Published: 28/11/2017 21:32 - Updated: 28/11/2017 21:37

John Baird ends goal drought as Caley Thistle cruise to victory over Brechin

Written byJamie Durent

John Baird was part of the Caley Thistle side booed off on Saturday. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
John Baird found the back of the net in the first half. Picture: Ken Macpherson.

JOHN Baird scored his first goal in nearly three months as Caley Thistle cruised to a 3-0 win over Brechin City.

The former Partick Thistle and Falkirk striker found the back of the net inside the first 10 minutes as the hosts put themselves well on their way to victory.

Brad Mckay put his side in front two minutes before Baird broke his duck, with Connor Bell putting the icing on the cake at the start of the second half.

George Oakley added a late fourth – his third of the season – as Inverness jumped back above Dumbarton into seventh spot.

It was a perfect tonic for the Caley Jags following the defeat to St Mirren at the weekend, with Mark Ridgers rarely troubled between the posts.

Caley Thistle made two changes from the side that lost 2-0 to St Mirren on Saturday. Gary Warren dropped to the bench as Brad Mckay returned after suspension, while Iain Vigurs, red-carded against the Buddies, was replaced by Charlie Trafford.

The home side were overwhelming favourites given Brechin's failure to win any of their three games so far. However it was Darren Dods' side who sent Inverness an early warning shot with a lob from Connor McLennan, which rebounded off the inside of the post after just two minutes.

But after a succession of corners the Caley Jags were in front, with Mckay smashing in from close range after Polworth's corner reached him.

Brad Mckay is congratulated by Charlie Trafford after his goal at Brechin. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Brad Mckay netted his second goal of the season against Brechin. Picture: Ken Macpherson.

 

They doubled their advantage on nine minutes as Brechin shot themselves in the foot spectacularly. Carl Tremarco's cross was ready to be claimed by Graeme Smith until his namesake Euan intervened, heading it straight into the path of Baird who finished into an unguarded net from 10 yards – his first goal since September 9.

The game died a death after that – Brechin looked a team completely out of their depth and Caley Thistle were content to play keep-ball, toying with a side shorn on confidence.

Jake Mulraney, still looking for his first goal for the club, curled a shot towards the bottom corner which Graeme Smith reacted well to parry behind.

The visitors offered little in the way of a goal threat, with Isaac Layne toiling away in a lone shift up front. Mulraney was again denied by Smith again as the Caley Jags began to turn the screw.

Another Polworth delivery brought about the third seven minutes into the second half as his near-post corner found Bell, who stooped to head past Smith.

Manager John Robertson used the comfortable scoreline as an opportunity to give minutes to Aaron Doran and Oakley, with the pair of them involved in the best chance of the remaining half-hour.

Doran rolled the ball into Oakley, who had stayed onside, and he stood the ball off to Polworth on the edge of the area. With a good couple of yards of space, Polworth failed to hit the target as his effort sailed wide.

The scoreline was padded further with three minutes remaining, as Oakley rounded off the scoring by clipping the ball over the sprawling Smith.

CALEY THISTLE: Ridgers; Raven, Mckay, Donaldson, Tremarco, Chalmers, Polworth, Trafford, Mulraney (Cooper, 80), Bell (Doran, 63), Baird (Oakley, 63). Subs unused: Mackay, Warren, Calder, Seedorf, Cooper. Booked: Chalmers

BRECHIN CITY: G Smith; McLean, Dyer (Lynas, 55), Dale, Graham, Layne, Watt (Sinclair, 70), Spark, McLennan (Orsi, 76), Crighton, E Smith. Subs unused: O'Neil, Fusco. Booked: Dyer.

Attendance: 1801.

Referee: C Charleston.

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