Caley Jags turn the tide with pre-season friendly

© JasperimageCaley Jordon in action
Caley Jordon in action

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson was pleased his side overcame their early rustiness to triumph 6-3 against Strathspey Thistle.

Inverness made a rocky start at Seafield Park and were two goals behind at half time, but recovered to win comfortably courtesy of a six-goal second-half performance.

Robertson noted his players’ lack of sharpness in the early stages of their first pre-season outing, but he hailed their response after the interval.

Robertson said: “It’s natural we were going to be rusty. The guys had a real tough week of running, so there was a lot of fatigue.

“Strathspey’s match fitness was better than ours – it showed it was their third game. We were slack and moved the ball too slowly. The attitude wasn’t where we wanted it to be and we found ourselves two goals down.

“In pre-season, whilst you don’t want it, it suddenly made the guys realise they were in a real game. We spoke at half time about the pace we were playing at compared to the pace of Strathspey, which was a really high tempo.”

Robertson was impressed with Gordon Nicolson’s Jags side, who ran the rule over a number of trialists in the second half.

Robertson added: “I give a lot of plaudits to Strathspey, particularly in the first half. It was always going to be hard for them in the second half once we found the tempo we wanted but they hung in there.

“They showed they are building a really good squad for this year.”

Strathspey made an impressive start and took the lead within four minutes, with Scott Lisle making a marauding burst down the right before crossing for Craig MacMillan to turn home.

Thistle doubled their advantage from the penalty spot on 12 minutes, with James McShane tucking home after being felled in the box at a corner.

Inverness turned the game on its head with three fine goals in the space of 10 minutes.

Jordan White pulled one back with a long-range piledriver on 58 minutes, before youngster Roddy MacGregor levelled on the half-volley three minutes later.

Inverness went in front for the first time in spectacular style on 68 minutes, with Charlie Trafford netting an overhead kick following a corner.

On-loan Middlesbrough forward Mitch Curry netted a fine strike on his first outing for Caley Jags, calmly slotting past Michael MacCallum after being played through by White, who made it five from the penalty spot after Curry had been felled.

Strathspey pulled a goal back through Martin Duncan on 83 minutes and although they threatened a revival, with Chris MacLennan’s strike thwarted by a fine save from substitute goalkeeper Martin MacKinnon, Inverness added a sixth courtesy of teenager Millar Gamble.