Published: 21/07/2012 16:55 - Updated: 21/07/2012 17:00

Caley Thistle impress in win over Coventry City

Written byby Paul Chalk

Caley Thistle forward Billy McKay scored in the 3-1 win against Coventry City.
Caley Thistle forward Billy McKay scored in the 3-1 win against Coventry City.

CALEY Thistle beat League One opponents Coventry City 3-1 at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium with an impressive display.

ICT went into this one having won all their pre-season games to date, the latest being a 6-0 stroll away to Highland League hosts Deveronvale then a 10-0 rout of North Caledonian opponents Muir of Ord.

Coventry played two games last week on their tour of the north.

A 5-0 cruise against Highland League side Brora Rangers was followed up 24 hours later by a 1-0 defeat by Ross County at Grant Street.

Former Rangers striker John Fleck led the Sky Blues attack, with ex-Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane also starting for the League One side, who were relegated from the Championship in May.

For Inverness CT boss Terry Butcher, he was keen for supporters to see his summer captures, including full-back David Raven and midfielder Ross Draper.

The visitors had a great chance to go in front after four minutes when Richie Foran brought Gary McSheffery to ground in the box.

Up stepped Fleck and he crashed his low shot off the base of the right post.

Coventry continued to press and right-back Jordan Clark flashed a 16-yarder wide.

Caley Thistle then weaved a nice four-man move goalwards, with Draper halted just inside the box as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Coventry hit back again on 17 minutes when Fleck fed the ball through to McSheffery, but his weak shot was gathered by Ryan Esson.

Moments later, ICT were awarded a spot-kick when William Edjenguele handled the ball in the box.

Foran calmly slotted the penalty away by sending Joe Murphy the wrong way to send the Highlanders in front.

On half an hour, Carl Baker whipped in a cross from the right and Shaun Jeffers steered his header wide from eight yards.

At the other end, Chris Hussey was on hand to clear an Andrew Shinnie effort off the goal-line as ICT aimed to double their lead.

Caley Thistle were quick off the mark just after the break and swiftly made it 2-0.

Graeme Shinnie had a pop from 25 yards, keeper Murphy could only push it into McKay’s path and the striker tucked the ball into the net.

Coventry blasted back, however, on 54 minutes when Shaun Jeffers got on the end of a Baker assist to reduce the deficit.

Raven then had to go off after sustaining a head knock in a collision in his right-back role.

He was replaced on the hour mark by Gavin Morrison after several minutes of treatment on the pitch for the ex-Tranmere defender.

The Inverness side almost put the game beyond reach on 77 minutes, but keeper Murphy did well to turn a Doran drive past the post.

With six minutes to go, Ryan Esson brilliantly dived to steer a Fleck pile-driver around the post and aub Jason Oswell fired home in stoppage time to make it 3-1 and Graeme Shinnie was denied by the keeper.

Inverness CT: Esson, Raven, Graeme Shinnie, McKay (Ross 76), Draper, Foran, Andrew Shinnie (Polworth 85), Meekings, Doran (Pepper 90), Sutherland (Oswell 76), Cooper. Subs not used:  Reguero (GK), Morrison, Laing.

Coventry City: Murphy, Clarke, Hussey (Roberts 46), Thomas, Malaga, Jeffers (O’Donovan 71), Baker, Fleck, McSheffery, Kilbane, Edjenguele. Subs not used: Burge (GK), Wood, Henderson.

Referee: Iain Brines.

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