Inverness CT 1 - 0 Dunfermline: Nathan Austin strike grabs Caley third place

Nathan Austin’s first half strike scooped Inverness Caley Thistle an extra £75,000 in prize money as they clinched third-place in the Championship. Victory, with Premiership play-off opponents Ayr United failing to beat Alloa, also lined up a home second leg for John Robertson’s side.

Nathan Austin in action for Inverness CT. Pic: SNS/Ross MacDonald

The first leg will be at Somerset Park on Tuesday evening.

For the hosts, Mark Ridgers returned after a dislocated finger. Aaron Doran, Jamie McCart and Liam Polworth were rested on the bench ahead of the Premiership play-offs.

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With only cash rewards and play-off scheduling at stake, it was a slow-burner, but Nathan Austin sliced a low shot wide after 15 minutes.

Ridgers made a strong save as on-loan Aberdeen striker Bruce Anderson turned neatly and struck.

The breakthrough came after a mistake from Pars debutant Stuart Morrison. The midfielder’s pass-back came too fast at keeper Cammy Gill, bouncing against his face.

That left Austin needing only to keep his composure and stroke a low shot past the flailing Gill.

The Pars almost struck back three minutes after the break, with a tremendous curling attempt from Kallum Higginbotham tipped wide of the post by Ridgers.

Substitute Andy Ryan also swept a shot just high and wide with 15 minutes remaining.

With five minutes left, Tom Walsh’s 12-yard strike was turned against the post by keeper Gill.