Scottish Premiership
Ross County4Inverness CT0

Ross County 4-0 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Liam Boyce bagged four goals as Ross County won the Highland derby to increase Inverness Caley Thistle's relegation fears.

The striker pounced on keeper Ryan Esson's error to net the opener and made it 2-0 with a brilliant header.

Boyce scored twice from the spot after the break, with ICT's Liam Polworth sent off for giving away the second.

The result leaves bottom-of-the-Premiership Inverness five points behind Dundee with four games to play.

County, meanwhile, move up to seventh spot on 36 points, one above Kilmarnock who visit Hamilton on Saturday.

Buoyant Boyce

The Northern Irishman takes the plaudits once again with his quadruple dismantling Inverness and propelling County away from relegation concerns.

Liam Boyce makes it 2-0
Boyce made it 2-0 before the break with a brilliant header

His opener was opportunistic as he sensed the possibility of an error which duly arrived.

His header for the second was superb. It was a great run before a stretch of the neck allowed him to meet Jim O'Brien's delivery and nod over Esson.

Boyce then brilliantly converted two penalties as he almost extinguished Inverness' survival hopes single-handedly.

David Raven clumsily bundled into Tim Chow for the first spot kick and Polworth pulled Ryan Dow back and was sent off.

It was a memorable night for Boyce and Ross County. One to forget in a season to forget for Inverness.

Doomed?

Not quite, but close. Richie Foran's side are snookered and cannot buy a break, although they undoubtedly contributed to their own downfall.

Ross County keeper Ryan Esson
Keeper Ryan Esson gifted Ross County their opener with a terrible attempted clearance

Things looked bright early on as the visitors controlled the opening quarter. Crucially, however, they could not capitalise before Esson, who was playing because of an injury to Owain Fon Williams, made a horrendous error that undermined his side's game-plan.

A Jamie McCart back-pass was not the easiest for the keeper to deal with but he still had to do better than fluff his attempted clearance, leaving Boyce with the simple task of finishing.

It became watch-through-the-fingers stuff for Inverness fans with their main weakness, defending, exposed once again.

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Interviews: Richie Foran and Jim McIntyre

No-one challenged Boyce for his second with the third and fourth goals conceded so cheaply.

Inverness may point to a penalty claim when two goals down as Tim Chow appeared to push Polworth to the ground but other than that they offered very little.

The main surprise was County failed to add to their tally when Inverness were down and out.

What next?

The latter stages of the game were like a training match for County, who can relax to an extent in the knowledge they are mostly likely safe, and can now focus on trying to secure seventh spot.

Everything went wrong for Inverness. They have only won four games this term and this result will give their confidence another kicking.

It is not over yet but Foran requires a remarkable turnaround if Inverness are to avoid relegation.

Boyce makes it 4-0
Boyce scored his third and fourth goals from the penalty spot

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 3Naismith
  • 2Fraser
  • 28van der Weg
  • 7Gardyne
  • 8WoodsSubstituted forRoutisat 64'minutes
  • 12ChowBooked at 53minsSubstituted forDykesat 70'minutes
  • 6O'BrienBooked at 10mins
  • 9Dow
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forTumilityat 64'minutes
  • 11Curran

Substitutes

  • 4Routis
  • 17Franks
  • 19Gobern
  • 31McCarey
  • 52Tumility
  • 57Malcolm
  • 63Dykes

Inverness CT

  • 1Esson
  • 4McNaughton
  • 21Laing
  • 12McCart
  • 2RavenSubstituted forAnierat 54'minutes
  • 16Tansey
  • 11VigursBooked at 49minsSubstituted forDraperat 64'minutes
  • 20KingSubstituted forMckayat 45'minutes
  • 7PolworthBooked at 60mins
  • 15Mulraney
  • 18Fisher

Substitutes

  • 8Draper
  • 13Mckay
  • 17Horner
  • 22McKay
  • 23Anier
  • 29Cole
  • 42Hoban
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
4,928

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home12
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home11
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 4, Inverness CT 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 4, Inverness CT 0.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Ryan Esson.

Attempt saved. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Kenny van der Weg (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Henri Anier (Inverness CT).

Christopher Routis (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Henri Anier (Inverness CT).

Attempt saved. Henri Anier (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Christopher Routis (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Henri Anier (Inverness CT).

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

Attempt missed. Louis Laing (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Kenny van der Weg.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Dylan Dykes replaces Tim Chow.

Foul by Michael Gardyne (Ross County).

Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Tim Chow (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

Attempt blocked. Christopher Routis (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Michael Gardyne.

Attempt blocked. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Reghan Tumility (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Ross Draper replaces Iain Vigurs.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Reghan Tumility replaces Liam Boyce.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Christopher Routis replaces Martin Woods.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 4, Inverness CT 0. Liam Boyce (Ross County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty Ross County. Ryan Dow draws a foul in the penalty area.

Dismissal

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) is shown the red card.

Penalty conceded by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) after a foul in the penalty area.

Hand ball by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Henri Anier replaces David Raven.

Booking

Tim Chow (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic33294087226591
2Aberdeen33214863283567
3Rangers331610748341458
4St Johnstone33147124440449
5Hearts33129125143845
6Partick Thistle331011123538-341
7Ross County34812144154-1336
8Kilmarnock33714123049-1935
9Hamilton33614133048-1832
10Motherwell3388173861-2332
11Dundee3386193353-2030
12Inverness CT34413173666-3025
View full Scottish Premiership table

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