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Caley Thistle boost play-off prospects with 1-0 win over Arbroath

Ross County's local rivals Caley Thistle will spend another season in the second tier.
Ross County's local rivals Caley Thistle will spend another season in the second tier.

Caley Thistle claimed their fourth win on the bounce by defeating Arbroath 1-0 at Caledonian Stadium.

Nikolay Todorov’s header midway through the second half was enough for Neil McCann’s side to edge a far from glamorous encounter in the Highlands.

The victory is a crucial boost for Caley Jags’ play-off aspirations, moving them up to fourth although that could change when Dundee host Dunfermline tonight.

Inverness made six changes from the side which defeated Buckie Thistle 3-2 in the Scottish Cup on Tuesday.

Mark Ridgers, Cameron Harper, Danny Devine, David Carson, Shane Sutherland and Nikolay Todorov were restored, with Cammy Mackay, Kevin McHattie, Ryan Fyffe, Harry Nicolson, Miles Storey and James Keatings dropping out.

New signing Scott Allan took his place on the bench, after sealing a loan move from Hibernian earlier in the day.

Scott Allan

Chances were limited in the opening exchanges, with Dale Hilson recording the first attempt with a low effort from the edge of the box which drifted just wide on 16 minutes.

Inverness had the ball in the net when Carson thumped home from Robbie Deas’ header across goal on 24 minutes, however it was ruled out for offside.

The hosts were dominant in possession but struggled to mount pressure on the Arbroath goal, with Roddy MacGregor seeing a low effort from the edge of the box drift wide on the half-hour mark.

Cameron Harper closes down Arbroath’s Michael McKenna.

It was the Red Lichties who ended the first half on top, with a corner from Lewis Moore nodded goalwards by Colin Hamilton which was well cleared off the line by Sean Welsh.

Both goalkeepers were largely untroubled at the start of the second half, with a deflected Jack Hamilton effort easily gathered by Mark Ridgers.

McCann introduced Allan into the action on 54 minutes along with Storey, with the pair replacing MacGregor and Sutherland.

It was Arbroath who were next to produce an attempt however, although Michael McKenna’s effort from the edge of the box was well off target.

Inverness made the breakthrough from a set-piece on 69 minutes however, with Harper floating a free-kick into the box which picked out Todorov to send a diving header past Derek Gaston.

Nikolay Todorov heads home for Caley Thistle against Dundee.

The goal allowed the hosts to play with more freedom, and Storey was denied with a low strike from the edge of the box which was turned behind by Gaston.

Inverness pushed for a second in the latter stages, with Deas nodding a Sean Welsh free kick over, however Todorov’s goal proved decisive.

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