Graham Carey pounced after a defensive error two minutes from time to give Ross County victory over St Johnstone.

Both sides fielded new striking additions, but neither looked like breaking the deadlock in their Premiership meeting in Dingwall.

But Melvin De Leeuw stole the ball from Frazer Wright before setting up Carey to slide home the winning goal.

It secured County's second straight victory and consigned Saints to consecutive defeats.

Victory lifted the Highland outfit above Partick Thistle into 10th spot in the table, with the Perth side stuck in seventh.

The transformation of Derek Adams' County squad continued, with Evangelos Ikonomou replacing the injured Steven Saunders in defence after returning from six months with Veria in his Greek homeland.

Former Morton midfielder Michael Tidser could only make the bench after his loan move from Rotherham United.

It was the imminent loss of a player that forced one of St Johnstone's two changes, with Chris Millar coming into midfield in place of Gwion Edwards, who has decided to return to end his loan from Swansea City because he wanted more guarantees of first-team starts.

Despite the signing of Michael O'Halloran after the striker's departure from Bolton Wanderers, it was Nigel Hasselbaink who was given the nod up front in place of Scott Brown.

Neither side was able to create more than a couple of half chances for the first 20 minutes and it was one of County's new arrivals who threatened to score from the first clear sight of goal.

On-loan Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Slew, who set up two goals in the midweek win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle on his debut, should have opened his County account but headed wide from an Ikonomou cross.

Millar fired straight at County goalkeeper Michael Fraser at the other end when a cut-back might have created more realistic danger to the home goal.

Slew showed his quality with a fine volley on the turn after controlling a Ben Gordon cross, but goalkeeper Alan Mannus turned it over for a corner.

However, defences were on top and a fine block from left-back Ikonomou prevented a Stevie May drive reaching the County goal.

St Johnstone created the first opportunity of the second half, a Millar shot missing the top corner, while Brian McLean headed over at the other end.

David Wotherspoon had a sight of the County goal, but his curling drive to the back post was easily held by goalkeeper Fraser.

Carey side-footed the ball home from close range when De Leeuw stole the ball from Frazer Wright before squaring it for the midfielder.

Substitute Tidser went close to extending County's lead with a powerful drive, but one goal proved enough for Adams' side.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Ross County

  • 20 Fraser
  • 26 Ikonomou
  • 03 Gordon
  • 04 Kettlewell
  • 05 Boyd Booked
  • 21 McLean
  • 08 Brittain
  • 23 Carey
  • 25 Slew (Tidser - 85' )
  • 15 Glen (De Leeuw - 66' )
  • 16 Cooper

Substitutes

  • 01 Brown
  • 06 Micic
  • 10 Quinn
  • 11 De Leeuw
  • 12 Tidser
  • 18 Klok
  • 19 Luckassen

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 02 Mackay Booked
  • 03 Scobbie
  • 08 McDonald
  • 05 Wright
  • 06 Anderson
  • 07 Millar (Croft - 90' )
  • 18 Davidson
  • 11 Hasselbaink (O'Halloran - 69' )
  • 17 May
  • 10 Wotherspoon (Fallon - 91' )

Substitutes

  • 15 Banks
  • 19 Miller
  • 20 Brown
  • 22 Croft
  • 25 Jahic
  • 27 Fallon
  • 29 O'Halloran
Ref: Euan Norris
Att: 3,305

Match Stats

Shots

10 9

On target

2 3

Corners

5 0

Fouls

13 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Ross County 1, St Johnstone 0.

90:00 +1:55 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Ross County 1, St Johnstone 0.

90:00 +0:58

Attempt missed. Michael Tidser (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

90:00 +0:31

Ben Gordon (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +0:31

Foul by Rory Fallon (St Johnstone).

90:00 +0:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Rory Fallon replaces David Wotherspoon.

90:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces Chris Millar.

89:12

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

88:37 Booking

Booking Scott Boyd (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

88:33

Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

88:33

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:44 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Ross County 1, St Johnstone 0. Graham Carey (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Melvin De Leeuw.

86:10

Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:10

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

85:44

Foul by Graham Carey (Ross County).

85:44

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:21

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

84:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ross County. Michael Tidser replaces Jordan Slew.

81:24

Foul by Ben Gordon (Ross County).

81:24

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:36

Foul by Jordan Slew (Ross County).

80:36

Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

79:00

Scott Boyd (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:57

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone).

76:32

Attempt missed. Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

75:51

Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

75:51

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

75:29

Attempt blocked. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

68:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

68:28

Foul by Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County).

68:28

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

68:00

Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:57

Foul by Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County).

67:15

Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

66:40

Foul by Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County).

66:40

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

65:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ross County. Melvin De Leeuw replaces Gary Glen.

61:57

Attempt missed. Graham Carey (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

61:16 Booking

Booking David Mackay (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

61:12

Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:12

Foul by David Mackay (St Johnstone).

56:02

Foul by Gary Glen (Ross County).

56:02

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:12

Attempt missed. Scott Boyd (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

54:32

Scott Boyd (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:32

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

51:12

Attempt blocked. Graham Carey (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

49:25

Attempt missed. Brian McLean (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

49:11

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

47:37

Gary Glen (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

47:37

Foul by Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone).

45:57

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the left side of the box.

45:22

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.

45:00

Second Half begins Ross County 0, St Johnstone 0.

45:00 +0:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Ross County 0, St Johnstone 0.

44:19

Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

43:53

Foul by Gary Glen (Ross County).

43:53

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

42:37

Attempt missed. Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right.

41:09

Foul by Gary Glen (Ross County).

41:09

Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

39:26

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

39:18

Attempt saved. Jordan Slew (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

37:14

Scott Boyd (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:14

Foul by Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone).

35:31

Attempt blocked. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

35:00

Foul by Jordan Slew (Ross County).

35:00

David Mackay (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

33:25

Foul by Gary Glen (Ross County).

33:25

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

28:42

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.

26:57

Attempt saved. Chris Millar (St Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner.

26:11

Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

26:11

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

24:27

Jordan Slew (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:27

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

23:21

Attempt missed. Richard Brittain (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

22:00

Gary Glen (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:58

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

21:03

Attempt missed. Jordan Slew (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

20:11

Gary Glen (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:11

Foul by Gary McDonald (St Johnstone).

18:08

Scott Boyd (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:08

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

17:15

Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:15

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

12:43

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

9:02

Gary Glen (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:02

Foul by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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