All things considered a creditable point for Caley Thistle but it was a turbulent build-up which took the brunt of the focus of their trip to Dumfries.
Caley Thistle’s preparations for the match were plunged into chaos after their journey south on Friday night was halted by a traffic collision on the A9 at Killiecrankie, which caused their bus to be halted for six hours.
The team bus did not arrive at the team’s Dumfries hotel until 3.30 on the morning of the game, with manager John Robertson insisting the delay had left his players hungry and dehydrated, while also distressed at seeing emergency services attending to the accident. Some Inverness players also went into the game having not slept.
It was a combination of factors which prompted Caley Jags to request a postponement of the fixture, with the SPFL’s refusal to do so prompting a furious reaction from manager Robertson.
Despite being forced to play against their will, Inverness did not show the look of a side searching for sympathy. It was an evenly contested fixture – a second goalless stalemate between the two his season – which either side could have edged on another day. Given the hectic build-up, Robertson was pleased to take the point, which moves Inverness a point closer to the play-off positions, to within six of fourth-placed Dunfermline.
Robertson’s only change from Tuesday’s 4-0 win against Brechin City was to bring back midfielder Iain Vigurs, free from suspension, in place of Charlie Trafford in the heart of midfield, and the Caley Jags manager would have been sure to have used the anger to galvanise his players.
Robertson’s men were quick out the blocks with a willingness to attack the hosts, but they could have gifted Queens the lead on 10 minutes when Vigurs gave the ball away to Lydon Dykes, who played in Stephen Dobbie but the experienced striker saw his effort palmed around the post by Mark Ridgers.
Inverness made their attacking presence known to goalkeeper Alan Martin, however, with Joe Chalmers forcing a smart save from long range before Liam Polworth also saw a strike from the edge of the box flash wide.
Caley Jags continued to probe and they carved out a fine chance midway through the half when Polworth dispossessed full back Jordan Marshall, but his cutback was not met by a clean connection by John Baird, whose effort was comfortably taken by Martin.
Queens’ main danger of the first half came from distance, with Ridgers saving well from Chris Kane’s low drive before Dykes drilled wide.
Inverness ended the half brightly, with the full backs combining in a move which saw Carl Tremarco head David Raven’s delivery wide of target, however the second half was well poised for both sides.
It was Queens who looked the likelier at the start of the second half, with Ridgers doing well to hold Kyle Jacobs’ powerful effort before Darren Brownlie lashed over following a corner.
Inverness were also thwarted in their attempts to find a breakthrough, with Jake Mulraney’s low shot well saved by Martin before Vigurs struck a free kick marginally over.
Robertson shook up his attack just after the hour mark, with Baird, who had been subjected to taunts from supporters of his former club, withdrawn along with Connor Bell, the pair making way for Trafford and George Oakley.
The visitors finished the stronger of the two sides, with Oakley denied by Martin after twisting past Jason Kerr, before the Highlanders saw a late penalty shout turned down by referee Barry Cook when Trafford went to ground inside the box after tangling with defender Marshall. Robertson was adamant it should have been awarded but it was apparent it was not going to be his day.
A draw was a fair outcome, with Inverness keen to take the chance to regroup following a whirlwind 24 hours.