Scottish Premiership
Inverness CT2St Johnstone1

Scottish Premiership: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-1 St Johnstone

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Highlights: Inverness CT 2-1 St Johnstone

Josh Meekings forced the ball home in stoppage time to give Inverness Caledonian Thistle a dramatic first league win of the season.

Caley Thistle edged into a deserved lead when Ross Draper towered above the home defence to head in Greg Tansey's free-kick after a goalless first half.

Richard Foster's blistering finish looked to have given ineffectual St Johnstone a point out of the blue.

But Meekings stabbed the ball over the line in a late goalmouth scramble.

Irish grit in Inverness

Richie Foran's side remain at the foot of the Scottish Premiership table, if only on goal difference behind Partick Thistle.

Not that the rookie manager will be bothered about that after the sort of performance he was looking for following defeats in their first three league games.

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'Inverness team spirit won the game'

Draper's fourth goal of the season, after 59 minutes, was no more than Caley Thistle deserved for the way they had gone about their work.

Then they had to show real grit and determination to dig out the win once Foster scored his first for the Perth club with a stunning strike with 11 minutes remaining.

Mannus mountain

Ross Draper puts Inverness Caley Thistle ahead
Ross Draper headed Inverness Caley Thistle ahead

Irishman Foran demanded the sort of character from his side that he showed as a player and they certainly responded positively.

They were unrecognisable from the shambles of a side that were hammered by Hearts last week and played with an aggression and determination that pinned the visitors back for long spells in the first half.

Unfortunately for the Highlanders, they came up against Alan Mannus at the top of his game as the Northern Ireland goalkeeper made a string of impressive saves.

He denied Draper, Alex Fisher and Billy King in the opening period, while Fisher and Liam Polworth failed to make the most of the clearer chances created during that time.

Stuffy but wasteful Saints

Of course, St Johnstone are masters of making a nuisance of themselves in such circumstances, but they squandered the best chance of the lot before the break.

Danny Swanson was untouchable down the left as he made it to the bye-line, but Chris Kane failed to take advantage of the cutback as he skied the ball over when he should have scored.

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Lessons to be learned, says Saints boss

Substitute Murray Davidson headed just wide in the second half, but Saints finally found the equaliser when Steven MacLean laid the ball back to Foster to lash home.

Persistence paid off in the end for Caley Thistle, which is just as well as things don't get any easier for the Highlanders - it's Aberdeen away then Celtic at home in their next two matches.

Inverness Caley Thistle manager Richie Foran: "From start to finish I thought we were excellent. Man for man we were excellent and we should have been two or three up at half time so that was the only disappointing part.

"But I told the boys it wasn't quality that won the game, it was pure team spirit that they showed that got them the result. All over the park we were really good.

"This sets us up nicely for Aberdeen after the break. If you don't get points on the table then the players and the fans can get a bit nervy so that was massive for us today."

Foran gave newly signed French striker Lonsana Doubouya a few minutes' run-out as substitute and he hopes to make another two additions to the squad before the transfer window closes.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "We did well to get back into the game but are disappointed that we contrived to let Inverness back into it after we got back to one each.

"Near the end they put us under a lot of pressure with long throws and we gave away silly free kicks. You think we would have learnt our lesson from the first goal we lost.

"They built up pressure and got a deserved winner in the end but it is only four games into the season and this is a difficult place to come.

"We knew that their run couldn't continue much longer and we contributed to it because in the first half we didn't get to the pace of the game and didn't get enough balls in the box."

Wright recently brought in Richard Foster to bolster his defence but the Perth club's manager doesn't think there will be any further signings done in this transfer window.

Line-ups

Inverness CT

  • 25Fon Williams
  • 17Horner
  • 5WarrenBooked at 90mins
  • 6Meekings
  • 3Tremarco
  • 16Tansey
  • 11VigursSubstituted forBodenat 84'minutes
  • 7Polworth
  • 8DraperBooked at 67mins
  • 20KingSubstituted forMulraneyat 85'minutes
  • 18FisherSubstituted forDoumbouyaat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 2Raven
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 15Mulraney
  • 19Boden
  • 21Sutherland
  • 26Doumbouya

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 19Foster
  • 6Anderson
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 24Easton
  • 4AlstonSubstituted forDavidsonat 45'minutes
  • 18PatonSubstituted forCraigat 67'minutes
  • 11Swanson
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 58mins
  • 25KaneSubstituted forCumminsat 63'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 7Millar
  • 8Davidson
  • 12Clark
  • 17Coulson
  • 23Gordon
  • 26Craig
  • 29Cummins
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
2,729

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home15
Away7
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Inverness CT 2, St. Johnstone 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Inverness CT 2, St. Johnstone 1.

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone).

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

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 2, St. Johnstone 1. Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Attempt saved. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

Attempt missed. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

Attempt saved. Scott Boden (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Jake Mulraney replaces Billy King.

Lonsana Doumbouya (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Liam Craig (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Scott Boden replaces Iain Vigurs.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Lonsana Doumbouya replaces Alex Fisher.

Hand ball by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 1, St. Johnstone 1. Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Graham Cummins.

Attempt saved. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Lewis Horner.

Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Paul Paton.

Booking

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Graham Cummins replaces Christopher Kane.

Hand ball by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 1, St. Johnstone 0. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) from a free kick with a header to the top right corner.

Booking

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic330010469
2Rangers42206428
3Hearts42118447
4Ross County42026606
5Dundee41215415
6Hamilton41214405
7Aberdeen412135-25
8Motherwell411245-14
9St Johnstone411257-24
10Kilmarnock411246-24
11Partick Thistle31024403
12Inverness CT4103511-63
View full Scottish Premiership table

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