Ross County gained their first point and clean sheet of the season in a tie which showed low levels of attacking finesse, but largely improved levels of defensive structure from Malky Mackay’s new-look Staggies.
A continuation of the system which had been used in pre-season is showing huge glimpses that Ross County’s infamously leaky back-line may be turning a new leaf.
Deploying his XI in a back five formation, it’s clear that one of Malky’s main objectives is to, once and for all, sweep the embarrassing stat of 126 goals conceded in 68 Premiership games under the carpet.
Despite the encouraging signs in the defensive third, Mackay’s front men had a more troublesome time attempting to put the ball in the net.
New number ten Dominic Samuel started alongside target man Jordan White.
The pairing seem to have a good understanding with each other, however it’s not conclusive that Samuel and White is the best pairing at the hands of Mackay.
Samuel was substituted on the 60th minute mark after a mediocre performance with a few missed chances.
Jordan White didn’t seem his usual self, often falling second best in aerial duels, and sometimes struggling to assert his dominance amongst a physical Saints back three.
The front two could definitely be an area which is chopped and changed in the coming weeks, with last season’s top scorer, Oli Shaw, ready and waiting to step up.
Mackay’s squad will receive a significant boost next week when David Cancola joins the team.
There are several areas of the squad which still need strengthening, namely left back, after Jake Vokins picked up a nasty injury which will see him out for up to ten weeks.
The two other key areas which need reinforcing are central defence and wingers.
Malky has stated he expects three players to sign on Monday, which will thankfully fill out the thin squad.
There is no question that holding last season’s cup double winners to a draw is a positive start to the campaign.
It could be argued that it is due to a sizable piece of luck that County walked away with a point after Ali McCann’s fumbled penalty, but all in all, a point is probably fair, but is one that will please County more.