Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

County reach Irn-Bru Cup final after victory over East Fife

Ross County goalkeeper Ross Munro.
Ross County goalkeeper Ross Munro.

Ross County progressed to the final of the Irn-Bru Cup after a 2-1 victory at Victoria Park, despite facing stiff opposition in the form of League 1 side East Fife.

The Staggies came into the match with seven changes from the side that snatched a late draw with rivals Caley Thistle on Monday evening, with Ross Munro taking over from Scott Fox between the sticks, and Harry Paton and Tom Grivosti returning to the side.

There was also a debut spot for January acquisition Daniel Armstrong on the County wing.

County created the first real chance of the match after 6 minutes when Declan McManus flashed a half volley across goal following a throw in from skipper Marcus Fraser, but his effort narrowly crept behind East Fife goalkeeper Brett Long’s goal.

The Staggies took the lead in the 17th minute in bizarre fashion. Debutant Armstrong sent an inviting left footed delivery in from a corner on the right hand side, with the ball evading everybody, nestling into the far side of Long’s goal to make it 1-0 to the home side.

County almost doubled their advantage after 30 minutes, this time Armstrong turning the provider. Ross Stewart met the inviting floated cross, before attempting to send a drive in the direction of the goal but he failed to find the target.

County would soon find their second of the night with Declan McManus clinching his fourth goal of the season in the 37th minute, poking home after the ball careered into his path after Stewart’s effort was blocked by the visiting keeper.

The Fifers hit back immediately as lone striker Dowds met the tantalising cross from Craig Watson to head home, sending the visiting support into raptures and halving the deficit.

County took a 2-1 lead into the break and came flying out of the traps in the second period, McManus almost notching his second from close range after a terrific cross from Armstrong on the left, but goalkeeper Long was up to the test, parrying the shot from close range.

East Fife went close in the 68th minute, Scott Linton sending Aaron Dunsmore beyond the County backline, but the winger failed to keep his shot down as the ball rose narrowly over Munro’s goal.

Jamie Lindsay was thrown into the fold in the 73rd minute, replacing the influential Armstrong who had a fine debut for the Staggies.

East Fife went close in the 76th minute, goal scorer Dowds sending in a dangerous cross for substitute Kevin Smith, but under pressure from the County defence, the attackers header was directed straight at Munro who held comfortably.

Declan McManus departed for the final 10 minutes, with Michael Gardyne coming on in his place.

County should have wrapped the tie up in the 82nd minute as Mullin raced in on goalkeeper Long after an unselfish square ball from influential midfielder Harry Paton. Mullin honed in on goal but his effort was saved by the feet of Long, in what was a golden opportunity to put the tie to bed.

Gardyne’s deflected cross looked destined to find the back of the net in the 85th minute but for the intervention of Long, who was fantastic in the Fifers’ goal.

Kenny van Der Weg produced heroics in injury time to nick the ball away to safety after East Fife threw everything they had at County but the Staggies held on to book their place in next month’s final, where they will face either Connah’s Quay Nomads or Edinburgh City.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]