Caley Thistle defeated a spirited Cove Rangers side 3-2 in a five-goal Betfred Cup thriller at Caledonian Stadium.
Cove had turned the game on its head, with a double from skipper Mitch Megginson cancelling out Jordan White’s opener.
Goals from James Keatings and Nikolay Todorov proved decisive for John Robertson’s men however, with Megginson later sent off for a second booking.
It was an impressive display from the newly-promoted League 2 outfit, who saw a late Martin Scott goal chalked off for handball, however Inverness’ crucial win which puts them level with Dundee in their section and sets up a decider at Dens Park on Sunday.
Inverness made one change from the side which defeated Raith Rovers 4-1 on Saturday, with Brad Mckay replacing Charlie Trafford. Cove drew 0-0 in their last outing with Championship side Dundee, with on-loan Dundee United player Declan Glass handed a debut and skipper Megginson also returning from injury, along with Alan Redford. Darryn Kelly, Jordon Brown and Scott Ross dropped out.
Inverness started brightly, with Tom Walsh seeing a sidefooted effort saved by Stuart McKenzie, while James Keatings sent a low drive just wide from the edge of the box.
Cove’s first meaningful effort came on 23 minutes when Megginson saw a low drive well held by Mark Ridgers. At the other end, White twice came close to opening the scoring, firstly with a header which came off the inside of the post, before he was denied by goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie when through one-on-one.
White was not to be denied on 38 minutes however, as he showed his attacking instincts to turn home Mckay’s header from a Walsh corner.
The lead lasted only seven minutes though, with Cove equalising on the stroke of half time, when Glass’ excellent run down the left ended with a cross which was turned home from close-range by Megginson.
Cove took just two minutes of the second half to turn the game on its head, with Megginson once again on the end of a Glass delivery which Daniel Park had been unable to turn home at the near post.
The visitors had a fine chance to extend the lead moments later, when Glass went clean through on goal following Megginson’s pass. Inverness almost immediately levelled on 56 minutes, with Keatings on the end of Doran’s delivery to turn the ball home.
Megginson was denied a hat-trick when Ridgers stood tall to block his lofted effort, while at the other end Walsh was denied by a fine save from McKenzie.
Caley Jags went back in front on 71 minutes however, with substitute Todorov nodding home from Walsh’s cross only seven minutes after coming on.
Cove’s chances suffered a blow moments later when Megginson was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on James Vincent, before winger Connor Scully was stretchered off in the latter stages.
Scott saw a late goal chalked off for handball, with Inverness holding on.