Caley Thistle overcame an early setback to triumph 5-2 in the Betfred Cup against Cowdenbeath.
Jordyn Sheerin put the hosts in front but braces from Tom Walsh and Aaron Doran and a George Oakley, made sure of an Inverness victory at Central Park.
A late second for Sheerin gave a hard-working Blue Brazil side more to show for their spirited display.
The visitors made two changes from the 2-0 win over Cove Rangers, with summer signings Walsh and Jordan White handed their first starts in the place of Charlie Trafford and George Oakley. Sean Welsh, who joined the Caley Jags yesterday, was on the bench.
Nathan Austin followed up his two goals against the Highland League champions by having the first chance at Central Park, holding off the attentions of David Marsh to get through on goal but David McGurn was out quickly to block.
McGurn was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first 20 minutes and stayed alert to tip over White’s header, after he glanced on Liam Polworth’s cross.
The warning signs were there for Inverness after David Cox sclaffed over unmarked from six yards from Sheerin’s square ball and the striker punished John Robertson’s side himself three minutes later.
Bradley Smith drifted infield and found Sheerin on the edge of the box, where he was afforded far too much time by the retreating black shirts and he duly found the top corner past a rooted Ridgers.
Inverness had laboured to respond but did so in impressive fashion on 34 minutes. Walsh’s cross was nodded down by White back into the former Dumbarton man’s path and he duly hammered it beyond McGurn’s grasp.
Walsh was now in the groove and turned the game around four minutes before the break. He nipped on to a slack ball from Sheerin and meandered forward into the penalty area, spurning the chance to pass in favour of side-footing across McGurn and in off the far post.
Doran put the away side two goals clear just before the break as he swept home from White’s knock-down, despite appeals from Cowdenbeath for handball.
Caley Thistle’s vice-captain had a decent penalty shout waved off by referee John McKendrick at the start of the second period, after tangling with full-back Fraser Mullen.
The Irishman missed the chance for a second before the hour as McGurn blocked his shot and Doran left it to roll in, only for Kyle Miller to chase back and clear.
Walsh looked the man most likely to create further opportunities and laid another on a plate for Austin, however his attempt was tame and straight at McGurn.
Another opportunity came Doran’s way, diverting Polworth’s centre wide, before Walsh came close to his hat-trick with a shot from outside the box.
Oakley rounded off the evening with a well-taken finish, as McGurn superbly repelled White’s header to him and he lashed home on the volley.
A second for Doran came in fortuitous fashion with 10 minutes to go, as he unwittingly directed Charlie Trafford’s long-range effort in.
The scoring still was not finished though as Sheerin held off Coll Donaldson to fire in at the near post.
There was still time for Tremarco to block a David Cox shot on the line as Inverness claimed the points.