Scottish Premiership
St Mirren0Ross County3

St Mirren 0-3 Ross County

St Mirren were consigned to a bottom-two finish in the Scottish Premiership as Ross County's impressive revival continued with a Liam Boyce hat-trick.

Third-bottom County cruised to a win that lifts them 16 points clear of the Buddies at the basement.

County merited their lead thanks to Boyce's close-range toe-poke.

St Mirren's Viktor Genev was sent off shortly after the break and two more clinical Boyce finishes ensured an eighth win in nine unbeaten games.

The continuation of the fine form under Jim McIntyre was not only bad news for St Mirren but also for Motherwell.

County are now six points clear of the second-bottom side and the Buddies are left with Ian Baraclough's Steelmen as their only remaining, if distant, target if they are to avoid the one automatic relegation spot.

St Mirren manager Gary Teale had gone for aerial power up front as he brought back captain Steven Thompson to partner Yoann Arquin up front, with Gregg Wylde on the wing to supply the ammunition and James Dayton and Kieran Sadlier dropping out.

The problem for a team who have only scored eight times at home this season was that, for all his qualities, Thompson has never been prolific while Arquin has now helped two sides to the bottom of the Premiership this season having left County just before the Dingwall side's revival.

St Mirren's one moment of threat before falling behind came via a rare bit of skill as John McGinn performed a neat Zidane-turn before firing powerfully over.

The home side had hoped for a big turnout as they drank at the last-chance saloon, but the funereal atmosphere suggested the fans had already given up the ghost.

Viktor Genev is sent off by referee Willie Collum
Viktor Genev was sent off by referee Willie Collum just after the break

Their mood of gloom deepened as County's understandably unchanged starting line-up started the game the more confident side.

St Mirren were dogged in defence and survived a series of corners, but they were living too dangerously in a season bereft of Paisley-patterned luck for that to last.

Indeed, it proved third time lucky for County when Michael Gardyne's shot was blocked, Craig Curran's follow up was parried at point-blank range by Mark Ridgers, but the goalkeeper was beaten by Boyce's prodded finish.

County consistently threatened to break behind a St Mirren defence playing a dangerously high line and pot shots from Boyce and Martin Woods threatened to extend the lead.

The Buddies' cause was not helped by an injury that forced defender Marc McAusland to be replaced with forward Thomas Reilly before 45 minutes had passed.

It was made even more impossible when Genev was shown the red card three minutes after the break for a last-man challenge on the goalscorer.

St Mirren took 60 minutes to force Mark Brown into a save, but McGinn's deflected drive presented a simple catch for the goalkeeper.

Either side of that, the traffic was all towards the home goal, Gardyne striking the outside of the post with the free-kick that followed the red card and the diving Ridgers superbly denying Woods and Raffaele De Vita.

Boyce showed the skill that won him a spell with Werder Bremen by gathering a Gardyne cross on his chest, nutmegging Jim Goodwin and firing past Ridgers from 12 yards.

The Northern Ireland international completed County's first top-flight hat-trick in stoppage time as he turned in a Tony Dingwall cross.

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour
St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour looked in a gloomy mood before kick-off
Liam Boyce puts Ross County 1-0 ahead
County were denied twice from close rangers before Boyce opened the scoring
Liam Boyce celebrates his hat-trick
Boyce scored County's first-ever hat-trick in the top flight
St Mirren midfielder Stevie Mallan shows his disappointment
The mood of the two sides were in stark contrast at St Mirren Park
St Mirren manager Gary Teale looks disconsolate at the final whistle
St Mirren manager Gary Teale looked disconsolate at the final whistle

Line-ups

St Mirren

  • 12Ridgers
  • 2Naismith
  • 4McAuslandSubstituted forReillyat 43'minutes
  • 52GenevBooked at 49mins
  • 3Kelly
  • 31Mallan
  • 7McGinn
  • 6Goodwin
  • 11Wylde
  • 15ArquinSubstituted forSadlierat 67'minutes
  • 9ThompsonSubstituted forGowat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Gow
  • 10Sadlier
  • 14Reilly
  • 17Dayton
  • 19Brown
  • 25Sonupe
  • 46Wilks

Ross County

  • 21Brown
  • 44Fraser
  • 5Boyd
  • 43Quinn
  • 12Reckord
  • 40Gardyne
  • 36Irvine
  • 26WoodsSubstituted forKissat 84'minutes
  • 24De VitaSubstituted forDingwallat 79'minutes
  • 16Boyce
  • 11CurranSubstituted forSernasat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Reguero
  • 7Cardle
  • 9Jervis
  • 10Kiss
  • 20Sernas
  • 22Palazuelos Garcia
  • 30Dingwall
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
3,033

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home8
Away17
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away9
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, St. Mirren 0, Ross County 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Mirren 0, Ross County 3.

Goal!

Goal! St. Mirren 0, Ross County 3. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tony Dingwall.

Foul by Filip Kiss (Ross County).

John McGinn (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Darvydas Sernas replaces Craig Curran.

Attempt blocked. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Filip Kiss replaces Martin Woods.

Attempt saved. Liam Boyce (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Kieran Sadlier (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Tony Dingwall replaces Raffaele De Vita.

Goal!

Goal! St. Mirren 0, Ross County 2. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Michael Gardyne.

Martin Woods (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Kieran Sadlier (St. Mirren).

Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Alan Gow replaces Steven Thompson.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Kieran Sadlier replaces Yoann Arquin.

Attempt saved. Yoann Arquin (St. Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Jamie Reckord.

Gregg Wylde (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Martin Woods (Ross County).

Attempt saved. John McGinn (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Mark Ridgers.

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

Attempt saved. Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Thomas Reilly (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Paul Quinn (Ross County).

Jim Goodwin (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Mark Ridgers.

Attempt saved. Martin Woods (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Martin Woods (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Thomas Reilly (St. Mirren).

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Paul Quinn.

Foul by Martin Woods (Ross County).

Thomas Reilly (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic31234464154973
2Aberdeen32215653282568
3Inverness CT32167944331155
4Dundee Utd31154125246649
5St Johnstone33146132932-348
6Dundee321111104443144
7Hamilton33127144248-643
8Partick Thistle33108154138338
9Kilmarnock32108143442-838
10Ross County33107163956-1737
11Motherwell3394203357-2431
12St Mirren3363242259-3721
View full Scottish Premiership table

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