Caley Thistle were pegged back twice by Falkirk as the Bairns held on for a 2-2 draw.
Shaun Rooney put Caley Thistle in front before Zak Rudden restored parity. Aaron Doran’s spectacular volley restored their advantage before the interval but a freak goal from Ian McShane – direct from a corner – levelled things up again.
John Robertson’s side remain in fifth, a point behind Queen of the South in the final play-off place.
Regular number one Mark Ridgers missed out for Inverness with a back spasm and Owain Fon Williams, recently returned from a loan spell in the US, had a groin strain, which meant a start for Cammy Mackay, who spent the first half of the season with Highland League side Rothes.
New signings Darren McCauley and Anthony McDonald were both on the bench, with McCauley handed the number eight jersey given to Angus Beith at the start of the season. The future of the ex-Hearts kid looks uncertain, given he has yet to make an appearance since joining last summer.
Nathan Austin, handed a start ahead of George Oakley, was first to threaten after just 80 seconds, with debutant goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne turning his shot behind.
Mackay’s long clearance played in Aaron Doran on nine minutes, via Austin’s flick-on, but the Irish winger shot low at Burgoyne.
Their early pressure paid off on 13 minutes as Rooney notched his fifth of the season, diverting Joe Chalmers’ clever low free-kick beyond a stranded Burgoyne.
Falkirk were offering little in attack and frustrated their own fans with the ease in which they afforded Caley Thistle opportunities. Had Austin been aware he had more time when Doran picked him out, unmarked, he may well have taken a touch and finished rather than head straight at the goalkeeper.
Burgoyne, on loan from Premier League side Wolves, was increasingly busy and pulled out a top-drawer save to keep out Doran again, who had let fly from 25 yards.
The equaliser came from the home side’s first shot on target on half an hour, as Mark Waddington’s cross was allowed to travel across the penalty area and Rudden tapped in unmarked.
The Caley Jags had plenty of opportunities for a second goal before the break and another on 42 minutes, courtesy of Jordan White after Liam Polworth’s pass, was blocked comfortably by the home defence.
Doran gave the visitors the lead again in spectacular fashion just before half-time, as Polworth’s clipped free-kick landed in his path. He took a touch and struck a sweet volley that crashed into the top corner.
Inverness started off the second half in control, with Doran and Polworth to the fore, but were again missing a killer instinct to finish off Falkirk.
They were made to pay in bizarre circumstances on 56 minutes as McShane’s inswinging corner from the left floated straight over Mackay and in at the far post.
Doran limped off on 64 minutes with what looked like a groin complaint, handing McCauley the chance to impress on his debut.
Polworth grazed the upright with 15 minutes to go and substitute George Oakley had a header repelled by Burgoyne, as Inverness sought to go in front for a third time.
Both McDonald and McCauley dragged shots wide of Burgoyne’s goal, as the Caley Jags were unable to snatch a late winner.