GRAEME Shinnie admits it proved a surreal day as he tussled with the brother he used to kick mercilessly in the back garden.

It was a day of sibling reunion and rivalry for the Inverness Caledonian Thistle stand-in captain with ex-Caley man Andrew starring in Birmingham City's flattering 3-1 victory over the Highlanders.

With mum and dad Gary and Linda down from Aberdeen to watch, the Shinnie brothers relived their childhood scraps, but Graeme admitted: "I was moved to left back by the time Andrew came on today and I didn't really get near enough to kick him!

Loading article content

"But it was a very good moment for both of us to be on the pitch in opposing sides. It's a moment we'll always savour. There's parental pride, but definitely for ourselves as well."

Of greater importance to Caley Thistle was the coming together of the John Hughes masterplan.

Birmingham ultimately resisted a powerful Caley Thistle recovery to maintain their near-flawless pre-season.

The Midlands outfit had won four from four in pre-season without conceding a goal and were always going to represent a powerful test for the Highlanders.

And it wasn't long before the hosts were showcasing the strength of England's second tier division.

They swept to a seventh-minute lead, with Lee Novak swerving a wonderful 20-yard shot high past Dean Brill before England under-18 international Demarai Gray struck the second in 38 minutes.

Andrew Shinnie's entrance from the bench for Birmingham after 64 minutes had the away support chanting his name in honour of past endeavours.

But the hosts were very much back in the match after 74 minutes thanks to a Gary Warren header.

And when Clayton Donaldson was brought down in the box by scorer Warren, former Celtic starlet Paul Caddis squeezed the ball past Dean Brill's glove into the corner of the net to put a sheen on the score City scarcely deserved.