Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Caley Thistle hit goal trail to hammer Hamilton Accies ahead of play-off clash

Tom Walsh (right) celebrates after scoring the first goal against Hamilton.
Tom Walsh (right) celebrates after scoring the first goal against Hamilton.

Caley Thistle go into next week’s promotion play-off against Partick Thistle on a winning note thanks to a rousing 4-0 victory at home to Hamilton in their last game of the Championship season.

Billy Dodds’ Highlanders, who had yet to defeat Hamilton this season, have won six of their final eight matches, so are well placed for their shot at glory as they aim to follow champions Kilmarnock into the Premiership.

As terrific as ICT were, Hamilton, with nothing to play for beyond these 90 minutes, were poor all round.

Last weekend’s 1-0 win at Morton ensured ICT finished third as they hosted Accies, who have ended the campaign in sixth position.

Billy Dodds’ Highlanders, who had yet to defeat Hamilton this season, have won six of their final eight matches, so are well placed for their shot at glory as they aim to follow champions Kilmarnock into the Premiership.

Partick’s almost certain place in the play-offs was confirmed on Friday despite their 3-1 loss at Ayr United, who secured their safety, with fifth-placed Raith Rovers drawing 1-1 against Killie.

Runners-up Arbroath, who rounded off their incredible year with a 3-0 victory over Morton, await the play-off quarter-final winners on May 10 and 13.

Early goals from Tom Walsh and Shane Sutherland had ICT coasting. Another from Walsh and a Joe Hardy strike made it four inside half an hour and there was no further scoring.

Tom Walsh (left) scores the opening goal.

As expected, Inverness made a number of changes to rest regular performers for the potential run of six play-off matches.

Into the line-up came Cameron Harper, Lewis Hyde, Tom Walsh, Joe Hardy and Shane Sutherland all handed starts.

Sean Welsh, Reece McAlear and Austin Samuels all dropped to the bench, with knocks ruling out Kirk Broadfoot and Aaron Doran.

Stuart Taylor’s visitors made just one changes from their side which lost 2-0 to Raith Rovers last week, with Matthew Shiels coming in for Kieran MacDonald.

Walsh makes early breakthrough

ICT could not have dreamed of a better opening to this one when Walsh won possession, burst through and rifled a low angled shot past Ryan Fulton into the net.

In his first start since last January, winger Walsh will have been delighted to get his third goal of the season.

ICTs’ David Carson (right) and Hamilton’s Ellis Brown.

Accies almost responded on 12 minutes when Mihai Popescu got on the end of a cross from Reegan Mimnaugh’s swerving corner when he headed just over the top. It was not far off the mark from the visitors.

However, it was 2-0 soon after as Welsh swept the ball on to Sutherland, whose sublime dipped shot beat Fulton. That was the forward’s 11th goal of the campaign.

The goal rush continued on 22 minutes when Sutherland tapped the ball on to Walsh, who slotted his low shot into the net.

Wallace Duffy then had to be replaced by captain Sean Welsh after the defender went off with a leg injury.

Billy Mckay and Hardy came close to adding to it, but on-loan Accrington Stanley striker Hardy supplied a neat finish from another superb assist from Walsh.

Keeper switch at start of second half

One of the half-time substitutions for ICT was to bring on keeper Cammy Mackay for Mark Ridgers, with Billy Mckay also being replaced by Austin Samuels.

The best of the play was still coming from the Caley Jags, with their one-touch football a joy to watch.

Walsh again went on the run on 65 minutes and slid the ball on to Samuels and the striker guided a shot beyond the right post.

David Moyo cracked a drive from distance for Accies, but the effort was pulled just a tad too much to the left.

However, the goal feast in the opening half an hour was a sizzling display and was a fine example of what they can do, and what they will want to be like next week.

HOW THEY LINED UP

CALEY THISTLE (4-2-2) – Ridgers 6 (Mackay 46), Duffy 6 (Welsh 25), Harper 6, Deas 6 (McAlear 58), Carson 6, Mckay 6 (Samuels 46), Sutherland 7 (Chalmers 64), MacGregor 6, Walsh 8, Hardy 6, Hyde 6.

HAMILTON (4-1-4-1) – Fulton 5, Popescu 6, Smith 6, Spence 6 (Winter 73), Mullin 6, Mimnaugh 6 (Hughes 46), Moyo 6 (McGowan 90), Lawson 6, Shiels 6, Brown 6 (Easton 29), O’Reilly. Subs not used: Smith (GK), McGinn, Newbury.

Referee – Graham Grainger 6.

Attendance – 2135.

Man of the match – Tom Walsh.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]