Ross County 4-0 Inverness: Liam Boyce scores all four for the hosts
Last Updated: 28/04/17 10:16pm
Liam Boyce scored all the goals as Ross County romped to a 4-0 win over the Ladbrokes Premiership's bottom side Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Having notched twice in the first half, Boyce added a pair of penalties after the break, the second coming after Caley's Liam Polworth was dismissed for receiving a second yellow card.
The one-sided Highland derby left County 11 points clear of their struggling local rivals, who fell behind in the 21st-minute at Global Energy Stadium.
Inverness goalkeeper Ryan Esson got into difficulties when trying to deal with a Jamie McCart backpass and was caught on the ball, allowing Boyce to pounce and slide the ball into the net for his 18th goal of the season.
County pushed for a second and Jim O'Brien picked the ball up on the edge of the 18-yard box after a Martin Woods free-kick was only partially cleared, only for his effort to clear the crossbar.
The pressure paid off in the 34th minute when O'Brien kept the ball in play and his cross back into the box was met by Boyce, whose glancing header flew into the far corner of the net.
The home side almost made it 3-0 three minutes later when Michael Gardyne swung the ball into the danger area but Boyce failed to get enough power in his shot to beat Esson, who saved comfortably.
But County made the perfect start to the second half when they were awarded a penalty in the 49th minute, David Raven bringing down Woods inside the box, before Boyce sent Esson the wrong way from the spot.
The visitors tried to get a foothold in the game and good work from Jake Mulraney set up Henri Anier with a chance, but the substitute's effort was blocked.
And it was 4-0 in the 60th minute when the home side were awarded a second penalty as Ryan Dow went down after his arm was tugged by Polworth.
The Inverness player was shown a red card and Boyce once again converted from the spot, for his ninth derby goal of the season.
There was still half an hour left for County to inflict further damage on the 10 men but Esson saved well from Gardyne to keep the margin to four.