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Summary

  1. Liam Boyce scores hat-trick for County
  2. Viktor Genev sent off for St Mirren
  3. Bottom team St Mirren 16 points below County
  4. Defeat guarantees bottom two place for St Mirren

Live Reporting

By Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

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Ross County were 3-0 winners at St Mirren Park
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That's enough from me. Congratulations to Ross County on another win that keeps this remarkable run going. St Mirren weren't at the races and their nine-year stay in the top flight is surely at an end.

There will be online highlights of the match available after midnight.

Motherwell certainly look favourites for that play-off place now, 10 points ahead of lowly St Mirren but now six behind Ross County and seven adrift of Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock going into the five post-split games.

The team finishing 11th will need to beat either Hibernian, Rangers or Queen of the South from the Championship over two legs.

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Paul Godsman: #bbcscotfootball Another great win for County! Could Stuart McCall relegate Motherwell In the play offs? #writteninthestars"

The Gambler: "Who gets the St Mirren job now ? Billy Stark or Barry Smith? surely Stark has a chance of getting it! #bbcscotfootball"

St Mirren manager Gary Teale on BBC Radio Scotland

"The goals we concede are very soft. That's been the story of our season.

"I don't think there was much in it before the goal and then the confidence drains away and we lose a bit of our discipline.

"We lost one centre-half through injury and another to a red card, which doesn't make it easy.

"We need to pick ourselves up and maybe freshen things up with a few boys from the academy to see if they are ready."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre on BBC Radio Scotland

"From the goal onwards it looked like there was only one side going to win the game.

"Six points is not enough. We were six points behind before we went on this run. We know we're in for five huge games. Teams aren't going to hand us points.

"Liam Boyce has put in so much work. He came from part-time football and he had a lot of weight to shift. He's been an integral part of what we've done."

County are safe from finishing last but they could yet fall back into 11th place.

County's eighth win in an unbeaten nine-game run lifts them six points above Motherwell in the play-off place and means they are just one point behind Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle.

Ross County striker Liam Boyce on BBC Radio Scotland

"I' m delighted and it's sweet because it's come in a relegation battle.

"We're not safe yet, especially since we'll be playing all the teams around us, so we need to keep on picking up points.

"It takes time for ideas and new players to gel and we're fitter now - we're squeezing the life out of teams."

That's a first top flight hat-trick for a Ross County player.

An eighth defeat in nine games means St Mirren can finish no higher than 11th even if they win every game after the split.

FULL-TIME

St Mirren 0-3 Ross County

Liam Boyce is smiling from ear-to-ear as he tucks the match ball under his arm. The visitors have now picked up 25 points from a possible 27, which is just incredible.

GOAL

St Mirren 0-3 Ross County (Boyce)

Hat-trick for Liam Boyce. St Mirren are split wide open as Jackson Irvine slides in a pass for Tony Digwall to drill the ball across the penalty area and the Irish striker wants it more as he bangs in his third goal of the night.

That's 90 minutes up, we'll get two more...

Liam Boyce makes it 2-0 to County
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As the match in Paisley peters out, here's a view of the moment Liam Boyce smashed in his second goal of the evening.

SUBSTITUTION

County forward Craig Curran is also off to the dressing room early as he makes way for Darvydas Sernas.

SUBSTITUTION

Filip Kiss gets on for the last eight minutes or so, with Martin Woods getting a breather.

Liam Boyce is chasing a hat-trick as he turns to slam in a low shot from 20 yards. It's straight down the middle but Mark Ridgers has a wee fumble before getting the ball into his hands.

St Mirren's Kieran Sadlier gets his floppy fringe to a good cross from Gregg Wylde but there is no power on the header and Mark Brown is completely unflustered as he scoops the ball up at his near post.

SUBSTITUTION

Rafa Da Vita, yet to play in a losing Ross County side, applauds the small band of travelling fans as he makes way for Tony Dingwall.

GOAL

St Mirren 0-2 Ross County (Boyce)

Game over. Liam Boyce does get his second goal of the evening as he controls a cross from Michael Gardyne on his chest before poking the ball through the legs of Jim Goodwin and smashing a shot past Mark Ridgers. Nice work...

