A sizeable crowd turned out to honour Graham Lonie, the ninth Keith player in 25 years to receive a Testimonial match. Unfortunately for the 31 year old Aberdonian, Inverness Caley Thistle, with several new signings on show, were utterly clinical from start to finish coming very close to double figures
Keith were without Murray McCulloch, Gary MacNamee and Mark Wood as well as new keeper Iain MacLeod, but other new signings Bruce Milne and Stuart Massie were in the starting line up while Formartine’s on loan forward CalumDingwall started on the bench
The visitors looked extremely slick right from the start and were in front in the 8th minute. Ben Greenhalgh’s corner from the right went to the back post where big central defender Gary Warren was there to meet it, his powerful header nestling inside Murray Kinnaird’s left corner
Ater playing a 1-2 with Billy McKay in the box, newly promoted Under 20 striker Ryan Christie poked the ball past Kinnaird with only 10 minutes gone and within a minute it was 3-0 . This time the 18 year old Christie latched on to an easy pass with the Maroons defence still coming to terms with the loss of the second.
The home team were trying to get on the ball and get their passes going but it was a tough struggle against a team four divisions higher, even without rRichieForan, at a wedding in Ireland
Greenhalgh scooped a free kick narrowly over the crossbar in 18 minutes, but just before the half hour it was 4-0 Once again the lead up play was exquisite, simple but clinical football. This time the ball into the box found Christie whose squared ball to his left found onrushing captain Graeme Shinnie The former Forres Mechanics player simply walloped the ball high into the roof of the net
4-0 at half time and with both players making a raft of changes at the break, might we see a quieter half? Not to be. In 51 minutes a sliderule pass into the box found 24 year old Northern Ireland internationalist Billy McKay. He scored 27 goals last term and looks well on for another great season. He took one touch and slid the ball under Kinnaird.
Billy McKay again two minutes later. A long ball into the box, Kinnaird slightly hesitant and McKay rounded him before rolling home
This was turning out to be a masterclass, and one the Keith players can only learn from. And the variety was even nicer on the eye, Nick Ross playing the reverse pass,Billy McKay reading it well and beating Kinnaird from close range
Former Swansea youth player Marley Watkins was next in on the act, reading a perfectly weighted ball down the right, racing on to it and squaring for Nick Ross to slide home right in front of goal.
8-0 and still a quarter of the game to play. Jonathan Smith bravely trie a long range shot which was well read by the replacement keeper
However in the 80th minute, the final goal, Connor Pepper’s run into the box ended by a trip. A clear penalty. Graeme Shinnie’s shot was saved by Kinnaird to his left but Shinnie followed up to net the rebound
Keith could hardly get a look in but in the closing stages, Smith blasted over from close range after excellent running along the right bye line by Craig MacAskill
Final Score Keith 0 Inverness Caley Thistle 9
Reporter John Innes
Keith: Kinnaird, Hutcheon(Phillips 46), Lonie(Jack 39), Milne(Niddrie 80), Walker(Gibson 80), Raffell(C MacAskill 65), Fyfe(Bisset 65) A MacAskill, Anderson(Dingwall 46), Smith, Massie(S Keith 46)
Inverness Caley Thistle Esson(Brill 46) Cooper, Shinnie, Vincent(Wakins 46), Warren(Devine 46) Meekings(Gorman 65), McKay(Ferguson 61), Polworth, Greenhalgh(Pepper 46), Christie(Evans 46), Ross
Ref G Beaton