EDINBURGH - Nine men Inverness reached their first domestic cup final as they defeated Hearts on penalties following a dramatic League Cup semi-final at Easter Road yesterday which ended 2-2 after extra-time.
After a goalless first half, Inverness took the lead in the 54th minute through a Greg Tansey thunderbolt before Jamie Hamill scored twice in two minutes to give Hearts the advantage after Gary Warren had been ordered off.
Inverness were reduced to nine men when Josh Meekings was shown a straight red but, against the odds, grabbed a stoppage time equaliser through Nick Ross.
The Jambos failed to make their two-man advantage count in extra time and it was Draper who scored the decisive kick to send the Highlanders through to March's final as they exacted revenge for last year's semi-final defeat on penalties to the same opponents.
Inverness will meet Aberdeen, who saw off St Johnstone on Sunday, in the final while Hearts will turn their attention back to trying to claw their way off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table.
Inverness manager John Hughes couldn't hide his delight.
"Someone up there likes me and the boys thoroughly deserve it.
"I have to say I don't think Gary Warren's first one was a yellow card and I don't think Josh Meekings was a red card. It could make it a bit of a lottery in the final with our two centre-halves missing."
Hearts manager Gary Locke said his side had blown a great chance to get to a final.
"It is very cruel, but we've only got ourselves to blame. We had the ball in the corner with a minute to go and, instead of keeping it there, we lose it and they go up and score.
"We did great to get ourselves back into the game and we should have seen the game out."