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Louis Moult’s spectacular strike spared cinch Scottish Championship leaders Dundee United’s blushes as they dropped two precious points in a 1-1 draw with lowly Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Both sides had early chances with Alex Greive going close for the hosts and Nathan Shaw threatening for the visitors, who took the lead with 12 minutes gone when Wallace Duffy pounced after goalkeeper Jack Walton had parried Aribim Pepple’s cross.

United responded and Ross Docherty forced keeper Mark Ridgers into an 18th-minute save before Glenn Middleton headed wide but they headed in at the break trailing despite a strong finish to the first half.

However, they got themselves back on level terms in eye-catching style 10 minutes after the restart when substitute Moult struck from long range.

Declan Gallagher smashed a 62nd-minute half-volley against a post and Ridgers denied Ross Graham in the aftermath before keeping out Docherty’s 70th-minute header to ensure the side which started the day in ninth place emerged with a point.