Ryan Kent’s second-half goal condemned a spirited Ross County to a 1-0 defeat against Rangers.
The ex-Liverpool winger found the net 13 minutes from time via a deflection, to earn Steven Gerrard’s side the three points after a testing afternoon in Dingwall.
County stuck to their task diligently and made life difficult for the visitors, with Kent’s winner harsh on the Highland side.
Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell made two changes from the 4-1 defeat to Motherwell, with Ross Stewart and Jordan Tillson in for Blair Spittal and Lee Erwin.
The visitors, who were without skipper James Tavernier, threatened first through Glen Kamara, with the midfielder’s strike from the edge of the box parried by Ross Laidlaw.
Home goalkeeper Laidlaw was called into action twice in quick succession to keep the scores level, repelling Ryan Kent’s shot and then helping Richard Foster smother Alfredo Morelos’ rebound.
The Staggies had some joy through Josh Mullin down the right flank but while he produced some decent deliveries, they were not landing for County players.
Rangers’ final ball was poor and Morelos, after that early chance, cut a frustrated figure in attack. Half-hearted penalty appeals, for a Liam Fontaine handball, were not given credence by referee Andrew Dallas.
County threatened six minutes into the second half through Mckay, after Cowie had cut the ball back to him. Mckay lifted the ball off the ground before firing at goal, with McGregor keeping him at bay with his right leg.
The away side responded through Ianis Hagi, who drilled the ball straight back at Laidlaw after the wall had blocked Borna Barisic’s free-kick.
Stewart missed a glaring chance to grab his 12th of the season just before the hour, after great work by Mullin. The County winger had been set free by Tillson and tore away, before sliding in Stewart on the far side of the box. Unchallenged, he sliced his shot high over.
Mullin was quickly becoming County’s best outlet and fashioned a chance for himself, down the left this time, after tearing past Polster and going for goal, with McGregor tipping over.
Rangers’ search for a goal went on and Joe Aribo thought he had broken the deadlock, flicking on Barisic’s corner but Iain Vigurs retreated to head off the line.
But the opener did came on 77 minutes when Kent cut inside on his left foot and went for goal, with the ball appearing to take a deflection on its way past Laidlaw.
County threw bodies forward late on to try find an equaliser but Rangers were able to preserve their narrow lead.