Ross County returned to the summit of the Championship table after overcoming Alloa Athletic 2-0 at Victoria Park.
The Staggies came into the match with one change from the side that secured an impressive 2-1 Scottish Cup victory away to Premiership side Motherwell last weekend, with Billy Mckay replacing Michael Gardyne.
Declan McManus fired the hosts into the lead after 12 minutes, collecting a stray ball on the right hand side of the box after Brian Graham was stopped in his tracks by his namesake Andy Graham. McManus sent a low drive across goal, nestling into the left hand side of Neil Parry’s goal to clinch only his third goal of the campaign.
Jamie Lindsay broke down the County right in the 19th minute, sending in a pinpoint cross for teammate Billy Mckay who, after composing himself sent a cushioned half volley across goal beating Parry, with only the woodwork coming to Alloa’s rescue as the ball clipped the outside of the post and diverted for a goal kick.
After 37 minutes Graham cushioned skipper Marcus Fraser’s cross into the path of Mckay but his effort sailed high over the crossbar.
Graham again turned provider, this time for Lewis Spense in the 43rd minute but his finesse shot skipped wide of Parry’s right hand post.
The Staggies went into the break with their lead one goal intact, with the visitors failing to really test Scott Fox in the County goal. Sean Kelly was forced off during the interval as the result of a recurring injury, as Callum Semple was thrown into the fold with Kenny van Der Weg shifting to the vacant berth at left back.
Billy Mckay had the first real chance of the second period in 52 minutes, controlling beautifully on the edge of the 18-yard-box before spinning his opponent, but his effort went agonisingly wide of the target.
The home side doubled their advantage after 62 minutes after neat link up play between Lindsay and Graham saw the striker reverse the pass to Lindsay who, despite Parry blocking his first effort, cushioned a header home from eight yards to give the Staggies breathing space.
Spence tried his luck from the edge of the 18-yard-box after 68 minutes but Alloa keeper Parry was up to the test, tipping the ball over the crossbar for a corner to the hosts.
Don Cowie replaced Spence, with Michael Gardyne replacing Billy Mckay as co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson shuffled the pack in the final quarter of the match.
Scott Fox remained largely untested during the second period as the Staggies secured the victory to send them back to the summit of the Championship.