Kilmarnock battled from two goals down to claim a precious Ladbrokes Premiership point at Ross County on Tuesday night.
Two goals inside 10 first-half minutes from Chris Routis and Jason Naismith appeared to have set the Staggies on course for a home win, especially with Killie having lost two players – Gordon Greer and Stuart Findlay to injury.
But the visitors produced a stirring display after the interval, and goals from Eamonn Brophy and Kris Boyd earned them a 2-2 draw.
The home team started brightly, Chris Eagles letting fly from more than 25 yards after just three minutes. The shot skidded awkwardly in front of Jamie MacDonald, but the Kilmarnock goalkeeper did well to smother the ball low to his right.
Jamie Lindsay then side-footed well wide of the target from a good position on 10 minutes following Routis’ cut-back on the left.
Killie then went close to scoring at the other end following an incisive move sparked by Alan Power’s driving run through the middle. He fed Kris Boyd, who knocked it into the path of Brophy.
His powerful low 20-yard effort looked certain to zip inside the left post, but County keeper Scott Fox produced a stunning save, plunging down and getting his right hand on the ball to turn it away.
Owen Coyle’s side were soon back on the attack and, after Killie defender Stephen O’Donnell miscued an attempted clearance on the left, the ball was swiftly switched inside to Craig Curran, who curled a brilliant swerving shot around keeper MacDonald but inches over the bar.
Killie had another lucky escape just after the half-hour mark when their captain Boyd misjudged a deep, diagonal cross from the far side by Eagles and sliced it backwards over his own crossbar.
However, Eagles picked out Routis from the resulting corner and he placed a magnificent, side-footed volley from 10 yards high into the net on 31 minutes.
County doubled their advantage courtesy of a fine header from Naismith four minutes before the break.
He glided into the box to meet a free-kick from Eagles on the right and looped a fabulous effort over MacDonald, the ball dropping under the bar at the left post.
Killie had County pegged back for long spells in the second period, but the Dingwall defence held out until Brophy picked up the ball on the edge of the box and turned to rifle in a ferocious shot on 61 minutes.
The visitors dominated the encounter after that and Staggies had to defend desperately to maintain their slender lead.
And they looked like holding out until four minutes from the end, when Boyd met a cross from substitute Chris Burke and his deflected header left keeper Fox flat-footed for the equaliser.