Arbroath manager Dick Campbell kicked off his 50th consecutive season in the game as his side tasted defeat at home to Inverness.
Shane Sutherland punished Harrison Clark’s mistake with a second half winner as Red Lichties crashed to defeat.
It was a cruel blow for the Angus side who merited at least a point after a battling display at Gayfield.
Campbell was in fine form as his Arbroath side kicked off their third successive Championship campaign against Inverness.
Many pundits have already written off Red Lichties chances of survival – as the only part-time team in the league.
Arbroath took the game to visitors Inverness early on
However, after a battling first-half display they, once again, proved that they are highly capable at this level.
They more than matched Inverness in the opening 45 minutes and with on-loan striker Joel Nouble in fine form, they posed Inverness real problems.
With Bobby Linn in dazzling form on the left wing, Nouble was causing Caley real problems at the back.
One mazy solo run from the towering striker almost resulted in the opening goal in 26 minutes.
Nouble picked up the ball deep inside his own box and drove towards the Caley goal.
However, his low 20 yard strike to bounce inches wide.
Nouble then had a second chance to open the scoring as he darted inside the box.
He tried to curl an effort beyond Mark Ridgers but this time it deflected safely into the Caley keeper’s hands.
At the other end, Tom Walsh was causing Arbroath real problems with his blistering runs.
And the visitors so nearly took the lead, just before the break as Sutherland saw his low drive cleared off the line by Scott Stewart.
Nicky Low then came close for Arbroath as his 25 yard free-kick dipped just inches over Ridgers’ bar.
Caley then had the ball in the net as former Raith Rovers striker Manny Duku headed home but it was ruled out for offside.
Inverness keeper Ridgers then made a stunning point-blank save to deny Michael McKenna after the Arbroath midfielder got on the end of a Low cross.
Clark’s mistake punished by Inverness
The game was being played as a frantic pace and it was a case of when, not if, there would be a goal.
It was the visitors who struck first as a poor Harrison Clark header was pounced on by Sutherland and he broke clear to chip over Derek Gaston.
— Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) July 31, 2021
It was a cruel lesson for teenager Clark at how you can be severely punished at this level for making mistakes.
Arbroath: Gaston; Stewart, Colin Hamilton, Little, O’Brien, Low, McKenna, Clark, Donnelly, Nouble, Linn. Subs not used: Antell; Hilson, Swankie, Paterson, Chris Hamilton, Craigen.
Inverness: Ridgers; Deas, Devine, Carson, Sutherland, MacGregor, Walsh, Broadfoot, Allardice, Duku, McAlear. Subs not used: MacKay; Duffy, Harper, McKay, Jamieson, McDonald, Hyde.
Referee – David Dickinson