Jamie Gullan’s late strike won all three points for Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park.
Caley Thistle were left to rue their chances with Rovers keeper Kevin Dabrowski pulling off some outstanding saves throughout the game and especially in the first half.
Billy Dodds made nine changes to the side which was beaten by Arbroath in the SPFL Trust Trophy last weekend with only Morgan Boyes and Robbie Thompson retaining their place. Wallace Duffy missed out through a hamstring injury while Harry Lodovica served his one match suspension after his red card last week.
Caley Thistle started the game brightly as Billy Mckay and Cameron Harper had early efforts on Ratih’s goal in the opening 17 minutes.
The first big chance of the match fell to Nathan Shaw after 19 minutes, Luis Longstaff and Charlie Gilmour played and one-two on the edge of the box and the winger saw his shot blocked on route to goal. The rebound fell to Shaw in the box but his effort was easily gathered by Rovers keeper Kevin Dabrowski.
Caley Thistle thought they had the lead after 24 minutes, Charlie Gilmour’s free-kick found Danny Devine free in the box and his header was past the Rovers keeper Dabrowski but the linesmans flag was up for offside.
Caley Thistle’s good spell continued as Dabrowski was called into action to keep out long range efforts from both Charlie Gilmour and Max Anderson.
There was another big chance for Caley Thistle after 36 minutes, Nathan Shaw’s corner found Morgan Boyes at the back-post and his header from close range was saved by Dabrowski.
Just before the break, Billy Mckay was slotted through on goal by Luis Longstaff but the striker’s effort was blocked by a Raith defender. While Lewis Vaughan saw his looping effort go just wide for Rovers.
In the second-half, Mark Ridgers was called into action as Vaughan’s effort in the box was parried by the ICT keeper and he was able to get onto the rebound before a Rovers forward could pounce on it.
With twenty minutes left, a header by Charlie Gilmour found Billy Mckay in the box but he was pulled out the right hand side and put the a dangerous low ball in the box but there was no takers.
Just a minute later at the other end, Rovers captain Scott Brown saw his effort from outside the box go just over the bar and behind.
Raith Rovers did take the lead late on through substitute Jamie Gullan, a short corner was worked by the home side and the the ball was only cleared as far as the Rovers striker who twisted just inside the box and fired a powerful strike past Mark Ridgers for the opening goal.
Caley Thistle had a chance late on, David Carson’s cross found Adam Brooks in the box but the striker couldn’t get the power or direction on the header and it was gathered by Rovers keeper Kevin Dabrowski.