Liam Polworth missed a first-half penalty as Caley Thistle were held to a goal-less draw by 10-man Ayr United.
Ayr’s Daniel Harvie was sent off as Inverness were given the spot-kick 30 minutes in but Polworth skewed his effort wide, as the Caley Jags struck a blank on their home Championship opener.
The home side were unchanged from the 1-0 win over Falkirk for their home league opener. Ayr, making their first visit to Inverness since a 3-3 draw eight years ago, brought Mark Kerr in for Declan McDaid from the 2-0 victory over Partick Thistle.
Inverness started on the front foot and it took them just two minutes to have their first shot at goal, with Tom Walsh whipping an effort just beyond Ross Doohan’s far post.
Robbie Crawford fired a warning shot across the face of Mark Ridgers’ goal that the Caley Thistle stopper did well to get fingers too, as the prolific Honest Men set about opening the scoring.
They were reduced to 10 men and Inverness given a penalty on half an hour, as Harvie grappled with George Oakley as he attempted to reach Charlie Trafford’s centre. Polworth, who missed a penalty last season away to Forfar, failed to hit the target, his effort shaving the post and going wide.
The onus was now on John Robertson’s side to take advantage of the extra man but that continued to be a struggle, with Nathan Austin contriving to shoot wide when Oakley played him in behind the Ayr defence.
Shankland had a similar opportunity three minutes into the second half when he bullied Coll Donaldson off the ball. He had a slight angle on Ridgers but whistled his strike across goal and wide, with Crawford begging for a cross at the back post.
His strike partner Michael Moffat tried his luck minutes later and drifted a shot wide of the far post, with the Caley Jags lacking ideas going forward and offering up chances at the back.
Ridgers beat away Crawford’s drive at his near post and at the other end, Donaldson and Polworth both saw shots drift wide as the game lurched towards the final 20 minutes.
Jordan White landed a header on the roof of the net as time ran out on Caley Thistle’s hopes of snatching a win.