Scottish Premiership
Ross CountyRoss County2KilmarnockKilmarnock1

Ross County 2-1 Kilmarnock

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Victoria Park

Ross County made it five wins in six unbeaten games to move three points clear of the relegation play-off place.

Michael Gardyne latched on to Liam Boyce's flick before smashing the opener past a stranded Craig Samson.

Gardyne turned provider after the interval when he set up Craig Curran to confidently side-foot home.

Kilmarnock rallied late on with Lee Ashcroft nodding home minutes after Greg Kiltie had struck the base of the post but County held firm.

The visitors arrived in Dingwall unbeaten in seven games but created very little until the closing stages against the rejuvenated Highlanders.

The in-form hosts played well in the first period but the final ball perhaps let them down.

That changed when Boyce showed strength to hold off Manuel Pascali before nodding into the path of Gardyne on the right.

The midfielder, who spent last season on loan at Rugby Park, arrived at pace but was composed as he struck the ball high across Samson into the corner.

County controlled things but did not test Samson as often as they might have given the possession they enjoyed.

Killie boss Gary Locke clearly left his side in no doubt that their first-half display was not adequate, his team back out on the pitch a few minutes before the re-start.

But it was County who were the more fired up as they completely took a grip on proceedings.

Paul Quinn volleyed over from Martin Woods' corner when he should have netted from close range.

Rafa De Vita, Boyce, Curran and Gardyne all went close with a combination of good goalkeeping and slack finishing frustrating them.

Curran has been an important figure in County's revival since his arrival from Nuneaton in January and proved so once again.

Gardyne picked up on the right and fired across goal. Curran stole into the six yard box and calmly guided the ball home.

Craig Curran makes it 2-0 to Ross County
Craig Curran has scored five goals since relocating to Victoria Park

The home side should have been out of sight with Jackson Irvine's header was tipped over by the busy Samson.

Daryl Westlake then nodded Curran's header off the line, with Kilmarnock apparently wilting under the relentless pressure.

However, the Ayrshire side suddenly sprung into life and Kiltie's curling effort across goal struck the post, with the ball eventually falling to Lee Miller who fired narrowly wide.

Pascali then came within inches of netting as the defender's shot across goal marginally evaded the far post.

The home fans' comfort was significantly disturbed when Paul Cairney floated in a free kick for the stooping Ashcroft to find the bottom corner from six yards.

County really should have been out of sight given the chances they created but they saw the match out and claimed another vital win.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 21Brown
  • 10Kiss
  • 5BoydBooked at 41mins
  • 43Quinn
  • 12Reckord
  • 40GardyneSubstituted forCareyat 74'minutes
  • 36Irvine
  • 26Woods
  • 24De Vita
  • 11CurranSubstituted forPalazuelosat 86'minutes
  • 16BoyceBooked at 54minsSubstituted forJervisat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Reguero
  • 3Meite
  • 7Cardle
  • 9Jervis
  • 20Sernas
  • 22Palazuelos
  • 23Carey

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 26O'HaraSubstituted forKiltieat 75'minutes
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 29PascaliBooked at 90mins
  • 2Barbour
  • 10Johnston
  • 14EcclestonSubstituted forMillerat 63'minutes
  • 19SlaterBooked at 76mins
  • 22Westlake
  • 28Magennis
  • 16ObadeyiSubstituted forCairneyat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Miller
  • 11Cairney
  • 13Brennan
  • 30Kiltie
  • 36Syme
  • 37Splaine
  • 38Hawkshaw
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
3,389

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home18
Away16
Shots on Target
Home10
Away4
Corners
Home14
Away5
Fouls
Home17
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 2, Kilmarnock 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 2, Kilmarnock 1.

  3. Booking

    Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Jake Jervis (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

  6. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Craig Samson.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Raffaele De Vita (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  8. Post update

    Jackson Irvine (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Paul Cairney (Kilmarnock).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jake Jervis (Ross County).

  11. Post update

    Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 2, Kilmarnock 1. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Paul Cairney following a set piece situation.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Filip Kiss (Ross County).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Ruben Palazuelos replaces Craig Curran.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

  18. Post update

    Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee Miller (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.