Ross County beat Inverness CT for the first time since 2009, which helped edge their Highland rivals out of a Europa League spot for season 2013/14.

Canadian defender Andre Hainault put the hosts in front with a fine 10-yard volley just before half-time.

Billy McKay's opportunistic flick from David Raven's shot almost pegged back County, who had Iain Vigurs hit the post from a free-kick near the end.

St Johnstone leapfrogged Caley Thistle into third by beating Motherwell .

Despite having held second or third place in the Scottish Premier League for much of the season, Caley Thistle's loss in Dingwall means that they finish fourth, two points behind the Perth side.

No maiden journey into European football now awaits Terry Butcher's men.

Fifth-placed County have only lost two of their last 15 matches at Victoria Park and they will be delighted to get their first Highland derby win in eight attempts.

A calf injury to Michael Fraser meant goalkeeper Paul Gallacher made his Ross County debut and he comfortably dealt with Charlie Taylor's bobbling shot from distance in the opening exchanges.

Inverness CT could have qualified for European football for the first time in their history

Inverness CT could have qualified for European football for the first time in their history

But some would argue the former Dunfermline stopper should have been picking the ball out of the net when Caley Thistle defender Danny Devine stretched to turn Aaron Doran's corner wide of the post from six yards.

At the other end, Sproule, so often clinical for the hosts this season, side-footed over the crossbar from eight yards after Evangelos Ikonomou's low centre from the left-hand side.

County's Mihael Kovacevic took matters into his own hands as he darted from deep to toe-poke a 20-yard effort into the arms of visiting goalkeeper Antonio Reguero.

And, minutes later, the hosts' German striker, Steffen Wohlfarth, had Kilmarnock-bound Reguero scrambling across his goal-mouth with a speculative volley that skidded wide.

Butcher altered his midfield by replacing Conor Pepper with Nick Ross, but County's attacking continued as midfielder Stuart Kettlewell's 25-yard strike curled inches wide.

And, with half-time approaching, Derek Adams' side got the breakthrough from an unlikely source.

It was centre-back Hainault whose terrific volley lashed into the back of the net after a headed clearance from Paul Lawson's cross had fallen to the Canadian.

After the break, Caley Thistle's Aaron Doran tested Gallacher from distance, but County's impressive forward play resumed.

Sproule's dangerous cross from the right was followed by another from the left by Ikonomou that Wohlfarth nearly turned into the goal.

However, the visitors' equaliser almost arrived in strange fashion when striker McKay stuck a leg out to divert Raven's long-range strike narrowly past the upright.

End-to-end football ensued as Doran shot high for Inverness before County's Lawson had two efforts well blocked by the Inverness rear-guard.

Marauding running down the left by Ikonomou troubled Inverness all afternoon and it won the hosts a free-kick from which Vigurs hit the post.

Reguero also denied Vigurs at the death to prevent County doubling their lead.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Ross County

  • 19 Gallacher
  • 05 Boyd Booked
  • 13 Hainault
  • 18 Ikonomou
  • 22 Kovacevic
  • 07 Kettlewell Booked
  • 08 Lawson
  • 11 Vigurs
  • 16 Sproule Booked (Cooper - 90' )
  • 29 Fotheringham (Scott - 79' )
  • 15 Wohlfarth (Glen - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 28 McCarthy
  • 04 Munro
  • 23 Macphee
  • 14 Scott
  • 21 Cooper
  • 20 Glen
  • 27 Porritt

Inverness CT

  • 12 Reguero
  • 02 Raven Booked
  • 03 Shinnie Booked
  • 06 Hogg
  • 14 Meekings Booked
  • 27 Devine
  • 28 Taylor (Sutherland - 78' )
  • 10 Shinnie
  • 22 Pepper (Ross - 36' )
  • 07 McKay
  • 17 Doran

Substitutes

  • 01 Esson
  • 11 Ross
  • 20 Laing
  • 21 Polworth
  • 38 Ryan Christie
  • 18 Sutherland
  • 37 Ferguson
Ref: Norris
Att: 6,002

Match Stats

Shots

15 8

On target

8 3

Corners

4 4

Fouls

16 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:17 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +1:26

Shot by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) right-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), save (blocked) by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

90:00 +1:04

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

90:00 +0:41

Defending throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

90:00 +0:35 Booking

Booking Andrew Shinnie (Inverness CT) booked for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +0:27

Gary Glen (Ross County) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

89:24

Free kick taken right-footed by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) from left wing (20 yards),

89:24 Substitution

Substitution Ross County substitution: Ivan Sproule replaced by Alex Cooper (tactical).

