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Inverness Caledonian Thistle relegated to League One after play-off final defeat

By Will Clark

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Inverness Caledonian Thistle will play in League One next season
Inverness Caledonian Thistle will play in League One next season

Championship Play-off final

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2

Hamilton Academical 3

(Aggregate 3-5)

Scorers - Inverness: Kerr (32) Samuel (90+8). Hamilton (O’Hara 8, 41) Smith (11)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle have been relegated from the Championship and will play in League One next season after defeat to Hamilton Academical at the Caledonian Stadium in the play-off final.

Inverness will return to the third tier of Scottish football for the first time in 25 years after losing 5-2 on aggregate, losing 3-2 in the second leg on Saturday.

Fans made their fury known at full time and directed it at members of the board after a disappointing campaign resulted in relegation.

Inverness were left stunned as Kevin O’Hara and Lewis Smith put Hamilton 2-0 up after 11 minutes.

Cammy Kerr pulled one back for Inverness just after the half hour. But O’Hara’s penalty just before half time increased the deficit to three and killed off the contest.

Alex Samuel scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time, but it was too late to save Inverness from relegation.

Jamie Carragher, Samson Lawal, Aribim Pepple and Remi Savage were brought into the starting line-up.

Wallace Duffy and Alex Samuel were demoted to the substitutes bench with Danny Devine and Charlie Gilmour out injured.

Despite Inverness getting off to a bright start creating a number of chances, it was Hamilton who took the lead after eight minutes.

The ball broke to O’Hara from 20 yards out and he fired a thunderous shot past Mark Ridgers to make it 1-0 and 3-1 on aggregate.

The gap increased to three when a corner kick found its way to Lewis Smith in the box and he fired into the side netting to make it 2-0 and 4-1 on aggregate.

Inverness attempted to get back into the game and came close when Kerr’s free kick found Aribim Pepple in the box, but his shot was straight at Dean Lyness.

But the hosts pulled one back just after the half hour mark, when Mckay laid the ball off for Kerr and he fired a thunderous drive into the bottom left corner to make it 2-1 and 4-2 on aggregate.

However, the deficit was increased just before half time when Hamilton were awarded a penalty when Euan Henderson was fouled by Remi Savage.

O’Hara then slotted his penalty into the bottom right corner to make it 3-1 and 5-2 on aggregate at half time.

Inverness weren’t able to cause any danger for the majority of the second half, with Hamilton having a few half chances in a quiet as they comfortably ran out the clock.

Cameron Harper came close with a free kick to pulling one back for Inverness but was well saved by Dean Lyness.

Roddy MacGregor also went close with a header in the closing stages, but Alex Samuel reduced the deficit to one as he chested down the ball before launched a volley into the net.

But it was one of the last kicks of the game as Inverness will spend next season in League One.

Inverness: Ridgers, Harper, Kerr, Mckay MaGregor 72), Pepple (Brooks 79_ Anderson, Longstaff (Samuels 76), Boyes, Carragher, Savage (Samuel 45), Lawal.

Substitutes: Mackay, Duffy, Ujdur.

Hamilton: Lyness, Longridge (Kilday 62), Barjonas (MacDonald 22), Henderson (Rose 88), Martin (Murray 88), O’Hara, Smith, McGowan, Tumilty (Hewitt 45), Owens, Williamson.

Substitutes: Smith, Hastie, MacDonald, Winter, Hewitt, Hendrie.

Referee: Euan Anderson

Attendace: 2863

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