Marius Zaliukas converted a last-minute penalty to earn troubled Hearts a share of the spoils at Inverness.

The Tynecastle skipper stepped up on his 29th birthday following a trip on Callum Paterson by Owain Tudur Jones.

The Welshman had earlier fired Inverness in front with his first goal for the club; a thunderous strike.

The late equaliser will provide some joy for Hearts in a week when they fell under the threat of a winding-up order over an unpaid tax bill.

Inverness, who are now 10 games unbeaten, remain third in the Scottish Premier League, having squandered the chance to join front-runners Celtic and Hibernian on 21 points.

Hearts, who are fighting to address a £2m shortfall in funding, stay in 10th spot.

The Highlanders first threatened when Aaron Doran found Andrew Shinnie with a lofted pass over the Hearts defence but the Caley Thistle midfielder scuffed his volley into the turf and Jamie Macdonald saved comfortably.

However, there was nothing the Hearts keeper could do to stop the in-form home side taking the lead on 21 minutes.

Welsh international Jones collected a flicked pass from Andrew Shinnie and simply hammered a blistering strike into the back of the net from 25 yards.

Hearts offered little in an attacking sense in the opening 45 minutes, with Ryan Stevenson failing to trouble Antonio Reguero with three efforts from distance and Callum Paterson twice seeing efforts blocked inside the penalty box.

Inverness were far more incisive going forward and striker Billy McKay eased past Andy Webster only to shoot wide from edge of penalty area.

A few minutes before the interval, McKay was crowded out by the visiting defence but managed to set up a shooting chance for skipper Richie Foran, who drew a good diving save from Macdonald from 20 yards.

Hearts introduced Andrew Driver and Dylan McGowan at the start of the second half, with Arvydas Novikovas and Mehdi Taouil making way.

The visitors looked livelier after the changes but Inverness were a menace on the break, with Andrew Shinnie stealing in behind the Hearts defence again on 55 minutes.

The midfielder cut in from the right of the penalty area but could not beat Macdonald with his powerful angled strike. The ball was worked back to Jones, who connected well from 20 yards but his shot was bravely blocked by Zaliukas.

Reguero flapped at a Danny Grainger corner, allowing Zaliukas a glimpse of goal and the Lithuanian's shot was charged down by a defender in blue.

More last-ditch defending from Terry Butcher's side denied Stevenson, who had two cracks at goal thwarted.

Hearts continued to press without causing too many problems for Reguero.

But their industry was rewarded when referee Willie Collum awarded the visitors a penalty in the closing stages.

Paterson was upended by Jones, who was attempting a clearance, and Zaliukas told Stevenson to step aside before coolly sending Reguero the wrong way from the spot to salvage a point for his side.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 12 Reguero
  • 02 Raven
  • 03 Shinnie Booked
  • 05 Warren
  • 14 Meekings
  • 04 Tudur-Jones
  • 10 Shinnie (Morrison - 85' )
  • 07 McKay
  • 09 Foran
  • 17 Doran
  • 23 Roberts (Sutherland - 64' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Mathieson
  • 24 Brislen-Hall
  • 32 Cooper
  • 19 Morrison
  • 21 Polworth
  • 18 Sutherland
  • 26 Martins

Heart of Midlothian

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 03 Grainger Booked
  • 04 McGowan
  • 05 Barr (Sutton - 77' )
  • 06 Webster
  • 26 Zaliukas
  • 33 Paterson
  • 07 Stevenson
  • 10 Taouil (McGowan - 46' Booked )
  • 15 Holt
  • 18 Novikovas (Driver - 46' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Enckelman
  • 14 Walker
  • 29 McHattie
  • 11 Driver
  • 19 McGowan
  • 09 Sutton
  • 12 Smith
Ref: Collum
Att: 3,332

Match Stats

Shots

7 15

On target

5 9

Corners

4 5

Fouls

10 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:06 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +1:08

Foul by Richie Foran on Jamie MacDonald, free kick awarded. Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.

90:00 +0:30

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Aaron Doran.

90:00 +0:06

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Aaron Doran, clearance made by Marius Zaliukas.

89:20

Assist on the goal came from Callum Paterson.

89:20 Goal scored

Goal! - Marius Zaliukas - Inverness 1 - 1 Hearts Penalty taken right-footed by Marius Zaliukas and scored. Inverness CT 1-1 Hearts.

