Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring and was back on the scoresheet, while centre back Ryan Edwards made it two goals in two games to sink the Staggies, allowing Micky Mellon’s men to look up instead of down again as they moved a point outside the top six.
Jermaine Hylton nearly had the home side ahead when he cut inside and rasped a shot the way of Benjamin Siegrist, but he dealt with it well and comfortably palmed away. Shankland had the best chance of the opening stages when he latched onto a ball which Leo Hjelde failed to clear.
He tried to round Ross Laidlaw, but the County number one made a brave diving save at the feet of the attacker to prevent a goal for the Tangerines. Tony Andreu should have made it 1-0 to Ross County soon after as he dribbled through two of his markers and cut inside. He attempted to fire his shot into the bottom left corner but it dragged past the post.
Ross County started the second half brightly and Jordan White had a huge opportunity to make it two in two games. Billy McKay found him free at the back post, but all Jordan White could do was smash it wide of the left hand post. Pressure was growing on the United defense.
A fantastic United counter-attack fueled by a poor County corner was the turning point in the match. Jeando Fuchs picked up the ball inside his own half and charged at the heart of the retreating Staggies backline. He managed to squeeze a pass over to Liam Smith who then fired the ball at Shankland.
He carried out a fine composed finish, beyond Laidlaw and into the bottom right corner. It was a sickener for Ross County, who had been dominating the second half. Dundee United quickly doubled their advantage from a corner, when some poor marking from the County defence led to Edwards dropping his marker. For the second game in a row, he powered a header home, and made it 2-0.
After the second United goal Ross County never looked like scoring, and the referee blew the full time whistle, United back to winning ways at last. Here are three things we learned.
Ross County rue missed chances
County could have found themselves a couple of goals ahead before United took the lead. With in-form striker Oli Shaw benched, it was down to White and McKay to grab the goals, but they didn’t have the same luck they did midweek against Hamilton Accies.
It was a blow to conceded the first and second shortly after for John Hughes, his side well in the match beforehand.
A game of set- pieces
It was well-organised set pieces which ultimately won Dundee United this match. Their first goal coming from a rapid counter-attack after a Stephen Kelly corner didn’t beat the first man.
For their second it was a brilliant delivery and a powerful Edwards header which made it game over for the Highland side. Credit to Mellon, as his set play set-ups were very well organised.
If Yogi’s Staggies picked up three points in this game, they had the opportunity to send themselves into ninth place. But after a third defeat of the season to Dundee United, the Staggies remain in 11th place, just four behind Hamilton, who have two games in hand.
The Staggies must start picking up consecutive wins if they want to avoid being in the bottom two spots. Hughes admitted pre-match too that home form had to improve, winning two games in Dingwall all season.
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