Inverness sealed a late, late win in their 1000th competitive game with goals late in either half to condemn Rangers to their second 2-1 defeat in a less than a week.
Graeme Murty made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Dundee last weekend with Lee Wallace, Jon Toral and Danny Wilson replacing Lee Hodson, Joe Garner and Clint Hill. 17-year-old Jordan Houston, who was a substitute against Dundee, missed out due to international duty with Scotland U17s.
Rangers dominated the opening ten minutes as they pressed and probed Caley’s defence and created a number of early opportunities. Kenny Miller and Emerson Hyndman both tested Fon Williams with shots which the Welshman kept out.
Richie Foran’s side were forced into an early change when Carl Tremarco picked up a groin injury tackling Barrie McKay with Brad McKay came on to replace the Caley left back. Inverness started to get themselves back into the game and Jake Mulraney posed constant problems down Rangers’ left. The winger got in behind Lee Wallace on a few occasions but couldn’t find a teammate with his crosses.
Caley continued to grow in the game before taking the lead on 45 minutes. Liam Polworth’s shot was blocked on the edge of the box before falling nicely for Greg Tansey curled a lovely finish into the bottom corner to, temporarily, lift Inverness off the bottom of the table.
After a bright opening five minutes of the second period Rangers quickly reverted to the slow, predictable sideways-passing that has sucked the life out of so many games this season and Murty’s side looked every bit as good as the bottom-placed team in the league.
With an hour played Barrie McKay had a great chance when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box before cutting in onto his right foot and forcing a solid save from Fon Williams. Toral then quickly followed up when, after a fantastic ball through from Hyndman, the Spaniard pulled his shot just wide of the post.
Rangers drew level with just over 20 minutes left from the penalty spot after Laing brought Wallace to the ground with a late tackle. Martyn Waghorn stepped up and coolly slotted the ball home to liven up the 3000 visiting fans behind Fon Williams’ goal.
Rangers had Wes Foderingham to thank for the score remaining level when his one-handed save denied Tansey a second goal for Caley.
Both teams continued to push forward and either side could have taken the lead but it was Rangers who looked the more threatening. Emerson Hyndman and James Tavernier both had chances but couldn’t find a way through the Caley defence.
Caley had a golden opportunity to make it 2-1 when referee Steven MacLean awarded them a penalty kick when Danny Wilson brought Billy McKay down. Ian Vigurs shot low to Foderingham’s left and the ex-Swindon keeper was down quickly to push it clear.
Billy McKay then did make it 2-1 to lift Caley off the bottom of the table with an exceptional overhead kick which left Foderingham utterly helpless.
Inverness CT: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco (Brad McKay 13’), Polworth, Draper (Vigurs 79’), McCart, Billy McKay, Mulraney, Tansey, Laing, Cole
Subs: Hoban, Warren, Ebbe, King, , Anier
Goals: Tansey 45’
Rangers: Foderingham; Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace; Halliday (Holt 79’), Toral Garner (90’), Hyndman; Waghorn, Miller, McKay
Subs: Alnwick, , Hodson, Windass, Dodoo, Forrester.
Goals: Waghorn 67’ (p),