Scottish Premiership - Play-off Quarter-final - 2nd Leg
Inverness CT1Ayr1

Inverness CT 1-1 Ayr United (4-2 agg): hosts set up play-off semi-final meeting with Dundee United

Coll Donaldson headed in the equaliser for Inverness
Coll Donaldson headed in the equaliser for Inverness

Inverness Caledonian Thistle are through to the semi-final of the Scottish Premiership play-offs after a 1-1 draw with Ayr secured a 4-2 aggregate win.

Luke McCowan opened the scoring for the visitors before Coll Donaldson headed Inverness level 11 minutes from time.

The Highland side will now host Dundee United in the first leg of the play-off semi-final on Tuesday.

The return leg is at Tannadice on Friday, 17 May.

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Ayr started brightly and 19-year-old McCowan's right-footed shot into the top right-hand corner after 19 minutes gave them the perfect start.

Chasing a second that would have forced extra-time, Ayr's Robbie Crawford failed to take two chances after the break.

Lawrence Shankland's efforts were also cleared by Donaldson and Jamie McCart for Inverness, while goalkeeper Mark Ridgers also denied Ayr's star striker.

But Donaldson's glancing header from Liam Polworth's free-kick ensured Inverness would be the side who are still in with a chance of playing Premiership football next season.

'I want to win the Championship' - reaction

Inverness manager John Robertson: "It's a strange situation defending a two-goal lead at home - it's awkward. The players weren't sure whether to go for it or to sit back and we were a bit safe. I thought we looked very nervous in the first 15-20 minutes. Ayr got a beautifully-worked goal and that woke us up a bit. These matches are done over 180 minutes and we've come through it."

Ayr manager Ian McCall: "I'm very disappointed. I'm very proud of the players and what they've put in over two years and a lot of them will be leaving us for bigger clubs. I thought we were the better team in both games in terms of playing football and passing the ball but ultimately theses games are about getting through.

"We need to rebuild and bring in some players. I want to build a team to try and win the Championship."

Line-ups

Inverness CT

  • 1Ridgers
  • 22McKaySubstituted forRooneyat 63'minutes
  • 5Donaldson
  • 6McCart
  • 29McHattieBooked at 89mins
  • 11WalshSubstituted forMcDonaldat 54'minutes
  • 24Trafford
  • 4Chalmers
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 7Polworth
  • 19White

Substitutes

  • 2Rooney
  • 8McCauley
  • 9Austin
  • 17McDonald
  • 21Mackay
  • 35Macgregor
  • 40Harper

Ayr

  • 1Doohan
  • 27SmithBooked at 45mins
  • 30MuirheadBooked at 29mins
  • 5Rose
  • 3HarvieBooked at 83mins
  • 8Crawford
  • 18Murdoch
  • 4KerrSubstituted forCaddenat 83'minutes
  • 11McDaidSubstituted forMillerat 77'minutes
  • 17ShanklandBooked at 87mins
  • 25McCowanSubstituted forMoffatat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Moffat
  • 10Forrest
  • 19Hare-Reid
  • 21Ecrepont
  • 23Docherty
  • 28Cadden
  • 29Miller
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
2,323

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamAyr
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home5
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Inverness CT 1, Ayr United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Ayr United 1.

Booking

Kevin McHattie (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Andy Murdoch (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Inverness CT).

Booking

Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United).

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Michael Rose (Ayr United) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Michael Moffat (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Charlie Trafford (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Ayr United. Nicky Cadden replaces Mark Kerr.

Booking

Daniel Harvie (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Shaun Rooney (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Daniel Harvie (Ayr United).

Attempt saved. Andy Murdoch (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Shaun Rooney.

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 1, Ayr United 1. Coll Donaldson (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Liam Polworth with a cross following a set piece situation.

Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Liam Smith (Ayr United).

Foul by Jamie McCart (Inverness CT).

Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ayr United. Calvin Miller replaces Declan McDaid.

Shaun Rooney (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United).

Attempt missed. Jamie McCart (Inverness CT) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Michael Rose.

Attempt missed. Robbie Crawford (Ayr United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Coll Donaldson.

Attempt missed. Declan McDaid (Ayr United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by Anthony McDonald (Inverness CT).

Daniel Harvie (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ayr United. Michael Moffat replaces Luke McCowan.

Foul by Jordan White (Inverness CT).

Ross Doohan (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Shaun Rooney replaces Brad McKay.

Attempt saved. Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Kevin McHattie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Declan McDaid (Ayr United).

Jordan White (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

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