Caley Thistle remain in the Championship play-off positions despite going down 1-0 to Dunfermline at East End Park.
Joe Thomson’s goal early in the second proved enough for the Pars to secure their first victory under Stevie Crawford, moving them to within five points of the fourth-placed Highlanders.
John Robertson made three changes from the side which drew 2-2 in Monday’s Scottish Cup Highland derby against Ross County, with Liam Polworth ruled out with a knee injury, while Sean Welsh and Coll Donaldson dropped to the bench, with Charlie Trafford and Shaun Rooney drafted in, and winger Darren McCauley handed a first start.
The first half passed with little incident with neither goalkeeper troubled, the hosts coming closest to opening the scoring shortly before the break when Ryan Blair’s effort from the edge of the box whistled just over the bar.
Robertson was forced to make a change on 33 minutes when McCauley, just eight minutes after picking up a booking, was fortunate to avoid a second for a challenge on Thomson, with the Caley Jags manager quickly replacing him with Anthony McDonald.
The Pars took the lead just two minutes into the second half, with Thomson letting fly from the edge of the box with a strike which appeared to deceive Mark Ridgers as it spun through the goalkeeper’s grasp.
Dunfermline were inches from netting a second on the hour mark when Aidan Connolly’s fizzing strike came back off the crossbar after being set up by Blair.
Caley Jags pushed for a leveller late on, with Joe Chalmers seeing a free kick tipped over the crossbar by Ryan Scully, however an even better chance fell the way of defender Mckay on 85 minutes after the ball broke into his path following Walsh’s cross, however he blazed over first time from eight yards.