Inverness up to fourth...
Nikolay Todorov scored the only goal of the game with twenty minutes left in a disappointing encounter where the three points were more important than the performance. Scott Allan made his debut in the second half where Inverness did just enough to move up to a temporary position of fourth in the league ahead of the Dundee v Dunfermline game tonight.
Scott Allan was on the bench after much hype about the excellent loan signing from Hibs. Daniel Mackay was declared fit for his 50th appearance and all the big boys returned to the defence with Cameron Harper starting.
It was fully fifteen minutes in before anyone had a sight of goal and it was Dale Hilson who dragged a shot wide of Mark Ridgers' post in a rare venture into the hosts box.
It was turgid stuff in the opening quarter with both sides struggling to make much headway on a cold but reasonable afternoon for a kickabout.
The ball entered the Arbroath net after Danny Devine nodded a free kick towards the goal, and as David Carson appeared on the scene to head into the net the referee signalled for offside or more likely an infringement.
Roddy MacGregor burst forward and offloaded from just outside the box but his daisy cutter slid just the wrong side of the post after half an hour.
A great turn and pass from Shane Sutherland set Dan Mackay clear down the left but his cross was mopped up by the defence and in the next attack Sutherland got the ball at his feet around the penalty spot but he could not dig it out with his back to goal and once more Arbroath cleared their lines.
Four minutes before the break an Arbroath free kick offered the visitors a glimmer of hope but a foul to Inverness was the end product as the ball was whipped into the box.
From an Arbroath corner right on the whistle, Ridgers and the defenders had to clear the ball away from the top corner after a good header from Ricky Little looked as if it might creep in. Possibly headed clear by Sean Welsh from just under the bar.
Colin Steven brought the half to a close thereafter, presumably to save the ball from further punishment.
No surprise when McCann made early changes to the line-up by introducing Miles Storey and Scott Allan for Shane Sutherland and Roddy MacGregor as up until now we had looked impotent.
Arbroath looked lively at the start of the second period, in contrast to the Caley Jags who looked rather pedestrian and cumbersome.
Todorov was unable to take advantage of a great ball into the box as we looked to get forward. Scott Allan was looking sharp but it looked like he was getting no favours from the officials.
Sixty-eight minutes on the clock and a curling Cammy Harper free kick was brilliantly headed home by a stooping Nikolay Todorov to open the scoring. Superb goal and just what we needed, but a defensive disaster for the Smokies. Well I'll be Bulgared, that was Toddy's sixth goal of the season.
Hot Toddy opens the scoring...
Shortly after the goal a rugby scrum formed in the Caley Jags box and nobody knew where the hell the ball was but a free kick to Inverness was the end result as all around scratched their heads.
Substitute Miles Storey latched onto the ball over twenty yards out but Gaston did well to turn it away. He did exactly the same five minutes later from a Scott Allan drive to keep the score the same and denying Allan a debut goal.
Hanging on against Arbroath.... How times have changed, but that's what we were doing soaking up waves of attacks until a burst forward by Storey saw Gaston save bravely at his feet, the referee giving a free kick to the keeper and booking Storey for his trouble.
Full Time 1-0
However, it was the result that was important, not the performance and three points were secured as Inverness held firm.
Up to fourth in the table with Dundee playing Dunfermline tonight.
Highlights or lowlights from Caley Jags TV ...