Tom Walsh scored four in a superb display as Caley Thistle hit eight past Highland League side Buckie Thistle.
Walsh found the net twice in the first half and set up both of Jack Brown’s goals, before Aidan Wilson and Roddy Kennedy padded the scoreline further.
Ex-Rangers and Dumbarton man Walsh got to four with two quick-fire goals that capped a comfortable evening for the Scottish Championship side.
Grant Nelson, Zach Elbouzedi and Walsh started for a youthful Caley Jags, with the majority of their side made up of the club’s under-18 side. In the Buckie team were former Inverness youth players Jay Cheyne, Andrew Skinner and Sam Robertson.
Daniel Hoban in the Inverness goal was the most active player on the park in the first 15 minutes, keeping out Scott Adams and Andrew MacAskill to keep the game goal-less.
A fresh-air swipe from Wilson was Caley Thistle’s best chance of the opening stages but Lee Herbert was relatively untested in the Buckie goal.
The deadlock was broken on 29 minutes when Walsh’s pull-back from the left flank was met by Brown, whose shot crept in the far corner.
Walsh doubled the visitors’ lead on 36 minutes in controversial fashion. Buckie players appealed for Brown to be flagged offside but no flag came and he was allowed to continue into the area, where Herbert’s attempted challenge knocked him off balance and into Kieran Adams. Despite Buckie protests the penalty was given and Herbert beat away Walsh’s initial strike, only for the ex-Rangers youngster to smash home the rebound.
Five minutes before the interval Inverness were three to the good thanks to a spectacular effort from Walsh, who controlled the ball on his chest before lifting a 25-yard volley over a stranded Herbert.
Brown got his second on 44 minutes when he bundled in a cross from Walsh, despite Callum Murray’s efforts to keep the ball out.
The lead was extended further 10 minutes into the second half when Herbert drilled his clearance straight to Wilson, who hammered it back past him into the top corner.
Substitute Kennedy made it six on the hour when he finished off a sweeping move with a first-time finish, after Brown had picked him out.
Walsh scored twice in quick succession, first firing Ross Gunn’s cross into the top corner and then deftly turning a pass from Elbouzedi into the far corner.
A reflex stop from Hoban denied Declan Milne as the visitors rounded off a comprehensive victory.