Ross County went to the summit of the SPFL Championship this afternoon as they defeated Partick Thistle by 2 goals to nil at the Global Energy Stadium in Dingwall.
Previous leaders Ayr United were held to a 0-0 draw away to Dunfermline allowing The Staggies to leapfrog The Honest Men to top spot in the table.
Both sides came into today’s encounter unchanged from the sides that drew a week previous, with County clawing back a 2-goal deficit against leaders Ayr United and Thistle drawing 2-2 at home with Alloa.
Don Cowie sent in a tantalising corner from the right, which was met by the head of Ross Stewart, but his looping goal bound header was cleared off the line by Thistle defender Daniel Jeffries after 16 minutes.
The first major chance of the game fell to the hosts as Jamie Lindsay broke from the centre of the park sending a low drive from 25 yards towards goal but it was diverted by teammate Billy Mckay and fell agonisingly wide of Jamie Sneddon’s goal.
County broke the deadlock after 25 minutes following some neat play down the left. Ross Draper slipped in Cowie just inside the 18-yard-box before the County midfielder produced a deft touch, defying Thistle defender Daniel Jeffries who hauled him to the ground giving referee Colin Steven no choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Talisman Mckay stepped up and despite a strong hand from Thistle keeper Sneddon found the bottom right hand corner to open the scoring.
Immediately Thistle had a golden opportunity to respond as Miles Story swivelled in the box following a fantastic lay off rom Christie Elliot. The former Inverness Caley Thistle attacker showed great control before spinning and sending a shot goal bound but County defender Tom Grivosti put his body on the line to keep his sides lead intact.
Mckay had the ball in the back of the net after 42 minutes following an inch perfect through ball from Stewart with only the flag of the official to signal offside brining the home sides celebrations to a halt.
County took a goal advantage into the break after an exciting opening period.
It was the visitors however who would enjoy the better of the early stages of the second period with Scott Fox producing a fantastic save to deny Doolan in the 50th minute as the Thistle striker honed in on the home goal.
At the other end, Stewart showed great acceleration to race in on goal in the 61st minute before being hauled to the ground by Thistle defender Tam Scobbie who received a yellow card for his troubles.
From the resultant free kick Josh Mullin’s effort from 22 yards was deflected by an outstretched leg, clipping the crossbar and nestling behind for a corner to the hosts.
Billy Mckay made way after 73 minutes for Michael Gardyne.
Stewart doubled the advantage for County in the 79th minute sending a curling low effort from just inside the 18-yard-box into the bottom left corner after a strong driving run at the Thistle defence.
Declan McManus was thrown into the fold in the 84th minute replacing goal scorer Stewart before Josh Mullin made way as youngster James Wallace came on to make his league debut.
Next up for The Staggies is the Highland derby with neighbours Caley Thistle next Saturday at the Global Energy Stadium