Inverness and Dundee United extended their respective winless runs to five with an eventful draw in the Highlands.

Billy McKay's early close-range opener was quickly cancelled out when Keith Watson headed United level.

Brian Graham fired against the post before Radoslaw Cierzniak saved a penalty by Caley Thistle's Nick Ross.

And United's Chris Erskine also watched his well-taken shot hit the inside of the upright as both sides chased the win that again evaded them.

As you were, then, in the Scottish Premiership with Dundee United and Inverness occupying fourth and fifth spot respectively.

When these sides last met, Caley Thistle's Scottish League Cup quarter-final win was overshadowed by a bad-tempered affair which culminated in a mass brawl between players on the pitch.

This time around in the Highlands, the headlines were for good, decent footballing reasons - despite Inverness manager John Hughes needing treatment for a head wound at half-time.

It was self-inflicted, though, because Hughes cracked his forehead off the dug-out when he jumped up to celebrate the opening goal.

McKay wasted little time in getting things off to a wholesome start by banging in his 18th of the season; swivelling on the six-yard box to dispatch Gary Warren's deflected header into the net following Danny Williams' corner.

But any ideas Hughes had of wrapping up his first home win early on were put to bed five minutes later.

Inverness boss John Hughes nurses a cut to his head after banging it off the dug-out

Inverness boss John Hughes nurses a cut to his head after banging it off the dug-out

United, too, showed their attacking competency from corner kicks as Watson rose to meet Gary Mackay-Steven's delivery to head firmly into Dean Brill's top corner.

The Caley Thistle goalkeeper has been a reliable presence for the hosts this season but a poor punch almost allowed the Tangerines to go in front.

It fell to John Rankin on the edge of the box and his blocked drive dropped for striker Graham to hammer off the post when most expected to see the net bulge.

On the half-hour it was United's turn for a blip, and not for the first time in recent games the culprit was John Souttar.

McKay's eyes must have lit up as the 17-year-old defender miscontrolled and the Northern Irishman sent in a low angled shot which Cierzniak dealt with routinely. His save for the cameras would follow minutes later.

With one hand, the Polish 'keeper turned over McKay's good header expertly after Aaron Doran had scuttled down the right-hand side to swing in a tasty cross.

A worrying-looking ankle injury to Graham provided Farid El Alagui with the chance to make his debut following his loan move from Brentford.

From another corner, Warren missed a brilliant opportunity to score before Brill had another awkward moment for the hosts.

Graeme Shinnie's back-pass went right under the English goalkeeper's foot and Brill had to sprint back and boot the ball out of touch when it was merely a yard from the net.

In contrast, Cierzniak's afternoon went from strength to strength; saving Ross's penalty after Souttar had tripped Shinnie following a neat one-two which had the full-back darting into the box.

Both teams were desperate for all three points and Erskine was extremely unlucky to see his steered left-footed effort rebound off the inside of Brill's left-hand post.

Mackay-Steven, who had set-up the former Partick Thistle midfielder, went clean-through only to be thwarted by Warren's last-ditch tackle.

And, in stoppage time, Caley Thistle's Doran slashed a low shot into the side-netting.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (4)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 12 Brill
  • 02 Raven
  • 18 Tremarco
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 05 Warren
  • 06 Meekings
  • 10 Doran
  • 20 Polworth
  • 07 McKay Booked
  • 11 Ross (Christie - 81' )
  • 19 Williams (Greenhalgh - 88' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Esson
  • 14 Devine
  • 17 Greenhalgh
  • 21 Pepper
  • 35 Gorman
  • 36 Christie
  • 40 Evans

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 12 Watson
  • 26 Robertson
  • 06 Paton
  • 20 Souttar
  • 05 Gunning
  • 17 Erskine
  • 08 Rankin
  • 09 Graham (El Alagui - 52' )
  • 10 Armstrong (Gauld - 84' )
  • 11 Mackay-Steven

Substitutes

  • 02 Dillon
  • 04 Butcher
  • 18 Dow
  • 19 Gauld
  • 25 McCallum
  • 27 Gomis
  • 29 El Alagui
Ref: John Beaton
Att: 2,980

Match Stats

Shots

12 7

On target

8 2

Corners

11 9

Fouls

12 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

90:00 +5:08 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

90:00 +4:48

Attempt missed. Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

90:00 +3:49

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

90:00 +2:28

Attempt missed. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

89:51

Attempt missed. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

89:21

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

89:21

Farid El Alagui (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:48

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

88:29

Attempt saved. Ben Greenhalgh (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

87:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Ben Greenhalgh replaces Danny Williams.

86:44 Booking

Booking Billy McKay (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card.

85:48

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

84:05

Foul by Danny Williams (Inverness CT).

84:05

Keith Watson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Ryan Gauld replaces Stuart Armstrong.

81:29

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:29

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dundee United).

80:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Ryan Christie replaces Nick Ross.

80:18

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:18

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dundee United).

78:55

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:55

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dundee United).

77:00

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:58

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

76:02

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:02

Foul by Gavin Gunning (Dundee United).

75:22

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Gary Warren.

74:13

Chris Erskine (Dundee United) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

72:00

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

72:00

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:10

Attempt missed. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

68:09

David Raven (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

68:09

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dundee United).

67:22

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:22

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United).

64:25

Attempt saved. Nick Ross (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

63:57

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

63:16

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United).

63:16

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:12

Penalty saved! Nick Ross (Inverness CT) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

62:00

Penalty Inverness CT. Graeme Shinnie draws a foul in the penalty area.

61:59

Penalty conceded by John Souttar (Dundee United) after a foul in the penalty area.

60:40

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Dean Brill.

59:14

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

58:53

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

58:53

Chris Erskine (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:00

Attempt missed. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

57:35

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Farid El Alagui.

57:11

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Keith Watson.

53:47

Foul by Danny Williams (Inverness CT).

53:47

Chris Erskine (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:41 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Farid El Alagui replaces Brian Graham because of an injury.

48:18

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

46:53

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

45:00

Second Half begins Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

45:00 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1.

43:00

Brian Graham (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:57

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

40:33

Attempt saved. Nick Ross (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

39:48

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

39:33

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

39:07

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

35:14

Attempt missed. Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

34:36

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

32:32

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:32

Foul by Aaron Doran (Inverness CT).

30:38

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

30:38

Aaron Doran (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:51

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

29:34

Foul by Brian Graham (Dundee United).

29:34

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

28:24

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

28:24

Foul by Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT).

26:08

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

24:58

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Nick Ross.

22:29

Brian Graham (Dundee United) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box.

22:03

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Danny Williams.

17:52

Foul by Keith Watson (Dundee United).

17:52

Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:00

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

13:58

Foul by Chris Erskine (Dundee United).

12:02

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Josh Meekings.

11:10

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Danny Williams.

9:49

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

9:16 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 1. Keith Watson (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Gary Mackay-Steven with a cross.

8:53

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Carl Tremarco.

8:29

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Dean Brill.

8:04

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the bottom right corner.

7:36

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

7:36

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:51 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 1, Dundee United 0. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

4:19

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

2:50

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:50

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

2:20

Hand ball by Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United).

1:37

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

1:37

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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