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Six-goal thriller leaves Caley Thistle still searching for first home win since November 11

By Alasdair Fraser

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ICT’s Nathan Shaw applauds fans.
ICT’s Nathan Shaw applauds fans.

Inverness Caley Thistle (1) 3

Partick Thistle (0) 3

Att. 2,215

(Scorers: ICT - Kerr 27, Savage 54, Shaw 78; Partick - Fitzpatrick 64, Graham pen 77, 86)

Caley Thistle twice threw away the lead as their search for a home victory in the league stretched to six games.

Not since defeating Ayr on November 11 last year have the Highlanders savoured that winning feeling at their own ground.

For long enough, though, it looked like full points would be theirs in a frenzied, breathless contest with third top Partick Thistle.

Cammy Kerr had the hosts 1-0 in front in the first half and when Remi Savage doubled the lead after 54 minutes it looked like the home hoodoo would be broken.

The Maryhill Jags stormed back, though, with Aidan Fitzpatrick netting before Brian Graham’s 77th minute penalty.

Shaw, who had given away the penalty, restored the lead 90 seconds later, but Graham’s stunning volley sealed a share of the spoils.

Partick brought in Wasiri Williams and Luke McBeth for benched Ben Stanway and injured Jack McMillan.

The hosts were unchanged from the previous week’s Scottish Cup defeat to Hibs.

What was different about them, as the first half unfolded, was a directness to their play lacking at the Caledonian Stadium recently.

Partick put them under early pressure and keeper Mark Ridgers struggled to clear a sloppy Remi Savage passback.

But Caley Jags responded with pressure of their own and corners from Sean McAllister and Cammy Harper had to be pushed from under the bar in quick succession by Partick keeper Jamie Sneddon.

It took a brilliant Ridgers block to deny Brian Graham’s low, angled strike, but it was the hosts who found the net after 27 minutes

Savage worked the ball across from the left and McAllister played it into the path of Dundee loanee Cammy Kerr just inside the right hand corner of the box.

Kerr’s low finish was perfectly struck and flashed beyond Sneddon into the far left corner of the net.

From there, the home side’s passing and movement was superb and Billy Mckay and Charlie Gilmour went close, while McAllister had an attempt clutched by the away keeper.

Partick were pumped up from the restart, pinning Caley Thistle back, but the home side doubled the lead after 54 minutes.

Substitute Aaron Doran, just on, sent an inswinging corner veering into the six-yard box and defender Savage glanced the ball home close in.

The hosts’ grip on the game loosened after 64 minutes.

A Steven Lawless cross from the right was knocked away from the six-yard box by Cammy Kerr, but Aidan Fitzpatrick was free 12 yards out to drill the ball low into the net through a crowded box.

Suddenly it was the hosts who were feeling the pressure - and with 14 minutes left Partick were level.

Shaw clearly tripped sub Scott Robinson to the right of the box and Brian Graham smashed home the spot-kick.

Just 90 seconds later, though, Shaw redeemed himself.

Aaron Doran’s lofted ball from the right dropped beyond the six-yard box, but was retrieved by Harper.

He laid it back to the incoming Shaw who stroked in Caley Jags’ third.

Graham wasn’t finished, though, and, after a spot of head tennis in the home penalty box, the big striker wrapped his left leg around the ball to fire high past Ridgers from 10 yards.

A red card flashed for Max Anderson for a high foot on Luke McBeth snuffed out home hopes of a fourth and Partick piled at them through to the final whistle.

Inverness Caley Thistle (3-4-2-1) - Ridgers 6; Chilokoa-Mullen 6 (Devine 51, 6), Carragher 7, Savage 7; Kerr 8, Gilmour 7, Anderson 7, Harper 7; Shaw 7, McAllister 6 (Doran 51, 6) (Ujdur 90, 1); Mckay 6 (Pepple 68, 5). Subs: MacKay, Samuels, MacGregor, Brooks,

Booking: Shaw 45

Red: Anderson 90

Partick Thistle (4-2-3-1) - Sneddon 6; Williams 6 (Adeloye 84, 3), Muirhead 7, Neilson 6, Milne 7 (O’Reilly 88, 2); Bannigan 6, McBeth 6; Lawless 7, McInroy 6 (Robinson 68, 5), Fitzpatrick 6; Graham 8. Subs: Stewart, MItchell, Ngwqenya, Alston, Stanway, MacKenzie.

Booked: McBeth 88

Ref: Grant Irvine 7

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