89:04 Booking

Booking David Raven (Inverness CT) booked for unsporting behaviour.

88:57

Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT) on Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

86:14

Attacking throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

85:51

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

83:51

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) to centre, resulting in open play.

83:29

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

82:56

Shot by Gary Glen (Ross County) right-footed from left channel (25 yards), save (caught) by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

82:13

Foul by Nick Ross (Inverness CT) on Iain Vigurs (Ross County). Free kick crossed left-footed by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) from right channel, clearance by Daniel Devine (Inverness CT).

81:08

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

78:42

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

78:42 Substitution

Substitution Ross County substitution: Mark Fotheringham replaced by Martin Scott (tactical).

78:37

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

78:23

Shot by Paul Lawson (Ross County) right-footed from left channel (35 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

77:19

Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Gallacher (Ross County) from own half, resulting in open play.

77:19 Substitution

Substitution Inverness CT substitution: Charlie Taylor replaced by Shane Sutherland (tactical).

77:04

Charlie Taylor (Inverness CT) caught offside.

76:26

Attacking throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

75:32

Foul by Mark Fotheringham (Ross County) on Charlie Taylor (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

75:13

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

74:58

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

73:02

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) to far post, resulting in ball out of play. Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

72:31

Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

70:25

Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Lawson (Ross County) from left channel (30 yards), resulting in open play.

70:25 Booking

Booking Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) booked for unsporting behaviour.

70:20

Foul by Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) on Gary Glen (Ross County).

69:27

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

68:49

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

68:04

Shot by Paul Lawson (Ross County) right-footed from left channel (25 yards), blocked by Josh Meekings (Inverness CT).

67:25

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

66:52

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) on Charlie Taylor (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

66:39

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

66:01 Substitution

Substitution Ross County substitution: Steffen Wohlfarth replaced by Gary Glen (tactical).

65:14

Foul by Daniel Devine (Inverness CT) on Steffen Wohlfarth (Ross County). Free kick crossed right-footed by Paul Lawson (Ross County) from left wing, foul by Andre Hainault (Ross County) on Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

64:34

Shot by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

63:22

Foul by Paul Lawson (Ross County) on Nick Ross (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Chris Hogg (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

63:01

Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

62:31

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

62:01

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

61:31

Defending throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

61:14

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

60:25

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Paul Lawson (Ross County) to centre, shot by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), over the bar. Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

60:17

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

59:06

Foul by Daniel Devine (Inverness CT) on Steffen Wohlfarth (Ross County). Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Gallacher (Ross County) from own half, resulting in open play.

58:42

Attacking throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

57:59

Shot by Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right-footed from right side of penalty area (12 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

57:16

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) on Andrew Shinnie (Inverness CT). Free kick crossed right-footed by David Raven (Inverness CT) from right channel, clearance by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

56:05

Foul by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County) on Charlie Taylor (Inverness CT). Free kick crossed right-footed by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) from right wing, clearance by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

55:04

Free kick taken right-footed by Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) from right channel (25 yards), hit wall.

55:04 Booking

Booking Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) booked for unsporting behaviour.

54:51

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) on Andrew Shinnie (Inverness CT).

53:16

Shot by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) right-footed from right side of penalty area (6 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

52:10

Defending throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

51:32

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

50:44

Attacking throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

50:19

Attacking throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

49:49

Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

49:18

Foul by Steffen Wohlfarth (Ross County) on Chris Hogg (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Chris Hogg (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

48:13

Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Paul Lawson (Ross County) to centre, clearance by David Raven (Inverness CT).

