By Ramsay Banks
Goals from Arsenal loanee Harry Clarke and Jordan White weren’t enough for Ross County as they lost 4-2 against Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
Clarke scored his first goal since arriving from Arsenal to reduce the deficit in Dingwall after Joe Aribo and Connor Goldson put Rangers in front. Alfredo Morelos restored the away side’s two-goal advantage before Jordan White netted for County from the penalty spot. Scott Arfield ended the scoring to leave Malky Mackay’s side defeated in 10th.
Rangers started the match on the front foot and dominated possession. The away side took the warnings in their stride, but as the clock struck 15 minutes, Aribo struck a left foot shot past County keeper Ross Laidlaw. Steven Gerrard’s men refused to slow down after this. James Tavernier swung in a corner from the right and Goldson headed home.
County had to absorb some pressure before sending their reply to the champions, Ianis Hagi going close. After a small spell in the Gers half, the ball was given to on-loan Arsenal centre-back Clarke by fellow new signing Ben Paton, and Clarke dinked goalkeeper Allan McGregor. It was game on.
From the start of the second half, County played bravely, and improved from the first half, albeit without creating many major chances. This hope was almost killed though, when Morelos’ shot trundled into the County net.
Out of nowhere, Blair Spittal drew a handball out of Calvin Bassey, and Ross County had a penalty. White stepped up and finished emphatically but Arfield fully finished the game with a close-range finish as the home side threw bodies forward. Here are three things we learned.
Ross County resilient
After conceding three goals in eleven minutes against Hibs two weeks ago, you would have been forgiven for thinking County would lie down and go through the motions when they went 2-0 down in the first half. Goals against the Scottish champions are hard to come by, and despite falling to defeat again, there were promising signs.
New signings gel
The new signings combined to put County back into this match. Paton teed up Arsenal loanee Clarke for his first County goal while David Cancola made his maiden home start. Joseph Hungbo also debuted from the bench as the phasing in of bodies at the Dingwall club continues.
With both sets of fans back in numbers, an electric atmosphere came with it. Being urged forward by their respective supporters saw both teams seemingly enjoying the attacking elements of play. It’s brilliant to see after a season of no fans last term.
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