Rooney double seals Caley win

The forward netted twice in 10 early second-half minutes, with a
Jonny Hayes goal sandwiched in between, to claim victory in the
Scottish Premier League encounter at New Douglas Park. It was
Hamilton who had taken a deserved lead on 29 minutes when Dougie
Imrie produced an excellent finish against his old team, but the
bottom side had no answer to Inverness’ swift and comprehensive
second-half response which leaves Accies still searching for their
first home win of the season. Hamilton manager Billy Reid handed a
debut to 17-year-old forward David Hopkirk. The teenager’s
inclusion was one of four changes, along with a first start for
Damian Casalinuovo and the inclusion of Jordan Kirkpatrick and
David Elebert. Nigel Hasselbaink was missing with a hamstring
injury but fellow striker Flavio Paixao, Mark McLaughlin and Martin
Canning, who all played in the defeat at Kilmarnock, had to settle
for a place on the bench. By contrast, Inverness manager Terry
Butcher named an unchanged starting XI from the team which
triumphed at Aberdeen in midweek. Hamilton played themselves into
trouble twice inside the opening two minutes, in particular when
Jonny Hayes’ free-kick from the right touchline allowed Richie
Foran to head narrowly off target at the far post. The hosts
responded on five minutes, however, when Hopkirk produced a
promising cross from the right which was met by Casalinuovo, only
for his effort to rise narrowly over the bar. Hamilton then
dominated the attacking play in the opening quarter, notably on 14
minutes when Kirkpatrick showed great skill to turn past Kevin
McCann and bear down on goal, drawing a good reaction save from
Ryan Esson with his rising shot. Team-mate Jon Routledge tried a
hopeful 30-yard shot six minutes later, but it went harmlessly
high. Hamilton took the lead on 29 minutes when Imrie produced an
excellent finish to net against his former side. Accies goalkeeper
Tomas Cerny launched forward a free-kick from just outside his own
area. It was headed on by Casalinuovo to Imrie on the left side of
the box, and he lifted a cool diagonal finish over the goalkeeper
and into the opposite corner. Routledge came close to a second for
the hosts four minutes later, drilling just wide of the left
upright after Andy Graham had done well to keep the ball in play on
the opposite flank. Inverness had their best chance 10 minutes
before the break when Adam Rooney sent a cross from the byline
arrowing towards Richie Foran, but home captain Simon Mensing
appeared with a well-timed header and Cerny then soared clear in
the six-yard box to make an easy save from Hayes’ free-kick.
Inverness wasted little time in restoring parity, doing so four
minutes after the restart when Rooney took advantage of an unforced
Elebert error which gifted him the ball just outside the area, and
the Inverness forward was alert to seize possession and slot home
the equaliser. The Highlanders then forged a 2-1 lead three minutes
later when Hayes converted a cross from Rooney on the left,
blasting home from close range. Accies manager Reid swiftly
responded with a double substitution, replacing youngsters Hopkirk
and Kirkpatrick with striker twins Flavio and Marco Paixao.
Instead, though, it was Inverness who were next on the scoresheet,
Rooney heading home his second and his side’s third. His header
following Stuart Duff’s free-kick on the right and Hayes’ cross
seemed as though it might drift wide of the right-hand post, but
curled in to beat a despairing Cerny. The hosts had a Flavio Paixao
effort blocked on the line in a scramble in the six-yard box, and
the same player ballooned a 12-yard shot over the bar. Imrie tried
a curling shot from outside the box 15 minutes from time as
Hamilton sought a grandstand finish, but his effort was easily held
by Esson at the top-left corner. At the other end, Hayes was
allowed to go on a lengthy run down the right but pulled his
eventual shot wide of the far post. With Inverness looking
comfortable thanks to their two-goal cushion, there was little in
the way of goalmouth action in the closing stages and Hamilton
never looked likely of salvaging a point.