White on tar­get as In­ver­ness dig deep to see off vis­it­ing A yr and nar­row gap on lead­ers

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - THESCORE - BY PAUL THIRD AT CALE­DO­NIAN STA­DIUM

They have waited a long time to see an­other one, but Ca­ley This­tle sup­port­ers were fi­nally treated to a sec­ond home league win of the sea­son from John Robert­son’s side on Satur­day.

Jor­dan White’s header gave the Ca­ley Jags their first vic­tory on their own patch since Septem­ber, and it was a mer­ited one as they dug deep to beat Ayr United.

It was an im­por­tant vic­tory, too, with Queen of the South’s 4-0 win against league lead­ers Ross County giv­ing In­ver­ness the chance to close the gap at the top of the ta­ble and keep their play-off chal­lenge alive at Cale­do­nian Sta­dium.

This was a meet­ing of two teams search­ing for a morale-boost­ing vic­tory. United ar­rived at Cale­do­nian Sta­dium with­out a league win since scor­ing five with­out re­ply at Dundee United on Novem­ber 30, while the hosts had one win and three de­feats in their last five matches.

Liam Pol­worth dragged a shot wide af­ter 30 sec­onds for the home side but it was United who had a great chance to break the dead­lock when Ross Docherty’s pass sent Michael Mof­fat clear on goal. But with Carl Tre­marco, play­ing at right back, get­ting across to put Mof­fat un­der pres­sure, he fired straight at Mark Ridgers.

Mof­fat caused the home side a lot of prob­lems in the open­ing pe­riod and only a poor first touch de­nied him an­other chance at the back post.

In­ver­ness came close to pun­ish­ing the vis­i­tors for not tak­ing their chances when Tom Walsh’s cross from the right found Aaron Do­ran, but the winger’s pow­er­ful 10-yard shot struck the post and Ayr cleared the dan­ger.

Ayr con­tin­ued to carry a threat on the counter but it was In­ver­ness who dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and their pres­sure should have paid off seven min­utes be­fore the break when Jor­dan White ex­changed passes with Do­ran, but he dragged his shot wide.

United came out strongly for the sec­ond half and Craig Moore should have hit the tar­get from De­clan McDaid’s cor­ner, but the striker could not di­rect his header on tar­get.

Play swept from one end to the other as the two sides pushed for a goal with Doohan deny­ing White be­fore Jamie McCart made a ter­rific block to clear Craw­ford’s cross for Ayr.

From the clear­ance In­ver­ness surged for­ward and Walsh saw his shot turned away for a cor­ner by Ridgers.

Some­thing had to give and it was the vis­i­tors who con­ceded as Sean Welsh got to the bye­line be­fore cross­ing for White, and the striker rose high to beat Doohan with a wellplaced header.

Do­ran should have put the game beyond the vis­i­tors when Walsh sent him clear on goal but, with only Doohan to beat, the Ca­ley This­tle winger fired wide.

Ayr pushed for an equaliser but, with­out their star striker Lawrence Shank­land, they lacked guile in the fi­nal third and Ridgers ended the game with­out be­ing tested thanks to solid de­fend­ing from his team-mates.

In­ver­ness will look to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing and avoid a Scot­tish Cup upset when Low­land League East Kil­bride visit this week­end.

RIS­ING TO CHAL­LENGE: Jor­dan White heads in the goal that gave Ca­ley This­tle a home win over Ayr United and

keeps their play-off chal­lenge well and truly alive

Con­grat­u­la­tions: Jor­dan White cel­e­brates his de­ci­sive goal with Joe Chalmers

Eye on the ball: Kevin McHat­tie is one step ahead of Ayr United’s Andy Geg­gan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.