Ross Tokley and Richie Foran were key to Inverness Caledonian Thistle's goals
Inverness Caledonian Thistle dented St Johnstone's bid to break back into the top six of the Scottish Premier League with a comfortable home win.
Ross Tokely rose unchallenged to head in from an Aaron Doran corner in the 28th minute to give the hosts the lead.
Russell Duncan fired in at the near-post after the hour mark to double the tally after good work by Richie Foran.
St Johnstone struggled to gain a foothold in the match, despite a late effort from Arvydas Novikovas.
The win for Terry Butcher's side prevented St Johnstone from leapfrogging Inverness Caledonian Thistle into sixth place in the table, although the Perth side still have two matches in hand.
Jonny Hayes missed out for Inverness Caley due to a foot injury, while defender Chris Innes was replaced by Tokely, who was back from suspension. Butcher also gave a rare start to Shane Sutherland in attack.
Derek McInnes made two changes to his St Johnstone starting line-up, with Liam Craig and Sam Parkin replacing Cleveland Taylor and Collin Samuel.
St Johnstone's Chris Millar fired a shot in from 25 yards out in the 10th minute, the first solid chance of the match, but it sailed over the bar.
Three minutes later, Doran replied with a 35-yard effort at the other end which drifted wide of the mark, then St Johnstone's Murray Davidson sent another shot over the Caley goal moments later.
Shortly before the half-hour mark, Tokely opened the scoring with Inverness Caledonian Thistle's first solid chance of the match, rising above the St Johnstone defence unchallenged to head in from an Doran corner.
Lithuania Under-21 international Arvydas Novikovas was introduced with five minutes remaining of the first half in place of Millar.
The on-loan winger from Hearts appeared to be a tactical switch as Saints tried to create something from a contest that was turning into a midfield battle.
Doran was unmarked at the back post, but volleyed high over the bar shortly after the re-start, when he really should have found the net.
But Caley did double their lead in the 62nd minute when Duncan ran on to the a Foran pass and slotted past Saints keeper Peter Enckelman at the near-post.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure with Sutherland and Adam Rooney firing in efforts, but Enckelman was equal to the task.
With 10 minutes remaining, Novikovas fired into the side-netting as St Johnstone went in search of a way back into the match.
Late efforts from Caley's Alex McDonald and Sutherland could have topped off the win, but the ball drifted wide of the mark.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 19 February 2011
02 Proctor (Innes 51)
09 Foran (MacDonald 83)
10 Rooney (Golabek 90+2)
07 Millar (Novikovas 40)
32 May (MacDonald 72)
09 Parkin (Jackson 58)
Ref: CollumAtt: 3,942
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:22 The referee ends the match.
90:00+2:48 Daniel Grainger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shane Sutherland. Ryan Esson restarts play with the free
90:00+2:30 Unfair challenge on Michael Duberry by Aaron Doran results in a free kick. Jody Morris restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+1:24 Substitution Adam Rooney leaves the field to be replaced by Stuart Golabek.
90:00+1:05 Shot from just outside the area by Shane Sutherland goes over the bar.
87:53 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Alex MacDonald misses to the left of the target.
85:48 The referee blows for offside. Ryan Esson takes the direct free kick.
85:23 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Duberry by Alex MacDonald. Free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
84:45 Unfair challenge on Shane Sutherland by Daniel Grainger results in a free kick. Russell Duncan takes the free kick.
82:20 Substitution Alex MacDonald comes on in place of Richie Foran.
81:31 Inswinging corner taken by Liam Craig, Shot from deep inside the area by Steven Anderson clears the bar.
78:57 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger, Chris Innes makes a clearance.
78:38 Murray Davidson takes a shot. Peter Enckelman makes a clearance.
78:23 Corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the left by-line, clearance by Russell Duncan.
77:05 Shane Sutherland takes a shot. Save by Peter Enckelman.
76:33 Unfair challenge on Richie Foran by Murray Davidson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stuart Duff.
75:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Russell Duncan on Jody Morris. Liam Craig restarts play with the free kick.
73:36 Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Grainger, Chris Innes makes a clearance. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel
Grainger from the left by-line, Adam Rooney makes a clearance.
72:25 Shane Sutherland concedes a free kick for a foul on Arvydas Novikovas. Free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.
71:39 Substitution Peter MacDonald is brought on as a substitute for Steve May.
67:36 Adam Rooney takes a shot. Save made by Peter Enckelman.
65:40 Shane Sutherland produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
64:46 Corner taken by Aaron Doran from the right by-line played to the near post, Michael Duberry makes a clearance.
61:43 Richie Foran provided the assist for the goal.
61:43 GOAL - Russell Duncan:Inverness CT 2 - 0 St Johnstone Russell Duncan gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Inverness
CT 2-0 St Johnstone.
58:40 Richie Foran gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Anderson. Peter Enckelman restarts play with the free
57:29 Substitution Andrew Jackson is brought on as a substitute for Sam Parkin.
Correction - 54:54 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Aaron Doran, Michael Duberry makes a clearance.
54:54 Corner taken by Aaron Doran, Michael Duberry manages to make a clearance.
54:06 Aaron Doran produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
53:33 Ross Tokely fouled by Arvydas Novikovas, the ref awards a free kick. Russell Duncan takes the direct free kick.
51:25 Liam Craig takes a shot. Save made by Ryan Esson.
50:21 Foul by Shane Sutherland on Steve May, free kick awarded. Daniel Grainger restarts play with the free kick.
50:21 Substitution Chris Innes joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Proctor.
47:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Richie Foran on Steven Anderson. Free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.
45:01 The referee starts the second half.
45:00+0:05 The half-time whistle blows.
42:08 Lee Cox fouled by Murray Davidson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Stuart Duff.
40:02 The offside flag is raised against Richie Foran. Direct free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
39:07 Substitution Arvydas Novikovas on for Chris Millar.
36:01 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Duberry by Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
27:35 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Aaron Doran, Aaron Doran provided the assist for the goal.
27:35 GOAL - Ross Tokely:Inverness CT 1 - 0 St Johnstone Ross Tokely grabs a headed goal from close range. Inverness CT 1-0 St Johnstone.
26:22 Foul by Murray Davidson on Stuart Duff, free kick awarded. Ryan Esson takes the free kick.
25:06 Richie Foran fouled by Michael Duberry, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stuart Duff.
23:32 Richie Foran concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Duberry. David MacKay takes the free kick.
22:04 Ross Tokely fouled by Michael Duberry, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Stuart Duff.
21:09 Unfair challenge on Steve May by Ross Tokely results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jody Morris.
19:34 Richie Foran is ruled offside. Daniel Grainger restarts play with the free kick.
16:07 Steve May takes a shot. Save made by Ryan Esson.
13:51 Shot by Murray Davidson from outside the box goes high over the target.
12:35 Effort on goal by Aaron Doran from 35 yards missed to the left of the goal.
11:48 Murray Davidson challenges Russell Duncan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Esson.
11:13 Adam Rooney is ruled offside. Direct free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
9:37 Chris Millar takes a shot.
8:16 Unfair challenge on Murray Davidson by Lee Cox results in a free kick. Jody Morris restarts play with the free kick.
3:27 Foul by Jody Morris on Richie Foran, free kick awarded. Russell Duncan takes the free kick.
1:45 Aaron Doran handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Michael Duberry takes the direct free kick.
0:00 The match gets underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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