Scottish Premiership
Ross County3Inverness CT2

Ross County 3-2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Liam Boyce
Liam Boyce scored two goals for Ross County as they beat Highland rivals Inverness 3-1

Liam Boyce scored twice as Ross County beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-2 to leave their Highland rivals bottom of the Scottish Premiership and without a win in 10 matches.

Boyce netted a derby hat-trick earlier this season - and bagged first-half double either side of Carl Tremarco's diving header.

Martin Woods put County 3-1 up on the hour mark, before Alex Fisher's close-range finish set-up a frenetic finale.

Ross County end 2016 in sixth place.

County end year in style

It's been quite a year for County with a League Cup trophy and top-six finish achieved. This was an important win in their quest to finish there again this season.

They're now seven points clear of their Highland rivals and stretched that pack of sevens teams who've been so tightly bunched for so long.

County started brightly and were rewarded immediately. It was another well-worked corner, something they do well, that exposed Inverness' back-line with Andrew Davies flicking to Kenny van der Weg.

He was composed and floated it back into the danger area where Boyce guided the ball in off the bar, before adding his second with a cross-cum-shot.

The clincher was something County have lacked at times since Jackson Irvine's departure to Burton Albion but Woods got beyond the Inverness defence and finished well.

Boyce brilliant

County boss Jim McIntyre deployed Boyce in a deeper, wider role than normal but it didn't diminish his influence. He's not just about goals and while his instinct is to deliver that, he was effective in other ways.

His second goal was perhaps fortunate as it appeared to be a searching cross which took a slight nick off Josh Meekings into the corner.

Alex Fisher scores for Inverness
Alex Fisher prodded home a late goal for Inverness, who are without a win in 10 games

Boyce should have had a third when Alex Schalk sent over a tantalising ball which the striker tried to take first time but shanked wide.

His value to County is unquestionable and if he stays fit and on this type of form, County will comfortably challenge to finish in the top half of the table.

A bridge too far

Inverness have a great record crossing the Kessock Bridge to Dingwall with five wins from their last five prior to this clash.

When you're bottom of the table the last thing you need is conceding a goal almost immediately.

It was terribly soft with the defence slow to react twice before Boyce pounced.

The reaction was impressive as Richie Foran's side went on the front foot and pinned Ross County back.

They were rewarded by another well executed set-piece with Gary Warren bulldozing his way to the ball allowing Tremarco to net with a diving header.

Just when you thought County were cruising, Fisher pounced on Scott Fox's parry to offer a glimmer of hope. It didn't materialise with Billy King closest to a leveller.

Manager Richie Foran will look to add to his squad in the coming weeks. They have time to recover but will need a positive start when the season resumes.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 5McEveleyBooked at 76mins
  • 28van der Weg
  • 8WoodsSubstituted forFranksat 71'minutes
  • 12Chow
  • 4Routis
  • 9DowSubstituted forDingwallat 90+2'minutes
  • 10Boyce
  • 23SchalkSubstituted forCurranat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Curran
  • 16Dingwall
  • 17Franks
  • 31McCarey
  • 43Quinn
  • 44McLaughlin
  • 52Tumility

Inverness CT

  • 25Fon Williams
  • 22McKayBooked at 90mins
  • 5WarrenBooked at 46mins
  • 6Meekings
  • 3Tremarco
  • 8Draper
  • 16Tansey
  • 29ColeSubstituted forKingat 56'minutes
  • 11VigursSubstituted forBodenat 73'minutes
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 26DoumbouyaSubstituted forFisherat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 7Polworth
  • 15Mulraney
  • 18Fisher
  • 19Boden
  • 20King
  • 21Sutherland
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
5,111

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home14
Away12
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away10
Fouls
Home8
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 3, Inverness CT 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 3, Inverness CT 2.

Booking

Brad McKay (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Brad McKay (Inverness CT).

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Tony Dingwall replaces Ryan Dow.

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

Christopher Routis (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Andrew Davies.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Scott Fox.

Attempt saved. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Billy King (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Owain Fon Williams.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 3, Inverness CT 2. Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Billy King.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Kenny van der Weg.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jay McEveley.

Attempt blocked. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Billy King (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).

Booking

Jay McEveley (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Gary Warren.

Attempt blocked. Craig Curran (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Scott Boden replaces Iain Vigurs.

Foul by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

Kenny van der Weg (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jonathan Franks replaces Martin Woods because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) header from the right side of the six yard box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Andrew Davies.

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Inverness CT).

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Craig Curran replaces Alex Schalk.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 3, Inverness CT 1. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alex Schalk.

Attempt missed. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Billy King replaces Larnell Cole.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Alex Fisher replaces Lonsana Doumbouya.

Attempt missed. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic20191054144058
2Rangers2111642821739
3Aberdeen20114535191637
4Hearts2187638261231
5St Johnstone207762524128
6Ross County215882336-1323
7Partick Thistle215792429-522
8Dundee2164112128-722
9Motherwell205692533-821
10Kilmarnock214891635-1920
11Hamilton2121182131-1017
12Inverness CT2137112640-1416
View full Scottish Premiership table

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