Rooney double seals Caley win

Adam Rooney's double helped Inverness to a 3-1 win at Hamilton to extend their near year-long unbeaten record in away league action.

Last Updated: 13/11/10 at 17:37

Rooney: Netted a brace

Rooney: Netted a brace

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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.

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