Gavin Morrison recalls scoring in a 7-0 rout against Ayr United as Caley Thistle celebrated their stunning title win in 2010.
Now the Spartans midfielder hopes Duncan Ferguson’s Highlanders can defeat the Honest Men this weekend to push from ninth spot towards play-off contention.
The ex-Inverness, Brora Rangers and Cowdenbeath midfielder is enjoying playing for Spartans, who sit just two points off top spot in League Two in their maiden term at this level.
In May this year, they beat Highland League champions Brechin City on penalties in the play-offs before getting the better of Albion Rovers to move into the SPFL.
Although now playing for the Edinburgh club, Morrison, 33, keeps a close eye on former club Caley Thistle.
A nightmare run of nine defeats in 10 winless fixtures saw ICT sack Billy Dodds and recruit ex-Everton caretaker boss Ferguson.
The 51-year-old has sparked a revival, with two wins and two draws so far, including a fine 1-1 result at leaders Dundee United at the weekend.
This Saturday, they welcome Lee Bullen’s Ayr to the Caledonian Stadium and could move to within two points of a trio of teams in and around mid-table and up to fourth should they win.
Belief back at ICT under Ferguson
Morrison believes the addition of his old Cowdenbeath boss Gary Bollan is another smart move by ICT as the look to turn their season around.
He said: “Duncan Ferguson has gone in and made an impact as everyone expected to happen. He will be a huge presence about the place.
“He’s also got Gary Bollan in there as his assistant. He’s my old gaffer from Cowdenbeath and I really enjoyed my time with Gary – he’s a really good guy and I actually phoned (ICT midfielder) Aaron Doran to tell him that. It has been a solid start to their time at Inverness with four games unbeaten.
🤩 What a move
Nathan Shaw's goal against Dundee United yesterday! pic.twitter.com/lARTlCVxjh
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) November 5, 2023
“The goal that Inverness scored at Dundee United at the weekend (Nathan Shaw’s strike from a counter-attack) was absolutely brilliant. They sprung from one side of the pitch to the other. It was brilliant to see.
“Earlier in the season, they looked like a team lacking in confidence, but Duncan seems to have managed to bring a wee bit of belief back into the squad. Confidence will help them get results and get them back up the table.
“He’s also been able to bring players such as David Wotherspoon and Cillian Sheridan to the club, so it’s exciting to see guys of that pedigree coming to Inverness.”
Mid-table target is ‘unbelievable’
Despite the high hopes and high spirits at Inverness, Morrison knows ICT must keep the pressure on by adding three more points against Ayr this weekend.
He said: “Getting a point at Tannadice, given they are ninth right now, was brilliant.
“People will rightly see that as a positive result, but they must also now take care of business at home. If they can turn the stadium into a bit of a fortress that would be great. Teams don’t like coming up the A9, so Caley Thistle should take advantage of that.
“If Duncan Ferguson had told any Caley Thistle fans that after five games they’d be stabilised and sitting around mid-table before Christmas, everyone would be delighted.
“If they can beat Ayr to move up a few places then what an unbelievable start it will have been.”
Dundee drew ahead of ICT Ayr rout
Morrison scored the last of the seven goals in April 2010 when Terry Butcher’s First Division champions turned on the style at Ayr before collecting the trophy and their place back in the top-flight one year after relegation.
Morrison explained how he got a shock call-up to start in one of the most memorable matches for ICT fans and players alike.
He said: “I will never forget that day. At the time, it was unexpected as I wasn’t supposed to be starting that game, but Lee Cox wasn’t well through the night and I got my opportunity.
“What an amazing afternoon it turned out to be as we had seven different scorers (Jonny Hayes, Adam Rooney, Richie Foran, Eric Odhiambo, Dani Sanchez, Robert Eagle and Morrison). It was party-time for the fans behind the goal at Somerset Park – it was fantastic.
“We had been confirmed as champions on the previous Tuesday when (nearest challengers) Dundee dropped points. A few of us snuck out on Tuesday night to celebrate, but it all came together with that performance on Saturday.”
Sparking with League Two Spartans
And Morrison is relishing life in the fourth-tier with Spartans, who are making a real impact at that level.
He added: “The way the boys and the gaffer (Dougie Samuel) have adapted to League Two football has been brilliant.
“We have settled quite nicely, now it looks as if we’re really finding our feet and putting some wins together. It has been a good start.
“We have got a couple of tough games coming up, against Stenhousemuir and Peterhead, so we will find out a little bit more about ourselves over the next couple of weeks. That’s pretty exciting.
“I’m still enjoying my football. After leaving Cowdenbeath, I was unsure whether I’d get another crack at it, but getting promoted with Spartans has given me that opportunity.”