Nikolay Todorov struck late to secure a point for Caley Thistle in a 1-1 Championship draw with Ayr United.
The Honest Men looked to be taking the three points back to Somerset Park when debutant Innes Cameron handed them the lead early in the second half, however Bulgarian Todorov struck to secure a first point of the campaign for John Robertson’s side.
Inverness made two enforced changes from the side which went down 3-1 on the opening day against Dunfermline, with Sean Welsh and Kevin McHattie sidelined through injury and replaced by Danny Devine and Cameron Harper.
Although light in numbers, with four teenagers making the outfield substitutes, the Highlanders were boosted by the return to fitness of striker Nikolay Todorov who had suffered a bruised rib against Dunfermline.
Todorov was inches from netting his second goal of the season in the early stages after meeting a fine cross from Harper, however his header came back off the underside of the crossbar.
Ayr threatened on 18 minutes when Cammy Smith saw an effort from the edge of the box parried by Ridgers, who was quick to grasp the ball following Brad Mckay’s ricocheted clearance from a Bruce Anderson cutback.
Ridgers had to react sharply four minutes later when Anderson bore down on goal after shrugging off Devine, with the goalkeeper coming out to block at the feet of the on-loan Aberdeen forward.
Harper threatened for Inverness with a powerful free kick which was claimed by goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo on 26 minutes, while Daniel MacKay struck a long-range effort well wide moments later.
Todorov was denied by the woodwork for a second time on the half hour mark after being played through by a wonderful ball from MacKay, with his effort coming off the outside of the goalkeeper’s left-hand post.
MacKay curled a strike wide, however Harper spurned a glorious chance when he blasted over when clean through after being played through by James Keatings.
Ayr came close on 40 minutes when Jack Baird’s header from a Joe Chalmers corner was cleared off the line by Harper, while at the other end Sinisalo denied both Keatings and MacKay from long-range.
Mark Kerr’s side took the lead on 56 minutes however, with Cameron making an immediate impact following his loan move from Kilmarnock the previous day. The forward was played in by fellow debutant Smith, before sending a low drive across Ridgers’ goal.
Cameron saw another effort held by Ridgers 10 minutes later, with Inverness desperately searching for a leveller in the latter stages.
It came three minutes from time when young substitute Ryan Fyffe’s cross landed with Todorov, who struck a crisp low finish into Sinisalo’s bottom right corner from 14 yards.
Ayr could have regained their lead in stoppage time when Smtih’s free-kick forced an outstanding fingertip save from Ridgers, however the points were shared.