Caley Jags reach last 16 of Irn Bru Cup in feisty encounter with young Dons

Carl Tremarco was on the scoresheet for Caley Thistle.

Caley Thistle progressed to the last 16 of the Irn Bru Cup with a 4-2 victory against Aberdeen’s under-20s.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Riccardo Calder broke the deadlock after four minutes before Liam Polworth slotted home the second midway through the first period.

David Raven added a third five minutes before the break but Seb Ross pulled one back for Paul Sheerin’s side early in the second half.

Carl Tremarco marked his return from a cruciate ligament injury by getting on the scoresheet, heading home Caley Thistle’s fourth after 83 minutes.

Aberdeen midfielder Frank Ross and his Caley Thistle counterpart Charlie Trafford saw red with three minutes remaining before Bruce Anderson netted for the young Dons in the 90th minute.

It took Caley Thistle only four minutes to take the lead when Brad Mckay’s long diagonal picked out Calder whose first-time header looped over Dons goalkeeper Archie Mair.

Caley Jags captain Iain Vigurs fizzed an effort over the crossbar soon after as the Scottish Championship men pressed for a second.

The young Dons almost equalised in the 12th minute when Bruce Anderson drew a magnificent save from Mark Ridgers after some fine play from Frank Ross.

John Baird went close soon after but his powerful attempt was clawed away by Mair before Lewis Hutchison and Bruce Anderson were denied by Ridgers at the other end following a swift Dons counter-attack.

Inverness doubled their advantage in the 25th minute when Alex Cooper sent a low cross into the path of the unmarked Polworth for the easiest of finishes.

That was harsh on the young Dons who were playing well and they almost pulled one back following another quick counter but Hutchison dragged his effort wide.

Caley Thistle went close to a third when a Mckay header struck the post and Baird’s effort was deflected wide.

But John Robertson’s men added to their tally from the resulting corner when Polworth rolled the ball into the path of Raven on the edge of the area whose firm drive beat Mair.

The young Dons pulled one back six minutes into the second half when Seb Ross charged down a short pass-back from Coll Donaldson and Ridgers’ attempted clearance struck the Dons midfielder and finished in the back of the net.

John Baird was denied a fourth for Caley Thistle by Mair before Carl Tremarco came on for Vigurs to make his first appearance since April following a cruciate ligament injury.

The returning left back got on the scoresheet with seven minutes remaining when he nodded home a George Oakley cross from close range.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men with three minutes remaining when Frank Ross was shown a red card for a reckless challenge on Joe Chalmers, while Caley Thistle midfielder Charlie Trafford was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

The young Dons scored a second in the final minute when Bruce Anderson skipped past Matthew Elsdon and fired beyond Ridgers.