19 Nov Ross County climb off the bottom of Premiership
Ross County use their heads to climb off the bottom of Ladbrokes Premiership
Ross County won 4-2 at St Johnstone, with four headed goals lifting the Staggies off the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership and giving them a first win in 11 matches.
Jay McEveley and Christopher Routis struck in a first half performance that belied County’s lowly position at the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
A third header from Craig Curran just after the hour mark made it 3-0, before Danny Swanson gave Saints hope with a penalty just two minutes later.
Steven MacLean’s emphatic finish in the 80th minute looked to have set up a grandstand finish but Liam Boyce’s deflected header four minutes later ensured the three points would be heading north.
Saints held the upper hand early on but the Highlanders worked their way into the match and took a surprise lead in the 24th minute.
Michael Gardyne earned a corner with a shot that deflected over and when Chris Burke curled a superb ball in from the set-piece McEveley reacted quickest to nod in.
The goal shocked the home side and before they could recover they were two behind just 13 minutes later.
Zander Clark was forced to beat away a Craig Curran shot as County picked holes in an anxious Saints rearguard. And when Burke floated in a cross from the loose ball midfielder Routis rose unchallenged to head in.
Changes in the home ranks were certain at the break and manager Tommy Wright introduced Chris Kane in attack and Tam Scobbie in defence in a bid to spark a revival.
County’s half-time substitution was enforced, with goalkeeper Scott Fox succumbing to injury and being replaced by summer signing Aaron McCarey.
Unusually, Saints were also then forced to change their goalkeeper six minutes into the second period when Alan Mannus came on for Clark, who left the field holding his hip.
Almost the first thing Mannus had to do was pick the ball out of the net as County went three ahead in the 63rd minute.
David Wotherspoon was guilty of gifting possession to the visitors in the centre circle and a swift counter-attack saw Boyce’s cross powered in by the head of Curran.
Saints at least gave themselves some hope when they pulled one back two minutes later – McEveley was guilty of handling Paul Paton’s shot and Swanson swept in from the spot.
And with 10 minutes remaining they threatened an unlikely comeback when Brian Easton’s pinpoint cross from the left was thumped in on the volley by MacLean.
However, County immediately took the wind from Saints’ sails with a fourth goal just four minutes later, Boyce’s header ricocheting off a defender to wrong-foot Mannus.