Kilmarnock made the longest trip in the Scottish Premiership to record their first away win of the season with a fine performance in Dingwall.
Impressive youngster Chris Johnston gave Killie the lead before Ross County responded with a well worked equaliser from Stuart Kettlewell.
Then, as half-time beckoned, Kris Boyd grabbed what turned out to be the winner with a 22-yard lob.
Kilmarnock missed chances to extend their lead with Boyd a regular threat.
The three points takes Allan Johnston's side out of second bottom spot, which is now occupied by Derek Adams' County.
Kilmarnock started strongly and the first real piece of action was Johnston's opener.
Boyd ran down the right and threaded a long square ball through the County defence to find the youngster at the back post and he finished from six yards out.
County responded and Kevin Luckassen dispossessed Jerone Tresselaar before feeding fellow Dutchman Melvin de Leeuw but his shot went wide from 20 yards.
There might also have been an equaliser if Graham Carely's ball had not narrowly missed De Leeuw's head.
However, Rocco Quinn started a fine four-man move that also involved Carey and, after De Leeuw's shot was blocked, Stuart Kettlewell netted the rebound from the edge of the box.
County might have taken the lead but De Leeuw's well-struck effort fizzed past the left post.
Boyd took his next opportunity better and, with the County defence posted missing, he had all the time in the world to hit a left footed lob over goalkeeper Mark Brown.
Killie spurned several chances to go ahead early in the second half and Johnston set up Boyd, whose shot came off the underside of the bar.
Then Michael Gardyne came close with a shot and a header as the Ayrshire side continued to press,
At the other end, De Leeuw sent an inviting ball across goal but there was no-one to connect with it and Luckassen put another effort over.
Boyd found the woodwork again - the right post this time - late on after a scintillating 70-yard run by Rory McKenzie.
But, in the end, the second half yielded no further addition to the scoresheet.
Ross County 01 Brown 02 Kovacevic 03 Gordon 18 Klok (Mustafi - 81' ) 05 Boyd 06 Micic (Glen - 65' ) 04 Kettlewell 23 Carey 19 Luckassen (Ross - 65' ) 10 Quinn 11 De Leeuw Substitutes 09 Mustafi 14 Maatsen 15 Glen 16 Cooper 17 Ross 20 Fraser 24 Dingwall Kilmarnock 01 Samson 16 Clohessy 02 Tesselaar 10 Johnston 30 Ashcroft 05 Irvine 13 Gabriel (Nicholson - 73' ) 23 McKeown 09 Boyd (Muirhead - 84' ) 25 Gardyne (McKenzie - 78' ) 28 Slater Substitutes 07 Nicholson 08 Clingan 12 Reguero 14 Silva 18 McKenzie 19 Ibrahim 33 Muirhead
Ref: Bobby Madden