High-scoring Scottish Premier League rivals Inverness CT and Dundee United could only manage a goalless draw at the Caledonian Stadium.
United striker Jon Daly and Inverness counterpart Billy McKay came close with headers in the opening half-hour.
Andrew Shinnie tested visiting goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak shortly before the break.
And a John Rankin shot that deflected off team-mate Daly was gathered on the line by Ryan Esson in the second half.
The two previous games between these sides produced twelve goals but this game drew a blank, with a point apiece meaning the hosts drop to third place while United rise to eighth.
There was a moment of high controversy with 13 minutes left amid strong claims from United that Daly's effort had gone over the line but referee Brian Colvin disagreed.
The visitors were also unhappy about a strong challenge from Josh Meekings that forced Johnny Russell off injured in the first half.
The first attack came from Inverness when McKay crossed to Aaron Doran in a promising position on the left but the midfielder put the ball well over the crossbar.
Nick Ross produced a similar effort from the other flank before Owain Tudur Jones headed Doran's cross just past the right post.
United skipper Daly had a golden opportunity midway through the first half but headed Willo Flood's cross wide from close range.
McKay then forced the first meaningful save from Cierzniak, with the Northern Irishman's header from the edge of the box coming from another good Doran delivery.
Meekings picked up a yellow card for a late tackle on Russell and the striker, who had five goals in five games, had to hobble off on 38 minutes.
Andrew Shinnie might have made the breakthrough in the final minute of the half but his volley from the edge of the area was turned wide by Cierzniak.
Daly headed over a Flood free-kick from six yards just before the hour, while Andrew Shinnie had two more efforts saved.
United full-back Barry Douglas fizzed a long-range free-kick past the post, while Esson excelled 12 minutes from time with a smart save as Rankin's shot from the edge of the area was deflected off Daly en route to goal.
United protested that the ball had crossed but the referee judged that the keeper's desperate efforts to kill the ball had paid off before it crossed the line.
Jackie McNamara's side mounted a final charge into stoppage time but three efforts in quick succession were all denied as the game remained goalless.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
- 01 Esson
- 02 Raven
- 03 Shinnie
- 14 Meekings Booked
- 27 Devine
- 04 Tudur-Jones
- 08 Draper
- 10 Shinnie
- 11 Ross (Sutherland - 80' )
- 17 Doran
- 07 McKay (Foran - 80' )
- 12 Reguero
- 28 Taylor
- 20 Laing
- 21 Polworth
- 22 Pepper
- 09 Foran
- 18 Sutherland
- 01 Cierzniak
- 02 Dillon
- 03 Douglas
- 04 McLean
- 12 Watson
- 06 Flood Booked
- 08 Rankin
- 11 Mackay-Steven
- 07 Russell (Armstrong - 38' )
- 09 Daly
- 15 Gardyne
- 13 Banks
- 44 Souttar
- 10 Ryan
- 14 Millar
- 16 Armstrong
- 18 Dow
- 27 Thomson
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +1:16
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood from the left by-line.87:37
Richie Foran takes a shot. Save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.86:20
Foul by Ross Draper on John Rankin, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Sean Dillon.82:11
Josh Meekings is adjudged to have handled the ball. Stuart Armstrong takes the indirect free kick.79:46 Substitution
Substitution Richie Foran replaces Billy McKay.79:46 Substitution
Substitution Shane Sutherland joins the action as a substitute, replacing Nick Ross.78:40
Shot by David Raven cleared the net.78:07
Corner from the left by-line taken by Aaron Doran, clearance by Jon Daly.77:13
Michael Gardyne takes a shot. Ryan Esson makes a save.75:56
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood from the left by-line.74:57
Free kick awarded for a foul by Owain Tudur Jones on Stuart Armstrong. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Barry Douglas from right wing, clearance made by Graeme Shinnie.72:55
Michael Gardyne fouled by Daniel Devine, the ref awards a free kick. Barry Douglas has an effort direct from the free kick.69:07
Stuart Armstrong has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.68:02
Graeme Shinnie takes the direct free kick.68:02 Booking
Booking Willo Flood is given a yellow card.67:54
Willo Flood challenges Nick Ross unfairly and gives away a free kick.66:16
Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.63:55
Effort on goal by Stuart Armstrong from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.62:42
Stuart Armstrong produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.
Andrew Shinnie has an effort at goal. Save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.57:24
Graeme Shinnie is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Willo Flood takes the direct free kick.55:38
Unfair challenge on John Rankin by Ross Draper results in a free kick. The ball is delivered by Willo Flood, Jon Daly has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.54:23
Foul by Willo Flood on Andrew Shinnie, free kick awarded. Aaron Doran takes the free kick.53:00
Foul by Ross Draper on Stuart Armstrong, free kick awarded. Willo Flood takes the direct free kick.52:44
Aaron Doran concedes a free kick for a foul on John Rankin. Willo Flood takes the free kick.49:50
Foul by John Rankin on Andrew Shinnie, free kick awarded. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Andrew Shinnie.49:06
Stuart Armstrong takes a shot from 18 yards. Ryan Esson makes a save.45:48
Michael Gardyne is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Ryan Esson.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +2:06 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +0:20
Free kick awarded for a foul by Billy McKay on Radoslaw Cierzniak. Radoslaw Cierzniak takes the free kick.44:23
Corner taken by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by John Rankin.43:18
Foul by Aaron Doran on Barry Douglas, free kick awarded. Barry Douglas restarts play with the free kick.40:05
Foul by Graeme Shinnie on John Rankin, free kick awarded. Barry Douglas takes the indirect free kick.39:16
Ross Draper fouled by Stuart Armstrong, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan Esson.38:21
Foul by Barry Douglas on Andrew Shinnie, free kick awarded. David Raven takes the free kick.37:38 Substitution
Substitution Johnny Russell goes off and Stuart Armstrong comes on.30:04
Aaron Doran takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a save.28:30
Billy McKay takes a shot. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.25:36
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie, John Rankin makes a clearance.23:10
Shot from 20 yards by Andrew Shinnie. Brian McLean gets a block in.21:06
Jon Daly produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.20:36
Corner taken by Willo Flood from the left by-line.18:26
Unfair challenge on Ross Draper by Jon Daly results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Esson.15:53
Ross Draper gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Rankin. Sean Dillon takes the indirect free kick.15:53 Booking
Booking Josh Meekings goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.13:55
Effort on goal by Johnny Russell from inside the box misses to the right of the target.11:02
Corner taken by Aaron Doran from the left by-line, Header by Owain Tudur Jones from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.10:23
Gary Mackay-Steven challenges Graeme Shinnie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Graeme Shinnie takes the indirect free kick.4:23
Graeme Shinnie fouled by Willo Flood, the ref awards a free kick. Owain Tudur Jones takes the free kick.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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