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Caley Thistle held at home by Morton to remain bottom of the Championship

By Paul Chalk

Gary Warren
Gary Warren

CALEY Thistle remain at the foot of the Ladbrokes Championship after being held to a 1-1 draw against Morton today.

Returning skipper Gary Warren put them in front but Robert Thomson earned the Greenock side a share of the spoils.

ICT began the day bottom of the league with no points and keen to get over their 5-1 league thumping by Dunfermline Athletic last week.

The hosts pitched new signing, Canadian international midfielder signed from Finnish club RoPS this week, in for his debut and captain Warren made a welcome return from his ankle injury to the team.

Another new face for ICT was former Dundee United defender Coll Donaldson, who has joined on a short-term deal following a midweek bounce game appearance against Nairn County.

The Ton made four changes from the side which lost 2-0 in the Irn Bru Cup against Livingston in midweek, with Rickie Lamie, Jai Quitongo, Robert Thomson and Mark Russell stepping into the starting line-up.

In league terms, they arrived in the Highlands, however, on the back of a 4-1 derby win against St Mirren and were back to a more familiar set-up today.

The first chance came for the Inverness side and Liam Polworth drew a save from Derek Gaston after weaving into the box.

Polworth became provider moments later when he lined up John Baird, who guided a shot over the crossbar.

Polworth then was at it again in the next attack and it was Gaston to the rescue once more as he turned the shot over the top.

The one-way traffic continued and, on 14 minutes, striker George Oakley saw his low drive deflected wide for another corner, which came to nothing.

Five minutes later, the Caley Jags nudged deservedly in front when Warren was in the right place to steer the ball into the net from a Polworth free-kick which Riccardo Calder won when he was tripped by Michael Doyle.

Morton soon found their feet in the game, although they didn't really ask questions of the well drilled back line as the first half progressed.

So the teams went in at the break with Caley Thistle and goal to the good and clearly defending much better than seven days previously.

However, six minutes in the second half Morton were level when Robert Thomson headed home from a Lamie delivery into the box.

It was a bolt from the blue and a real hammer blow for ICT.

Morton looked as if they were going in front on 66 minutes when Quitongo, Thomson then McHugh were all denied one after the other by defenders then keeper Mark Ridgers. That looked to have saved the Highlanders.

With 12 minutes to go, a deflected McHugh drive was on target but Ridgers was on hand again to gather as Ton pressed for a winner.

Oakley almost snatched the clincher for Inverness CT late on when his header seemed destined for the net when he met a cross from sub Jake Mulraney, but Gaston got down smartly to block it.

Seedorf was sent off in the final minute for a foul, which was his second booking of the aftternoon to rub salt in the wounds of the hosts.

Caley Thistle are away to Brechin City next weekend as they seek their first Championship victory.

Inverness CT: Ridgers, Chalmers, Warren, Polworth, Baird (Bell 62), Vigurs, Oakley (Raven 90), Calder (Mulraney 69), Seedorf, McKay, Trafford. Subs not used: Esson (GK), Elsdon, Donaldson.

Morton: Gaston, Murdoch, O'Ware, Lamie, Doyle, Forbes (Harkins 90), Quitongo, Thomson, McHugh (Oliver 80), Tidser, Russell. Subs not used: Dodhan (GK), Tiffoney, McManus, Iredale.

Attendance: 2202.

Referee: Stephen Finnie.

*** Defender Josh Meekings completed his switch to Dundee last night. The former Caley Jags star, who was part of the 2015 Scottish Cup-winning team, played more than 150 times for ICT and has signed with the Premiership club for a year with the option of a further 12 months.

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