Last-gasp Caley earn point

PA Sport
John Sutton converted from the spot but Inverness battled back to claim a point against Hearts

View photo

John Sutton converted from the spot but Inverness battled back to claim a point against Hearts

Inverness Caledonian Thistle struck with the last kick of the game as the Highlanders claimed a dramatic 2-2 draw in a controversial encounter against Hearts.

Eighteen-year-old Conor Pepper rescued a draw after Terry Butcher's men appeared dead and buried at the break - two goals down and a man down following a tempestuous first period.

Arvydas Novikovas had given the hosts the lead on 15 minutes, curling past Ryan Esson, before John Sutton doubled Hearts' lead after a debatable penalty award.

Richie Foran was shown a red card on the stroke of half-time, prompting the fury of Butcher, but Caley were handed a lifeline with a penalty of their own, Andrew Shinnie netting. Pepper then sparked wild celebrations among the visitors deep into injury time.

It was the visitors who made the more impressive start to the encounter, threatening MacDonald's goal twice in the first 10 minutes. First Andrew Shinnie fizzed a low drive just past the post before his brother Graeme produced a sensational ball into the box across the face of goal - but there were no willing takers for the inviting delivery.

However, it would be the home side who claimed the lead after 15 minutes. A fine counter-attack saw Andy Driver power into the Caley half before finding Darren Barr. His through-ball was perfectly weighted into the path of Novikovas in the right channel of the box, and the Lithuanian winger calmly slotted the ball past Ryan Esson.

The game endured something of a lull, lacking in goalmouth action, until controversy reigned on 42 minutes.

Referee Bobby Madden decided that Simon King had fouled Sutton as the striker attempted to get on the end of a Taouil free-kick and Sutton stepped up himself to lash home his second goal of the season from the spot. Madden then further infuriated Inverness on the stroke of half-time, showing a red card to Foran - himself returning from suspension - for a reckless challenge on Ryan McGowan.

He awarded Butcher's side a penalty kick of their own approaching the hour mark, following a challenge by Paterson on Graeme Shinnie. It was sibling Andrew who did the business from the spot, firing his effort from 12 yards into the roof of the net, despite MacDonald getting a touch.

Late on Graeme Shinnie crept in behind the Hearts defence and lofted the ball past MacDonald, allowing Pepper to lash home.

View comments (0)