PICTURES: Ross County run Forres defence ragged in Ross Macpherson’s testimonial match

© DC ThomsonPictures by Jason Hedges
Pictures by Jason Hedges

Ross County ran riot with an 11-0 victory in the testimonial match for long-serving Forres Mechanics midfielder Ross Macpherson at Mosset Park.

Declan McManus scored four and Brian Graham notched a quick-fire hat-trick as slick County ran the Forres defence ragged.

Staggies manager Steve Ferguson took one half of the Dingwall squad to Mosset Park while, at the same time, co-manager Stuart Kettlewell was in charge against Nairn County at Station Park.

Ferguson said: “The day was all about Ross’s testimonial. He deserves a huge amount of credit for his 10 years at one club. We came to get minutes under the boys’ belts in the first pre-season game and they went about their business the way we would have expected. We passed it well and were determined to keep a clean sheet.”

Ross County fielded two new signings – 20-year-old keeper Nathan Baxter, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea, and winger Blair Spittal, who arrived from Championship side Partick Thistle.

Ferguson said: “At 0-0 Baxter produced a great save. When we needed him he was there and that was very pleasing. Blair showed glimpses of his quality, picking locks and taking the ball in tight positions.”

County opened the scoring in the eighth minute from a corner kick when a close-range header by Declan McManus was parried by Euan Storrier and the rebound fell kindly for central defender Keith Watson, who stabbed the ball home.

In the 17th minute, County’s new keeper Baxter made a superb save to claw away Ryan Farquhar’s 15-yard drive.

County doubled their lead in the 24th minute when McManus made space and drilled the ball low past Storrier from 22 yards. Two minutes later, it was 3-0 when Harry Paton beat Storrier with a low drive as the Premiership side pressed home their advantage.

In the 29th minute, Forres failed to clear a corner and former Don McManus was on hand to fire home the fourth.

County went nap in the 37th minute, with Jack Murray nodding home a Danny Armstrong free-kick.

Just after the break, Spittal set up McManus to complete his hat-trick from a yard then Graham converted the seventh from the penalty spot after Armstrong was fouled in the area.

It was 8-0 in the 59th minute when a pin-point Armstrong cross picked out Graham and his header gave Storrier no chance, and a minute later Graham grabbed his hat-trick with a clever chip.

County moved into double figures in the 73rd minute when McManus netted his fourth, beating sub keeper Adam Crichton at the second attempt.

County completed the scoring in the 82nd minute when Armstrong scored with a 15-yard effort.