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. 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. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Duncan Ferguson thrilled as injury-hit Caley Thistle stun Morton

First half goals in fiery contest ends with vital victory for Inverness, ending Ton's 16-match unbeaten run.

Caley Jags forward Billy Mckay celebrates after shooting his team ahead against Morton.
Caley Jags forward Billy Mckay celebrates after shooting his team ahead against Morton. Images: Ewan Bootman/SNS Group

Duncan Ferguson praised his injury-hit Caley Thistle side for stunning Morton 2-0 to end their hosts’ 16-match unbeaten run and boost their own survival hopes.

Billy Mckay fired ICT in front after just 77 seconds and Sean McAllister crashed home a free-kick on 34 minutes to seal the three points.

Despite the victory, Inverness remain ninth in the Championship, but they have pulled seven points clear of Arbroath and are just one point behind Queen’s Park.

They are now just two points off fifth spot and seven points behind fourth-place Morton.

This was former ICT midfielder Dougie Imrie’s 100th game in charge of the Cappielow club and their upward surge from 10th spot throughout the winter has caught the attention.

Inverness manager Duncan Ferguson at full-time.

‘Not many people gave us a chance’

However, Ferguson believed his men had the quality to deliver a big result.

He said: “Morton were on a great run. They are good at what they do and we knew they would put us under a lot of pressure. Not many people gave us a chance coming here.

“I knew the boys were up for it – we were ready. It panned out how we expected. I thought our defence was fantastic.

“The back-to-back clean sheets has helped us. You can see why Morton are where they are in the league. They put you under a lot of pressure. Your box is always peppered with long throws, free-kicks or corner kicks. They are strong on their deliveries, but we stood up to that.

“The boys really had the bit between their teeth. Scoring early doors gave us something to hang on to.

“We have our injuries. Wallace Duffy, for example, has played in the last two games, yet hardly trained and I’ve put Cammy Kerr into midfield. The team has been ‘making do’ with all the players out.”

‘Teams looking over their shoulders’

Despite not moving up the division, Ferguson says the victory puts pressure on several rivals.

He added: “Our three draws before this one – against Partick, Arbroath and Dunfermline – were good points.

“Our performances were good, so we knew we were there or thereabouts. Everyone showed their fighting spirit here.

“We’ve now just lost one of our last six league games, yet we’re still ninth. That’s just the way it is in this league. There will be more teams now looking over their shoulders.”

Some of the Caley Jags fans cheer on their winning side at Cappielow.

Challenging list of injuries for boss

Injuries are clearly challenging Ferguson, with Morgan Boyes (knee), Nikola Ujdur (hamstring), Charlie Gilmour (knee), Nathan Shaw (hamstring) and Roddy MacGregor (foot) all out.

Gilmour is out for the rest of the season as he joins long-term trio Harry Lodovica (ankle), Luis Longstaff (knee) and Lewis Nicolson (knee).

From the ICT side which drew 0-0 with Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday, Ferguson welcomed Max Anderson back from suspension in place of the injured Charlie Gilmour.

Samson Lawal, who has joined on loan from Livingston, was on the bench.

Dream start with Mckay’s early volley

The Caley Jags roared into the lead inside the first two minutes when Billy Mckay, who last scored on January 6, rifled a volley past goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald after Cammy Harper knocked the ball into his path. What a start.

Ton’s Robbie Muirhead tested Mark Ridgers a few minutes later, but the Inverness number one clutched it.

On 34 minutes, Caley Thistle doubled the scoreline from a free-kick conceded when Jack Baird brought down Alex Samuel just outside the area.

Sean McAllister steers home ICT’s second goal from a free-kick.

Cammy Harper was over it, but so was McAllister and the on-loan Everton man swerved the ball around the wall and into the net past MacDonald, who got a hand to it on the way in. It was his first goal in ICT colours since arriving in the winter window.

Robbie Crawford shot just wide for Morton from a Lewis Strapp throw-in as the hosts aimed to halve the deficit before the break.

There was a flashpoint in the Inverness box in the last moments of the first half when Morton appealed for a handball just after James Carragher had gone to ground when blocking a shot. Play was halted due to a suspected head knock on Carragher.

Referee Graham Grainger then seemed to point to the spot, sparking furious reactions with players going head-to-head.

An ICT drop ball was awarded after Carragher, Wallace Duffy and Tyler French were all booked for their parts in the flare-up.

Sean McAllister celebrates his first Caley Thistle goal.

Inverness stayed strong to net win

Morton started the second half on the front foot and Alan Power’s 20-yarder was deflected wide as they sought a way back.

Billy Mckay’s header was beaten clear by MacDonald when the forward met a free-kick on the hour mark as the visitors regained some time on the attack.

It was all blood and thunder and passion and Inverness felt aggrieved they didn’t get a spot-kick when Samuel was felled in the box by Darragh O’Connor, but nothing was given.

Morton were also frustrated by decisions going against them as the game slipped away from them.

The Greenock side felt they had scored in stoppage-time when Jack Baird appeared to head the ball over the line from a corner, but a handball call wiped it out.

For Inverness, it’s back-to-back Saturday home fixtures in the league – against Airdrie then Ayr United. Morton host leaders Dundee United on Tuesday.

Player ratings

MORTON (4-2-3-1):  MacDonald 6, French 6, Baird 6, O’Connor 6, Strapp 6, Power 7 (Gillespie 86), Blues 6, McGrattan 6 (Broadfoot 54), Crawford 7, Garrity 7 (Bearne 76), Muirhead 7.

Subs not used: Murdoch (GK), Waters.

CALEY THISTLE (4-4-2): Ridgers 6, Duffy 6, Devine 6, Carragher 7, Savage 6, Kerr 7, Anderson 6, McAllister 7 (Brooks 84), Harper 6, Samuel 6 (Doran 79), Billy Mckay 7 (Pepple 69).

Subs not used: Cammy MacKay (GK), Samuels, Lawal.

Referee: Graham Grainger.

Attendance: 1,933.

Man of the match: Cammy Kerr.

Morton’s Robbie Muirhead and Inverness midfielder Sean McAllister.