Match ends, Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 0.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle leapfrogged Dundee United into second place in the Premiership table with a narrow victory in the Highlands.
Marley Watkins fired in the opener in the 11th minute with a right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner.
Moments later, he tested United keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak with a powerful drive that was tipped over.
Nadir Ciftci came close to levelling in the second half with an angled drive that was saved by Dean Brill.
Dundee United had experienced off-field problems leading up to the match with Paul Paton and Mark Wilson both dropped pending an investigation into an incident in Glasgow's west end last weekend.
Caley Thistle were without their teenage talisman Ryan Christie, who was suspended.
United had the better of the opening few minutes with a series of attacks on the Caley Thistle goal, the best of these resulted in a Chris Erskine shot rattling the left-hand post.
But the hosts looked dangerous going forward too and made the breakthrough in the 11th minute.
David Raven sent a low cross across the face of goal from the right wing, and the ball was played back to Greg Tansey who sent in an inch perfect cross to Watkins, who slotted home confidently.
As Thistle stamped their authority on the game, Watkins came close again moments later but Cierzniak pulled off a decent save.
The home side began to dominate possession as the first half sped by, with Danny Williams coming close with an audacious lob from outside the box.
The second half saw Caley Thistle's dominance continue, although they were unable to find the clinical edge to increase their lead.
Billy McKay had two excellent chances to put his side out of sight. He found himself in space one on one with the keeper but scuffed his shot straight at Cierzniak.
His second effort was better with his powerful shot rasping narrowly past the left post.
United striker Ciftci had a couple of opportunities to get his team back in the match, with Brill pulling off a good save to stop a powerful drive.
In the closing stages, Caley Thistle pilled on the pressure as they searched for a second but their quest was in vain.
However, the result puts the Highland side joint-top of the league with Hamilton Accies.
- 7MckaySubstituted forRossat 76'minutes
- 12WatsonSubstituted forSpittalat 66'minutes
- 2DillonSubstituted forTownsendat 58'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 8RankinBooked at 90mins
- 10S ArmstrongSubstituted forBilateat 67'minutes
- Kevin Clancy
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 0.
Attempt saved. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).
Conor Townsend (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.
Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Conor Townsend (Dundee United).
John Rankin (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.
Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).
Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Ryan Dow (Dundee United).
Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jaroslaw Fojut.
Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).
Attempt missed. James Vincent (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Callum Morris.
Attempt missed. Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.
Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.