Mark Ridgers has proven his worth to Caley Thistle this season and the Highlanders were indebted to him again in the 2-1 win at Morton.
Numerous key saves by Ridgers – including an outstanding stop to deny Reece Lyon – kept the Greenock men at bay, particularly in the second half when Inverness should have seen off a team that was by then down to 10 men.
Goals from Tom Walsh and Aaron Doran were enough for the Caley Jags with substitute Scott Tiffoney finding the net for the hosts.
Caley Thistle were unchanged from the side that drew 1-1 with Dundee United, while Morton included former Inverness striker Connor Bell on the bench.
Neither side had won in their last four games, with their last wins coming against Partick. Caley Jags had dropped out of the play-off positions and a good way off the top two..
But the form of Walsh has been a boon, with the one-time Rangers youngster netting four goals in his last three games. He is proving to be a savvy acquisition from Dumbarton.
He continued to start in a wide right berth, with Doran on the opposite flank and Liam Polworth as a number 10. It is a trio first trialled in the 5-0 Betfred Cup defeat by Hearts, which appeared to be working well before Inverness capitulated.
After a lively first 15 minutes, Walsh opened the scoring with a well-placed finish but Polworth deserved huge credit for his part. George Oakley had chested the ball into his path and Polworth expertly lifted it first-time over the last defender for Walsh to run in and slot home.
Polworth should have had a second assist in 20 minutes when his corner picked out an unmarked Brad Mckay five yards from goal but he failed to make a clean connection and it sailed wide.
Polworth was excelling with the freedom he was given to roam the final third. At times he would get close to George Oakley to provide an immediate knock-down option, or drift closer to the midfield to open up space in the final third in front of him.
Oakley had been having a running battle with Kerr Waddell throughout the first half but he finally got the better of him in 34 minutes, catching him napping before Waddell dragged him down. A red card was Steven Reid’s only option but Sean Welsh failed to capitalise from the spot, hitting the outside of the post.
Killing off teams has been a problem for the Caley Jags but they started off the second period with the urgency to do just that. After a superb save from Derek Gaston kept out a long-range effort from Polworth, his corner routine with Walsh helped tee-up Doran to head in at the near post.
By now the Cappielow faithful were starting to turn on their players and manager Jonatan Johansson. Doran missed a chance to add to the lead when he raced on to Jordan White’s flick but his chip landed on the roof of the net. Scott Tiffoney got Morton back in the game with 17 minutes to go and Ridgers was on hand again to preserve the lead and the three points, digging out Lyon’s header with a remarkable save to ensure Inverness climbed back into the play-off places.