Caley Thistle’s first home match of 2021 ended in defeat as Queen of the South ran out 1-0 winners at Caledonian Stadium.
The Highlanders dominated the first half but failed to capitalise on a number of first half chances, with Nortei Nortey’s goal midway through the second half settling the match.
The result sees Inverness remain ninth in the Championship, with Queens moving up to fifth following their victory.
Inverness made two changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Arbroath last time out, with Scott Allardice and Robbie Deas drafted in for James Vincent and Nikolay Todorov.
The hosts created the first clear cut chance of the game on 15 minutes, with Daniel MacKay’s cross from the right only partially cleared by goalkeeper Rohan Ferguson, landing with Shane Sutherland who dragged his effort wide.
MacKay had an attempt of his own three minutes later when he tried to beat Ferguson from long-range, however the goalkeeper gathered at the second attempt.
Inverness continued to cause Queens problems, with Miles Storey cutting in form the left before seeing an effort come back off the underside of the crossbar, with James Keatings and Daniel MacKay unable to scramble the rebound home.
Storey was once again denied on 33 minutes after getting on the end of MacKay’s delivery from the right, but his curling effort was tipped over by Ferguson.
Queens threatened on 53 minutes when Willie Gibson’s low effort was gathered by Mark Ridgers following a corner.
Inverness struggled to pose the same threat as they had in the first half, with Keatings seeing a free-kick palmed wide by Ferguson.
Queens hit the hosts on the break to take the lead on 63 minutes, with substitute Niyah Joseph laying off Nortei to drill past Ridgers.
Inverness looked for a way back into the game but were largely limited to long-range efforts, with Allardice seeing a strike deflected wide by team-mate Sutherland.
The best late chance fell to substitute Todorov who was picked out by Cameron Harper’s excellent delivery, however his header lacked enough pace to trouble Ferguson.
Sutherland and Todorov saw late efforts blocked, with the Highlanders unable to find a way through.