Inverness remain top of the Scottish Premiership following a convincing victory over 10-man Hearts.

A first-half double from Billy McKay ensured Terry Butcher's men took the three points.

McKay could have scored more as he missed from the penalty spot following Jamie Hamill's dismissal in the second half for deliberate handball.

The hosts should have added to their victory with McKay, Richie Foran and James Vincent coming close.

Despite it being top versus bottom in the SPFL encounter the message given to the hosts beforehand would have been that looks can be deceiving.

Although Gary Locke's men are marooned at the bottom of the table, they have made a promising start, making inroads into their 15-point administration deficit, having gone three games unbeaten since their opening day defeat to St Johnstone.

But Caley Thistle were intent on putting up blockades to stop them chipping further away at their penalty, with McKay a constant nuisance to the visitors, who should have had a hat-trick at least and Hearts' cause was not helped by Hamill's late sending off.

Inverness had made the gesture of donating £5 to the Hearts supporters' fighting fund for every ticket sold over the average away support attendance of 650 before the game, however, their play was much less charitable as confidence oozed through the team from their own sizzling start to the season.

After a bright start by Hearts, with Jamie Walker having a half-chance - dragging his shot wide - Butcher's men took the lead through McKay as he rifled the ball past Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald after excellent build-up play by David Raven.

Locke's side, though, have exhibited a determination and indefatigable spirit this campaign and it was typified by the way Callum Paterson battled hard down the wing before Walker once again attempted to beat goalkeeper Dean Brill from the angle.

However, Inverness are top of the league on merit and they put a massive dent into Hearts' hopes of grabbing anything from the match when McKay doubled their lead, clinically, curling a shot past MacDonald from a Vincent pass on a ruthless Thistle counter-attack.

Hearts were close to getting themselves back into the game shortly before half-time as Walker rattled the post after sloppy play by Caley Thistle defender Graeme Shinnie.

Inverness defender Gary Warren threatened to compound Hearts' problems when his header cannoned off the crossbar before McKay came close to the hat-trick twice in quick succession.

Foran then powered a 30-yard drive bringing out the best in shot-stopper MacDonald as Inverness continued to pile pressure on the visitors.

A mistake from Scott Robinson nearly gave McKay another opportunity to take the match ball home with him but MacDonald was determined to thwart the 24-year-old.

Hearts finished the game with 10 men for the second week in succession as Hamill was dismissed for deliberate handball in the box but the visiting goalkeeper denied McKay his hat-trick.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Inverness CT

  • 12 Brill
  • 02 Raven
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 05 Warren
  • 06 Meekings
  • 08 Draper
  • 09 Foran
  • 10 Doran Booked
  • 11 Ross
  • 04 Vincent (Greenhalgh - 90' )
  • 07 McKay (Agdestein - 89' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Esson
  • 14 Devine
  • 18 Tremarco
  • 17 Greenhalgh
  • 19 Williams
  • 20 Polworth
  • 23 Agdestein

Hearts

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 02 Hamill Dismissed
  • 05 McGowan
  • 16 McKay
  • 30 McGhee
  • 08 Robinson
  • 12 Paterson
  • 14 Walker (Nicholson - 74' )
  • 15 Holt Booked
  • 20 Tapping (Oliver - 61' )
  • 17 Smith (B King - 55' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Ridgers
  • 32 Buchanan
  • 19 B King
  • 26 A King
  • 28 Nicholson
  • 31 Beith
  • 29 Oliver
Ref: Beaton
Att: 4,034

Match Stats

Shots

19 3

On target

7 0

Corners

8 1

Fouls

13 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:32 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +0:29 Substitution

Substitution James Vincent leaves the field to be replaced by Ben Greenhalgh.

88:56 Substitution

Substitution Torbjorn Agdestein joins the action as a substitute, replacing Billy McKay.

84:51

Clearance by Ross Draper.

84:41

Free kick taken by Scott Robinson.

84:26

Foul by Josh Meekings on Callum Paterson, free kick awarded.

82:45

Ross Draper takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the left of the net.

82:26

Free kick taken by Ross Draper.

82:04 Booking

Booking

82:04

Jason Holt booked.

81:58

Jason Holt challenges Richie Foran unfairly and gives away a free kick.

81:02 Dismissal

Dismissal

81:02

Jamie Hamill receives a red card for serious foul play.

80:50

The referee penalises Jamie Hamill for handball.

80:36

Billy McKay takes a shot.

79:22

Corner taken by Aaron Doran.

79:16

Brad McKay manages to make a clearance.

79:01

Corner from the left by-line taken by Aaron Doran.

76:09

Free kick taken by Dean Brill.

75:52

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jason Holt on Ross Draper.

74:34

Gary Oliver crosses the ball.

73:45 Substitution

Substitution Sam Nicholson on for Jamie Walker.

72:40

Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.

72:19

Jamie Walker concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Foran.

71:23

Richie Foran takes a shot.

70:57

Free kick taken by Dean Brill.

70:33

Foul by Gary Oliver on Josh Meekings, free kick awarded.

69:53

Free kick taken by Dean Brill.

69:47

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Oliver on Gary Warren.

69:00

Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.

68:51

Scott Robinson fouled by Aaron Doran, the ref awards a free kick.

68:29

Dean Brill takes the free kick.

68:02

Gary Oliver challenges Gary Warren unfairly and gives away a free kick.

