Inverness CT 0-0 Aberdeen

Inverness and Aberdeen fought out a goalless draw as both sides missed the chance to boost their European hopes.

Niall McGinn crashed a first-half effort off the bar for the Dons, while the home side's Billy McKay was twice denied by Jamie Langfield.

Greg Tansey also went close for the hosts but his shot hit the bar.

A win would have taken second-placed Aberdeen six points clear of Motherwell, with Inverness passing up the chance to go fourth in the table.

And 'Well and Dundee United, third and fourth respectively, could consolidate their Scottish Premiership places on Saturday.

The home side had the first clear sight of goal after Marley Watkins broke forward from midfield.

Despite having his shirt pulled by Russell Anderson, Watkins stayed on his feet and set up McKay but Dons goalkeeper Langfield pulled off a brilliant one-handed save to turn his 15-yard shot wide.

Aaron Doran tried to recreate his stunning strike against Ross County in the recent Highland derby soon after, only to see his effort from the angle of the box curl over.

At the other end Jonny Hayes rose well at the back post to get on the end of Shaleum Logan's deep cross, but Inverness goalkeeper Dean Brill saved his header comfortably.

Marley Watkins and Mark Reynold battle for the ball
Marley Watkins goes down under a challenge from Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds

Aberdeen were within inches of taking the lead when Peter Pawlett showed great skill and pace to beat a couple of defenders before teeing up McGinn, whose shot cannoned back off the underside of the bar with Brill well beaten.

Inverness striker McKay passed up a glaring chance just before the break, shooting too close to Langfield from a few yards out after a wonderfully weighted pass from Doran.

Ross Draper glanced a near-post header narrowly over from a Doran corner as Inverness threatened first in the second half.

Gary Warren then did well at the back for the home side, clearing the ball in the nick of time as Pawlett looked to get on the end of Adam Rooney's downward header.

Derek McInnes replaced Hayes with Cammy Smith before Inverness introduced Ryan Christie in place of James Vincent.

The home side went close when Tansey slammed an effort off the bar following great work down the right by Watkins, with Logan doing well to clear as McKay tried to get on to the rebound.

McKay then latched on to an excellent cross-field pass from Christie but he could not beat Langfield.

Dons striker Calvin Zola came on for Rooney late in the game but it was McGinn who had the last real chance, shooting straight at Brill from close range after fine build-up play involving Flood.

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