Inverness Caley Thistle emphasised their ambitions to progress out of the Championship this afternoon with a 2-0 victory over Ayr United.
The result sees Inverness maintain second spot seven points behind leaders Dundee United, who came from behind to defeat Alloa in one of the day’s other ties.
Both sides came into the encounter unchanged from their previous fixtures, with Caley Thistle seeking to build on the back of their trip to Alloa where they won 2-0 a week previous, with Ayr coming on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Dunfermline on Tuesday evening.
The first major incident of the match came after six minutes as Aaron Doran homed in on goal and was upheld just inside the Ayr box, but the home side’s shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears.
Ayr spurned a golden opportunity to break the deadlock after striker Craig Moore skipped by the onrushing Mark Ridgers, who came 40-yards of his goal line on the right hand side of the park, but rather than shooting Moore sent a crossfield pass for his teammate Alan Forrest, with Caley Thistle’s defence managing to snuff out the danger and nullify the threat.
The home side opened the scoring minutes later as David Carson slipped in striker Jordan White who sent his low drive into the bottom left hand corner to make it 1-0 to John Robertson’s men after 20 minutes.
The hosts took their lead into the break before Forrest went close for the visitors in the 56th minute sending a low angled drive from the left hand side of the box across goal but it sailed narrowly wide of Ridgers’ goal.
Caley Thistle doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute as Miles Storey broke away on the left, driving in on goal unchallenged for 40 yards. Despite his teammate James Keatings screaming for the ball inside the 18-yard-box, Storey opted to shoot, sending a tame low effort goalbound which crept under Ayr keeper Doohan into the back of the net.
The hosts sought to extend their lead with Doran going close in the 70th minute after a neat exchange with Keatings but his shot was parried away by Doohan.
Storey turned provider in the 75th minute sending a wicked low cross into the 18-yard-box for Keatings to send a half volley towards goal, but it was well met by Doohan who tipped the ball around his left hand post, making amends for his earlier error.
Ayr almost had one back in the 79th minute after the home defence was cut wide open following a neat through pass but substitute Mark McKenzie’s dinked effort was well met by Ridgers.
Caley Thistle went close on a couple of occasions before referee Gavin Ross sounded his full time whistle to deliver three points for the home side.