Steve Hislop scored his fifth goal of the season against his former club to earn Caley Thistle a place in the semi-final of the Bell’s Cup. This was the first time that these teams had met in a national cup competition and the game was played at a fast pace from the start. David Bingham’s fifth minute header was held by Colin Stewart then the ‘keeper saved a low Roy McBain shot. At the other end Mark Brown held a long shot from John Rankin in the tenth minute. Seven minutes later Brown dived to collect a curling Rankin free kick which he saw late. In 27 minutes a chip over the defence set up a Bingham chance but he elected to pass to Hislop in space - he was tackled before shooting. A Hislop low shot was well stopped by Stewart in 31 minutes then Brown came out of goal to tackle Sean Higgins after a short back pass had created danger. In 36 minutes neat play between Paul Ritchie and Bingham set up a Ritchie shot but his angled effort was touched away by Stewart. It remained 0-0 at half time despite plenty of home pressure and only an occasional threat from County. The winning goal came four minutes after the break and it was almost identical to the crucial goal against St Johnstone. A Bingham backheeler set Hislop on an angled run goalwards – from eight yards he hammered it low past Stewart. County had a chance in 58 minutes but Brown saved Jordan Tait’s shot. Brown also did well in 66 minutes to hold an angled ball from substitute Graham Bayne. Stewart Malcolm handled in 73 minutes but the referee deemed it accidental. In 76 minutes a second goal looked like coming when a Hislop ball reached Ritchie ten yards out – he took it first time but his volley came off the bar. County pressed hard in the closing stages but achieved little. With a minute left Stephen O’Donnell tried a long range strike but it flew over the bar. The two added minutes dragged for the home fans but time ran out for County.