Ross County manager John Hughes hailed the impact of substitutes Jordan White and Billy Mckay as the Staggies staged a late turnaround to win 2-1 against Hamilton Accies.
White and Mckay netted within the last nine minutes to secure a valuable triumph for County in the bottom of the table encounter with Accies, who had led for much of the game through Stephen Kelly’s own goal.
An Accies victory would have sent County bottom of the Premiership however the victory means they now lead the Lanarkshire men by four points, albeit they have played two games more.
Hughes was thrilled with the impact of his substitutes, reserving particular praise for debutant White who also set up Mckay’s winner.
Hughes said: “It’s written in the stars – it’s White and Mckay.
“I’m pleased for Jordan. Most of guys we’ve brought in this year we’ve had to work to get them up to speed. If you work them too hard you get injuries.
“But Jordan came in really fit and his numbers are good.
“It was touch and go if we were going to start him, but I’m pleased he has come on.
“You want them on from the start but you can leave the back door open. With the covid and everything we’ve got plenty of numbers. The problem is keeping them happy.
“They’ve all got a part to play between now and the end of the season. Competition is healthy and that’s a good result.”
Hughes dedicated the victory to Staggies groundsman Davie Fraser, who facilitated a bounce match at Victoria Park on Saturday after the wintry weather conditions left them unable to train on a full-sized pitch.
Hughes added: “I am going to dedicate that win to our hard-working groundsman Davie Fraser. We’re very fortunate we’ve got that big indoor arena, it’s maybe 70 x 50 and we can get good session in.
“But we’ve never been on a full size grass pitch since the day I went up there so we can’t do match practice.
“We twisted his arm, as you know what groundsmen are like, to keep the heating on and let us on it on Saturday.
“We got on it and we played 11 v 11 and set up how we thought Hamilton would go. It was the real first time I had really got to coach them and it came to fruition, so this is for Davie Fraser.”
Accies boss Brian Rice says he would have been disheartened with even a point. He said: “It was disappointing to lose. Even a draw would have been disappointing. First half we started well, get ahead and another couple of chances. Even second half apart from the first minute I thought we were in control. Ten minutes from time we lose two goals.”