TERRY Butcher enjoyed a satisfying weekend as he watched his side prepare for the start of the new season with a 1-0 friendly win at Charlton Athletic on Saturday, then yesterday snapped up Norwegian forward Torbjorn Agdestein on a six-month contract.
Scorers: Inverness Caledonian Thistle - Meekings (79)
Agdestein, 21, was released by Brighton despite signing a new deal until 2014 in March 2012. “We like the look of Toby, he’s young and strong and willing to learn,” said Butcher. “We’re happy he has agreed to sign until the January window to boost our attacking resources and we can make a decision at that point.”
Agdestein joined Brighton from Stord in 2007 and was loaned to Bath City in 2011.
Butcher believes the Norway Under-21 internationalist will give Inverness a different type of attacking option. “He is six feet one inch tall and gives us the option of height up front – quite a contrast with wee Billy McKay, our top striker,” he added.
Victory at The Valley on Saturday, against a Charlton side reckoned to be candidates for the Championship play-offs this season, completed an unbeaten pre-season run for the Highlanders.
Josh Meekings’ goal, when he finished off a tremendous move which he had sparked from near his own 18-yard line, was the team’s 36th from nine warm-up games.
Meekings said: “I can’t really remember much about the goal now. It is just a blur. I just remember nicking the ball at the edge of our box and making a run forward. I just kept going. I passed it wide and Aaron [Doran] put a ball back in – and it landed on my left foot.
“It is good because I didn’t get a goal last season and was a bit disappointed with that. I felt it was an area I needed to improve. So two goals in two games isn’t bad. I’ve got to keep going now and take that into the season.”
The fixture doubled as testimonial for Charlton’s long-serving groundsman Colin Powell, an ex-Valley winger of the 1970s.
Inverness, without skipper Richie Foran after a minor muscle tweak, were on the back foot early on but put up strong resistance and forced their way into the game. After the initial rearguard operation, Caley Thistle midfielder Ross Draper was unlucky to rattle the post with a fierce 20-yard swipe of the right boot. He also stung the glove of goalkeeper Ben Haven with another powerful dig soon after.
Charlton’s best move of the first half came just before the half hour. Callum Harriott’s break and measured chip into the box found Charlton’s French cult hero, Yann Kermorgant, who out-jumped the away defence to test ’keeper Dean Brill with a fierce header. There was little else for Brill to do, however, with Meekings and Gary Warren in watertight mood, flanked by Raven and Graeme Shinnie.
The breakthrough came with 11 minutes left. Meekings started the move just outside his own box and just kept going, before spreading an over-hit pass wide right. It was salvaged by Aaron Doran who swept the ball back in for Meekings to expertly side-foot low into the corner of the net from 12 yards.
Kermorgant whistled one just over the bar as the Londoners tried to battle back but Inverness remained resolute.