Relegation-battling Kilmarnock and Ross County drew 2-2 at the BBSP Stadium in the first round of fixtures since the Scottish Premiership split.
First-half goals from Killie’s Chris Burke and Mitch Pinnock either side of a Michael Gardyne equaliser gave the hosts the lead at the interval.
But Alex Iacovitti’s leveller kept County just a point above their opponents in the table.
Killie started brightly and were rewarded early on as Burke scored his ninth league goal of the campaign.
He volleyed home from just inside the penalty box, leaving the Ross County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw with little chance, to give the hosts a third-minute lead.
County responded just two minutes later when a knock down by Billy Mckay was collected by Gardyne and the ex-Killie man showed great composure to cut inside on his left foot and fire home past keeper Colin Doyle at his near post.
The action continued as a late challenge by Jordan Tillson on Rory McKenzie brought the first yellow card of the game and the resulting free kick led to Killie retaking the lead in the 16th minute.
Pinnock brought the delivery down, turned and finished well on the half volley just inside the area for his second goal in three games.
Kilmarnock pushed for a third. Burke gathered possession in the middle of the County half and carried the ball into space before firing a tame shot down the throat of Laidlaw on his weaker left side.
County went close to levelling the scoring before the break when Gardyne received the ball on the right and again cut on to his left foot, but this time he fired narrowly wide of Doyle’s left-hand post.
The visitors remained in the ascendancy after half-time. Good work by Carl Tremarco saw his left-footed cross headed on to the post by Jordan White, with keeper Doyle beaten.
Skipper Iain Vigurs then sent in a free-kick into the heart of the Killie penalty area and Ross Draper’s glancing header went agonisingly wide as the snow started piling down in Ayrshire.
The pressure finally told when captain Vigurs fired in another teasing dead ball, this time from a corner, and centre-back Iacovitti rose highest to head County level once again.
Both sides went in search for a winner and White almost pouncing on a mistake from Arsenal loanee Zech Medley but his shot from an angle was comfortably saved by Killie goalkeeper Doyle.
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