Inverness win Highland derby

PA Sport
Andrew Shinnie was on target for Inverness
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Andrew Shinnie was on target for Inverness

Inverness can claim the bragging rights after beating Highland rivals Ross County 3-1 in the first top-flight meeting between the two clubs.

Goals from Ross Draper, Andrew Shinnie and Aaron Doran sent Inverness into the Clydesdale Bank Premier League top six after an end-to-end encounter at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.

Draper's ninth minute close range header gave the hosts the lead before Andrew Shinnie's 12-yard effort after 28 minutes gave them a two-goal cushion at the interval. Iain Vigurs' superb free-kick reduced arrears for County after 48 minutes, but Doran's volley with two minutes to go sealed the victory for Inverness.

Former Inverness star Ross Tokely almost turned the ball past County team-mate keeper Michael Fraser when he headed a Doran cross onto the bar in the opening minute. Seconds later ex-Inverness captain Grant Munro cleared the County lines when Owain Tudur Jones sent a shot towards the far post.

Inverness made the pressure count when Draper headed home a Graeme Shinnie corner from close range in the ninth minute.

County responded well with Mark Fortheringham hitting the woodwork from 25-yards and Richard Brittain was next to come close for County when his 30-yard free-kick went just wide.

It proved costly as the hosts scored at the opposite end moments later. Richie Foran capitalised on a Munro error after 28 minutes and swiftly found Andrew Shinnie who fired low beyond Fraser from 12-yards.

County got themselves back in the game three minutes into the second half when Vigurs curled a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.

The visitors piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser as Inverness reverted to long-ball tactics. Efforts from Marc Fitzpatrick and Colin McMenamin went across the face of goal and Rocco Quinn forced a save from Antonio Reguero, before Vigurs came close to netting his second when his angled shot went inches past the post.

Quinn might have levelled late on when he met a Fitzpatrick cross on the volley but Reguero was again equal to it. However the hosts sealed the win when substitute Conor Pepper was provider as he found Doran whose hammered a stunning volley past Fraser with two minutes to go.

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