Scottish League Cup: Holders Ross County begin with late win

Gary Warren
Gary Warren scored the winning goal for Inverness

Holders Ross County needed a late penalty to get their League Cup campaign off to a win over Montrose.

Jim McIntyre's men went joint top of Group D with Raith Rovers, who won on Friday night away to Cove Rangers.

In Group C, County's Highland rivals, Inverness CT, defeated Cowdenbeath 2-1 to top the group ahead of Dundee United, who only picked up two points on Friday night.

Queen of the South were winners away to Queen's Park in Group E.

County lifted the trophy in March with victory over Hibernian at Hampden, but their cup defence looked like it was heading to penalties before Brian Graham's penalty four minutes from time ensured all three points against the League Two side.

The Premiership side also took the points at Central Park after Ross Draper gave Caley Thistle the lead away to Cowdenbeath.

Dean Brett levelled for the League Two outfit 10 minutes later and that game also looked destined for penalties before Gary Warren headed in the winner to give Richie Foran a victory over Liam Fox in the battle of bosses making their debuts in charge.

Dundee United defeated Arbroath on penalties on Friday night, but due to the new points system they were awarded one point for the draw and a bonus point for the penalty win, meaning they trial Richie Foran's men by one point.

There were no similar problems for Queen of the South at Excelsior Stadium, the match against Queen's Park being moved to Airdrie because of damage to Hampden Park's pitch by a pop concert.

The Championship side were 2-0 ahead by half-time against the League One newcomers through Jake Pickard and Andrew Dowie.

They share the lead in Group E with Partick Thistle, who beat Airdrieonians 1-0 on Friday.

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "It was a tough game and we didn't expect anything different with the players still tired and trying to find their feet.

"We were very rusty and I thought Montrose played well.

"They battled hard and made a couple of chances for themselves and we've got Scott Fox to thank for making a couple of really good saves. We got there in the end and that's the main thing."

Montrose assistant manager John Holt: "It was a bit disappointing at the end when you're thinking to yourself you're going to be taking penalties.

"But I felt as though the boys played really well today. They put in a shift and worked really hard."

Cowdenbeath head coach Liam Fox: "Inverness are a very good side with some very good players. We're not going to be judged this season on how we do against the likes of Inverness.

"The wind spoiled the game, it wasn't one for the purists, but there's positives to take there for us."

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Richie Foran: "I'm pleased with the result, I thought we deserved it.

"We hit the crossbar three times - their keeper pulled off a few good saves.

"Overall, it's a deserved three points, but we told the lads we expect a better performance, better passing. We were a bit slack to second balls.

"I enjoyed it in my first competitive game in charge because I've got huge belief in all these players. They've all got talent."

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