Billy McKay took his goals tally to 15 for the season as he fired Inverness Caledonian Thistle to a win against Hearts at rain-lashed Tynecastle.

Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald produced a first-class save to keep out Aaron Doran's fierce 25-yard strike.

But after the interval John Hughes' men moved up a gear and proved too strong for the basement side.

McKay curled home the opener and slammed home his second with an assured strike seven minutes from time.

Much was made of Hearts' threadbare squad prior to kick-off.

With Ryan Stevenson and Jason Holt joining their injury list, manager Gary Locke said he would have only 12 senior outfield professionals from which to choose for the visit of second-top Inverness, and the game began with two 18-year-olds - Gary Oliver and Sam Nicholson - in maroon shirts.

But Locke's defence looked strong nonetheless, with Danny Wilson and Dylan McGowan flanked by Jamie Hamill and Kevin McHattie.

They fought bravely throughout to repel Caley Thistle whose main absence continues to be playmaker James Vincent as he recovers from a leg fracture.

Hearts had lost as many matches in the Scottish Premiership as Inverness had won and again they were left to rely on team spirit - nine of the their starting XI came through the youth ranks - and youthful exuberance to provide a rare victory.

That served them well for an hour, before McKay made the breakthrough, and thereafter Inverness looked the more dangerous side.

Caley Thistle midfielder Marley Watkins had an effort saved by MacDonald and he supplied most of the forward momentum in their engine room.

His surge from deep in his own half caught out the hosts. He ran 60 yards before passing to Shinnie, whose powerful left-foot strike was diverted wide.

Opportunities for Hearts were a rarity so there was disappointment when a free-kick 20 yards out, the result of a Carl Tremarco foul on striker Callum Paterson, was smashed into the wall. However, Hamill reacted quickly to the loose ball and slapped a shot at Dean Brill's goal from 20 yards.

The only other real chance of note in the first period came from Inverness.

Doran thundered a 25-yard shot at the Hearts goal and MacDonald showed superb athleticism to tip the ball over the bar.

From the corner kick, the ball fell to Shinnie and he smashed a shot a foot wide.

Inverness looked more assured of their superiority in the second half.

In 56 minutes Gary Warren ought to have hit the target but he screwed his shot three yards over the bar from 10 yards.

But there was joy soon for the blue-shirted Highlanders when McKay moved into space in the Hearts box, cut the ball on to his right foot and curled a lovely shot past the despairing MacDonald.

He came close to adding his 15th of the season when he pinged a shot wide and Shinnie suffered the same fate soon after as they pinned Hearts back.

McKay found space between three Hearts players to volley a right-foot shot off the post and, although Callum Tapping gave Brill a fright with a shot 13 minutes from time, Inverness's dominance was underlined when Watkins slid a precise ball through to McKay and he smacked a pin-point left-footed strike into the top corner of the net to guarantee the win.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Heart of Midlothian

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 02 Hamill
  • 03 McHattie
  • 20 Tapping Booked
  • 05 McGowan
  • 04 Wilson
  • 08 Robinson
  • 28 Nicholson (King - 66' )
  • 29 Oliver (Carrick - 71' )
  • 12 Paterson
  • 14 Walker (Smith - 45' )

Substitutes

  • 16 McKay
  • 17 Smith
  • 18 Carrick
  • 19 King
  • 21 Hamilton
  • 26 King
  • 30 McGhee

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 12 Brill
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 18 Tremarco Booked
  • 09 Foran Booked
  • 05 Warren
  • 06 Meekings
  • 15 Watkins Booked (Williams - 92' )
  • 08 Draper Booked
  • 07 McKay
  • 11 Ross
  • 10 Doran (Agdestein - 86' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Esson
  • 02 Raven
  • 14 Devine
  • 17 Greenhalgh
  • 19 Williams
  • 20 Polworth
  • 23 Agdestein
Ref: Brian Colvin
Att: 11,950

Match Stats

Shots

8 13

On target

1 4

Corners

1 6

Fouls

16 19

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Hearts 0, Inverness CT 2.

