Dundee United battled back from two goals down to beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Highlands.

Jonny Hayes fired Inverness ahead early on and then set up Billy McKay for the hosts' second just after the break.

Substitute Johnny Russell pulled one back for United and Roman Golobart's own goal levelled the scores.

Russell netted his second to put the Tangerines ahead for the first time and Inverness had David Davis sent off before the end.

United's victory moves Peter Houston's side up to seventh in the Scottish Premier League, while Inverness stay ninth, a point above three teams sharing bottom spot.

The game was barely 75 seconds old by the time Hayes beat goalkeeper Dusan Pernis, the winger converting from a Davis centre after United's Robbie Neilson had failed to clear his lines.

It was a bright start by Terry Butcher's side and sloppiness in possession from the visitors afforded Hayes another chance to advance, but the winger elected to pass when a shot might have been a better option.

However, Caley Thistle's rhythm was interrupted when Chris Hogg came off worse in a challenge involving team-mate Davis and the Tangerines' Gary Mackay-Steven.

Davis was booked for his tackle on Mackay-Steven and Hogg was stretchered off to be replaced with Lee Cox.

Dundee United striker Johnny Russell

Russell's introduction changed the match for Dundee United

United came close to an equaliser when captain Jon Daly rose unchallenged to meet Mackay-Steven's corner, but the striker's effort was too high.

Another mistake by Neilson gave McKay a chance to shoot and Pernis did superbly to touch the ball round the post.

But McKay was not to be denied at the start of the second half, rising to head Hayes' corner into the net.

Houston decided to take aciton by sending on Russell in place of Willo Flood and the striker made an instant impact, with the help of Stuart Armstrong.

Armstrong's impressive run created the space and chance for Russell to fire home and suddenly United's deficit was halved.

Inverness tried to re-assert themselves and Richie Foran's powerful strike was just wide.

A defensive mix-up handed the Tangerines their equaliser as Golobart intervened when the ball seemed to be heading back towards Ryan Esson and the ball evaded the goalkeeper and rolled into the net.

Golobart almost atoned for his own goal, rising to meet Hayes' free-kick and heading inches past the post.

It was Dundee United who scored the decisive next goal as Mackay-Steven played in Russell on the edge of the box and the substitute finished well past Esson.

Things went from bad to worse for Inverness as Davis picked up a second booking for another foul on Mackay-Steven, meaning Butcher's side had to play the final eight minutes with 10 men.

And the home side could not find a way back into the match.

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