Caley Jags reign on County's parade: Inverness trounced Ross County 0-3 in the local derby with a good old fashioned swashbuckling display to confirm what we all knew anyway, that the Highlands are still ours.County were massive favourites going in to this one and the fans turned out to get a glimpse of the Mickey Mouse Cup after the derby. The away end was also full and in good voice despite our recent form.As expected Jim McInally brought back Alex Schalk and Liam Boyce for this one with County looking to consolidate their top-six place.Yogi made a few alterations after the shambles in midweek and actually played with a striker on the pitch, albeit playing wide left. Miles Storey, Greg Tansey and Liam Polworth came back into the side and surprisingly Liam Hughes retained his forward roll with Richie Foran, Nat Wedderburn Lewis Horner and Danny Williams on the bench. No sign of Andrea Mutombo, must be too cold for him. Josh Meekings continued at right back in a defensive four with Devine, Warren and Tremarco making up our last line. Polworth, Draper, Tansey and Vigurs were in the engine room and Liam Hughes would be the target man hoping to feed on to Miles Storey.Great day for football and a big crowd expecting County to win at their own party. What could go wrong.Everything looked rosy for County and their party almost got off to a flying start. Owain Fon Williams was the party pooper when he saved brilliantly in the first couple of minutes from a Schalk header. Andrew Davies headed over and Liam Boyce failed with a shot as the celebrations began.Carl Tremarco almost broke the deadlock when he smashed a shot off the bar in 25 minutes and from that, County broke forward. The pitch opened up for Jackson Irvine and he raced into the box. His shot curled low round Fon Williams but the post spoiled his fun as the ball bounce off the base of the woodwork and away to safety.However, Inverness were right in the game now and just after the half hour we took the lead. Storey made great headway down the left before looking up and rolling the ball across to Polworth who had made the effort to keep up with him. Similar to midweek, he sped towards the box, but this time he got it right as he kept the ball down and fired it across the keeper and into the net,County were shell shocked and within five minutes we had scored again. From a Liam Hughes knockdown, Ross Draper made it look all too easy as he entered the box and clipped his shot into the net to silence the Jail End. How dare he!We could have been three up before the break but a Meekings header went just wide as we tore County a new one.Half Time 0-2County made two changes at the break, Andrew Davies and Jackson Irvine staying in the dressing room and Chris Robertson and Jonathan Franks replacing them. Irvine had taken a sore one during the first half, Davies was probably just embarrassed.The next goal would be crucial to the outcome of this game, the question was who was going to get it?We didn't have long to wait for the answer and what a goal it was. A long ball towards Storey wide left was brilliantly chested down by the striker who had not scored since his goal in the New Years derby at Dingwall on the 2nd of January. He was about to put that right as the ball landed nicely for him as he cut inside before unleashing a dipping swerving volley that flashed over the keeper and into the net for a stunning goal. Take a bow Miles Storey.How's the party going? The young guns were having a ball, literally. Every time we shot wide of the goal, they somehow failed to find it quickly enough and County had to produce a new one. Meh.The game was over as a contest and it turned to shooty-in for our forward players. Draper, Storey and Tansey all fired just wide as the County Party turned sour and we turned on our hosts.The much maligned Liam Hughes was enjoying todays game and he even had the audacity to fire a shot on target but the keeper saved as we turned the screw, County were bedraggled as the game wore on and we looked likely to increase our lead every time we weaved patterns round their defence.Liam Polworth came closest to getting a fourth which would have by no means flattered us. He hit a thunderous shot from twenty yards which smacked the bar. What a strike that was.Josh Meekings nearly got on the end of a ball to the back post and he almost scored at the end with a header as we continued to torture our hosts.What were County doing during this half. Well, nothing really apart from watching us run rings round them. Their party was well and truly pooped.Full Time 0-3What a season best performance from Inverness. We took the game by the scruff of the neck and had a real go at County. They had no answer to our power play and looked a sorry lot at the end. Great credit to Fon Williams for the early save and our defence cut out the errors and had the home strikers well marshalled all day. Yes, even Danny Devine, he took no chances today and was defensively solid. The midfield were superb, bossing and dictating the game and backing up the front men when required. Special mention to Liam Hughes who put in a great shift today and looked more like a footballer. But my Man of the Match is going to Miles Storey. If his confidence was low due to inactivity around the nets, then he will have received a massive boost after scoring that wonder goal today. It wasn't just about the goal though as he took on the County defence single handed at times and his pace saw him run them ragged, aided by some wonderful close control. Undoubtedly his best game yet, and what a match to do it in.Anyway, we enjoyed the party, thanks for the invite, will come back again next season. The Highlands are ours, Forever in our Shadows, Bragging rights (a temporary position of ascendancy in a closely contested rivalry) And finally, can we play you every week, etc etc................... :ictscarf::ictscarf::ictscarf:Three wins this season = 9 points.Match report written by tm4tj
* - Table split into two divisions of six.