Danny Johnson’s debut goal secured Dundee the top spot in Betfred Cup Group D at a sunny Dens Park.
The former Motherwell frontman made a pretty quick impression on his new club, having only completed his move on Friday.
His goal, a low shot on 33 minutes that went through Inverness Caley Thistle keeper Mark Ridgers at his near post, probably won’t be the bonniest one Johnson will score this season.
However, the striker didn’t care as he celebrated in front of the home fans.
As well as helping them progress in the cup, Johnson’s goal gave the Dark Blues’ their first competitive home win of 2019 and set them up for this Friday’s trip to Dunfermline to open their Championship campaign.
The big news for Dundee supporters as kick-off approached was that new signing Johnson was parachuted straight in for his debut up front.
Jordan McGhee also came in at the back, with Josh Mulligan and Declan McDaid dropping down to the bench.
An interested spectator in the main stand was Dundee United owner Mark Ogren.
The home side, who were in all white, swept forward up the right on five minutes. Jordan Marshall swung over a fine cross that made it to Shaun Byrne eight yards out but the midfielder couldn’t control the ball properly and the chance was gone.
Johnson then had the Dundee fans applauding when he unleashed a 22-yard shot that had to tipped over the ICT bar by Ridgers.
Caley’s James Keatings troubled the Dens men twice in quick succession when first goalie Jack Hamilton had to palm away his volley on 11 minutes then it needed a last-ditch challenge from McGhee to put him off as he looked like opening the scoring with a close-range shot.
It should have been 1-0 to the hosts on 23 minutes but, with the goal at his mercy, Johnson blasted wide of the left-hand post after strike partner Andrew Nelson has seen his shot blocked.
Hamilton did well to dive to save a Keatings shot that had taken a deflection before the hosts edged ahead.
With 33 minutes on the clock, there were smiles all around the home support as Johnson grabbed a debut goal.
He took a reverse pass from Byrne then hit the ball so hard at Ridgers with his left foot that it went under the ICT goalie and into the net from a tight angle.
Keatings fired into the side-netting as the visitors looked to hit straight back before the same player curled a freekick just past the post two minutes before the break.
After the restart, there was a chance for ICT when the ball reached Aaron Doran inside the Dundee box but he kicked fresh air.
McGhee was booked for a trip on Keatings on 56 minutes before David Carson replaced Charlie Trafford for the Highlanders.
Marshall’s drive for the Dens men was saved down low by Ridgers then Paul McGowan had the home fans on their feet as he went on a mazy run before stabbing the ball past the ICT post.
On 65 minutes, Dundee full-back Cammy Kerr should have done better when he had space inside the Inverness box but he lifted his strike over the bar.
It was Byrne’s turn to blast too high for the hosts before scorer Johnson, his job done, was replaced by Josh Todd on 67 minutes.
Five minutes later, Marshall cut the ball back in front of the Inverness goal but there were no takers.
Dundee brought on Declan McDaid for McGowan as they tried to freshen things up and ICT played the closing minutes with only 10 men. Having used all three subs, they had nothing in reserve when Mitchell Curry, who had just come on for Doran, hobbled up the tunnel injured.
The Highlanders huffed and puffed in the closing stages but it was the Dens men who should have scored again in stoppage-time when sub Todd raced clear but he couldn’t hit the target.
Dundee: Hamilton, Kerr, McGhee, Forster, Meekings, Byrne, Nelson (Mulligan 90), McGowan (McDaid 79), Johnson (Todd 67), Robertson, Marshall. Subs not used: Ferrie, Moore, Cameron, Cunningham.
Inverness CT: Ridgers, Tremarco, Donaldson, McCart, Keatings, White (Todorov 78), Doran (Curry 78), Walsh, Vincent, McKay, Trafford (Carson 56). Subs not used: Mackay, McHattie, Harper, MacGregor.
Referee: Nick Walsh.