Scottish Premiership
Ross County2Aberdeen1

Ross County 2-1 Aberdeen

Liam Boyce scores
Liam Boyce (number 10) slid in to score County's opener

Ross County overcame the dismissal of Kenny van der Weg to beat Aberdeen and move sixth in the Scottish Premiership.

Michael Gardyne crossed low for Liam Boyce to fire County in front against the run of play.

Kenny McLean and Jonny Hayes went close for the Dons and Niall McGinn levelled in the second half.

Van der Weg was sent off for a lunge on Hayes but the hosts soon moved ahead again, Ryan Dow heading in on the bounce after Andrew Davies' knock-down.

Jim McIntyre's side are now four points off St Johnstone, while third-placed Aberdeen trail Rangers by seven points, albeit with a game in hand.

County make it count

Ross County had been unbeaten in five matches, frustrated by being unable to turn draws into wins, but they delivered with a wonderful performance against their visitors from the Granite City.

Boyce netted the opener from a couple of yards but the real credit must go to the build-up. A dummy in midfield found Chris Routis, who released Gardyne down the left and his measured ball across was perfect for Boyce to knock home.

Earlier, Joe Lewis had saved well from Tony Dingwall, who seized on the rebound and looked certain to score only for Graeme Shinnie to produce a magnificent last-gasp tackle.

Davies almost doubled County's lead with an instinctive volley that Lewis tipped away before the goalkeeper denied Craig Curran from close range.

Substitute Alex Schalk also went close before Van der Weg made the home side's task all the more difficult with a fairly shocking challenge on Hayes that was rightly punished with a straight red card.

But County showed tremendous desire to keep Aberdeen out and snatch a winner, Davies nodding down a Schalk cross and substitute Dow guiding into the right corner.

Kenny van der Weg is sent off
Van der Weg (far left) was dismissed six minutes before County's late winner

Damaging for Dons

With Rangers having beaten Hamilton on Friday, the onus was on the Dons to deliver a positive result.

Desire and determination were in place and they carried a threat but seemed unable to find the final pass or move to really open up County's backline until the latter stages of the match. Even then they fell short.

McLean had a number of long-range first-half efforts and Hayes' superb free-kick was saved brilliantly by Scott Fox.

When Shinnie escaped down the left it seemed inevitable a goal would result but his centre was marginally too strong for James Maddison to touch home.

Anthony O'Connor came very close from long range and the visitors thought the pivotal moment had arrived when Shay Logan's ball from the right was missed and fell perfectly for substitute McGinn. He found the corner, utilising the time and space he had.

Aberdeen celebrate
McGinn (right) netted for the sixth time this season

Frustrating week for McInnes

Aberdeen surged forward and Maddison was very close to a winner with a wriggle to create space and shot that flashed narrowly wide.

The sucker punch arrived when Dow netted, leaving McInnes' men empty-handed.

The entertaining nature of the match will offer little comfort to Aberdeen, whose midweek meeting with Motherwell was abandoned because of floodlight failure after a 0-0 draw with St Johnstone last weekend.

What the managers said

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "We played particularly well in the first half. We worked Aberdeen's goalkeeper, I think he's had four great saves.

"You think to yourself it's going to be like recent weeks where we've created quite a few chances but not been ruthless enough in front of goal.

"Aberdeen were more dominant in the second half and we had to defend deeply at times. They're a quality side. We dug in and showed that desire.

"We've not had a big result this season in my eyes and beating Aberdeen is a big result. They're a big club, good players and well managed.

"That takes it to six [unbeaten] but it's more pleasing that it's with three points."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "We'd have been disappointed with just a point. We passed up good opportunities. We dominated the whole second half.

"We dragged ourselves back into it and it's just a matter of time we think before we go and try to get the second goal.

"County were defending deeper and deeper and we were a wee bit wasteful.

"When they go down to 10 men and we have one set play to defend we didn't deal with it.

"It's that killer instinct. We had two or three fizzing across their box similar to Boyce's goal but Boyce is on the end of it to score.

"The response deserves mention but really it feels quite galling we haven't got anything. We'll remember a lot of the good today. We've controlled the game.

"There's work to be done. We need to take more responsibility in both boxes."

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 43Quinn
  • 15Davies
  • 28van der WegBooked at 82mins
  • 16DingwallSubstituted forDowat 58'minutes
  • 4RoutisBooked at 71mins
  • 12ChowBooked at 39mins
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forFranksat 66'minutes
  • 10Boyce
  • 11CurranSubstituted forSchalkat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Cikos
  • 8Woods
  • 9Dow
  • 17Franks
  • 18McShane
  • 23Schalk
  • 31McCarey

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 15O'Connor
  • 4ConsidineBooked at 35mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 22JackSubstituted forStoreyat 86'minutes
  • 7McLean
  • 8BurnsSubstituted forMcGinnat 53'minutes
  • 23Maddison
  • 11HayesBooked at 87mins
  • 17StockleySubstituted forRooneyat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Taylor
  • 6Reynolds
  • 9Rooney
  • 10McGinn
  • 16Pawlett
  • 25Alexander
  • 39Storey
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
4,467

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home13
Away16
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away12
Fouls
Home14
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 2, Aberdeen 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 2, Aberdeen 1.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Christopher Routis.

Attempt saved. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, Aberdeen 1. Ryan Dow (Ross County) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andrew Davies.

Booking

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen).

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Miles Storey replaces Ryan Jack.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Dismissal

Kenny van der Weg (Ross County) is shown the red card.

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Kenny van der Weg (Ross County).

Attempt saved. Alex Schalk (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alex Schalk (Ross County).

Foul by Anthony O'Connor (Aberdeen).

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Ryan Dow (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Craig Curran.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Graeme Shinnie.

Attempt blocked. James Maddison (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

James Maddison (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul Quinn (Ross County).

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Booking

Christopher Routis (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Attempt missed. James Maddison (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, Aberdeen 1. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Shaleum Logan.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jonathan Franks replaces Michael Gardyne because of an injury.

Foul by Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen).

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Anthony O'Connor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Attempt saved. Andrew Davies (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic16151046133346
2Rangers1810532518735
3Aberdeen1784529171228
4Hearts1877432221028
5St Johnstone176652320324
6Ross County184861929-1020
7Kilmarnock184771630-1419
8Motherwell174582128-717
9Hamilton1821061925-616
10Dundee1844101524-916
11Inverness CT183782334-1116
12Partick Thistle173681927-815
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories