Set piece goals from Greg Tansey and Jonny Hayes helped Inverness beat Scottish Cup finalists Hibernian 2-0 in the Highlands.
Scoring opportunities were limited in tense first half, with many of the visiting side playing for places in the Scottish Cup final against Hearts next Saturday.
Inverness winger Jonny Hayes dragged a shot wide on a rare break.
Francomb had the best chance for Hibernian but Inverness failed to test debutant goalkeeper Paul Grant.
Garry O'Connor was replaced at half-time, possibly to protect him ahead of next week's final, with Leigh Griffiths coming into the fray.
Tansey broke the deadlock against the much-changed visitors when he curled home a 25-yard free-kick just after the hour to notch his fifth goal of the season.
Sought-after winger Hayes sealed the victory 10 minutes later with a penalty after Matt Doherty handled in the area.
The Irishman sent Grant the wrong way as he netted on his 101st appearance for Caley Thistle.
Griffiths' 30-yard angled free-kick was taken easily by Esson as Hibs tried to reduce the arrears.
The visitors were unable to peg back Inverness, who secured their fifth home win of the season.