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Inverness played out a goalless draw away at League One Montrose in the first leg of their play-off semi-final as they seek to avoid being relegated from the Scottish Championship.

Against the side that finished fourth in the third tier, the closest Inverness came to snatching a victory to take into the return leg came on the stroke of half-time, Samson Lawal lashing a shot against the crossbar from range.

Having been condemned to the relegation play-off on the final day of the regular season despite beating Greenock Morton, the visitors dug in for a draw as they cling to their Championship status, having not play outside of the top two divisions since 1999.

For Montrose, who occupied the final play-off spot in League One despite finishing 37 points behind champions Falkirk, Aidan Quinn went close when he headed at goal from Michael Gardyne’s pinpoint cross midway through the second half, but saw his effort well saved.

The sides meet again at Inverness’ Caledonian Stadium on Saturday for the right to play either Hamilton or Alloa in the final.