No rest for Coll
The gruelling recent schedule was taking it's toll as Inverness played out a slender one goal win against Morton. Carl Tremarco glanced an early header home with what proved to be the only goal of the game.
The final result was closer than it could have been, but given our recent exertions, then we'll take a narrow win over the Greenock side any day as we tried to conserve our energy levels.
This win gives us a five point cushion in fourth place in the quest for a play-off slot, with Dunfermline emerging as the next best placed team to mount a challenge. Queen of the South and Morton are a further point behind the Pars.
So it's still all to play for as we get down to the business end of the season with Ross County looking most likely to top the table after a great 4-2 win at Partick who hit the bottom.
John Robertson tried to protect some players by giving Shaun Rooney a start at right back and moving Brad Mckay alongside Jamie McCart in central defence whilst resting Coll Donaldson. That plan went pear shaped when McCart had to leave the field after sustaining an injury on the half hour which meant no day of rest for Coll Donaldson. Tom Walsh missed out after picking up an injury against County in the cup and Anthony McDonald took his place.
The more mundane atmosphere of the Championship fixture barely whispered round the ground with only a busload or two in the away end amongst some 2400 fans in the stadium. Liam Polworth set the ball rolling as we kicked off towards the away end.
Nothing of note in the opening exchanges as both sides jockeyed for position, but Captain Carl would break the deadlock in the eleventh minute as he met a Liam Polworth corner at the near post to send the ball behind keeper McCrorie.
The visitors responded and Mark Ridgers had to tip an effort from Chris Millar behind for a corner a couple of minutes after the goal. The ball looked like it might just be heading for the outside of the woodwork, but Mark took no chances and dealt with it accordingly.
Brad McKay missed an opportunity after a ball found him in the box. Unfortunately it was more of the ball hitting Brad than Brad hitting the ball and the chance was missed.
The game had little flow about it as players from both sides looked too eager to impress, nobody willing to put their foot on the ball and control proceedings.
Jamie McCart went down and had to be replaced by courageous Coll on the half hour.
Jordan White knocked a header forward but it just evaded the strikers as it ran through to the box after Polly passed on.
We saw out the half with little coming from Morton in an attacking sense, the hosts doing just enough to keep their advantage.
Darren McCauley replaced the injured Anthony McDonald at the interval and it was more of the same after the break. Morton struggling to create, Inverness happy with the reprieve.
In the 57th minute Tremarco almost got his second goal but his header was cleared off the line by Buchanan to deny the captain as he met a great ball in from Sean Welsh.
There followed a spell of Inverness pressure where we threatened to run a way with the game, but some last ditch defending and wayward shooting kept the score at 1-0.
The second half was fast becoming an anti-climax as we were content to give the lightweight Morton offence the ball, and fortunately they had little idea what to do with it.
Donaldson received more treatment towards the end after going down injured, but he is made of strong stuff is Coll and he resumed after being repaired.
As the clock ticked away, we sat deeper and deeper allowing the visitors the freedom of the park. We did counter on a few occasions but in all honesty neither side looked likely to get another goal. The game ended with Morton frantically trying to put pressure on our defence, but we held out comfortably enough to record only our third home win in the Championship.
It was a much needed low key encounter and a welcome three points that boosts our play-off chances. Carl Tremarco is the proverbial Duracell Bunny and he gets my nod for MotM. That was his first goal this term and it was good enough to win all three points.
The future is bright, the future is orange. It's a difficult week coming up with two visits to Tannadice. On Wednesday it's Championship night and Sunday is the quarter final of the Scottish Cup, so no let up in the intensity and challenges for our stretched squad.
From BBC Sport
Inverness CT boss John Robertson: "We created plenty of chances today but we had to hang on. The last five or six minutes we decided to just take what we had. I cannot praise the players highly enough for their attitude and application.
"They gave it everything and they gave absolutely everything they had on Tuesday, and absolutely everything today so it's a wonderful three points. It was a massive performance from them."
Morton manager Jonatan Johansson: "I'm disappointed with the result obviously and I'm also disappointed in the way we lost the goal - another set-play. I know we are a small team but we need to be better at defensive set plays - they've been costing us for a while now.
"Before that I felt everything was going alright. I think we played some nice passing football but in the final third we didn't have the spark or belief and it was powder-puff at times. We never really threatened them."
Match Highlights from Caley Jags TV
Yesterday's goal hero, Tommy Tremarco.................