Caley Thistle were held to a draw against 10-men for the second successive home fixture after missed opportunities came back to haunt them in their 2-2 draw with Alloa Athletic.
Inverness could be sitting top of the Championship with maximum points had they accepted the gifts presented to them in their last two league games, with Liam Polworth spurning a penalty in the 0-0 draw against 10-man Ayr United last time around.
This match will be even more frustrating for John Robertson given Caley Jags had twice put themselves in command.
Brad Mckay’s early opener was cancelled out by Andy Graham’s header before half time.
They regained the lead when Sean Welsh netted from the spot after Wasps defender Zdravko Karadachki had been sent off for two bookings in the space of 30 seconds.
After Coll Donaldson missed another penalty to put distance between the sides, Inverness paid the price when Alloa equalised from the spot three minutes from time through Iain Flannigan.
Alloa manager Jim Goodwin said the result felt like a victory and little wonder.
The Wasps could have been swept aside at various stages of the game but it was a fine display of character from the league’s only part-time team.
Inverness began brightly, with George Oakley finding the net within the opening six minutes but seeing his close-range effort flagged for offside.
The best early chance fell to the Wasps, however, when Dario Zanatta burst through on goal from the halfway line but saw his effort blocked by the legs of Mark Ridgers.
Caley Thistle got the opener that should have settled them into their stride on 10 minutes.
The goal came about in simple fashion, with Liam Polworth’s corner nodded home at the far post by Mckay.
The Highlanders spurned a glorious chance to add a quickfire second three minutes later, with Oakley’s delivery finding the unmarked Tom Walsh who sidefooted well past the post from close-range.
Alloa threatened when Jake Hastie was unable to find the target after being picked out at the far post by Scott Taggart.
However, for the most part it was one-way traffic towards Wasps goalkeeper Neil Parry’s goal.
Polworth had an opportunity when he slipped an effort past the post after being released by Oakley, who himself had a header thwarted from Walsh’s cross.
Walsh also had an attempt of his own, but found Parry equal to his shot.
Alloa punished the hosts on 35 minutes, with Flannigan’s free-kick diverted into the net via the head of Andy Graham, with the aid of a deflection off Oakley.
Inverness were handed the ideal chance to regain their advantage on 48 minutes when Wasps defender Karadachki was sent off for two bookings in the space of 30 seconds, the second of which was on Donaldson in the box.
Welsh took the penalty and sent Parry the wrong way to net his first goal for the club.
The hosts could have made the points safe thanks to a second penalty on 71 minutes for Adam Brown’s trip on substitute Riccardo Calder, but Donaldson’s effort cracked off the underside of the bar.
Inverness had further chances to wrap the game up, with substitute Aaron Doran twice denied by Parry, who also thwarted Jordan White from close range.
The missed chances came back to haunt Caley Jags when Shaun Rooney clumsily brought down Hastie inside the box, with Flannigan clinically tucking home the penalty to ensure a share of the spoils.
CALEY THISTLE (4-4-2 ) – Ridgers 6, Rooney 5, Tremarco 6, Chalmers 6, Donaldson 5, Polworth 6, Austin 5 (White 55), Walsh 7, Oakley 6 (Doran 72), Welsh 7 (Calder 64), Mckay 6. Subs not used – Hoban, McCart, Mackay, Trafford.
ALLOA ATHLETIC (4-5-1) – Parry 6, Taggart 6, Dick 6, Graham 6, Hetherington 5 (Burt 78), Cawley 6 (Brown 64), Spence 6 (Peggie 49), Flannigan 6, Hastie 6, Karadachki 5, Zanatta 7. Subs not used – Henry, Trouten, Goodwin.
Referee – Barry Cook 6
Attendance – 2,269
Man of the match – Neil Parry