St Mirren left Ross County with work to do in their Scottish Premiership survival bid with a 3-1 win for the Paisley club in Dingwall.
Lee Erwin, Ilkay Durmus and Jamie McGrath were the scorers as the Buddies fought back from a Jordan White opener to leave County sitting in the relegation play-off places, two points off Kilmarnock and safety but three clear of basement club Hamilton Accies.
St Mirren nearly had the lead just two minutes into the match when County made a mess of their defending but the final shot was scuffed wide by Jay Henderson on his first start for the club. Despite this half-chance, the opening 15 minutes were quiet in terms of goalmouth action.
White didn’t take long to change that when he put the home side 1-0 up on the 17th minute mark. He flicked a shot goalward after St Mirren failed to clear the ball and it wonderfully flew into the top left corner
Billy McKay should have put County 2-0 up when Jason Naismith flashed a lovely cross across the six yard box. McKay was just inches away from a touch on the ball which would have turned it beyond Buddies keeper Jak Alnwick.
Jordan Tillson, White and McKay all had big chances before former Ross County player Erwin scored as the second half started. Richard Tait made a driving run from left-back and whipped a lovely cross into the box. It landed right on Erwin who casually flicked it home.
It went from bad to worse for Ross County 30 minutes into the second half when Saints substitute Collin Quaner made a charging run to beat Alex Iacovitti to the long ball. He played a simple square pass over to Durmus who easily tucked it home. The visitors were in the driving seat.
In added-time, a penalty was awarded to the away side when Leo Hjelde slid to block the ball, which struck his arm. McGrath stepped up to take it and slotted it home. Here are three things we learned as County suffered a damaging defeat.
Missed chances haunt County
All throughout the game Ross County had glorious chances but they just couldn’t take them. Countless shots and headers going just wide of the mark was the story of the game for the Staggies. John Hughes will be gutted that his team couldn’t put this to bed.
Despite not playing their best football of the season, the Buddies leave Dingwall with three points as they look to secure seventh spot. It was a resolute performance and one in which they showed a great deal of character to fight back from behind to win the game, carrying numerous injuries pre-match.
Shift at the bottom
After a poor defeat, Ross County now find themselves in the play-off spot due to Kilmarnock’s victory over Dundee United. County now have three must-win games if they want to claw back a two-point gap and avoid a relegation match with a Championship side, or worse, finish bottom.
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