Arbroath were hit for 7 in the Highlands today as a very good Inverness Caledonian Thistle swept aside a suspension hit Lichties team.
Inverness who demolished Dunfermline midweek 5-1 knew that they had to win big to secure their place in the final 16 of the Betfred Cup with Dundee United hosting Dunfermline on Sunday as United knowing a high scoring win would see them top the group, but a win for Dunfermline would also see them qualify as one of the 4 best runner ups.
The Lichties were without Ryan McCord, Martin Scott and Ricky Little through suspension and also missed Gavin Malin and Craig Wilson due to injury, pushing the squad to its limit with manager Dick Campbell only able to name 3 substitutes and having to start with captain Mark Whatley as a makeshift centre-back.
Caley Thistle in stark contrast welcomed back Welsh international goalkeeper Owain Fôn Williams who made his return after being part of the impressive Welsh Euro 2016 squad.
In front of around 60 Arbroath supporters who had made the long trip to the Highlands the game got underway and the Lichties won a corner in their opening attack but 10 minutes later and Caley had the lead after on-loan Hearts midfielder Billy King struck after being set up by the lightning quick Mulraney.
A summer signing from Queen’s Park Rangers, Mulraney’s pace was to torment the Arbroath defence in a first half which Inverness dominated.
A second goal came in the 18th minute when Boden scored his first, before adding his second in the 25th minute.
The 4th came in the 37th minute with Tremarco on the scoresheet as the pace; passing and clinical finishing from the home side killed the game by half time.
The Lichties introduced Michal Dunlop at half time for Josh Thomson with Whatley sliding to right back and Dunlop joining Whatley in central defence.
It didn’t take long for Inverness to pick up from where the left off with Mulraney again providing the key pass to set up Vigurs to score the 5th goal in the 47th minute.
Arbroath then had their best spell and were unfortunate not to get on the score sheet when a great piece of skill by David Gold set up Steven Doris who beat Kevin McNaughton to the ball in the box before beating Fôn Williams but only to watch Tremarco make a lunging dive to push Doris’s shot onto the post and back out.
Bobby Linn hit a sweet strike from 25 yards which forced Fôn Williams into a diving save in the rain and to concede a corner, before Gold hit another shot wide.
Scott Boden got his hat trick on the 71st minute after being played in by Vigurs who had also notched a hat trick midweek.
Kane Hester came on for former Caley Thistle player Bryan Prunty in the 79th minute before Linn had another strike zip past the post. Three minutes from full time Tremarco notched his second as he flung himself at a cross from Warren.
The full time whistle finally came to end a torrid afternoon for a depleted Lichties side who were pushed by a very good Inverness Caledonian Thistle Side.
Thanks to the fans who made the long journey north. Your support is always recognised and we are always very grateful for your dedicated following and support of the team. We hope you all made it home safe.
C’mon on the Lichties
Possession – Inverness Caledonian Thistle 65% – 35% Arbroath
Total Shots – Inverness Caledonian Thistle 21 – 5 Arbroath
On Target – Inverness Caledonian Thistle 12 – 2 Arbroath
Corners – Inverness Caledonian Thistle 4 – 4 Arbroath
Fouls Committed – Inverness Caledonian Thistle 9 – 7 Arbroath
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
25 – Owain Fôn Williams
2 – David Raven
5 – Gary Warren (c)
4 – Kevin McNaughton (Brown 63)
3 – Carl Tremarco
15 – Jake Mulraney (Fisher 74)
7 – Liam Polworth
16 – Greg Tansey
20 – Billy King (Draper 56)
11 – Iain Vigurs
19 – Scott Boden
8 – Ross Draper – 20
10 – Aaron Doran
14 – Jason Brown – 4
17 – Lewis Horner
18 – Alex Fisher – 15
21 – Alasdair Sutherland
31 – Cameron Mackay (GK)
Goals – B King (10), S Boden (18, 25, 71),C Tremarco (37, 87), I Vigurs (47)
1 – Robbie Mutch
2 – Josh Thomson (Dunlop 46)
3 – Gary Phillips
4 – Mark Whatley (c)
5 – Colin Hamilton
6 – Omar Kader
7 – Bobby Linn
8 – David Gold
9 – Steven Doris
10 – Liam Callaghan
11 – Bryan Prunty (Hester 79)
12 – Kane Hester – 11
14 – Michal Dunlop – 2
21 – Ricky Gomes (GK)
Attendance – 1316
Referee: Greg Aitken.
Assistant Referee 1: Douglas Ross.
Assistant Referee 2: Anthony Cooper.