Mitch Curry came off the bench to earn Caley Thistle a 1-1 draw against Hearts in tonight’s Angus Beith benefit match at Tynecastle.
Anthony McDonald, who spent time on loan at Inverness last term, opened the scoring in the 20th minute but Caley Jags restored parity with 12 minutes to go when substitute Mitch Curry converted from a James Keatings corner.
The match was held to raise funds for former Hearts and Inverness player Beith, who was forced to retire from the game at the age of 23 due to a hip injury.
Beith, who received a guard of honour before the match, moved from the Jambos to Inverness last summer but was unable to feature for John Robertson’s side due to injury, announcing his retirement from the game in April.
Brazilian 17-year-old Matheus Machado started for the visitors, while midfielder David Carson was listed as a trialist with Caley Jags still awaiting international clearance to conclude the deal for the Englishman.
The hosts were forced to make an early change after eight minutes when Craig Wighton limped off and was replaced by Euan Henderson before Machado passed up a great chance to break the deadlock when he nodded wide from six yards.
Henderson almost found the top corner after a superb piece of skill from McDonald before Hearts made the breakthrough after 20 minutes through a well-worked free kick which culminated with Harry Cochrane crossing for McDonald to volley home from six yards out.
Caley Thistle goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, who was in inspired form throughout, made two excellent saves within a minute to thwart Henderson.
Nikolay Todorov went close to a leveller early in the second period when he nodded over before Jamie McCart pulled up with an injury and was replaced by Jordan White.
Another superb save from Ridgers denied McDonald a second before a Keatings effort fizzed over the crossbar at the other end.
But the visitors finally got their reward after 78 minutes when an in-swinging corner from Keatings was stabbed goalwards by Todorov with Curry bundling the ball over the line.
Hearts substitute Lewis Moore showed a neat turn of pace to create an opening soon after but Todorov, moved back to the centre of defence following the injury to McCart, made a smart interception.
The Jambos take on Dundee United in their Betfred Cup opener on Friday, while a friendly against St Johnstone on the same night is next up for Robertson’s men.