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Summary

  1. Inverness move to third in Premiership
  2. Billy McKay's fifth goal in four games
  3. Visitors St Johnstone stay sixth
  4. 3,000 fans "Pay what you can" at gate

Live Reporting

By Clive Lindsay

All times stated are UK

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Join us tomorrow for four more Premiership games in the winter wonderland of a Scottish January. With Aberdeen inactive, Celtic can regain the lead at the top should they defeat struggling Motherwell, while St Mirren host Dundee United, Hamilton Accies travel to take on Partick Thistle, while Kilmarnock are in Dundee. Thanks for your company tonight.

St Johnstone, who face leaders Aberdeen on Friday night with injury problems mounting, remain seven points behind Hamilton Accies in sixth. Kilmarnock have the chance to narrow the gap with Saints to two points should they defeat Dundee at Dens Park tomorrow night.

That's the first time Caley Thistle have recorded four successive league wins since May 2011.

Caley Thistle's star striker, Billy McKay, is out of contract in the summer and manager John Hughes was asked if there was any chance of the Northern Ireland international signing a new contract.

"I very much doubt it," he said. "He has been a wonderful player since I came here.

"He is out of contract and, if another team is doubling his wages, we can't match that.

"If Billy does more on, he will go with our best wishes and, if he goes to the English Championship or somewhere, he deserves it."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

"Overall, we didn't do enough in terms of getting close to them.

"The first goal was shambolic and the second one we were totally disorganised.

"There were things we would have done to stop them that we didn't do.

"The back four were fine. It was those in front of them who didn't do their jobs.

"It is only our third defeat in 12 games, but we're hurting tonight."

Inverness manager John Hughes on BBC Radio Scotland

"The boys have been different class. It started first day of pre-season.

"We played some real wonderful football tonight and on another night we might have scored more goals, but I'll settle for a clean sheet and 2-0.

"We really work hard on the training pitch and I want to see it put into fruition."

Caley Thistle are now only one point behind Celtic and three adrift of Premiership leaders Aberdeen. An impressive run.

BBC Radio Scotland Barry Wilson

"We've got to give Inverness great credit. Their movement off and on the ball was exceptional and caused them no end of problems. It could and should have been more."

BBC Radio Scotland pundit Mark Wilson

"That was as comfortable as it comes. Caley Thistle played the game like a team at the top of the league. St Johnstone, I'm afraid to say, were the total opposite and lacked in many departments."

A convincing victory for Caley Thistle moves John Hughes' side on to the 44-point mark and into third place in the Scottish Premiership. leapfrogging Dundee United.

FULL-TIME

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Caley Thistle defender Carl Tremarco breaks once more and tries to square the ball for substitute Alasdair Sutherland, but goalkeeper Alan Mannus does well to intercept.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

The attendance tonight at Caledonian Stadium is 3,161, which is not bad on a bitterly cold January evening in Inverness. But one shudders (and not just because of the weather conditions) to think what it might have been if that "pay what you can" offer was not in operation.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Time is rapidly running out for St Johnstone, with Caley Thistle completely in control and taking the pace out of the game.

Marley Watkins celebrates his goal
SNS
Marley Watkins scored Caley Thistle's second goal against St Johnstone in Inverness

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

BBC Radio Scotland commentator Scott Davie is pointing out that, even if they lose tonight, St Johnstone are five points better off than they were at this stage last season - and that was before Scotland striker Stevie May headed for Sheffield Wednesday!

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Ryan Christie has also come on for Marley Watkins and the talented young midfielder has already been involved in a few Caley Thistle attacks.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

By the way, I missed out telling you that Gary Miller had come on for the injured Frazer Wright in the Saints defence. That's Tommy Wright used all his substitutes.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Gary Miller misses a rare chance for St Johnstone as he fires over the crossbar.

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Andrew Priestley: "St Johnstone have been so inconsistent since Stevie May left in the summer. They're back to mid-table mediocrity again."

Ross Gillespie: "I'm a big Inverness fan, the atmospheres lately have been poor. Hopefully this experiment will make that change."

BBC Radio Scotland pundit Barry Wilson

"It is like a training game. It is waves of attack by Inverness in the second half."

BBC Radio Scotland pundit Mark Wilson

"They are struggling to get out are St Johnstone and they are picking the wrong passes to have any meaningful attack."

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

A fine display of attacking passing almost ends with a third goal for Caley Thisle as Aaron Doran's shot is saved by goalkeeper Alan Mannus and Billy McKay's attempt to score with the rebound is deflected over the crossbar.

Billy McKay opens the scoring for Inverness
SNS
Billy McKay seemed to enjoy a bit of a knees-up as he put Caley Thistle 1-0 ahead with his 10th goal of the season

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

It seems like defender Frazer Wright is struggling with a knock. Problems piling up for St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright, who has already made two changes.

KICK-OFF

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Another change by St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright, with Gary McDonald coming on for Scott Brown in midfield. Can it change the course of the game?

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Stephen Collins: "The 'pay what you can' scheme at Inverness CT is inspired. Irish league & FA league 1&2 should try it. Footy for the people."

BBC Radio Scotland pundit Barry Wilson

"After the first five minutes, it's been men against boys."

BBC Radio Scotland pundit Mark Wilson

"I have been a bit disappointed with St Johnstone. They don't look they have any ambition to get up the pitch."

St Johnstone striker Michael O'Halloran is forced off injured
SNS
St Johnstone suffered an early blow when striker Michael O'Halloran was forced off through injury

HALF-TIME

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone

Having set up the second goal, defender Carl Tremarco strides forward and fires a shot just wide.

GOAL

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 St Johnstone (Marley Watkins)

Carl Tremarco shows great persistence to get to the by-line and, when Saints goalkeeper Alan Mannus fails to deal with the cross, Marley Watkins is there to apply the finish.

GOAL

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1-0 St Johnstone (Billy McKay)

Billy McKay pounces for his fifth goal in four games after St Johnstone pay for a poor clearance and Graeme Shinnie's cross tees up the striker.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 St Johnstone

St Johnstone, who already have a few injury problems to contend with, lose Michael O'Halloran, with the striker being replaced with Chris Kane.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 St Johnstone

Caley Thistle winger Aaron Doran has scored some spectacular long-range goals, but this time he shoots well wide from 30 yards. However,, it almost turned into a good pass, with team-mate Billy McKay just failing to connect in front of goal.

BBC Radio Scotland pundit Barry Wilson

"I would have thought that St Johnstone would have defended better than this. It is only 19 minutes and they've given Inverness three clear-cut chances."

GREAT SAVE!

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 St Johnstone

A superb stop from Alan Manus as the St Johnstone goalkeeper holds a fine downward header from Billy McKay.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-0 St Johnstone

Aaron Doran fires wide after Billy McKay shot flies across the face of the St Johnstone goal. A bad miss by the winger, who should have at least hit the target.