48:01

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

45:49

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

45:33

Shot by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) volleyed right-footed from left channel (30 yards), save (caught) by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

45:08

Attacking throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +1:14 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +0:37

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

44:30

Shot by Mark Fotheringham (Ross County) right-footed from right side of penalty area (18 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

43:04

Assist (cross) by Paul Lawson (Ross County) from right side of penalty area.

43:04 Goal scored

Goal! - Andre Hainault - Ross Co 1 - 0 Inverness goal by Andre Hainault (Ross County) right-footed (top-right of goal) from left side of penalty area (12 yards).Ross County 1-0 Inverness CT.

42:13

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Paul Lawson (Ross County) to near post, resulting in open play. Cross by Paul Lawson (Ross County),

41:17

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

40:57

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

40:42

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

39:52

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

39:34

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

39:17

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

38:34

Shot by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) right-footed from left channel (30 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

38:22

Attacking throw-in by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

37:54

Defending throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

36:25

Shot by Charlie Taylor (Inverness CT) right-footed from right wing (20 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

35:44

Free kick taken right-footed by Chris Hogg (Inverness CT) from right channel, passed.

35:44 Booking

Booking Scott Boyd (Ross County) booked for unsporting behaviour.

35:42

Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County) on Nick Ross (Inverness CT).

35:02

Free kick taken right-footed by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) from own half, resulting in open play.

35:02 Substitution

Substitution Inverness CT substitution: Conor Pepper replaced by Nick Ross (tactical).

34:45

Foul by Daniel Devine (Inverness CT) on Paul Lawson (Ross County).

34:06

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

33:25

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

32:25

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

31:53

Defending throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

31:43

Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

31:04

Shot by Steffen Wohlfarth (Ross County) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

29:15

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Paul Lawson (Ross County) to far post, resulting in ball out of play. Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

28:37

Shot by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County) right-footed from right side of penalty area (18 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

26:49

Free kick taken right-footed by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

26:49 Booking

Booking Ivan Sproule (Ross County) booked for dissent.

26:43 Booking

Booking Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) booked for dissent.

25:56

Foul by Ivan Sproule (Ross County) on Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

25:19

Defending throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

24:09

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

23:36

Defending throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

22:49

Defending throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

22:01

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) on Charlie Taylor (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Chris Hogg (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

21:49

Attacking throw-in by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

21:17

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

20:45

Shot by Paul Lawson (Ross County) right-footed from left channel (35 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

20:14

Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

19:54

Foul by Steffen Wohlfarth (Ross County) on Chris Hogg (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Chris Hogg (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

19:12

Shot by Ivan Sproule (Ross County) right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

18:42

Defending throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

18:22

Attacking throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

17:44

Foul by Mark Fotheringham (Ross County) on Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

17:12

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

16:42

Defending throw-in by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

14:13

Foul by Chris Hogg (Inverness CT) on Steffen Wohlfarth (Ross County). Free kick crossed right-footed by Iain Vigurs (Ross County) from right channel, save (caught) by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

13:43

Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

13:06

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

12:22

Attacking throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

12:08

Defending throw-in by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County).

11:16

Foul by Mihael Kovacevic (Ross County) on Aaron Doran (Inverness CT). Free kick taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

10:10

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) to far post, header by Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) from right side of penalty area (12 yards), over the bar. Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

10:03

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

9:44

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

9:19

Goal kick taken long by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT).

7:48

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) to near post, shot by Daniel Devine (Inverness CT) right-footed from right side of six-yard box (6 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

7:35

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) on Andrew Shinnie (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Billy McKay (Inverness CT) from own half, passed.

7:19

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

7:02

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

5:16

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

4:20

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

4:15

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

3:31

Shot by Charlie Taylor (Inverness CT) left-footed from left channel (30 yards), save (caught) by Paul Gallacher (Ross County).

3:18

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

2:38

Foul by Ivan Sproule (Ross County) on Josh Meekings (Inverness CT). Free kick taken right-footed by Antonio Reguero (Inverness CT) from own half, resulting in open play.

2:18

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

1:49

Attacking throw-in by Evangelos Ikonomou (Ross County).

1:06

Attacking throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

0:51

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

0:27

Defending throw-in by David Raven (Inverness CT).

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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