Match Reports

Inverness CT 3-3 Hearts

29th October 2016

Share of the spoils for Caley Thistle and Hearts.


Hearts twice came back from behind to secure a point against Inverness CT in a 3-3 draw in the Highlands.

ICT went into the break 2-1 up courtesy of David Raven and Lonsana Doumbouya goals before Bjorn Johnsen halved the deficit. The Jambos came racing out the traps in the second-half with an early Faycal Rherras strike but Caley Thistle responded through Aaron Doran. Not to be outdone, Arnaud Djoum secured a share of the spoils with a fine low drive.

Robbie Neilson made two changes to the side that went down in midweek to Kilmarnock. Jamie Walker came in for Tony Watt while Johnsen replaced Conor Sammon.

The hosts went close after five minutes. Carl Tremarco got on the overlap to float a ball into the middle of the box for Doumbouya to connect with, but his header hit the top of the crossbar and bounced over.

Muirhead showed how dangerous he could be from distance in the 11th minute. Djoum moved the ball inside for the striker to fizz a left-foot effort inches wide of Cammy Mackay’s right-hand post from all of 25-yards out.   

The deadlock was broken after 15 minutes, courtesy of Caley Thistle. Ross Draper knocked down a long ball into the Hearts box for substitute Raven to hit a stunning half-volley into Jack Hamilton’s top right corner.

Hearts began to take control of the game but were hit by a sucker-punch in the 33rd minute. Liam Polworth broke free down to the left to middle to the completely unmarked Doumbouya inside the box and he slammed beyond the onrushing Hamilton to make it 2-0.

Five minutes later the Jambos got themselves right back into it. Don Cowie’s defence splitting pass saw Johnsen break free from his marker and run in on goal to drill past Mackay.

It took seven minutes into the restart for Hearts to get back on level terms. Rherras had acres of space down the left to cut inside and swing a looping cross into the box, which Johnsen went for but the ball bounced over his head and the Caley defence, evading goalkeeper Mackay and ending up in the back of net.

Caley Thistle went straight up the park and created a decent chance. Draper dinked the ball to the back door for Polworth to connect with a bicycle kick, but Hamilton got down at his near post to make a fine block.

The hosts went 3-2 up in the 55th minute. A long ball forward caused problems for Cowie and Doran picked his pocket to run through on goal and place into the bottom left corner of the net.

Again, Hearts took control of proceedings, desperate to get back on level terms for a second time. Johnsen’s 70th minute cross was headed just wide of the target by Caley Thistle’s Josh Meekings, narrowly avoiding and own goal.

Substitute Tony Watt was causing trouble down the flanks and in the 72nd minute ran to the byline to cut back for Johnsen but the ball ran just behind him.

The pressure paid off a minute later as parity was once again restored. Djoum got on the ball inside the ICT box and kept close control before driving low across the face of goal and into the bottom right corner of the net.

Hearts went close with three minutes to go when Djoum’s strike from distance was knocked goalwards by Cowie by Mackay did well to get down and make the save.

Inverness CT: Mackay, Tremarco (Raven, 10'), Warren, Meekings, Polworth, Draper, Doran (Mulraney, 82'), Vigurs (Horner, 90'), Tansey, McKay, Doumbouya. Subs: Horner, Boden, Sutherland.

Hearts: Hamilton, Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, Rherras (Ozturk, 60'), Djoum, Kitchen, Cowie, Walker, Johnsen (Sammon, 77'), Muirhead (Watt, 54'). Subs: Noring, Oshaniwa, Nowak, Buaben.

Referee: Craig Thomson

Top man: Arnaud Djoum