Inverness claim Highland bragging rights with comfortable win over Ross County
Inverness kept up their impressive run in Highland derbies at the Global Energy Stadium with a convincing 3-0 victory over Ross County in Dingwall.
It was County's first home match since their League Cup triumph last Sunday but it was the visitors who stole the show with a display of top-class finishing.
After an evenly-contested first half an hour it was Caley Thistle who went ahead with a stunning finish from Liam Polworth. Then Ross Draper doubled the lead with an angled drive.
When Miles Storey added a third goal with a superb 30-yard effort early in the second half it was all over as a contest.
County almost got on the scoresheet within 20 seconds. Richard Foster fired a cross over from the left but Alex Schalk's point-blank header was brilliantly turned behind for a corner by Owain Fon Williams.
The visitors were looking dangerous going forward and Andrew Davies had to be alert to block a goalbound shot from Polworth.
At the other end Foster, Liam Boyce and Schalk linked up well in the final quarter before the ball was eventually cleared.
Caley forced their first corner of the match in the 14th minute. Iain Vigurs' flag kick was knocked on by Storey but County goalkeeper Gary Woods gathered.
Davies had a chance to find the target four minutes later but he headed well wide from Ian McShane's corner.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action for a spell but two incidents in 60 seconds livened things up.
A Carl Tremarco volley cracked off the junction of the post and bar in the 24th minute after Polworth swung a ball into the box.
It was County's turn to be denied by the woodwork a minute later. Boyce flicked the ball on for Jackson Irvine who raced clear on goal and although he beat Fon Williams to the ball his shot came off the outside of the post and behind.
Just when it looked as if County were taking control the visitors struck with two goals in four minutes.
County lost possession in their own half and Storey broke up the left and his ball across goal was swept home from the edge of the 18-yard box by Polworth.
Then just as County were getting over that setback the visitors doubled their lead.
Liam Hughes headed the ball on for Draper who drove home an angled drive from inside the area.
County made a double substitution at the start of the second half with Chris Robertson and Jonathan Franks replacing Davies and Irvine.
But it was Caley Thistle who stretched their lead in the 48th minute. The ball broke to Storey 30 yards out, he controlled it with his chest and let fly into the top corner of the net for a superb goal.
There was no way back for County and they never looked as if they were going to mount a fight back.
In fact, Caley Thistle could have gone even further ahead in the 63rd minute when Polworth cracked one off the crossbar.