Match ends, Inverness CT 2, St. Johnstone 0.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle eased to a comfortable win over a poor St Johnstone side at the Caledonian Stadium.
They took the game to the visitors from the start and gained their reward when Billy McKay opened the scoring.
St Johnstone keeper Alan Mannus was at fault as the home side doubled their lead four minutes before the break through Marley Watkins.
Caley Thistle move back up to third in the Premiership above Dundee United.
And a fourth straight victory - the first time they have had such a league run since 2011 - has taken John Hughes' side to within three points of leaders Aberdeen.
Caley Thistle were first to seriously threaten through McKay, who fired a shot across Mannus' goal when he should have hit the target and Aaron Doran could only divert the follow-up wide of the post.
Northern Ireland striker McKay did test Mannus a few minutes later, drawing a fine save from the St Johnstone stopper with an excellent headed attempt.
McKay and Doran looked lively for Caley Thistle in the opening stages and it was the former who broke the deadlock on 34 minutes.
St Johnstone played themselves into trouble with a failed clearance that landed at the feet of Graeme Shinnie and he found McKay, who fired past Mannus to give Inverness the lead.
The Saints defence was in generous mood as five minutes later they offered up another gift for the home side.
Carl Tremarco's persistence took him to the by-line and, when the defender delivered the cross, Mannus failed to deal with it, allowing Watkins to steal in and knock home the second goal.
Caley Thistle almost caught St Johnstone cold with a counter-attack early in the second-half.
Ross Draper set Dorran free and his shot from the corner of the penalty area was turned away by the fingertips of Mannus. McKay's follow-up effort was blocked and the Saints defence breathed again.
Gary Miller made a rare venture into opposition territory for Saints, but he shot over the crossbar.
Despite forcing a number of corners, the visitors were unable to seriously threaten Dean Brill in the Caley Thistle goal.
With Saints searching for a route back into the game late on, Inverness full-back Tremarco broke forward and looked to find substitute Alasdair Sutherland in the middle, but Mannus partially atoned for his earlier error, intercepting the cross and snuffing out the danger.
The match petered out, with Inverness content with their two-goal advantage and St Johnstone seemingly out of ideas as to how to break down the home defence.
Of further concern to Saints boss Tommy Wright will be the injuries that forced off Michael O'Halloran, Scott Brown and Frazer Wright, particularly with Aberdeen visiting McDiarmid Park on Friday night.
- 15WatkinsSubstituted forChristieat 68'minutes
- 19WilliamsSubstituted forVincentat 82'minutes
- 7MckaySubstituted forSutherlandat 88'minutes
- 6AndersonBooked at 69mins
- 5WrightSubstituted forMillerat 56'minutes
- 29O'HalloranSubstituted forKaneat 29'minutes
- 20BrownSubstituted forMcDonaldat 45'minutesBooked at 71mins
- 4LappinBooked at 46mins
- 14GrahamBooked at 27mins
- Kevin Clancy
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Inverness CT 2, St. Johnstone 0.
Foul by Alisdair Sutherland (Inverness CT).
Gary Miller (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Inverness CT. Alisdair Sutherland replaces Billy McKay.
Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).
James Vincent (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Gary Miller (St. Johnstone).
Foul by Ryan Christie (Inverness CT).
Gary McDonald (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Gary Miller (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Carl Tremarco.
Foul by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT).
Gary Miller (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Ross Draper.
Substitution, Inverness CT. James Vincent replaces Danny Williams.
Foul by Ryan Christie (Inverness CT).