Scottish Championship
Ayr2Inverness CT3

Ayr Utd 2-3 Inverness CT: Highlanders score three in first 18 minutes

Nathan Austin gave Inverness the lead in the ninth minute
Nathan Austin gave Inverness the lead in the ninth minute

Inverness Caledonian Thistle scored three times in the first 18 minutes to thwart Ayr United's hopes of returning to the Scottish Championship's summit.

A win would have returned Ayr to the top, but Nathan Austin scored twice in three minutes to put the visitors clear and Liam Polworth added a third.

Declan McDaid and Lawrence Shankland pulled goals back after the break, but the hosts could not find a leveller.

As a result, Ian McCall's side stay three points adrift of Ross County.

Inverness move up into the play off places, and are just six point behind Ayr.

Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "You can't give teams a three-goal start. I thought they had 20 minutes, then we dominated, but we couldn't get an equaliser.

"There will be many twists and turns to go and if we take six points from every nine from here on in, we'll not be far away."

Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "You know if you lose a goal here, the atmosphere can change and it's a brilliant throw back coming here.

"If we win on Saturday, we're back in the hunt going into the break for the cup. We're just targeting whatever team is directly above us."

Line-ups

Ayr

  • 1Doohan
  • 27Smith
  • 15Bell
  • 5Rose
  • 3Harvie
  • 18Murdoch
  • 8CrawfordBooked at 79minsSubstituted forMuirheadat 82'minutes
  • 23DochertySubstituted forHigginsat 45'minutes
  • 11McDaid
  • 9MooreSubstituted forShanklandat 45'minutes
  • 7Moffat

Substitutes

  • 2Higgins
  • 17Shankland
  • 19Hare-Reid
  • 20Hilton
  • 21Ecrepont
  • 25McCowan
  • 30Muirhead

Inverness CT

  • 21Mackay
  • 2Rooney
  • 6McCart
  • 22McKay
  • 3Tremarco
  • 7PolworthBooked at 36mins
  • 15Welsh
  • 4Chalmers
  • 17McDonaldSubstituted forTraffordat 70'minutes
  • 9AustinSubstituted forWhiteat 58'minutes
  • 14OakleyBooked at 69minsSubstituted forMcCauleyat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8McCauley
  • 19White
  • 23Mackay
  • 24Trafford
  • 29McHattie
  • 33Mackinnon
  • 40Harper
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
1,559

Match Stats

Home TeamAyrAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home16
Away11
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home10
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Ayr United 2, Inverness CT 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ayr United 2, Inverness CT 3.

Attempt missed. Aaron Muirhead (Ayr United) header from very close range is too high.

Attempt missed. Aaron Muirhead (Ayr United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Charlie Trafford.

Daniel Harvie (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan White (Inverness CT).

Foul by Andy Murdoch (Ayr United).

Charlie Trafford (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Ayr United 2, Inverness CT 3. Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Aaron Muirhead (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sean Welsh (Inverness CT).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Darren McCauley replaces George Oakley.

Substitution

Substitution, Ayr United. Aaron Muirhead replaces Robbie Crawford.

Attempt missed. Jordan White (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Booking

Robbie Crawford (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Robbie Crawford (Ayr United).

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

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Charlie Trafford.

Robbie Crawford (Ayr United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Charlie Trafford (Inverness CT).

Foul by Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United).

Charlie Trafford (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Declan McDaid (Ayr United).

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

Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Shaun Rooney.

Attempt missed. Joe Chalmers (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Liam Smith (Ayr United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Joe Chalmers (Inverness CT).

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Ross Doohan.

Attempt saved. Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

George Oakley (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Bell (Ayr United).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Charlie Trafford replaces Anthony McDonald.

Booking

George Oakley (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

Michael Rose (Ayr United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Oakley (Inverness CT).

(Ayr United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jordan White (Inverness CT).

Attempt saved. Declan McDaid (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ross County22126437201742
2Ayr22116537211639
3Dundee Utd2210663130136
4Inverness CT2271233226633
5Queen of Sth227963425930
6Morton227872430-629
7Dunfermline226792228-625
8Alloa225892332-923
9Partick Thistle2254132135-1419
10Falkirk2246122034-1418
View full Scottish Championship table

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