Hibernian's unbeaten SPL run stretched to six matches with a 2-2 draw against a determined Inverness side at Easter Road, but the team in bottle green were left to rue a missed opportunity to go top of the table.
Even without injured leading marksman Leigh Griffiths, Hibs attacked with purpose and panache and thoroughly deserved to go two goals up after 31 minutes.
Hibs had started the game brightly and both David Wotherspoon (narrowly wide) and Ross Caldwell (side-netting) had come agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock.
But the breakthrough eventually arrived through Eoin Doyle, who produced one of his most potent performances to date in a green shirt.
Embarking on a run five yards inside the Inverness half, the red-haired striker burst through and shrugged off a challenge before getting a low shot away that was saved.
But rather than see the chance extinguished, the Irishman showed great alertness to be the first to react to the second ball and slid his shot into the net.
A deserved goal and Hibs were in a buoyant and upbeat mood - suggesting there were more goals to follow.
The second duly arrived and it turned out to be a certified contender for goal of the season. The ball was dispatched from the left flank and Wotherspoon connected and displayed technical excellence to steer his right-footed strike into the top corner of the net.
At that point, it seemed as if the game was dead and buried and Hibs were dominating every aspect of the match.
But for as impressive as Hibs were moving forward, the home side still looked slightly vulnerable at the back with keeper Ben Williams forced to produce a couple of top-class saves.
Then the pivotal moment of the match arrived when Inverness forward Conor Pepper scored via the post, although there was a strong suspicion at the time that the youngster had fouled Alan Maybury before finding the net.
Referee Euan Norris awarded the goal - much to the displeasure of a vocal Easter Road crowd. The goal, which arrived six minutes before the break, seemed to unnerve a previously assured and confident Hibs side.
After the interval, Hibs continued to surge forward searching for the killer third goal, but, largely thanks to the heroics of Inverness keeper Ryan Esson, drew a blank.
Gradually Hibs' previously crisp, unhurried and accurate passing went flat and the home side started to defend deeper and deeper as the game went on - inviting Inverness to press forward.
A ball into the box wasn't deal with properly and finally Inverness found their equaliser through captain Richie Foran with nine minutes to go, although keeper Williams was blameless having seconds earlier produced another brilliant stop.
Up the other end and Esson denied James McPake from point blank range and Hibernian's performance eventually fizzled out.
Admittedly this was a hiccup and, after chalking up a two-goal advantage, a draw was a disappointing outcome.
But it's also important to put the result into perspective - accept it, deal with it and move on.
There were lots of positives that came out of the performance and there are also lessons that can learned. Certain aspects can be improved upon and put right in time for next Saturday's trip north to Aberdeen.
In the midst of a morale-enhancing unbeaten streak, this was the first time that Hibs have dropped SPL points against a team that hasn't participated in European competition this season.
The hallmark of any successful and competitive team is how they react to the set-back and we will all see what happens at Pittodrie.
The fact that there was an overriding feeling of disappointment at the full-time whistle only further highlights just how much progress has happened at the club since May.
Finally continuing on the theme of positivity - midfielder Jorge Claros should be lauded for his performance. The Honduran controlled the match with some timely interceptions, spirited tackles and measured passes; he is a real asset to the team and should be applauded.
Hibernian: Ben Williams, Tim Clancy, James McPake, Paul Hanlon, Alan Maybury, David Wotherspoon, Jorge Claros, Gary Deegan, Paul Cairney, Ross Caldwell, Eoin Doyle
Subs: Calum Antell, Ryan McGivern, Lewis Stevenson, Ivan Sproule (for Wotherspoon 87), Danny Handling, Sammy Stanton, Shefki Kuqi