Hibs had been below Ross County in the table for long enough in the season, but their recent resurgence under new manager Jack Ross had been merited – Ross has found a consistent, balanced selection and only made one change last night.
As much as the Staggies had to be concerned about the opposition’s attacking qualities, County have already shown that Hibs could be got at and this was a match where County had to look to stamp their own mark on the contest.
They continued to be bold in their selection, with Brian Graham and Ross Stewart included, but I was pleased to see a slight change in their shape to a 4-2-3-1, with Josh Mullin providing the link between midfield and attack.
It was quite an open affair from the outset with both teams attacking with intent.
Harry Paton was County’s best player in the way that he was able to carry the ball, lift his head and find passes into the stride of team-mates.
However, Hibs had a number of midfielders who could do the same and posed the bigger goal threat.
County’s first real chance came after half an hour and Graham was unlucky to see his lob well blocked by the Hibs keeper.
Unfortunately it was not long after that the visitors got their opener and it was one to forget for County’s keeper Nathan Baxter, who got his hands to a powerful Christian Doidge header but the ball squirmed over the goal line.
When giving away such cheap goals they leave themselves with a mountain to climb.
County needed to start creating more chances in the second half.
There weren’t many but Mullin produced a teasing ball from the right for the equaliser and it provided the impetus to push for the winner.