Match ends, Ross County 2, Kilmarnock 1.
Ross County beat Kilmarnock to leapfrog the visitors, who replace them in second-bottom spot in the Premiership.
County had penalty claims denied when striker Jordan Slew appeared to be tugged by Jeroen Tesselaar.
But neither side had seriously threatened until Filip Kiss produced a classy finish by steering a shot home four minutes before the break.
Richard Brittain's 77th-minute penalty put County further ahead before Kris Boyd's late, headed reply.
Kilmarnock have now only won one of their last six outings and have three games left to avoid a play-off against a Championship side to avoid relegation.
The visitors looked lively early on with Michael Gardyne going on a surging run towards the County box but his shot was disappointing, trickling wide of the left post.
County began to dominate and there was an excellent chance for Jordan Slew, who got in behind the Kilmarnock defence only to lob harmlessly past the far post.
Moments later, Slew appeared to be hauled to the ground right on the edge of the box by Jeroen Tesselaar but no free-kick or penalty was given.
A Graham Carey cross from a free-kick curled dangerously in to the six-yard box. Goalkeeper Craig Samson caught it but set the nerves of the Killie fans on edge when he seemed to be momentarily juggling the ball.
When County did make the breakthrough it was something of a classic. Kiss worked a nice one-two move with Melvin de Leeuw on the edge of the box then caressed the ball into the corner of the net.
Ross Barbour sent William Gross through on goal after the break but the Killie substitute's first touch let him down.
County, however, were looking dangerous on the counter attack and one of those surges led to Brittain being fouled in the box by Lee Ashcroft.
The team captain made no mistake when he fired the ball powerfully past Samson.
County's Yoann Arquin, who missed last week's loss to Hearts as manager Derek Adams refused to comment on reports the striker went missing for several days, made an appearance from the bench.
In the dying moments, Boyd got one back for Killie by guiding Rory McKenzie's cross past Mark Brown.
It was only then that Killie seemed to find a sense of urgency and managed to sustain some pressure on the Staggies goal during four minutes of injury time.
But in the end it was County who almost got a third through Arquin, whose shot was pushed round the post by the fingertips of Samson with Barbour having a headed effort cleared off the line by Ben Gordon.
- 3GordonBooked at 66mins
- 7KissBooked at 29mins
- 8BrittainBooked at 28mins
- 12TidserSubstituted forKettlewellat 25'minutes
- 11De LeeuwSubstituted forCooperat 72'minutes
- 23CareySubstituted forArquinat 78'minutes
- 30AshcroftBooked at 76mins
- 22MaksimenkoBooked at 81mins
- 29PascaliSubstituted forJohnstonat 73'minutes
- 20EremenkoSubstituted forClinganat 65'minutes
- 25GardyneSubstituted forGrosat 52'minutes
- 12Reguero Chapinal
- Kevin Clancy
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Ross County 2, Kilmarnock 1.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Craig Samson.
Attempt saved. Yoann Arquin (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Yann Songo'o (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Mark Brown.
Attempt saved. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) header from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Erik Cikos.
Richard Brittain (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock).
Goal! Ross County 2, Kilmarnock 1. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rory McKenzie.
Foul by Yoann Arquin (Ross County).
Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Jordan Slew (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock).
Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.
Attempt blocked. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked.
Attempt saved. Jordan Slew (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Jordan Slew (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.