Shinnie send Caley through
An Andrew Shinnie double ensured Inverness progressed to the third round of the Scottish Communities League Cup with a 2-0 victory over Second Division Arbroath.
Caley Thistle had exited this competition at the same stage last year with a 1-0 defeat to Ayr - but Shinnie eased the nerves with a seventh-minute goal, before putting the result out of Arbroath's reach 19 minutes from time.
Inverness made two changes with Welsh midfielder Owain Tudur Jones returning from suspension in place of David Raven, while Josh Meekings replaced Nick Ross - who was out after dislocating his shoulder in the 4-2 defeat to Celtic.
Arbroath, managed by former Inverness favourite Paul Sheerin, went into the match full of confidence having won three matches in a row, scoring 10 goals in the process.
They also made two changes with Mark Baxter and Steven Doris drafted in at the expense of Lee Sibanda and Stuart Malcolm who both dropped to the bench.
The Red Lichties had an early chance to test Ryan Esson in the Caley goal with a free-kick from the edge of the area but Darren Gribben blazed the ball wildly over.
The visitors broke the deadlock when Shane Sutherland glided down the right wing before picking out Shinnie, who calmly slotted the ball into the corner of the net from 12 yards out.
The Highlanders almost doubled their advantage when Gary Warren rose highest to head a Graeme Shinnie corner goalwards - but Arbroath midfielder Paul Currie was in the right place to head the ball off the line.
The hosts had goalkeeper Tony Bullock to thank for preventing Caley increasing their lead when he denied Sutherland and Billy McKay with two fine saves.
Arbroath were forced to make a change when Derek Holmes limped off and was replaced by Sibanda, before the home side's 40-year-old stopper was called upon again to deny Aaron Doran and Sutherland before the break and keep his side in the tie.
However, the Inverness pressure continued after the break with Andrew Shinnie rattling the crossbar with a powerful drive, before Doran flashed a drive just wide from distance.
The home side could have equalised just past the hour mark when Colin Hamilton picked out Gribben - but the forward failed to keep his effort under the crossbar.
They were to rue that miss after 71 minutes when Sutherland fed in Andrew Shinnie, who drove into the box before unleashing a fierce shot which smashed off the underside of the bar and into the net.
The 23-year-old Caley striker could have grabbed his hat-trick in the closing stages but was thwarted by another fine save by the impressive Bullock.
Arbroath 0-2 Inverness CT: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.