Ross County spurned the opportunity to move five points clear at the top of the Championship as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against bottom side Alloa Athletic.
County created no shortage of opportunities but found Wasps goalkeeper Neil Parry on inspired form, with Dario Zanatta’s first half strike sealing the points for a spirited Alloa side.
County remain two points clear of Dundee United at the top of the table, after Robbie Neilson’s men went down 2-1 at home to Queen of the South.
County made three changes from the side which lifted the IRN-BRU Cup with a 3-1 victory against Connah’s Quay Nomads. Teenage goalkeeper Ross Munro, Declan McManus and Ross Stewart dropped out, with Scott Fox, Lewis Spence and two-goal hero Josh Mullin drafted in.
Both sides created numerous chances in the first half, with Scott Fox doing well to tip Jack Aitchison’s low drive wide before palming an Andy Graham header over from Iain Flannigan’s free kick, while at the other end Neil Parry did well to thwart Jamie Lindsay’s low strike and a Lewis Spence effort following a marauding run.
The Wasps took the lead on 33 minutes however, when Zanatta cut stormed through the Staggies rearguard before rifling a powerful strike past Fox, with County appealing for an offside flag against Aitchison in the build up.
County had opportunities to level before the interval, with Michael Gardyne seeing a long range effort palmed away by Parry on 43 minutes, however an even better chance fell the way of Brian Graham from the resulting corner, nodding wide when picked out unmarked from Mullin’s delivery.
Graham lashed over another fine chance from Kenny van der Weg’s cross five minutes into the second half, before Mullin was shown a booking for diving under close attention from Flannigan.
Alloa spurned a glorious chance to add to their lead on 65 minutes, with Alan Trouten lashing over from Connor Shields’ delivery, however County had the bulk of the pressure in the second period.
Their two best chances to equalise fell to substitute Ross Stewart, firstly sending an effort wide of the near post, before he was denied by a superb save from Parry after brilliantly taking down Mullin’s delivery, but the Staggies could not find a way through.