Caley Thistle and Morton drew 1-1 at the Caledonian Stadium in the third round of the Scottish Cup, meaning a replay is looming in Greenock.
Billy Mckay shot ICT into an early lead, but the creative visitors replied with nine minutes remaining through substitute Gavin Reilly. The replay will take place at Cappielow a week on Tuesday.
The Highlanders went into this all-Championship fixture fresh from a 2-1 league victory at Queen of the South last Friday, thanks to a couple of goals from in-form striker Billy Mckay.
Morton slipped to joint-bottom spot in the league on Saturday when, despite taking an early lead, they lost 2-1 to now joint-leaders Raith Rovers.
Both clubs have lifted the Scottish Cup once in their history, with Morton’s glory year being 1922 and ICT achieving it under John Hughes in 2015.
Last season, they both bowed out to Premiership opposition in round four, with Motherwell needing penalties to knock-out Morton and Caley Thistle going down bravely 2-1 at St Mirren.
Billy Dodds’ team won the only meeting with Morton this season, with a 2-0 home win in the league in October, but the Greenock side did win here as recently as March when they battled to stay in the division.
Same winning starters for Caley Jags
Dodds kept with the same starting 11 which triumphed at Dumfries eight days ago.
Morton manager Gus MacPherson made three changes, with Gary Oliver, Cameron Blues and Reece Lyon coming in for Thomas Allan, Kyle Jacobs and Reilly, who began the afternoon on the bench.
The hosts were quick out the traps, winning a couple of early corner. From the second Aaron Doran delivery, Reece McAlear volleyed wide when arriving late to the box.
At the other end, Oliver cracked a drive off the right post when it fell nicely into his path.
Shane Sutherland was next to have a go when his close-range header was kept out by keeper Jack Hamilton after Scott Allardice sent the ball into the danger zone.
Billy Mckay hits 10th goal of season
However, on 12 minutes ICT took the lead when, from a Sutherland pass from the right, Mckay nipped in ahead of captain Alan Lithgow to tap the ball past him and Hamilton for his 10th goal of the season.
The Highland side were playing some tidy football, but a slip-up at the back let Gozie Ugwu in and it needed a combined block from Mark Ridgers and McAlear to snuff out the threat.
Ugwu was at it again on 25 minutes, this time with a searing shot, which again Ridgers saved by tipping it over the top.
Morton continued to bare their teeth and Oliver guided a header just wide when he connected with a Lyon cross swept in from the right.
Just before the break, numerous attempts at goal rained in from Morton, but bodies were lining up to block them.
Lewis Strapp then headed wide of goal when he got on the end of a cross from Michael Ledger. ICT went in at half-time grateful for their lead.
Reilly rifles home Morton equaliser
Chances were far fewer to come by in the second half, with Ton doing most of the pressing without asking too many questions.
The tie was almost put to bed though on 67 minutes when Hamilton had to pull off a fine diving save to keep out a net-bound Sutherland header from a Carson cross.
With nine minutes left, Morton earned a second shot at Inverness when sub Reilly raced on to a long ball, cut around Ridgers and slotted the ball into the net.
There were suggestions the goalscorer had fouled Kirk Broadfoot to gain a way in and this was the suggestion by Dodds afterwards, but the goal stood.
So, they’ll do it again in Greenock on December 7 for a chance of reaching round four.
Both sides turn their attentions to the quarter-finals of the SPFL Trust Trophy, also known as the Challenge Cup, this week.
Joint holders Caley Thistle and Raith Rovers meet in Inverness on Tuesday, with the Ton travelling to Queen of the South for their last eight date on Wednesday.
CALEY THISTLE (4-4-2): Ridgers 7, Deas 6, Devine 6, Carson 6, Mckay 6, Doran 6, Sutherland 6, MacGregor 6 (Walsh 70), Broadfoot 6, Allardice 6, McAlear 6 (Welsh 70). Subs not used: MacKay (GK), Harper, Jamieson, McDonald, Duku.
MORTON (4-1-3-2): Hamilton 6, Ledger 6, Strapp 6, McEntee 6, Oliver 7, Blues 6 (Reilly 75), Lyon 6, Ugwu 7, McGrattan 6 (King 68), Oksanen 6, Lithgow 6. Subs not used: Hamilton (GK), Jacobs, Muirhead, Russell, Hynes, Easdale, Allan.
Referee: Colin Steven.
Man of the match: Gozie Ugwu.