Ten-man Aberdeen were punished by a clinical Ross County as Billy Mckay’s late goal gave the Staggies only their second away win in the league this season.
The Dons played an hour with 10 men following Dean Campbell’s dismissal for two bookable offences on the half hour mark and they made the extra man count as Mckay scored twice to give County victory after Curtis Main had opened the scoring for the Dons.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes made three changes to the side which beat Kilmarnock 4-3 in extra-time in the Scottish Cup on Wednesday with Craig Bryson missing out due to injury while Dylan McGeouch and Matty Kennedy dropped to the bench.
Shay Logan, Dean Campbell and Sam Cosgrove, who partnered Curtis Main in attack, were the replacements.
Ross County co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson also made three changes to their side following the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone last weekend.
Oli Shaw and Ross Draper dropped to the bench while Coll Donaldson dropped out altogether after suffering a fractured cheekbone in the draw with Saints.
Liam Fontaine, Harry Paton and Lee Erwin were the players who came into the starting line-up.
Aberdeen were weary after their cup exploits but they deservedly opened the scoring when Curtis Main swivelled to fire home Sam Cosgrove’s header just before the half hour mark.
However, the home side’s delight at taking the lead did not last long as they were reduced to 10 men following Dean Campbell’s dismissal after the midfielder earned a second caution for not retreating 10 yards to allow County to take a free kick.
Sam Cosgrove saw a shot saved by Ross Laidlaw as the 10-man Dons pushed for a second but it was the Staggies who drew level before the break when Billy Mckay headed Richard Foster’s cross past Joe Lewis.
Lewis made a double save in the second half to deny Mckay and Lee Erwin from putting County ahead while Laidlaw was in equally fine form in the County goal as he tipped a Lewis Ferguson shot on to the post.
Lewis made another superb save to deny Josh Mullin and it looked to be enough to earn Aberdeen a point but with two minutes remaining Mckay broke clear of a static Dons backline before beating Lewis to earn his side a vital win.