Ross County returned to the top of the Championship thanks to a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory over bottom side Falkirk.
Following a goalless first half, the Staggies triumphed thanks to goals from two of their substitutes, with Jamie Lindsay netting the opener with his first touch after returning from an ankle injury, before Declan McManus sealed the points in stoppage time.
County made three changes from the side that was defeated 2-1 by Morton the previous weekend, with Billy Mckay, Brian Graham and Keith Watson brought in for Sean Kelly, Declan McManus and Tony Dingwall.
Falkirk’s players were looking to impress new manager Ray McKinnon, who watched on from the stand after leaving Morton – where he had been for only three months – on Friday night. Following the dismissal of Paul Hartley on Monday, it was interim manager Gordon Young who took charge of the Bairns.
County started brightly, with Callum Morris nodding over from Josh Mullin’s free kick, before Watson sent a rasping strike wide from 25 yards.
Michael Gardyne was at the heart of the Staggies’ early pressure, with a tempting cross by the winger knocked narrowly over his own crossbar by Bairns defender Patrick Brough, before Ross Draper nodded just past the post from a Watson delivery.
Falkirk had been on the back foot in the early stages but they were close to taking the lead on 18 minutes, when Dimitris Froxylias let fly with a long-range effort which forced a superb save from Scott Fox to tip the ball over the bar.
County continued to be the dominant side though, with Bairns skipper Aaron Muirhead blocking Mullin’s shot, before Gardyne forced an excellent save from Leo Fasan with a swerving effort from the edge of the box.
The Staggies started the second half on the front foot, with Graham and Mullin denied by Fasan, while Graham also saw a header from Gardyne’s cross land on the roof of the net.
County took a deserved lead on 68 minutes however, when the ball broke for the newly-introduced Lindsay after Gardyne’s low effort had been parried away by Fasan, and the midfielder made no mistake with a low finish from eight yards.
Although Graham had a goal disallowed for offside, County did net a second in stoppage time when fellow substitute McManus sidefooted home after being teed up by Graham.