Inverness walking on Ayr as Vincent and Rooney goals win three points
Ayr United 0
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2
Vincent (29) Rooney (65)
GOALS from James Vincent and Shaun Rooney reduced the gap between Inverness and the top two in the Championship to two points after victory at Somerset Park.
But there is concern for Sean Welsh who hobbled off the pitch before the half hour mark after suffering an injury.
Inverness are back within touching distance of leaders Dundee United who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Alloa on Friday night.
Manager John Robertson named the same starting 11 which lost 3-1 to Partick Thistle seven days previously with Brad McKay returning from injury to the substitutes bench.
Somerset Park proved to be a happy hunting ground for Caley Thistle last season as they won all three games, including a 3-1 Premiership quarter final play-off first leg win.
And Inverness could have taken the lead in the opening minute when Jordan White put Miles Storey through on goal. But Ayr goalkeeper Ross Doohan’s finger tip save forced the ball wide of the left post.
Ayr responded when Michael Moffat was allowed to charge through the heart of the Inverness defence and was one-on-one with Mark Ridgers, but the goalkeeper did well to block shot.
Ridgers came to the rescue again as the Inverness defence were not alert to Luke McGowan’s cross which allowed Alan Forrest to connect and charge towards goal. But the goalkeeper parried the shot away with his legs to the frustration of the hosts.
They were made to pay not finding the net when Vincent gave Inverness the lead on the half hour after the Ayr defence were unable to clear Rooney’s cross from the right wing and the midfielder pounced and drilled home a low drive from 12 yards.
Caley Thistle claimed for a penalty early in the second half after Roddy MacGregor protested unsuccessfully to the referee he was scythed down by Sam Roscoe.
But Inverness doubled their lead midway through the second half when Rooney latched on to a long ball from Donaldson on the right wing 40 yards from goal. He charged into the box before firing a low drive past Doohan into the back of the net.
Ayr came close to pulling one back when Kris Doolan’s shot from close range was well saved by Mark Ridgers as Inverness deservedly took home all three points.
Ayr: Doohan, Muirhead, Harvie, Roscoe, Geggan (Doolan 76), Moffat, Forrest, McCowan, Houston, Docherty, Kelly
Subs (Unused) Hare Reid, Moore, McGuffie, Ecrepont, McKenzie.
ICT: Ridgers, Rooney, Tremarco, Welsh (Trafford 27), Donaldson, McCart, White (Todorov 69), Doran, Vincent, Storey, MacGregor (Carson 67).
Subs (Unused) Mackay, McHattie, Mckay, Machedo.
Referee: Steven Maclean