Ross County 1-1 Celtic

SPL champions Celtic were held to a draw by European qualification-chasing Ross County at Victoria Park.

Four minutes in, Anthony Stokes put Celtic ahead, turning in a close-range effort from a Kris Commons corner.

Iain Vigurs levelled matters four minutes from the break, latching onto a Richard Brittain free-kick and firing his shot into the top-right corner.

County pressed forward, but efforts from Steffen Wohlfarth and Paul Lawson failed to produce a winner.

Neil Lennon made seven changes to his Celtic side, handing a rare start for Rami Gershon, while Lukasz Zaluska and Dylan McGeouch also came in.

County made one change as Martin Scott replaced Rocco Quinn in midfield.

The result leaves County four points behind the European qualification slot - currently occupied by their Highland rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle - with only two matches remaining.

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Interview - Ross County manager Derek Adams

Their day started poorly when Commons flighted in a corner and Stokes pivoted on the six-yard line to turn the ball into the back of the net for the opener.

Responding, Martin Scott picked up a through ball from Ivan Sproule inside the Celtic penalty area, but his bobbling drive towards goal failed to test Zaluska.

Mmoments later, though, Vigurs curved in a left-footed free-kick from the edge of the penalty area that forced the Polish keeper to save at full stretch.

Shortly before the half-hour mark, Stokes flicked an intelligent ball across the County six-yard line, but there were no hooped jerseys waiting to pounce.

With four minutes remaining of the first-half County were back on level terms. Richard Brittain played a casual free-kick from the left side of the Celtic penalty area for Vigurs to thunder home.

On the stroke of half-time, Tony Watt had the ball in the back of the net for the visitors, but referee Stevie Mclean had already blown for offside.

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Interview - Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby

After the restart, Vigurs came close with a long-range shot that inched over the Celtic bar, then Stokes tested Michael Fraser in the County goal with a low drive that was tipped behind for a corner.

As the hour approached Efe Ambrose nodded down a Commons corner and the Celtic fans were on their feet when Brittain cleared off the line. Replays indicated that that the officials had made the right decision not to award a goal.

County's best chance of the match arrived in the 64th minute when Wohlfarth headed for goal from a Sproule cross, but his effort sailed over the crossbar.

And Lawson should have done better with a direct effort on goal that Zaluska made sure drifted over the Celtic bar as the match entered the final 10 minutes.

A poor free-kick from Brittain rebounded off the three-man Celtic wall, then Lawson produced a well-struck drive that Zaluska comfortably smothered.

A few late substitutions apiece failed to ignite the match in the dying minutes and County could not mount a repeat of the kind of last-gasp challenge that earned them a shock late home win against Celtic in March.

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