The seeds for a Highland derby rivalry were sown 25 years ago today when the first meeting between Ross County and Caley Thistle took place at Victoria Park.
After the two sides gained entry to the Scottish Football League in 1994, Bobby Wilson’s County played host to the first meeting between the two clubs in Dingwall.
The Staggies were unable to prevent the newly-formed Caley Jags running out 3-1 winners however. Sergei Baltacha’s men took an early lead through Sandy MacLeod’s own goal, however Andy MacLeod levelled from the penalty spot shortly after the break.
Another own goal from Chris Somerville, along with a Wilson Robertson effort, sealed the victory for Caley Thistle however.
It proved to be a typically feisty derby affair, with referee Joe Kelly brandishing 10 cards including reds for County’s Gary Campbell and Inverness’ Mike Andrew.
It was to be the first of 61 meetings between the two clubs to date, and marked the start of Inverness’ strong record in the fixture, with the Caledonian Stadium outfit boasting 26 victories compared to County’s 17, with the remaining 18 matches ending as draws.
The Staggies have enjoyed a derby resurgence in recent years however, with Caley Jags’ last victory in 90 minutes coming in March 2016.
Team-lines for first Highland derby on August 27, 1994:
Ross County: Hutchison, Somerville, Campbell, Williamson, S MacLeod, A MacLeod (Connelly 79), Ferries, Grant, McPherson, Herd, Wilson. Subs not used – McMillan, Duff.
Caley Thistle: McRitchie, Brennan, Andrew, MacDonald (Hastings 46), Noble, McAllister, Scott, Bennett, Hercher, McKenzie, Robertson. Subs not used – Calder, Macmillan.