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.

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