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Duncan Ferguson hails snow heroes as Caley Thistle make Scottish Cup progress against Broomhill

Adam Brooks' brace adds to goals from Charlie Gilmour and on-loan Ross County striker Alex Samuel to take ICT through.

Alex Samuel scores against Broomhill. Image: Euan Cherry/SNS Group
Alex Samuel scores against Broomhill. Image: Euan Cherry/SNS Group

Caley Thistle manager Duncan Ferguson hailed the army of volunteers who helped paved the way for his team’s 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Broomhill.

Charlie Gilmour’s goal late in the first half soothed any nerves for the Championship Highlanders against their Lowland League visitors.

Alex Samuel, who joined on loan from Ross County on Friday, netted the second not long after seeing his spot-kick saved early in the second half.

Broomhill, who were reduced to 10 men when conceding the penalty, were undone with two further goals from sub Adam Brooks being the icing on the cake in this fourth-round encounter.

Snow clearers get thanks from boss

The game went ahead following a 10am inspection due to the monumental efforts of staff, including Ferguson and youth players, directors, fans and volunteers to clear the covers on Friday.

Ferguson was grateful to all who pitched on to play their part, with the help of local businesses, to allow this match to get the green light.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone who came along to help clear the snow.

“I enjoyed it and I think we all enjoyed it. It shows there are a lot of good people at the club and a lot of fans came down to ensure this game was on.”

Dominant display thrills Ferguson

Ferguson was delighted his team kept calm, focused and got the job done to reach round five.

He said: “We created a lot of chances. We took four of them and on another day it could have been six, seven or eight. The red card didn’t help their situation.

“We had a goal chopped off and we managed to get the goal before half-time, which calmed the nerves a wee bit.

“In the second half, we dominated, missed a penalty and had other chances, but managed to score four. We’re in the next round and that’s the main thing. I was delighted with the performance and getting the clean sheet.

“It was good for Brooksy to come off the bench and score a couple of goals and for Alex Samuel to score on his debut. He made a big difference to us.”

Inverness striker Alex Samuel and Broomhill’s Patrick Moy. Image: Euan Cherry/SNS Group

Debut time for County’s Alex Samuel

ICT, who are just above the drop zone in the Championship after just one victory in their last seven fixtures, beat Lowland League opponents Cowdenbeath 2-0 in the previous round.

Broomhill, who are 12th in the Lowland League, defeated Cumbernauld Colts, Beath Juniors and Cumnock Juniors to earn this crack at the Highlanders.

The hosts were boosted by the loan signing of Samuel and he was pitched in for his Inverness debut.

From the ICT side which lost 1-0 to Dundee United in the league eight days previously, Ferguson also brought in goalkeeper Cammy MacKay, defenders Wallace Duffy and Nikola Ujdur and midfielder Aaron Doran.

Doran breakthrough ruled offside

Inverness hit the net inside the first two minutes when Doran slammed the ball home from a Samuel cross, but it came off Duffy in the way in, so it was ruled out.

The next half an hour passed without any chances of note, but Broomhill were well organised, keeping the most lively trio of Samuel, Doran and Luis Longstaff at bay.

For Broomill, Scott Roberts in attack looked a menace and one to keep a watch of.

Samuel was not far off the mark when he had a pop from just inside the box after Morgan Boyes sent him through, but his shot flashed just over the top.

Just before half-time, Duffy drew a save from Luke Scullion when he accepted a pass from Max Anderson as ICT knocked at the door.

Thankfully for Inverness, seconds before half-time, captain for the day Gilmour lashed a low drive past Scullion into the net after an assist from Samuel.

Charlie Gilmour makes the breakthrough for ICT. Image: Euan Cherry/SNS Group

Samuel scores then Brooks hits two

Inverness blew the chance to double their advantage six minutes into the second half after Doran was brought down in the box by Michael Miller.

The Broomhill skipper was sent off by referee Craig Napier for the last-man challenge and, from the penalty, Samuel saw his effort saved by Scullion.

However, the Staggies striker made amends on 62 minutes as he shot home from close range when he connected with a Longstaff corner after James Carragher sent it goalwards. That was what they needed to put the tie to bed.

Adam Brooks scores Caley Thistle’s third goal. Image: Euan Cherry/SNS Group

On 73 minutes, it was 3-0 when Brooks, just on the park for Doran, swerved the ball home after a neat pass from Gilmour.

Darren Miller almost brought Broomhill back into the contest, but his fierce shot was well saved by Mackay.

Brooks claimed his second with a cheeky backheel to divert home a free-kick from Longstaff in the closing moments.

Player ratings

CALEY THISTLE (4-4-2): Cammy MacKay 6, Duffy 6, Ujdur 6 (Thompson 75), Boyes 7, Carragher 6, Carson 6 (MacGregor 75), Anderson 6 (Shaw 69), Gilmour 7, Longstaff 7, Doran 6 (Brooks 57), Samuel 7 (Billy Mckay 69).

Subs not used: Ridgers (GK), Harper, Devine, Davidson.

BROOMHILL (4-4-2): Scullion 6, McKnight 7, Michael Miller 6, Moy 6 (McPhie 68), Ellis 6, Kennedy 6 (Higgins 53), Darren Miller 7, Murphy 6, McCrystal 6 (O’Donnell 53), Grehan 6 (Hunter 62), Roberts 7 (Smith 68).

Subs not used: Barr (GK), Smith, Wright, Chalmers, Wright.

Referee: Craig Napier.
Attendance: 983.
Star Man: Charlie Gilmour.