Joy at Jamboland:
On Thursday Hearts sought a postponement of this fixture due to a flu epidemic sweeping Tynecastle. With two free Saturdays looming Caley Thistle wanted to avoid another rearranged match so were keen to play. The SPL refused the request and the match went ahead.
Craig Brewster came back from injury for ICT with Graham Bayne reverting to the bench. John Robertson's weakened side played some neat passing football, and defended well for most of the game, but never troubled Mark Brown.
A rare Hearts first half effort came in eight minutes when former Caley Thistle favourite Dennis Wyness shot high and wide from 22 yards. Juanjo tried an overhead kick at the other end but it went well wide.
In 12 minutes Stuart Golabek sent a cross from the left towards the back post and Roy McBain headed powerfully goalwards. Craig Gordon was nowhere and Hearts were only saved by a fine Andy Webster goal-line clearance.
Wyness set up Joe Hamill in 24 minutes but his early rising shot cleared the bar. Most of the first half was rather disjointed but things improved after the break.
Half Time: 0-0
Wyness headed just over in 53 minutes with the home fans on their feet thinking it was in, but it was Caley Thistle who took the lead two minutes later. Not for the first time Juanjo was fouled on the right and Richie Hart took the free kick. Darren Dods rose high above a static defence to head home his first goal for the club.
Hearts nearly equalised a minute later when Ross Tokely's attempted clearance skidded onto the top of the bar and over for a corner. Tokely redeemed himself seconds later with a fine block as Christophe Berra prepared to shoot. It was all over in 72 minutes when Barry Wilson chased a loose ball across the Hearts box and Gordon brought him down. Gordon saw yellow and Wilson hit the resultant penalty past the offending keeper to seal the points.
The Hearts fans started to leave and their team spent the rest of the game on the back foot. Caley Thistle were content to play possession football over the final period. Wyness did have a sight of goal in 81 minutes but he hit it straight through to Brown. A Duncan lob into the Hearts box a minute later was taken by Gordon ahead of substitute Bryan Prunty.
Full Time: 0-2
In added time Liam Fox made a good run through the middle but hit it too far and Gordon collected. A fine three points, eighth place maintained, seventh place in sight, undefeated in six SPL games, eleven points clear of bottom club Dundee United and all looking good. Celtic up next.
Team: Gordon; Hamill, Berra, Webster, Wallace, Cesnauskis (Pereira 64), Thomson,
Janczyk (Thorarinsson 69), Miller (Elliot 84), Wyness, Weir
Subs not used: Lithgow, Pelosi, Tierney, Moilanen - Booked: Gordon (72)
Inverness CT: 2 (Dods 55, Wilson 72 pen)
Team: Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek, Wilson (Fox 90), Hart, Duncan, McBain,
Juanjo (Prunty 79), Brewster (Bayne 79)
Subs not used: Fraser; McCaffrey, Hastings, Fetai - Booked: Golabek(90)
Attendance: 9822 - Referee: Craig Thomson