Caley Thistle fell to opening day defeat, losing 1-0 against Motherwell at Caledonian Stadium.
Well attacker Wes Fletcher notched the game’s only goal after just four minutes, with Inverness poor by comparison, having goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams to thank for saving Scott McDonald’s penalty midway through the first-half.
Inverness made just one change from the side that started the second leg of their Europa League second qualifying round match against FC Astra in Romania last week. Midfielder Ross Draper returned to the line-up, in place of Aaron Doran.
Well fielded four of their new signings, playing goalkeeper Connor Ripley, defender Joe Chalmers, forward Wes Fletcher, and defender Louis Laing, who joined the club permanently following a loan spell from Nottingham Forest.
Inverness got off to the worst possible start, with the Steelmen taking the lead after four minutes. Fletcher linked up with Stephen Pearson, whose shot was parried by Owain Fon Williams, but straight into the path of Fletcher who tucked home a debut goal from close range.
Fletcher came close again on 24 minutes, bending a shot inches wide after being presented with space on the edge of the box.
The first-half had been one-way traffic, with the visitors firmly in control, and they were given the perfect chance to extend their lead on 28 minutes, when an excellent run by Marvin Johnson was brought to a halt by defender Danny Devine in the box, with referee Crawford Allan left with an easy decision to point to the spot. However, attacker Scott McDonald failed to take advantage of the opportunity, with his penalty superbly saved by Fon Williams.
Having been on the backfoot throughout the first-half, Inverness manager John Hughes made a tactical change on 33 minutes, withdrawing midfielder Nat Wedderburn to be replaced by new signing Andrea Mbuyi Mutombo.
Inverness had to make a second change just nine minutes later, after captain Gary Warren hobbled off following a challenge by Pearson, being replaced by Liam Polworth, and their full quota of substitutes was used up by the start of the second-half, as defender Josh Meekings was replaced by Lewis Horner.
The second-half brought comparatively few scoring opportunities, with Well’s best effort coming when Johnson’s volley forced an excellent low save by Fon Williams, while at the other end Greg Tansey had a free-kick deflected over.
Fon Williams had to make another fine save to block out Josh Law’s late effort, with Caley Thistle’s Premiership season getting off to a disappointing start.