Richie Foran came out on top in the battle of the rookie managers after Inverness captain Gary Warren scored a second-half winner against Cowdenbeath.
Foran and Blue Brazil counterpart Liam Fox, 36 and 32 respectively, were making their maiden dugout appearances in this Group C clash.
Foran’s side earned the win but Fox and his League Two team will take encouragement from the performance after making their Premiership opponents work for the three points.
Ross Draper gave the visitors an 18th minute lead before Dean Brett levelled five minutes later. With only 487 fans watching on, penalties were avoided when Warren headed home in the 75th minute.
“I’m pleased with the result, I thought we deserved it,” said Foran. “We hit the bar three times, their keeper (David McGurn) pulls off a few good saves. Overall, it’s a deserved three points but we told the lads we expect a better performance, better passing. We were a bit slack to second balls.”
Cowdenbeath took to the pitch with ten new players in the starting XI, including experienced former Falkirk and Livingston midfielder Burton O’Brien and ex-Hearts forward Gary Glen. Defender Brett was the sole survivor from the team that was relegated from League One last season.
Caley handed competitive debuts to Kevin McNaughton, Scott Boden and on-loan Hearts player Billy King.
On a blustery afternoon, Caley settled the better and scored after 18 minutes after firing several warning shots across the bow.
Among the early chances, Iain Vigurs saw a header come back off the bar from a Greg Tansey corner.
The woodwork proved to be Vigurs’ nemesis at Central Park yesterday afternoon.
But Draper was the beneficiary of Boden’s industry in the box. Former Newport County forward Boden shrugged off a challenge inside the area before having the composure to look up and find his team-mate.
All Draper had to do was make sure his effort was on target, with McGurn out of position.
Cowdenbeath had offered little going forward but a rare attack in the 23rd minute yielded an equaliser.
On loan Hearts winger Lewis Moore managed to dig out a low cross in a congested box and the long-serving Brett guided a side-footed volley past Ryan Esson from 12 yards.
The Highland side brushed themselves down and continued to threaten. Utilising the wind, Vigurs’ left-footed free-kick was pushed on to the woodwork by McGurn.
The bar denied the midfielder for a third time after his header from Tansey’s corner bounced down the wrong side of the line.
McGurn kept the score level after the restart when he tipped Boden’s point-blank header over the bar.
But Warren struck after his header from a Tansey corner was ruled to have bounced over the line after hitting the underside of the bar.
Cowdenbeath manager Fox, whose side travel to Dundee United on Tuesday, said: “Inverness are a very good side with some very good players. We’re not going to be judged this season on how we do against the likes of Inverness. There’s positives to take there for us.”