Caley Thistle marked the halfway stage of the Championship campaign by producing another commanding home victory, the kind of which they are fast making a habit.
Inverness were deserving of their victory over the Pars, with goals from defenders Shaun Rooney and Jamie McCart returning them to winning ways following the previous weekend’s setback against Partick Thistle.
Although Caley Jags remain 13 points behind runaway leaders Dundee United, their points tally is six points ahead of where they were at the midway stage last season and gives them a four-point cushion in second place.
An excellent home record has been key, with Inverness victorious in all but three of their 14 home encounters so far. But manager John Robertson expressed his disappointment the convincing victory was under-appreciated by the Caledonian Stadium crowd.
Robertson said: “It was similar to the Ayr game.
“We didn’t pass the ball as well as against Ayr, but that was down to how Dunfermline defended. We kept sporadically creating chances and I know the crowd get frustrated, but Dunfermline are a good side and they’re on a good run of form.
“They move the ball about very well, with clever players.
“We’re not going to boss the whole game and it is frustrating that the supporters, instead of rallying behind us, they start to moan a wee bit.”
Caley Thistle were forced to make one change from the side which went down at Firhill, with skipper Carl Tremarco sidelined through injury and replaced at left back by Kevin McHattie.
Inverness’ attacking unit looked dangerous in the opening stages.
James Keatings looked energised after netting an excellent finish against Partick the previous weekend and he came within inches of breaking the deadlock within six minutes when he flashed a first-time effort wide from Aaron Doran’s cutback.
Although Caley Jags enjoyed the bulk of the first half play, the Pars were close to opening the scoring on 15 minutes when Lewis McCann slipped the Pars’ on-form talisman Kevin Nisbet through on goal, but Mark Ridgers was alert to block his effort with his legs.
Inverness began to assert dominance on the match, with Pars goalkeeper Ryan Scully forced into action by his own skipper Paul Paton, who inadvertently headed a menacing Keatings delivery back towards goal on 23 minutes.
The hosts continued to probe, with Keatings volleying wide four minutes later after being teed up by Doran.
Keatings was the architect of Inverness’ breakthrough on 34 minutes. The ball broke back to the attacker after his own corner had been cleared, with his delivery guided home by the head of Rooney.
It was a deserved lead, but they had Ridgers to thank for once again thwarting Nisbet on the stroke of half-time, with the goalkeeper making another block following McCann’s through ball.
The second half brought little goalmouth action, with Inverness streetwise in managing their lead. It was the hosts who continued to look most likely to add to the scoresheet, with Pars defender Lee Ashcroft doing well to smother a darting run by Miles Storey, while Doran’s resulting corner was nodded wide by McCart.
Defender McCart was not to be denied from a similar move 10 minutes from time. His header from another Doran corner carried enough pace to creep inside the post without a touch from the onrushing Storey, when any connection from the attacker would have rendered it offside.
It was a job well done and Inverness are in home action once again on Saturday when Arbroath make the trip north.
Robertson took satisfaction from the afternoon’s work, adding: “We got through it – we changed our shape and personnel.
“We had two or three chances to make it more comfortable. But in the end I’m really pleased with the result, the performance and the application of the players. We’re keeping up a decent run of form.”