Marley Watkins scored his third goal in as many games to claim a point for Inverness from a 1-1 draw but it was the goalkeepers who stood out in a Highland derby of contrasting halves.Inverness Ct Vs Ross County highlights.
But the match completely turned around in the 49th minute when Watkins converted Ryan Christie’s deflected cross.
Caley Thistle immediately took control but some superb goalkeeping from Mark Brown earned his team a 1-1 draw as County withstood a late barrage.
Inverness striker Billy McKay saw a shot saved inside 90 seconds after a cutting move but the early chance was a false indicator of what was to come in the first half.
County pressed high up the park and reaped the benefits as the hosts consistently got themselves into trouble with some sloppy passing inside their own half.
Rocco Quinn soon scuffed a shot wide and County should have gone ahead when a poor pass from Gary Warren was followed by an even worse one from Ross Draper to put Filip Kiss through on goal, but Brill came out to block and Jackson Irvine volleyed the rebound wide.
The opener did not take long in coming. Caley Thistle were again penned deep and their defence was caught flat-footed as Quinn sent over a looping first-time cross which Arquin met from six yards to guide into the net.
Warren screamed at Brill for not coming to take the cross but it came over at pace and Josh Meekings had been marking the Frenchman, only to let him go.
County continued to push forward and Quinn volleyed well over before missing the first of two excellent chances around the 33-minute mark.
Some great skill from Irvine set up Quinn but he delayed his shot slightly and Brill saved with his legs.
Kiss showed brilliant balance, skill and awareness to play in Arquin seconds later but the forward hit his shot too close to Brill, who stood up and palmed it away.
Caley Thistle nearly got an ill-deserved leveller six minutes to the break when Christie got a foot to Greg Tansey’s tantalising cross but Brown palmed the ball over.
County were soon threatening again when Brill dived to push Graham Carey’s curling free-kick wide and they took just 15 seconds to get their first shot in after the break when Arquin turned Warren inside the box, but he blazed well over.
Quinn soon went off with an injury to be replaced by Jake Jervis and Inverness equalised seconds later.
Christie sent in a left-wing cross that looped up off County defender Scott Boyd’s head and fell perfectly for the unmarked Watkins, who cushioned a volley into the far corner from six yards.
Inverness sprang to life and Brown saved a decent long-range volley from Aaron Doran before Irvine made a goal-saving challenge on Warren inside the six-yard box after Doran’s low cross.
Inverness kept up the pressure and Carey was fortunate to stay on the park – he had already been booked for scything down Doran when he pulled back the Irish winger and then handled the ball.
Doran was causing havoc and he set up Watkins after a 60-yard run but Brown made a superb save with his feet.
Bizarrely, John Hughes brought the Irishman off for Danny Williams before the corner could be taken.
McKay was then handed a good chance to net his first goal since the opening day of the season when Watkins put him through with a back heel but he fired inches wide under pressure from Ben Frempah.
Brown pulled off a stunning late save to extend McKay’s goal drought to 10 games when he tipped the forward’s close-range flick over following Warren’s head-on.
The goalkeeper stopped Draper’s powerful effort and another strike from Christie after great skill from the Scotland Under-21 player before some last-gasp blocks from his team-mates ensured the point.Follow @Football7x24