As summer send-offs go, this was about as sweet as they get for the home team. Inverness recorded their biggest win since December 2014, filleting Dundee after the break and claiming the consolation prize of “best of the rest” in the bottom six.
It was a minor feat worth an extra £53,000 in end-of-season prize money, but the feelgood factor will resonate into the close season.
One who looks unlikely to remain is David Raven, a distinguished performer for the last four seasons, but told by manager John Hughes he is free to find a new club. Fans reacted to that decision by naming him player of the season despite his relative bit-part role.
Otherwise, it was all sweet as goals by Miles Storey, Danny Devine, Ross Draper and Richie Foran did the damage.
Hughes was thrilled with the performance. “We owed it to the supporters,” he said. “It’s nice to play that style of football and put goals on it. So to finish on that high gives everyone a buzz in the close season. I’m absolutely delighted. Recruitment is now vital so, hopefully, we can get all the business done and see what’s going about in the summer.”
Storey, the on-loan Swindon striker, roused the crowd early on with a tight-angled attempt after four minutes, carefully tipped over the bar by Scotland squad goalkeeper Scott Bain. From there, it was mesmerising at times from the hosts in possession as Dundee chased shadows, but atypical of their troubles this season – dominance without end reward.
In a rare Dundee counter after 23 minutes Aberdeen target Greg Stewart sliced past challenges by Draper and Danny and took a return pass from Kane Hemmings. Stewart’s first-time strike from 16 yards bounced off the top of the bar.
For all Inverness were in charge, Dundee had the better chances. Six minutes later, home slackness led to 25-goal Kane Hemmings missing a howler in front of goal, 12 yards out, from McCann’s cutback.
Finally, the breakthrough came after 62 minutes – and sparked a subsequent avalanche in the hosts’ favour.
Liam Polworth’s subtle dink behind the defence sent Storey racing through on Bain. The striker dragged the ball past the outcoming goalkeeper and completed the job with a tight-angled shot tucked neatly into the net for his 13th goal of the season.
Storey was replaced for his troubles, with Richie Foran introduced – and it was 2-0 soon after.
Iain Vigurs’ corner from the left ricocheted across the six-yard box to where Devine was waiting close-in to smack the ball home.
Dundee were in disarray just two minutes later as ex-Inverness midfielder Nick Ross was dispossessed by Draper who calmly strode on to beat Bain with ease.
Then Andy Black felled Polworth inside the box and Foran grasped the ball to send Bain the wrong way after 83 minutes.