A fortuitous early goal helped Inverness Caledonian Thistle overcome visitors Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership.

Aaron Doran's strike took a big deflection off a Killie defender and beat goalkeeper Craig Samson.

Graeme Shinnie fired the hosts' second early in the second half.

Darren Barr's strike - his first Kilmarnock goal - halved the visitors' deficit but they could not find an equaliser.

The win takes Terry Butcher's men to within five points of league leaders Celtic, while Killie remain apoint above second-bottom St Mirren.

The Ayrshire side had travelled to the Highlands were seeking a third consecutive victory and captain Maneul Pascali had an early drive from 22 yards that was straight at Inverness goalkeeper Dean Brill.

However, the hosts opened the scoring after Richie Foran had won possession in his own half and swept the ball upfield to Marley Watkins.

Watkins' cross found Billy McKay, who touched it back into Doran's path and the the midfielder's shot was diverted into the net off Sean Clohessy.

Kris Boyd has been in good form for Killie of late and he came close to hitting an equaliser after good work by Jeroen Tesselaar, the striker's drive fizzing over Dean Brill's crossbar.

The better opportunities were falling the way of the home side and Ross Draper had a chance to double their lead only to shoot over.

Killie were presented with their best chance as the interval approached. Brill's misplaced pass was seized upon by Michael Gardyne but the forward hesitated, allowing Foran to come back and make a timely clearance.

That missed opportunity would be one that Kilmarnock would rue just seven minutes into the second half as Caley Thistle doubled their advantage.

A wonderful, free-flowing team move eventually saw Foran's incisive pass release Shinnie, who cut past Barr and curled a lovely effort past Samson from 14 yards.

However, the visitors gave themselves a lifeline when Barr escaped the attentions of his marker to turn home an inswinging free-kick from substitute Sammy Clingan.

As quickly as they had reignited hopes of a comeback, the visitors almost fell two goals behind again - but the upright kept out a Nick Ross header after he had done well to connect with Doran's cross.

Five minutes of injury time featured Killie pushing forward in search of an equaliser but Inverness remained resolute to see the game out.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 12 Brill
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 18 Tremarco Booked (Devine - 88' )
  • 09 Foran
  • 05 Warren
  • 06 Meekings
  • 15 Watkins (Williams - 72' )
  • 08 Draper
  • 07 McKay
  • 11 Ross (Polworth - 81' )
  • 10 Doran

Substitutes

  • 01 Esson
  • 14 Devine
  • 17 Greenhalgh
  • 19 Williams
  • 20 Polworth
  • 21 Pepper
  • 23 Agdestein

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 16 Clohessy
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 05 Irvine
  • 06 Barr
  • 26 O'Hara
  • 18 McKenzie (Gros - 80' )
  • 29 Pascali
  • 09 Boyd
  • 25 Gardyne (Muirhead - 88' )
  • 10 Johnston (Clingan - 60' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Fowler
  • 08 Clingan
  • 11 Gros
  • 12 Reguero
  • 30 Ashcroft
  • 33 Muirhead
  • 36 Kiltie
Ref: Steven McLean
Att: 2,948

Match Stats

Shots

11 9

On target

4 2

Corners

3 3

Fouls

14 11

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Inverness CT 2, Kilmarnock 1.

90:00 +5:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Inverness CT 2, Kilmarnock 1.

90:00 +4:44

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +4:44

Foul by Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock).

90:00 +1:21

Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:21

Foul by Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock).

88:46

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:46

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

87:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Daniel Devine replaces Carl Tremarco.

87:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Robbie Muirhead replaces Michael Gardyne.

86:45

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

85:03

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

85:03

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

83:19

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

83:19

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:44

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

81:44

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

80:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Liam Polworth replaces Nick Ross.

79:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. William Gros replaces Rory McKenzie.

77:58

Attempt missed. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

77:00

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jeroen Tesselaar.

76:49

Danny Williams (Inverness CT) hits the right post with a header from the left side of the box.

75:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 2, Kilmarnock 1. Darren Barr (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sammy Clingan.

73:38 Booking

Booking Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

73:33

Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:33

Foul by Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT).

71:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Danny Williams replaces Marley Watkins.

66:47

Attempt missed. Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

66:25

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Richie Foran.

66:10

Attempt blocked. Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

64:23

Attempt missed. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

63:26

Foul by Darren Barr (Kilmarnock).

63:26

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:02

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

62:02

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:07

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:07

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

59:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Sammy Clingan replaces Chris Johnston.

58:51

Foul by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT).

58:51

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:11

Hand ball by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

57:40

Attempt missed. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

54:54

Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

54:54

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

53:43

Foul by Nick Ross (Inverness CT).

53:43

Darren Barr (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

53:13

Attempt saved. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

52:27

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

52:27

Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:44 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 2, Kilmarnock 0. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Richie Foran.

48:04

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins Inverness CT 1, Kilmarnock 0.

45:00 +0:01 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Kilmarnock 0.

42:49

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

42:49

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

39:50

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jeroen Tesselaar.

38:40

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:40

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

38:12

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

38:12

Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:08

Attempt blocked. Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

33:10

Foul by Billy McKay (Inverness CT).

33:10

Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

26:53

Attempt missed. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

25:49

Attempt missed. Ross Draper (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

23:31

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:31

Foul by Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock).

21:36

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:36

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

20:57

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Graeme Shinnie.

19:59

Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

17:20

Attempt missed. Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

15:01

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

15:01

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:40

Foul by Richie Foran (Inverness CT).

12:40

Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:19

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

9:48

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

8:44

Attempt missed. Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

7:21

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

7:21

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:23 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 1, Kilmarnock 0. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marley Watkins.

3:51

Attempt saved. Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

3:07

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:07

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

0:58

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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