88:23

Owain Tudur Jones concedes a Penalty for a foul on Callum Paterson.

86:29

Andy Webster fouled by Billy McKay, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Grainger takes the free kick.

84:40 Substitution

Substitution Gavin Morrison comes on in place of Andrew Shinnie.

84:28

Marius Zaliukas produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.

83:48

Corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the left by-line to the near post, Graeme Shinnie makes a clearance.

81:35

Close range header by John Sutton goes over the bar.

76:03 Substitution

Substitution John Sutton replaces Darren Barr.

75:43 Booking

Booking Dylan McGowan booked.

72:42

Jason Holt produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.

72:21

Corner from the left by-line taken by Daniel Grainger, Owain Tudur Jones manages to make a clearance.

72:11

Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Josh Meekings gets a block in.

71:35

Marius Zaliukas takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

68:09

The offside flag is raised against Andrew Shinnie. Indirect free kick taken by Andy Webster.

66:08

Graeme Shinnie takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Andy Webster.

63:59 Substitution

Substitution Shane Sutherland is brought on as a substitute for Philip Roberts.

61:18

Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Blocked by Josh Meekings.

61:01

Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Antonio Reguero makes a save.

59:34

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger from the right by-line, Marius Zaliukas takes a shot. Blocked by Owain Tudur Jones.

57:46

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Josh Meekings by Callum Paterson. Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.

56:17

Owain Tudur Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Andy Webster.

56:00

Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Save made by Jamie MacDonald.

51:17

Andy Webster takes the direct free kick.

51:17 Booking

Booking Graeme Shinnie shown a yellow card.

51:09

Graeme Shinnie concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan McGowan.

49:06

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Josh Meekings by Andrew Driver. Free kick taken by Antonio Reguero.

48:13

Andy Webster fouled by Billy McKay, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.

46:55

The referee blows for offside. Andy Webster takes the indirect free kick.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Dylan McGowan joins the action as a substitute, replacing Mehdi Taouil.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Andrew Driver on for Arvydas Novikovas.

45:00 +0:08 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

44:34

Richie Foran takes a shot. Save made by Jamie MacDonald.

42:22

Effort on goal by Jason Holt from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

41:04

Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Save made by Antonio Reguero.

39:10

Foul by Gary Warren on Jason Holt, free kick awarded. Mehdi Taouil takes the direct free kick.

38:03

Arvydas Novikovas produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

37:02

Foul by Richie Foran on Callum Paterson, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Daniel Grainger.

35:31

Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Save made by Antonio Reguero.

33:03

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Stevenson, clearance by Billy McKay.

32:48

Callum Paterson takes a shot. Gary Warren gets a block in.

30:06

Billy McKay produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.

29:15 Booking

Booking Booking for Daniel Grainger.

29:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Grainger on Aaron Doran. Aaron Doran takes the free kick.

28:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Warren by Ryan Stevenson. Owain Tudur Jones takes the free kick.

27:07

Antonio Reguero fouled by Ryan Stevenson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Antonio Reguero.

24:34

Effort on goal by Richie Foran from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.

22:00

Unfair challenge on Callum Paterson by Graeme Shinnie results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ryan Stevenson from right channel.

18:01

Assist by Andrew Shinnie.

18:01 Goal scored

Goal! - Owain Tudur Jones - Inverness 1 - 0 Hearts Owain Tudur Jones fires in a goal from outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 1-0 Hearts.

14:40

Shot by Ryan Stevenson. Save by Antonio Reguero.

13:56

Billy McKay gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marius Zaliukas. Free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.

11:25

Corner taken by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line, Marius Zaliukas makes a clearance.

10:45

Callum Paterson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Owain Tudur Jones. Free kick crossed right-footed by Aaron Doran, clearance made by Andy Webster.

7:58

Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Save by Jamie MacDonald.

6:47

Outswinging corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Owain Tudur Jones.

6:36

Callum Paterson takes a shot. Gary Warren gets a block in.

5:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Barr on Andrew Shinnie. Graeme Shinnie restarts play with the free kick.

3:08

Foul by Jason Holt on Richie Foran, free kick awarded. Graeme Shinnie takes the free kick.

2:11

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Stevenson on Josh Meekings. Antonio Reguero takes the direct free kick.

0:37

Foul by Andrew Shinnie on Jason Holt, free kick awarded. Jason Holt restarts play with the free kick.

0:00

The match begins.

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