Caley Thistle are likely to look upon their 1-1 draw with rejuvenated Dundee United as a point gained rather than two dropped come the end of the Championship season.
Inverness did not get it all their own way at a vibrant Tannadice in Robbie Neilson’s first home match in charge of United, having to come from behind after Pavol Safranko had put the hosts ahead early in the second half.
Inverness have not lost in the league since March, however, and they were not about to let that record slip. Their spirited response, which saw Jordan White equalise and the Highlanders’ defence withstand further pressure following Coll Donaldson’s dismissal, was the hallmark of a side that simply does not know when it is beaten.
It is a fourth draw in succession for John Robertson’s men.
While Caley Jags have been frustrated at not converting some of those to victories, this is not one they will have too many grievances about come the end of the campaign.
The result makes it 20 Championship matches without defeat, keeping Inverness within five points of the summit.
Robertson’s inclusion of Riccardo Calder in the starting line-up, in place of Aaron Doran, broke a sequence of five matches in which he has selected the same side.
United’s supporters have been far from content with their club’s offerings in recent times but they turned out in fine numbers, displaying plenty colour, in Neilson’s first home match in charge.
It made for an altogether different setting from their last Tannadice outing, the 5-1 defeat to Ross County which proved to be Csaba Laszlo’s final match in charge.
The visitors had shown themselves to be at ease on their travels so far this term, taking seven points from nine away from home ahead of this match, and looked comfortable in possession from the start.
Following an even first half the Tangerines came within inches of an opener on 53 minutes when Fraser Aird’s delivery landed perfectly for Safranko, but his header drifted narrowly past the post with Ridgers well beaten.
Caley Jags were undone, though, when Aird’s corner found the untracked head of Safranko and he made no mistake.
Like their last game against Morton, Inverness had to come from behind and they quickly restored parity on 73 minutes.
Liam Polworth swung in a tempting free-kick from the wide right, with White beating a cluster of players – including his eager team-mate Donaldson – to the ball to loop a header home.
Former United defender Donaldson did not pass up the chance to rub the leveller in the noses of the United supporters but his joy turned to despair 10 minutes from time when he was shown a second yellow card for persistent fouling, to hand the impetus back to the home side.
White could have sent Inverness home with all three points when he struck into the side netting after being played through by Polworth.
However, United ended on top, with McMullan and Yannick Loemba both off target as Inverness held on.