Liam Boyce stoops to get his head on Martin Woods' corner but can't steer it on target from close in. He should really be doubling his tally for the night from there.

SUBSTITUTION

St Mirren make their final change as skipper Steven Thompson is replaced by Alan Gow.

SUBSTITUTION

Yoann Arquin trudges off to make way for Kieran Sadlier. Can the former West Ham youth inject some urgency to the home side?

CLOSE!

Rafa De Vita flashes in a cross from the left and Michael Gardyne has an age to bring the ball down from a headed clearance and his shot on the turn fizzes just off target.

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Cameron Sanderson: "#bbcscotfootball can you please tell the commentators the laws of the game. You cannot get a red card for a last man challenge. Thank you."

Does last man imply denying a goal-scoring opportunity?

Ross County are running the show in Paisley but manager Jim McIntyre will want a second goal to make sure of the points. Remember, a win takes them six points away from Motherwell in the play-off place.

A break in the one-way traffic as John McGinn sends a deflected shot from 22 yards into the arms of County goalkeeper Mark Brown.

GREAT SAVE!

Mark Ridgers is being kept busy now as he makes an impressive block to keep out a firm strike from Rafa De Vita, who was running on to a neat Liam Boyce lay-off.

GREAT SAVE!

Martin Woods is clipped by Thomas Reilly before dusting himself down to send a real zipper of a free-kick round the defensive wall from 30 yards and it needs a good save from Mark Ridgers to push it round the post.

Ross County break from defending a corner and suddenly the depeleted home side are outnumbered at the back but a bad touch from Craig Curran lets them off the hook.

HITS THE WOODWORK

Michael Gardyne lines up the free-kick from the sending-off foul and his effort from 25 yards cracks off the outside of the post.

RED CARD

A bad night so far for St Mirren gets even worse as Viktor Genev is dismissed for a last-man tangle with Liam Boyce. A straightforward decision for referee Willie Collum...

The biggest cheer of the evening from the home fans goes to a young lad who shows good skill to head a stray, high ball back into play from the stand. He had a drink in his hand and didn't spill a drop...

KICK-OFF

St Mirren, out of the tunnel a long time after the visitors, get the second half started.

Ross County aren't exactly bothering the top of the scoring charts either but, crucially, their January signings have made an impact, with Craig Curran banging in five goals and Rafa De Vita yet to play in a losing side.

Liam Boyce, once on the books of Werder Bremen, has really picked up of late and that's two goals in two games for the Irishman.

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Jack Haugh: "I remember when Gregg Wylde was a huge prospect in Scottish football. Invisible now. #BbcScotFootball"

Arquin, who has been completely anonymous so far, scored two goals for Ross County this season before manager Jim McIntyre allowed the Frenchman's contract to expire in January. That's two more than he has managed in nine appearances for St Mirren.

Ball, who hasn't had a look in since January remains joint top-scorer of those still at the club with two. Yes, two goals...

On this evidence it's not hard to understand why goals have been a big problem for St Mirren, who are yet to reach double figures at home during this campaign.

Skipper Stevie Thompson has had his season curtailed by injury, while forward signings like James Marwood, Ross Caldwell, Callum Ball, Alan Gow and Yoann Arquin have been found wanting.

With County on track for an eighth win in a nine-game unbeaten run, the message from manager Jim McIntyre will be simple. Keep doing what you're doing...

St Mirren's high defensive line is not working too well but, then again, neither is the midfield and the home strikers have been starved of any decent service. Can manager Gary Teale turns things around with a second-half reshuffle or will the Buddies simply keep lumping the ball forward and hoping for the best?

HALF-TIME

St Mirren 0-1 Ross County

Liam Boyce (centre) scored on 30 minutes
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The visitors are good value for their lead, with Liam Boyce lashing in the only goal on 30 minutes. St Mirren have not tested goalkeeper Mark Brown at all.

Martin Woods works a one-two with Michael Gardyne before letting fly. The County midfielder was slightly off balance and his shot dips over. The visitors are enjoying so much space in the middle of the park.