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Goals galore as Inverness Caley Thistle hit Keith for nine

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Pic: Nathan MacKenzie

Pic: Nathan MacKenzie

Caley Thistle kicked off their pre-season with a 9-0 victory away at Keith. The Highland League hosts were celebrating ten years of service for their ever present left back Graham Lonie but the hosts had little to cheer as there SPL opponents scored goals for fun in the Moray sun.

First half goals from Gary Warren, Graham Shinnie and a double from young Ryan Christie were added to in the second-half through a Billy McKay hat-trick, a second for Graham Shinnie and a Nick Ross tap in.

The game provided the first chance for the Inverness support to see new signings Ben Greenhalgh, James Vincent, Marley Watkins, Adam Evans, Dean Brill and Joe Gorman.

Inverness scored three goals in the first 11 minutes of the match with the first coming through English centre back Gary Warren. The 28-year-old defender headed the ball into the far bottom corner from a corner by new signing Ben Greenhalgh. The ex-Inter Milan winger whipped his corner to the back post where Warren found plenty of space to loop his header past the Keith keeper and into the net.

Caley quickly added a second, this time through youth product Ryan Christie who expertly slotted the ball past the Keith keeper after some nice link up play between Matthew Cooper and Nick Ross had set up the young forward.

Christie a minute later got his second and Inverness third on 11 minutes. The son of Caley legend Charlie Christie linked up this time with Billy McKay before slotting the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

The Keith keeper managed to keep a fourth out with 15 minutes played when he denied Northern Irish international, Billy McKay whose shot from 10 yards was blocked before being cleared.

However Inverness were not to be denied and found a fourth on 29 minutes. Captain Graham Shinnie blasted the ball into the top of the net having being nicely set-up by Ryan Christie on the edge of the box.

Inverness made five changes at half-time with Brill, Evans and Watkins making their first appearances for the Caley Jags.

Caley Thistle got their fifth goal of the afternoon when Billy McKay slotted the ball past an onrushing Keith keeper down the middle of the goal.

A couple of minutes later and it was goal number six and number two for McKay when a clanger from the Keith keeper allowed McKay to tap the ball into an empty net from only a couple of yards out.

McKay completed his hat-trick when he was played through on goal with a defence cutting pass from Nick Ross with the Northern Irish expertly chipping the ball over the shoulder of the Keith keeper to make it seven, nil to the visitors.

McKay nearly got a fourth a minute later but couldn’t get good enough contact on the ball with his shot instead dribbling to the feet of the Keith keeper who had plenty of time to clear the danger.

Nick Ross scored the eighth when he slid in at the far post to prod in a cross from Marley Watkins into the net from eight yards out.

The ninth came through captain Graham Shinnie who having had his penalty originally saved by the Keith keeper lashed in the rebound straight down the middle to end the rout at just the nine goals to nil for Inverness.

Next up for Inverness is a trip to Forres Mechanics on Tuesday night before taking on Elgin City next Saturday.

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