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Summer signings score as Caley Thistle crush Clach 10-0 in friendly opener

Nathan Shaw in action for Caley Thistle.
Nathan Shaw in action for Caley Thistle.

Caley Thistle began their pre-season schedule with a storming 10-0 rout away to Highland League hosts Clach.

A Billy Mckay double, a debut strike for Nathan Shaw and goals for Cammy Harper, Robbie Thompson and Aaron Doran had the Championship side cruising by six at half-time.

An Austin Samuels spot-kick took Inverness seven up before Ethan Cairns cashed in on hesitation to make it eight.

Another summer signing, forward Boyd got in on the act with a close-finish ninth and Roddy MacGregor made it double digits.

Billy Dodds’ Championship side missed out on promotion to the Premiership after losing in the play-off final to St Johnstone last month.

With loanee stars Reece McAlear and Logan Chalmers gone, Inverness brought in former Peterhead striker Boyd from League 1 side Alloa Athletic and winger Nathan Shaw, from National League North’s AFC Fylde.

ICT’s third summer signing, defender Max Ram from Wycombe Wanderers, was not involved as he officially becomes a Caley Jags player on Friday when his contract at the English League One club expires.

It was a strong starting line-up from the Caley Jags, with Shaw the main addition, operating on the left wing.

Robbie Thompson heads home number five.

This was the second warm-up round-out for the Lilywhites, having lost 5-0 to League 2 Elgin City earlier this month.

The Merkinchers, who were knocking on the door of the top 10 last season, are happy with their settled squad, led up top by hot-shot striker James Anderson.

Former Caley Thistle captain, defender Gary Warren, was a shock recent signing by Clach after he returned to the north of Scotland after leaving Southern Premier League team Tiverton Town. He was not ready for a debut yet though.

Clach fans were delighted by the news just before kick-off that former Lilies forward Paul Brindle had returned to the club, having been part of the 2014 Highland League Cup winning-side.

The opener arrived on 12 minutes when, from a neat Doran cut-back, Mckay was on hand to tap the ball home.

Home striker Connor Bunce tried to spark a revival but he was closed out and it was soon 2-0 when Mckay lined up Shaw for a close-range finish.

Mckay’s second goal came when he latched on to a Harry Hennem ball and supplied a cool finish and a Harper shot from a Scott Allardice assist racked the scoreline on to 4-0.

New ICT winger Nathan Shaw was on the scoresheet.

Thompson soon headed home number five for the rampant visitors before Lewis Hyde lined up Doran for his second just before the break.

Amid the interval changes came new ICT striker Boyd, but it was another forward who was next to net when Samuels won and converted a spot-kick after being felled in the box on 47 minutes.

A mix-up at the back allowed sub Cairns to nip in ahead of keeper Mackinnon and knock home an eighth on 55 minutes.

It was a punishing night for the HFL team, who were working tirelessly to stem the flow further.

Player/coach Martin Callum tried to lead by example with a shot from just outside the box, but sub keeper Cammy Mackay dealt with it.

Billy Mckay netted two first half goals for Caley Thistle.

Samuels was taken out by the keeper for what should have been another penalty. Referee, former Clach striker Gordon Morrison, never gave it because Boyd has slotted away ICT’s ninth.

The 10th came with more than 10 minutes remaining when MacGregor crashed the ball through a pack of bodies after fine work from Samuels.

Caley Thistle, whose competitive campaign starts on July 9 away to League 2 champions Kelty Hearts in the Premier Sports Cup, travel to Brora Rangers on Saturday for their next friendly fixture, while Clach are home to a Western Isles Select on Saturday.

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