Dundee United have one hand on the Scottish Championship title after Lawrence Shankland’s winner sank Caley Thistle.
The two sides went in level at half-time after Jordan White cancelled out Louis Appéré’s opener, in the battle of the Championship’s top two clubs.
Shankland, as he has been so often this season, proved reliable for United, putting them back in front for good.
James Keatings was handed a start after the furore around his dismissal against Rangers colts last weekend, with Charlie Trafford coming out. Brad Mckay also came into the defence for Lewis Toshney.
Lawrence Shankland, with 23 Championship goals to his name already this season, ought to have added another to his tally inside three minutes. When Kevin McHattie allowed Calum Butcher’s head to run into the area, the Scotland striker swivelled but could only direct his shot high over the bar.
However it took less than 10 minutes for United to break the deadlock, with Rakish Bingham’s cut-back slotted into the bottom corner by Appéré.
A further chance fell the home side’s way through Mark Connolly, heading Peter Pawlett’s corner over, and aside from snapshots by Keatings and Miles Storey, Inverness offered little.
That was until the 32nd minute when Keatings’ corner from the right was met by White at the near post, who directed his header beyond Benjamin Siegrist despite tumbling to the ground.
He was to have a further sight of goal before the interval, after a Carl Tremarco cross caused panic in the United ranks, with retreating United shirts able to get in his way and force a shot wide.
Caley Thistle emerged from the half-time interval buoyed by that leveller. Tom Walsh collected Mckay’s lofted pass and shot straight at Siegrist while Keatings wriggled into space 25 yards from goal, before forcing the United stopper into a low save.
But Shankland was to have his say on the game yet, collecting Bingham’s pass and leaving two Inverness defenders on the turf before burying his effort into the corner.
The visitors had late chances through Shaun Rooney and Carl Tremarco, with one heading over and the other finding the side netting, but United were the side victorious with one hand on the league title.