Billy Mckay scored a stunning brace as Inverness made the most of their Scottish Cup reprieve to see off Livingston 3-0 and reach the quarter-finals.
The experienced striker notched either side of a Sean Welsh header to dump Premiership outfit Livingston out of the competition.
Caley were only still involved in the cup after Queen’s Park, their conquerors in the last round, were expelled for fielding the ineligible Euan Henderson in that game.
Inverness – winners of the cup in 2015 – produced a ruthless display of counter-attacking football to leave the Lions shell-shocked.
The home side were already well aware of the threat posed by the Championship team after being beaten 2-1 by their Highland counterparts in a League Cup group match last July.
But after a slow start to the season, the Lions have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in the top flight as they chase European football.
Livingston did most of the pressing early on without causing Caley goalkeeper Mark Ridgers too many problems.
Ridgers was called on in the 11th minute to push a Steven Bradley free-kick behind for a corner after Stephen Kelly was clipped just outside the area.
The hosts were then forced into a change just two minutes later with an injury to Bruce Anderson.
Cristian Montano came on and Livingston were thankful they were not forced into another alteration just moments later after Jack Fitzwater needed treatment following a 50/50 challenge with Nathan Shaw.
Further half-chances for the home side came and went as the half ended goalless. Montano flashed a left-footed effort wide before centre-back Aye Obileye did the same.
The home side brought on Kurtis Guthrie for Bradley at the break and were at least showing greater urgency in attack.
James Penrice combined well with Joel Nouble but could not get his shot away before Guthrie fired straight at Ridgers.
And then – against the run of play – Inverness stormed ahead with a clinical strike from Mckay after 51 minutes.
Jay Henderson lifted the ball over the top and Mckay lashed a half-volley into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Livi boss David Martindale responded by bringing on Andrew Shinnie and Dylan Bahamboula as the home side searched for an equaliser.
But it was Inverness who struck, just after the hour mark. Another ball over the top caused problems and Welsh eventually headed in Nathan Shaw’s cross via the post.
Mckay then added his second with 10 minutes left after firing another excellent drive into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Caley goalkeeper Ridgers ensured the visitors also left with a clean sheet after brilliantly keeping out an Obileye header.