Caley Thistle ended their ViaPlay Cup Group Stage campaign with a narrow defeat against Dundee.

Zack Robinson’s second-half strike was enough for the win for Dundee but the hosts failed to get the second goal they needed to qualify for the next round.

Caley Thistle had big chances of their own but couldn’t take one. Now full focus for the Caley Jags turns to the start of the league campaign next weekend against Queen’s Park at Caledonian Stadium.

Head Coach Billy Dodds made 6 changes from the side which was beaten on Tuesday night against Airdrieonians with Mark Ridgers, Wallace Duffy, Cameron Harper, Austin Samuels, Lewis Hyde and Keith Bray coming into the side. New signing Harry Lodovica was named among the substitutes following confirmation of his move earlier in the day.

The hosts started knowing they needed to win the match by two goals to progress to the knockout round and had an early chance through Diego Pineda but the striker fired his effort over the bar from close range.

Caley Thistle grew into the match keeping a good shape at the back and had their first chance of the game as Billy Mckay saw his shot tipped over the bar, on his 250th appearance for the club, by Dundee keeper Jon McCracken.

Caley Thistle had another chance after 23 minutes. Keith Bray picked out Nathan Shaw down the left side with an excellent pass and Shaw held the ball up in the box and shot but his effort was wide of the mark.

Another chance would go Caley Thistle’s way after 39 minutes, Cameron Harper’s cross found Billy Mckay in the box and the striker cut the ball back to Austin Samuels but his shot was fired over the bar.

Dundee, needing to win by two clear goals to qualify, made changes at the break as Amadou Bakayoko and Lyall Cameron replaced Scott Tiffoney and Diego Pineda.

The first real chance of the second-half fell to Billy Mckay but the striker’s effort was dragged wide after 47 minutes.

Caley Thistle had another chance two minutes later as Keith Bray met Billy Mckay’s knockdown in the box but the 17 year-old saw his shot blocked on route to goal. Some handball claims from the Caley Thistle players and fans were waved away by referee John Beaton.

Mark Ridgers was then tested for the first time n the second-half as he was called into action to keep out Amadou Bakayoko’s powerful effort after an initial mix-up in the ICT backline.

The hosts did break the deadlock on the hour-mark as Zach Robinson opened the scoring. Wallace Duffy initially blocked Luke McGowan’s shot from inside the box but the rebound came out to Zack Robinson and Mark Ridgers, despite his best efforts, couldn’t stop the ball from going over the line.

Dundee pressed for their much needed second goal. New signing Amadou Bakayoko saw his powerful free-kick drilled over the bar while Jordan McGhee saw his effort from distance go just past the post after 74 minutes.

The game became stretched in the final ten minutes as both sides had chances. Austin Samuels met Luis Longstaff’s quickly taken free-kick in the box but saw his powerful effort saved by the legs of Jon McCracken.

Harry Lodovica had a chance on his debut as he met Austin Samuels’ powerful cross in the box but the striker couldn’t quite get full contact on it as Dundee keeper Jon McCracken gathered the ball after 83 minutes.

The next minute, at the other end, Dundee went close through Luke McCowan but the winger saw his shot go just past the post.

In the final minute of the match, Harry Lodovica had a chance on his debut as he met Austin Samuels’ powerful cross in the box but the striker couldn’t quite get full contact on it as Dundee keeper Jon McCracken gathered the ball.

The game finished 1-0 with both sides not progressing to the next round and Airdrieonians confirmed as group winners yesterday. Caley Thistle’s cinch Championship season starts next weekend with a home match against Queen Park.