Dundee slumped to their fifth successive loss following this narrow defeat to Inverness at Dens.
However, while there was despair for the Dark Blues, there was delight for Caley with the win securing European football for the first time in their history.
The big team news for Dundee was the return of goalie Kyle Letheren for his first start since December 27 with Scott Bain missing out with a knee injury.
However, the big keeper was helpless to prevent Inverness storming into the lead in just the ninth minute. Inverness took a short corner with Greg Tansey sending in a superb cross from their right for Edward Ofere to head home from six yards past Letheren.
Shortly after, Caley’s Danny Devine made an incredible clearance off his own line to prevent a Greg Stewart header dropping into the net.
The Dundee striker then had another chance but his shot from a tight angle was saved at his near post by Esson.
It was his opposite number Letheren who had to look lively in the 27th minute when Ofere sent a dangerous ball in from the right with the keeper making a crucial stop at Marley Watkins’ feet.
Stewart then tested Esson once again with a 20-yard free-kick with the keeper making a good diving save to his right to ensure his side went in at half-time still in the lead.
Shortly after the restart, the Dark Blues had a great chance to equalise when Luka Tankulic slipped a pass to Jim McAlister in the Caley box but the midfielder fluffed his lines and his tame shot was easily gathered by Esson.
The keeper though had to produce an outstanding diving save in the 79th minute to prevent what looked a certain goal when James McPake got his head to a Kevin Thomson cross.
However, Caley held on to take all three points.