Caley Thistle maintained their push on leaders Dundee United in the Championship this afternoon with a 2-0 victory over Dunfermline Athletic.
The game was initially in doubt as the cold chill overnight resulted in an area of the Caledonian Stadium becoming frozen, however, referee Alan Newlands deemed the park appropriate to take today’s tie between second and fourth in the Championship.
Inverness came into the game with two changes from the matchday squad as captain Carl Tremarco missed out through injury with Brad Mckay also missing out for the hosts.
Visitors Dunfermline made three changes from the side which went down 4-3 to Dundee last week with Joseph Thomson, skipper Paul Paton and Lewis McCann restored to the starting line up.
Caley Thistle started brightly with the first half chance coming after six minutes when skipper for the day Aaron Doran’s neat cut back was met by front man James Keatings, but his effort dragged wide of Ryan Scully’s goal.
The home side threatened minutes later as Doran was again provider but his attempt to find talisman Jordan White was intervened by Paul Paton who showed fantastic awareness to thwart the Caley Thistle striker with a well timed slide tackle.
The away side almost took the lead after 15 minutes as in form Kevin Nisbet found himself behind the Caley Thistle back line but his effort was thwarted by Mark Ridgers in the home side’s goal with his subsequent follow up header tamely falling into the hands of the Caley Thistle stopper.
Caley Thistle went close after 27 minutes with Keatings dragging his volley wide of Scully’s goal after the ball failed to stick for Doran inside the Dunfermline 18-yard-box.
The home side took the lead in the 34th minute as right back Shaun Rooney turned home Keatings inviting cross with a cushioned effort into the bottom left hand corner.
Caley Thistle threatened to double their advantage before the halfs close with some key interventions from Scully in The Pars net keeping the home side at bay.
The away side almost levelled the tie on the stroke of half time as Lewis McCann slipped in Nisbet but Ridgers again denied the away side’s striker to maintain Caley Thistle’s advantage.
Miles Storey raced beyond The Pars defence in the 57th minute but an impeccably timed intervention from Lee Ashcroft turned the ball behind at the expense of a corner. Jamie McCart’s headed effort sneaked narrowly wide of the target from the resultant corner.
Dunfermline went close in the 63rd minute as Hearts loanee and former Caley Thistle player Anthony McDonald flashed a driven cross across goal but McCart scooped away the effort from two yards out.
Doran’s deep corner in the 80th minute was well met by McCart who sent a lovely header back across goal nestling in the side netting to double the hosts advantage.
Caley Thistle seen the game out comfortably to take all three points with the result meaning they maintain second spot in the Championship.