Football - Butcher hails 'phenomenal' McKay

Inverness manager Terry Butcher hailed hat-trick hero Billy McKay after his late winner edged a seven-goal thriller against Motherwell, but he reserved special praise for comeback defender Chris Hogg.

PA Sport
Football - Butcher hails 'phenomenal' McKay

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Billy McKay, left, scored a hat-trick to take his tally for the season to 27 goals

Hogg started the game to complete his comeback from the serious knee injury he suffered in December 2011 and helped Caley Thistle retain third spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 4-3 win in dramatic circumstances.

Butcher said: "Twenty-three goals is phenomenal from a player from Northampton. His season has been absolutely spectacular. You look at his work-rate as well. Him and Andy Shinnie worked their socks off, it's our first line of defence.

"He is a pest, he is a wasp, he gave their two centre-halves a hard time and chased everything. He is a lovely kid and just wants to work hard. But I must praise Chris Hogg especially. The boys wanted to win it for Chris because it's his first game in 18 months.

"His experience and voice helped a lot. He gave away a penalty right enough, I'll speak to him about that. But the players wanted to win it for him, it was a special ambition for the players."

McKay and Andrew Shinnie had the hosts three up inside 27 minutes but James McFadden struck either side of Michael Higdon's penalty to draw Motherwell level in the 64th minute, 60 seconds after Darren Randolph had saved McKay's penalty.

McKay made amends after Henrik Ojamaa had been sent off, taking his tally for the season to 27 goals, 23 of them in the SPL, when he finished on the rebound in the 84th minute.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall felt the red card was crucial and was unhappy with Ojamaa for his first booking. The Estonian had just won a penalty from Hogg when he got in front of the centre-back again and threw himself to the ground 20 yards out but got a yellow card rather than the free-kick he hoped for.

Willie Collum issued his second booking when the 21-year-old stretched to tackle Shinnie following a heavy touch and got there too late.

McCall, whose side still need a point to make sure of second place, said: "Henrik knows my opinion on that. It was a dive, he had no need to do it, and it's something we don't enjoy seeing. Henrik knows how we feel about it and we weren't happy with that but he's a young lad and he has to learn. He has been terrific for us this season."

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