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Lawrence Shankland scores four as Caley Thistle start season with heavy defeat at Dundee United

Dundee United's Lawrence Shankland scored four in the last meeting between the two sides.
Dundee United's Lawrence Shankland scored four in the last meeting between the two sides.

Lawrence Shankland netted four times as Dundee United got their Championship campaign off to a flying start with a 4-1 victory against Caley Thistle.

Shankland scored twice in the first half either side of a Tom Walsh leveller before completing his treble eight minutes into the second half.

After a hat-trick of headers, Shankland notched his fourth with a low drive with four minutes to go to complete the scoring.

Miles Storey, a free agent after leaving Partick Thistle, was named on the Caley Thistle bench after returning to the club on a two-year deal.

The visitors went close to breaking the deadlock inside two minutes when Jordan White picked out the unmarked James Keatings but his effort found the wrong side of the post.

United made the most of that reprieve five minutes later when Louis Appere crossed for Shankland to head home.

It went from bad to worse soon after when Inverness defender Brad Mckay was stretchered off with only 21 minutes gone and replaced by James Vincent.

But Inverness gradually came into the game and drew level after 30 minutes from a Keatings corner with Walsh in the right place to smash home after a Jamie McCart header was tipped onto the crossbar by Benjamin Siegrist.

But the visitors remained on level terms for only a minute with Shankland netting his and United’s second when he was again left with too much space in the area to head home from a Paul McMullan cross.

The former Ayr United forward completed his hat-trick eight minutes into the second half when he headed home a Louis Appere cross to complete.

Caley Jags should have pulled one back almost immediately when but Vincent failed to convert from only four yards out.

John Robertson made a double change with just under 20 minutes to go with Storey and Nikolay Todorov replacing Keatings and White.

Ridgers spared Coll Donaldson of an own goal before Vincent made a goal-line clearance to deny Cammy Smith United’s fourth.

But United were to get a fourth and it was Shankland on target once again, showing great composure in the penalty area before driving the ball beyond Ridgers.

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