a comfortable 2-0 home success against Motherwell.
Richie Foran's early header and Billy McKay's third goal in as many games nine minutes from the interval moved Caley Thistle two points clear of second-placed St Johnstone.
The hosts were unchanged from the team that triumphed 1-0 at Dundee United last weekend.
Carl Tremarco missed out due to suspension after being sent off for the under-20s in midweek, while Marley Watkins (ankle) and Curtis Allen (knee) were still sidelined. Motherwell, who were without Adam Cummins due to a back problem, brought in Bob McHugh and Paul Lawson at the expense of Zaine Francis Angol and Henri Anier following the 3-1 loss to Aberdeen last time out.
Inverness were looking to maintain their perfect start to the new campaign and it took them only four minutes to get off and running.
Graeme Shinnie's free-kick towards the far post found Foran throwing his head towards the ball and sending a lovely effort from eight yards beyond exposed Motherwell goalkeeper Lee Hollis.
Moments later James Vincent almost doubled the home side's lead, but a timely deflection off Stephen McManus diverted the shot narrowly over the crossbar following good work by Aaron Doran.
Motherwell had made a lacklustre start yet they almost levelled when Iain Vigurs set up Keith Lasley, but the visiting captain's fierce drive from 12 yards was turned away by Inverness goalkeeper Dean Brill at his near post.
Inverness were dominating proceedings however and it took a last-ditch block by Shaun Hutchinson to prevent McKay from creating a clear goalscoring chance after being set up by Doran.
Doran was having an outstanding game and it was his incisive pass that was chased down behind the Well rearguard by David Raven, who found McKay to convert from close range in the 36th minute.
It could have got even better for Inverness as the interval approached, but Vincent was inches away from scoring with a spectacular volley from the edge of the area as he latched on to McKay's flick.
In a bid to try and salvage something from the game, Motherwell boss Stuart McCall sent on Stuart Carswell and Anier at the start of the second half for Lawson and McHugh.
The change seemed to have the desired effect as James McFadden's surge into the penalty area saw himstand up a cross to the back post that Anier connected with, but Raven was well positioned to make the block.
Motherwell then spurned a great chance to halve the deficit as Brill misjudged Vigurs' corner, yet Hutchinson could not quite keep his header on target as it landed on the roof of the net.
The Steelmen were showing more as an attacking force and looked to have strong claims for a penalty as Raven caught Vigurs from behind, but referee Iain Brines was not interested and waved away the visitors' protests.
Doran was denied by Hollis as the game entered its final 10 minutes and from the resultant corner Foran prodded an effort narrowly wide at the back post.
But the hard work had been done by Inverness in the opening half as they eased past Motherwell to keep up their 100 per cent opening to the campaign.
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