Grigg double downs MK Dons

Inverness came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw at home to

St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League.

Inverness had lost only once in their previous 18 matches in all

competitions and surpassed their goals tally for last season as

they took their total to 44, two more than their entire haul in

2011-12.

Injuries and suspensions left St Mirren boss Danny Lennon a

player short on the substitutes’ bench but the Paisley side stunned

Inverness when they scored after just 76 seconds following a

lightning three-man move started by Stephen Thompson.

Dougie Imrie finished it off with a low angled shot from 18

yards after Paul McGowan had also played his part as the link

man.

Andrew Shinnie equalised after 38 minutes only for Thompson to

put St Mirren back in the driving seat 10 minutes after the

restart. However, Inverness captain Richie Foran headed the home

side level again with 67 minutes played.

St Mirren very nearly increased their lead after 21 minutes.

Graham Carey’s fiercely struck free-kick on the right side from 25

yards cannoned off the crossbar with goalkeeper Antonio Reguero

rooted to the spot.

Thompson was presented with a half-chance for the Paisley side

three minutes later after Gary Teale had engineered the opening,

but proceeded to shoot wildly high over the crossbar.

Inverness returned to the offensive and top-scorer Billy McKay

was denied his 19th goal of the season when Samson made an

outstanding save to block the striker’s header from point-blank

range after Aaron Doran had played the ball in.

But the keeper was unable to stop Shinnie’s strike drawing

Inverness level after 38 minutes. McKay played a pass to the

midfielder and Shinnie cut inside before looking up quickly to pick

his spot and drove the ball in the top right-hand corner from

approximately 25 yards.

Inverness began the second half encouragingly and McKay should

have done better than shoot weakly wide from close range with only

Samson to beat after Andrew Shinnie had cut the ball back for

him.

It turned out to be an even costlier miss when Thompson atoned

for his previous profligacy by restoring St Mirren’s advantage 10

minutes after the restart, heading home Teale’s cross from close

in.

But Inverness continued to look capable of exploiting

deficiencies in St Mirren’s back division and they did so after 67

minutes. Doran lashed in a powerful shot and Samson could only push

the ball into the air and Foran was able to head past him from

close range.

Grigg’s brace plus goals from Febian Brandy and Jamie Paterson

handed the Saddlers a second successive win, while Ryan Lowe and

Dean Bowditch were both on target for the below-par Dons.

Lowe put the Dons ahead after only six minutes when he stole in

unmarked to head home Adam Chicksen’s cross for his fourth goal in

as many games.

But Walsall scored two goals in 10 minutes to turn the match on

its head, first when Brandy bundled his way through to lash the

ball into the top corner and then when Grigg skinned Mathias Doumbe

to curl the ball past David Martin.

Dons forward Bowditch made it 2-2 when he neatly slotted in

Lowe’s lay-off, but Grigg restored Walsall’s lead two minutes

before the break, tapping in Craig Westcarr’s low cross from close

range.

The Dons struck the woodwork twice after the break as substitute

Patrick Bamford had a shot deflected against the post and Antony

Kay headed against an upright,

But after Grigg had also been denied a hat-trick by the woodwork

as his header hit the crossbar, Paterson made it 4-2 in the 90th

minute when his curling shot was deflected past Martin.