INVERNESS Caley Thistle moved third in the Championship despite letting a stylish dismantling of bottom-of-the-table Alloa turn into a late sweat.

The Highlanders seemed to be swatting away the Wasps with relative ease, with Aaron Doran netting his 11th goal – and fourth in four games – to break the deadlock.

Sean Welsh scored a penalty and Jordan White, with his 14th of the season, looked to have killed it as a contest just after the hour – Liam Polworth threading White through the middle to dink it over the keeper.

Alloa, now with eight defeats from their last nine matches, mustered two goals in the final 11 minutes but remain three points adrift at the foot of the table.

The home breakthrough came after 28 minutes from in-form Doran.

Welsh delivered a diagonal ball at pace into the penalty box from the right and the Irishman executed a brilliant head-flick into the far corner of the net from fully 15 yards.

White was bumped over by Alloa’s Iain Flannigan just inside the area and Welsh blasted the 35th-minute penalty straight down the middle.

The half drew to a close with Caley Thistle pushing for a third, but Joe Chalmers and McHattie fired wide from distance while White hit another effort off-target.

Caley Thistle still needed a third to kill it but, 10 minutes into the second half, a Rooney cross from the right was completely missed by White as he attempted a diving header square on goal.

Worryingly for the hosts, scorer Welsh limped off in some pain after 77 minutes.

But the visitors earned a consolation when Jamie McCart knocked over Alan Trouten and the Wasps’ attacker stuck away the 79th-minute penalty.

Then Iain Flannigan’s late strike took a wicked deflection past Ridgers to make it a nervy finish for the hosts.

INVERNESS CALEY THISTLE (4-2-3-1): Ridgers 6; Rooney 6, Donaldson 7, McCart 6, McHattie 6; Welsh 8 (Austin 78, 3), Trafford 6; Chalmers 7 (Walsh 66, 4), Polworth 7, Doran 7 (McCauley 73, 4); White. Subs: C. Mackay, Tremarco, McKay, Machado.

ALLOA ATHLETIC (4-2-3-1): Parry 6; Taggart 5, Graham 5, Dick 5, Hetherington 5; Flannigan 5, Kirkpatrick 5 (Hamilton 60, 4); Shields 5, Trouten 6, Cawley 5 (Brown 72, 4); Zanatta 6. Subs: Henry, Karadachki, Peggie, Goodwin.

Bookings: Goodwin 27, Zanatta 58

Referee: Steven Reid. 7