66:40

Billy McKay takes a shot.

65:44

Aaron Doran takes a shot and went wide left of the net.

65:19

The ball is swung over by Aaron Doran.

65:05

Corner taken by Aaron Doran from the left by-line.

64:45

Corner taken by Aaron Doran.

63:58

Aaron Doran takes a shot and goes over the bar.

60:50

Josh Meekings takes the free kick.

60:41 Substitution

Substitution Callum Tapping leaves the field to be replaced by Gary Oliver.

60:20

Jason Holt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Doran.

59:40

Header at goal by Gary Warren. Jamie MacDonald safely holds on.

59:34

Corner from the left by-line taken by Aaron Doran.

59:04

Shot by Richie Foran. Jamie MacDonald parries the ball away.

57:44

Scott Robinson restarts play with the free kick.

57:37

Unfair challenge on Jason Holt by Ross Draper results in a free kick.

55:17

Callum Tapping takes the free kick.

55:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ross Draper on Callum Tapping.

55:00

Billy McKay takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Jamie MacDonald safely holds on.

54:26 Substitution

Substitution (Hearts) makes a substitution, with Billy King coming on for David Smith.

53:02

Shot by Billy McKay went wide right of the net.

51:58

David Raven produces a cross.

51:25

Dean Brill restarts play with the free kick.

51:18

Foul by Jamie Walker on David Raven, free kick awarded.

51:05

Jamie Hamill takes the free kick.

50:57

Free kick awarded for a foul by David Raven on David Smith.

49:56

The ball is sent over by Nick Ross.

49:01

Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.

48:54

Ross Draper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Brad McKay.

48:20

Richie Foran takes a shot and went wide of the left-hand upright.

47:59

Header by Gary Warren strikes the bar.

47:49

The ball is swung over by Graeme Shinnie.

47:26

The ball is sent over by Graeme Shinnie.

47:02

Corner from the right by-line taken by Graeme Shinnie.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +0:59 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

44:57

A cross is delivered by Aaron Doran.

41:58

Clearance made by Josh Meekings.

41:55

Scott Robinson takes the free kick.

41:45

Foul by Ross Draper on Scott Robinson, free kick awarded.

41:12

Aaron Doran takes a shot. Jamie MacDonald catches the ball.

40:27

Shot by Jamie Walker missed to the right of the target.

40:09

The ball is sent over by David Smith.

37:22

David Raven restarts play with the free kick.

36:58

Callum Tapping gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ross Draper.

33:08

Dylan McGowan restarts play with the free kick.

32:53

Aaron Doran receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

32:53 Booking

Booking

32:44

Aaron Doran gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamie Hamill.

31:49

The assist for the goal came from James Vincent.

31:49 Goal scored

Goal! - Billy McKay - Inverness 2 - 0 Hearts Billy McKay scores a right footed goal. Inverness CT 2-0 Hearts.

31:18

Clearance by Ross Draper.

30:38

Josh Meekings makes a clearance.

30:31

Free kick taken by Jamie Hamill.

30:25

Gary Warren concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Robinson.

29:30

Shot by Richie Foran.

28:01

Shot by Nick Ross went wide of the left-hand post.

25:30

Callum Tapping has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the net.

24:36

Scott Robinson restarts play with the free kick.

24:30

Ross Draper challenges Callum Tapping unfairly and gives away a free kick.

23:18

Jamie Hamill takes the free kick.

23:12

Unfair challenge on David Smith by David Raven results in a free kick.

21:53

Corner taken by David Smith.

21:22

Callum Tapping restarts play with the free kick.

21:17

James Vincent concedes a free kick for a foul on Callum Tapping.

17:48

Dylan McGowan makes a clearance.

17:16

Free kick taken by Ross Draper.

17:12

Callum Tapping concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Foran.

14:47

Aaron Doran sends in a cross.

14:20

David Smith crosses the ball.

13:42

Dylan McGowan makes a clearance.

13:35

Graeme Shinnie delivers the ball.

12:43

Dean Brill restarts play with the free kick.

11:51

David Smith is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

10:39

Clearance by Brad McKay.

10:32

The ball is swung over by David Raven.

10:07

Clearance by Gary Warren.

10:01

Free kick crossed by Jamie Hamill.

9:52

Graeme Shinnie challenges Callum Paterson unfairly and gives away a free kick.

9:25

Assist by Aaron Doran.

9:25 Goal scored

Goal! - Billy McKay - Inverness 1 - 0 Hearts Billy McKay grabs a goal with a right foot finish. Inverness CT 1-0 Hearts.

9:21

Aaron Doran produces a cross.

8:07

Richie Foran takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the left of the target.

7:39

Dean Brill takes the free kick.

7:21

Jason Holt is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

6:04

Richie Foran takes the free kick.

5:59

Jamie Walker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richie Foran.

4:59

Jamie Hamill restarts play with the free kick.

4:51

Billy McKay is caught offside.

4:38

Dean Brill restarts play with the free kick.

4:25

The offside flag is raised against David Smith.

3:04

Corner taken by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line.

2:55

Clearance made by Brad McKay.

2:48

The ball is swung over by Aaron Doran.

2:40

Corner taken by Graeme Shinnie.

2:26

The ball is sent over by David Raven.

1:31

Jamie Walker has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the goal.

0:00

The match begins.

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