Match ends, Kilmarnock 0, Ross County 3.
- County secure second league win this season
- Kilmarnock have lost three in a row
- Staggies pull level on points with Partick at bottom
Three-first half goals helped Ross County to their first away win in the Scottish Premiership this season.
Jim McIntyre's side are now level with St Mirren at the bottom after the Buddies' loss to Partick Thistle.
Graham Carey cracked home a shot for County via the crossbar and Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson in 32 minutes.
Michael Gardyne scampered clear down the left and slotted in a simple second and Paul Quinn third volleyed a third, from which Kilmarnock never recovered.
It means Killie have lost three league games in a row, their earlier run of five games unbeaten followed by a 2-0 defeat at Celtic Park and a 3-1 home loss against Dundee.
The Staggies were in command of the match by half-time as they made the most of their chances while Killie did not.
Carey had tested Killie keeper Craig Samson's alertness early in the game with a long-range effort but the home side had enjoyed the bulk of the opportunities without managing to score.
Mark Brown made a solid save to knock a fierce Josh Magennis shot wide from 10 yards after the big striker had been set up by Alexei Eremenko, and from the resultant corner Mark Connolly headed a foot wide.
Rory McKenzie also had a chance for the hosts but, whether it was a lack of technique or poor composure, he blazed wide.
McIntyre believes he and assistant manager Billy Dodds have made County harder to beat since they took over from the sacked Derek Adams. Scoring three goals in 45 minutes certainly helps.
A little after half an hour, Carey collected Tony Dingwall's pass out on the right and hammered a 20-yard shot against the bar that crossed the line via a ricochet off the despairing Samson to give the Staggies the lead.
Robbie Muirhead came on for Killie's Jamie Hamill, who looked to be carrying a knock as he headed off the pitch and who had been booked for a nasty challenge eight minutes earlier.
Samson made impressive stops from the confident Carey and Jake Jervis but was left isolated when Gardyne had an age to pick his spot and shoot home from 10 yards.
Worse was to follow for the home fans when Carey's in-swinging corner was volleyed into the net by defender Quinn, who had peeled off his back-post marker.
Killie improved after the break but it was County who forced the first chance, with Martin Woods pinging a shot wide.
McKenzie stung Brown's palms with a shot but later failed to get enough purchase on a right-foot shot as the ball dropped kindly for him in the box.
Jackson Irvine headed a Carey cross over his former team's crossbar and his County team-mate Brown made a brave, painful save from centre-half Connolly as it became clear County would be heading north with a precious three points.
- 2BarbourBooked at 60mins
- 6ConnollyBooked at 52mins
- 7McKenzieBooked at 80mins
- 8ClinganBooked at 71mins
- 4HamillBooked at 30minsSubstituted forMuirheadat 38'minutes
- 10JohnstonSubstituted forMillerat 56'minutes
- 20EremenkoBooked at 45minsSubstituted forSlaterat 74'minutes
- 36IrvineBooked at 52mins
- 12ReckordBooked at 66mins
- 40GardyneSubstituted forToshneyat 80'minutes
- 26WoodsSubstituted forKissat 68'minutes
- 8BrittainBooked at 24mins
- 9JervisSubstituted forBoyceat 74'minutes
- Stephen Finnie
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 0, Ross County 3.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Mark Connolly.
Attempt missed. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.
Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).
Attempt missed. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Mark Brown.
Attempt saved. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).
Richard Brittain (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Ross County. Lewis Toshney replaces Michael Gardyne.
Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).
Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).
Attempt saved. Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Substitution, Ross County. Liam Boyce replaces Jake Jervis.