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Caley Thistle return to winning ways with 2-0 triumph against Ayr United

Daniel MacKay celebrates scoring against Ayr.
Daniel MacKay celebrates scoring against Ayr.

Caley Thistle ended a run of six matches without a win by claiming an excellent 2-0 win against Ayr United.

A goal in each half from Daniel MacKay and Shane Sutherland secured the points for John Robertson’s men, in blustery conditions at Somerset Park.

The victory moves Caley Jags into eighth, with only four points separating them from the promotion play-off spots. The Highlanders also have a number of games in hand on their rivals following a series of postponements.

Inverness made four changes for the trip to Ayrshire, with John Robertson keen to rotate his squad for a busy schedule of fixtures.

There were starts for David Carson, Danny Devine, Roddy MacGregor and Nikolay Todorov, with Sean Welsh, Brad Mckay, Miles Storey and James Keatings on the bench.

Ayr were backed by the wind in the first half and made a bright start, nearly taking a bizarre lead on nine minutes when Viljami Sinisalo launched a ball upfield which bounced narrowly over Mark Ridgers’ crossbar.

Michael Miller’s goal was disallowed.

Inverness began to make their attacking threat known, with Shane Sutherland and Todorov both seeing low efforts held by Sinisalo, while at the other end Michael Miller saw his header chalked off following a foul.

Inverness took a fine lead on 31 minutes, with Todorov striding forward before setting up Sutherland to deftly play in MacKay, and he powered a low drive beyond Sinisalo from just inside the box.

Daniel MacKay puts Inverness ahead against Ayr.

Ayr were close to levelling shortly before half time when Luke McCowan’s header forced an outstanding fingertip save around the post by Ridgers, before Joe Chalmers saw a long-range effort whistle just wide.

Inverness doubled their advantage on 53 minutes, with Todorov seeing his strike from the edge of the box blocked by Sutherland, but falling kindly for the attacker to tuck home.

Todorov spurned a fine chance to make it three just after the hour mark after being played in by MacGregor’s through ball, but Sinisalo was alert to block the effort.

Scott Allardice’s driven low free-kick caused problems for Sinisalo who was unable to gather at the first attempt, but the Honest Men defence were able to scramble the ball clear.

Scott Allardice in action against Ayr.

Robbie Deas was next to be denied by Sinisalo, with his header from Cameron Harper’s free-kick met by an excellent save by the on-loan Aston Villa goalkeeper.

Ayr knew a goal would spark a revival, and they were inches from sparking a revival on 74 minutes when Mark McKenzie pulled a low effort wide following Walsh’s delivery.

The hosts were denied again five minutes later, with Walsh seeing his volleyed effort superbly blocked by the feet of Ridgers, however Caley Jags saw the game out to claim the points.

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