Caley Thistle advanced to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup with a deserved 2-1 victory against Partick Thistle at Firhill.
Marley Watkins and Greg Tansey put the Caley Jags in firm command in a one-sided first-half, and although Jags attacker Lyle Taylor pulled one back midway through the second period, Inverness held on to book their place in the last eight.
Caley Thistle manager John Hughes’ sole change from the team that drew 1-1 against Highland rivals Ross County last weekend was to bring James Vincent into the side at the expense of Carl Tremarco, with skipper Graeme Shinnie returning to left back.
Jags manager Alan Archibald made three changes from the side beaten 1-0 by St Mirren last Friday, with Callum Booth, Conrad Balatoni and Kris Doolan dropping out for Danny Seaborne, Christie Elliott and Gary Fraser.
Marley Watkins was once again deployed up front, but missed a glorious chance to give his side the lead on 15 minutes when he was played through by Nick Ross, but shot straight at keeper Paul Gallacher.
However he redeemed himself just seconds later when he got on the end of Ross Draper’s hurried ball forward, this time composing himself to tuck low beneath the body of Gallacher from 12 yards.
Inverness deservedly doubled their advantage on 27 minutes when Ross won the ball from Jags defender Stephen O’Donnell, before slipping it through for Greg Tansey to waltz his way through the hosts’ defence and fire low into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Archibald introduced forward Lyle Taylor to the action at half-time, with the Englishman having joined from Scunthorpe in midweek following a successful loan spell with the Jags last season. He made an instant impact on his second debut for the club, narrowing the deficit on 68 minutes with a powerful volleyed finish from just inside the box.
That made for a tense finish, with Ryan Esson saving brilliantly from Danny Seaborne’s header late on, but Inverness were deserving of their victory.