Ross County 0-0 Inverness CT

By Charles BannermanBBC Scotland

Ross County missed the opportunity to overtake Inverness Caledonian Thistle in a highly charged Highland derby.

County's Evangelos Ikonomou had a first-half shot deflected wide after Ivan Sproule's impressive wing play.

Tempers flared as Iain Vigurs put in a heavy challenge on Caley's David Raven, which led to an angry exchange between managers Derek Adams and Terry Butcher.

Later, Mihael Kovacevic went close and Inverness claimed for a penalty when Ikonomou felled Graeme Shinnie.

The clash they call "El Kessocko", after the bridge which separates the two communities, was part of the clubs' push for a European place and was played in front of 5,959 fans.

This was the first time the teams had met in the SPL with them both as top-six clubs.

The opening 45 minutes produced little in terms of clear-cut chances although early on Owain Tudur Jones fed Inverness captain Richie Foran who was back in the starting 11 after injury and his ball from the right just eluded Billy McKay as he slid in.

At the other end Sproule could not control a promising ball over the top while Vigurs rounded David Raven but fatally delayed his cross.

County's best first-half chance came when Sproule out on the right found Oikonomou but his thunderbolt was deflected clear by Raven. Then it was Inverness's turn to come close when Ross Draper's effort was cleared off the line.

On the half-hour Vigurs put in a robust tackle on Raven, who retaliated and both players received yellow cards. Meanwhile, the managers began to square up to each other over the incident and had to be separated by officials.

In the second half Andrew Shinnie looked through on goal only to be denied by a crucial tackle from Grant Munro before Kovacevic beat Graeme Shinnie but his searing shot just skirted the left post.

Soon after the same player came just as close to the other side of the woodwork.

The Global Energy Stadium erupted when Oikonomou appeared to upend Graeme Shinnie in the box but referee Steven MacLean instead booked the Inverness player, apparently for diving.

Inverness remain in third place in the table, three points behind Motherwell in second, while County, in fourth, are just a point outside the European places.

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