90:00 +2:59 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Hearts 0, Inverness CT 2.

90:00 +2:14

Attempt missed. Callum Tapping (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

90:00 +1:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Danny Williams replaces Marley Watkins.

90:00 +1:43

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +1:43

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

89:31

Foul by Billy King (Hearts).

89:31

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

88:11 Booking

Booking Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

88:04

Foul by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).

88:04

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

86:33

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by David Smith.

86:02

Nick Ross (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

86:02

Foul by David Smith (Hearts).

85:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Torbjorn Agdestein replaces Aaron Doran.

85:00

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

84:58

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

84:20

Foul by Danny Wilson (Hearts).

84:20

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hearts 0, Inverness CT 2. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Marley Watkins.

81:38

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

81:38

Foul by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).

79:54

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:54

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

78:05

Attempt missed. Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

77:32

Nick Ross (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:32

Foul by Scott Robinson (Hearts).

76:08

Attempt missed. Callum Tapping (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

70:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Dale Carrick replaces Gary Oliver.

70:11

Billy McKay (Inverness CT) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

68:04

Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:04

Foul by Gary Oliver (Hearts).

66:04

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

66:04

Callum Paterson (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

65:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Billy King replaces Sam Nicholson.

65:09

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box.

63:21

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:21

Foul by Sam Nicholson (Hearts).

62:48

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

62:03

Attempt missed. Scott Robinson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

61:53

Attempt blocked. Gary Oliver (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

60:39

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:39

Foul by Gary Oliver (Hearts).

60:05

Foul by Nick Ross (Inverness CT).

60:05

Sam Nicholson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hearts 0, Inverness CT 1. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross Draper.

56:18

Attempt missed. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

55:51

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

53:49 Booking

Booking Ross Draper (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

53:45

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

53:45

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:28

Attempt missed. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

50:11

Attempt missed. David Smith (Hearts) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

49:33

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

49:33

Gary Oliver (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

47:40

Attempt missed. Danny Wilson (Hearts) header from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

47:13

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

45:00

Second Half begins Hearts 0, Inverness CT 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. David Smith replaces Jamie Walker because of an injury.

45:00 +2:36 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Hearts 0, Inverness CT 0.

45:00 +2:29

Attempt missed. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

45:00 +2:14

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

45:00 +1:54

Attempt saved. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

44:17 Booking

Booking Richie Foran (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

44:09

Foul by Richie Foran (Inverness CT).

44:09

Sam Nicholson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:01

Foul by Richie Foran (Inverness CT).

43:01

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:42

Attempt saved. Jamie Hamill (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

41:53 Booking

Booking Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

41:45

Foul by Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT).

41:45

Callum Paterson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:24

Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:24

Foul by Scott Robinson (Hearts).

39:00

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:59

Foul by Gary Oliver (Hearts).

37:53

Foul by Nick Ross (Inverness CT).

37:53

Danny Wilson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:30

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Scott Robinson.

37:15

Attempt missed. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

36:13

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

36:13

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

34:16

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:16

Foul by Scott Robinson (Hearts).

33:48

Attempt saved. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.

33:07 Booking

Booking Callum Tapping (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

33:01

Billy McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:01

Foul by Callum Tapping (Hearts).

31:42

Foul by Richie Foran (Inverness CT).

31:42

Callum Paterson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:18

Attempt missed. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

30:47

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jamie Hamill.

29:21

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

29:21

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).

25:29

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

25:29

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:37

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jamie Hamill.

14:50

Attempt missed. Jamie Walker (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

14:33

Foul by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

14:33

Dylan McGowan (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:48

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

13:48

Foul by Scott Robinson (Hearts).

12:00

Nick Ross (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:00

Foul by Callum Tapping (Hearts).

10:24

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:24

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

9:04

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

9:04

Foul by Callum Tapping (Hearts).

8:38

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

8:38

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

4:40

Foul by Callum Paterson (Hearts).

4:40

Richie Foran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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