HAMILTON Accies have rightly been lauded as the success story of the season so far, with free-flowing, adventurous football. But in this 4-2 beating, it was a host team with just as scant a budget that prevailed and surged briefly back to the top of the table.
Inverness CT 4-2 Hamilton Accies
Scorers: Inverness CT - Mckay (25, 68), Warren (59), Vincent (78) - Hamilton Accies Andreu (17, 72)
It was a frantic match, filled with action, but Inverness Caley Thistle striker James Vincent stressed there was method in the madness as the Highlanders put into action the words manager John Hughes delivered during the week.
Vincent, who netted only his second goal for the club, said: “It was a fantastic win and the lads deserve credit for it. We worked a lot during the week on what we wanted to do, knowing Hamilton were up where they were in the table for a reason.
“We wanted to press them high up the pitch and stop them playing in the way that has been so effective for them. It worked, and we got the result.”
Vincent’s wait for a goal stretched back to the first game of last season, but Billy Mckay’s – dating back to the first day of this campaign – must have seemed even longer for the Northern Ireland international. Mckay claimed a double in the victory, and Vincent stressed: “Marley Watkins was brilliant, setting up mine and creating Billy’s two goals as well. Hopefully, I can get a lot more than last season.”
The Glossop-born midfielder added: “We know we’ve got something special here, and if we keep taking it game-by-game we know we can achieve something. If we keep picking up the points we’ll be there or thereabouts.
“Personally I think it’s to do with where we live. In Inverness, we all live close, we’re all friends up here, whereas at previous clubs I’ve had local friends and then I’ve had club-mates. It’s different up here, we’re all friends so that keeps us strong on the pitch and strong off it.”
In a pulsating match, Hamilton stormed ahead after only 16 minutes. When David Raven fouled Jon Routledge 35 yards out, danger levels seemed mild, but Tony Andreu’s toe-poke fizzed past Dean Brill.
The hosts levelled nine minutes later, as Raven’s delivery flew too hard across the box for Watkins, but the Welshman cut it back across to the waiting Mckay who took a deft touch before slotting home.
Inverness were commanding through most of the match and took a 3-1 lead with defender Gary Warren thundering home a header from Greg Tansey’s corner just before the hour and Mckay pouncing close-in on a saved Watkins shot to net the third.
Brill was caught out by a tame Andreu strike for Accies’ second but Vincent tore through onto Watkins’ head-flick after 77 minutes to calmly slot the fourth under goalkeeper Michael McGovern’s body.
Accies’ captain Ziggy Gordon refused to press the panic button after four games without a win.
The 21-year-old said: “One thing we never lack is effort and endeavour, but today I thought we just didn’t defend properly. I honestly didn’t feel there was much in the game apart from mistakes. We paid for ours more than they did.”