Scottish Championship
Ayr0Inverness CT2

Ayr United 0-2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle: Hosts miss chance to go top

Shaun Rooney scores for Inverness against Ayr United
Shaun Rooney broke clear to score the second Inverness goal at Somerset Park

Managerless Ayr United missed the chance to move top of the Scottish Championship as Inverness claimed a deserved victory at Somerset Park.

After league leaders Dundee United lost at Alloa Athletic, second-placed Ayr needed only a point to usurp them.

But James Vincent and Shaun Rooney struck to power the visitors within two points of Ayr and Dundee United, and end the former's five-game winning run.

Ayr have yet to appoint a permanent successor to Ian McCall.

This was a second game - and first defeat - at the helm for caretaker duo Sandy Stewart and Mark Kerr, who have been in charge since McCall's departure to Partick Thistle last month.

The match started at tremendous pace with Caley Thistle's Miles Storey coming close inside the first minute, before Luke McCowan and Michael Moffat both brought good saves from Mark Ridgers in the away goal.

It was the visitors who took the lead in controversial circumstances when, with Jordan White down in the six-yard box and the Ayr defence hesitant, Vincent diverted Rooney's cross into the net.

After the break, Sam Roscoe's poor pass-back had sent Roddy MacGregor scampering through on goal, but the United defender redeemed himself with a terrific saving tackle.

Rooney settled the outcome on 64 minutes when Rooney surged on to Coll Donaldson's clearance and finished coolly past Ross Doohan, and Aaron Doran could have made it 3-0 with 12 minutes left, but blasted over from close range.

Ayr United caretaker manager Sandy Stewart: "I can't fault the team's effort. While I don't think we were as good today as we have been in the last five or six weeks, we still had chances to take something from the game.

"People will look at the Dundee United loss to Alloa and be disappointed we did not take advantage today, but it was always going to be a tight race at the top and that has not changed."

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "We are only eight games in, but it is important that we are still there at the top of the table. We faced the best team in the Championship today and we asked the players to put on a performance, show their character and that's what they did in some style."

Line-ups

Ayr

  • 1Doohan
  • 14Houston
  • 2MuirheadBooked at 79mins
  • 5Roscoe-Byrne
  • 3Harvie
  • 6GegganBooked at 75minsSubstituted forDoolanat 76'minutes
  • 23Docherty
  • 30Kelly
  • 11McCowan
  • 7Moffat
  • 10Forrest

Substitutes

  • 8Doolan
  • 9Moore
  • 12McGuffie
  • 19Hare-Reid
  • 21Ecrepont
  • 22McKenzie

Inverness CT

  • 1Ridgers
  • 2Rooney
  • 5Donaldson
  • 6McCart
  • 3Tremarco
  • 14Vincent
  • 4WelshSubstituted forTraffordat 30'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 17Storey
  • 28MacGregorSubstituted forCarsonat 67'minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 9WhiteSubstituted forTodorovat 70'minutesBooked at 79mins

Substitutes

  • 8Carson
  • 12McHattie
  • 19Todorov
  • 21MacKay
  • 22McKay
  • 24Trafford
  • 27Machado
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
1,912

Match Stats

Home TeamAyrAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Ayr United 0, Inverness CT 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ayr United 0, Inverness CT 2.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jordan Houston.

Attempt blocked. James Vincent (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Booking

Charlie Trafford (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ross Docherty (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Charlie Trafford (Inverness CT).

Attempt missed. Luke McCowan (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

Ross Docherty (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Carson (Inverness CT).

Attempt blocked. Nikolay Todorov (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Kris Doolan (Ayr United).

Shaun Rooney (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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

Foul by Nikolay Todorov (Inverness CT).

Attempt missed. Sam Roscoe-Byrne (Ayr United) header from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Jamie McCart.

Luke McCowan (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT).

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Mark Ridgers.

Attempt saved. Kris Doolan (Ayr United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Booking

Nikolay Todorov (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

David Carson (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Aaron Muirhead (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card.

Kris Doolan (Ayr United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jamie McCart (Inverness CT).

Attempt missed. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Ayr United. Kris Doolan replaces Andrew Geggan.

Booking

Andrew Geggan (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Andrew Geggan (Ayr United).

David Carson (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nikolay Todorov (Inverness CT).

Aaron Muirhead (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

David Carson (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Houston (Ayr United).

Charlie Trafford (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ross Docherty (Ayr United).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Nikolay Todorov replaces Jordan White because of an injury.

Foul by Andrew Geggan (Ayr United).

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

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee Utd86022281418
2Ayr8602178918
3Inverness CT8512148616
4Dundee83321011-112
5Morton83141120-910
6Queen of Sth823346-29
7Arbroath8224510-58
8Alloa8224713-68
9Dunfermline814389-17
10Partick Thistle81251015-55
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