Inverness collected all three points with an ultimately deserved win over a persistent Dunfermline Athletic. Despite mostly dominating the first half, we had Mark Ridgers to thank thrice for excellent blocks to deny Kevin Nisbet on each occasion, one just before the break was crucial, and that meant that Shaun Rooney's goal around the half hour gave Inverness the lead at the interval. The Pars were more prominent in the second half without really threatening, but Ridgers had to make another good block to thwart Nisbet again to keep his clean sheet, and a second half header from Jamie McCart sealed the win with ten minutes remaining. This result keeps Inverness four clear in second place with Dundee United disappearing over the horizon.
Carl Tremarco was out injured with Kevin McHattie taking his place and Tom Walsh and Brad Mckay missed out again. Stevie Crawford was without the suspended Greg Kiltie, Joe Thomson getting his first start for nine months. Paul Paton and Lewis McCann started with Harry Cochrane and Kyle Turner on the bench alongside former Inverness loan player Anthony McDonald.
A tentative opening quarter by both sides with James Keatings shooting just wide early on from inside the box.
Mark Ridgers made his first save from Kevin Nisbet after 15 minutes when he spread himself well to deny the on form striker, then grabbed his follow up header. That was slightly against the run of play, but showed that the Pars would be dangerous on the counter.
Scully was forced into making a fingertip save from what looked to be a header from one of his own defenders, the ball being tipped behind for a corner after a dangerous cross into the box with Jordan White lurking with intent.
Neither keeper was overworked but after half an hour Inverness opened the scoring when Shaun Rooney was on hand to knock a Keatings cross behind Scully from 10 yards after a corner was cleared back to the Caley Jags man out wide.
The hosts were now in control of midfield with Charlie Trafford and David Carson prominent and Scully had more to deal with than Ridgers, but on the stroke of half time the big Inverness keeper did well to prevent Nisbet getting an equaliser as he spread himself once more when one on one.
Half Time 1-0
What the managers said on BBC Sport
Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager John Robertson: "On the face of it, it seems the perfect day. As a manager you want the three points, a clean sheet and the performance too.
"We were a big threat at set pieces and I think that second goal at the end of the day was deserved. We still had to concentrate, still had to be lively as Dunfermline have players who can hurt you if you don't keep an eye on them."
Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford: "It's a very difficult place to come, we had chances we could've scored from and were punished.
"The second-half we huffed and puffed. Inverness managed the game really well, and we never created enough goalscoring chances to get back into the game."
Dunfermline looked more determined after the break but with little cutting edge Ridgers was left to deal with the odd cross and a few clearances.
The hosts were looking more comfortable as the half wore on and with a bit more composure could have added to their tally.
Jamie McCart headed over from a corner with twenty minutes left as the home fans were looking for the cushion of a two goal lead. It would come ten minutes from the end and this time McCart rose unchallenged at the back to loop a header across the keeper into the far corner. Bit of a soft goal for Dunfermline to lose but a vital second goal for Inverness.
Still work to do and Ridgers denied Nisbet for a third time with another excellent block to hold on to the clean sheet.
The game ran away from the Pars and at the end of the day they can have little complaints after failing to capitalise on three one on ones with Ridgers who stood firm and gets my vote for MotM. Mark was well supported by his back line who were prepared to defend in depth when needed and willing to turn defence into attack with some great out balls.
Defensively sound for most of the game that was a great way to get over the defeat at Firhill last week and puts a wee dent in the Pars run towards the play-off places. Shaun Rooney was the sponsors vote and he had a great second half with a couple of trademark bursts down the touchline. Aaron Doran was also lively and kept the visitors defence on their toes. There were some failures, but it's not a day for complaints with three points in the bag and a clean sheet.
Here's the goals............
Here's Dunfermlines take on the game.....
Robbo match reaction.........
Table and Championship scores from yesterday
Inverness CT 2-0 Dunfermline
Alloa Athletic 0-2 Morton
Dundee United 4-0 Ayr United
Partick Thistle 0-1 Dundee
Queen of the South 2-0 Arbroath