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Ross County stage thrilling comeback to secure 2-2 draw with Hibernian at Easter Road

The Staggies came from two goals behind to claim their third successive draw, which moves them up to ninth in the Premiership.

Scott Allardice in action against Hibernian. Image: SNS
Scott Allardice in action against Hibernian. Image: SNS

Ross County staged a late fightback to claim their third away point in a week in a Halloween thriller against Hibernian.

A heavily-deflected effort from Elie Youan and an early second half effort from Jair Tavares looked to have the home side on course for the points at Easter Road.

Malky Mackay’s men mounted a late charge, pulling a goal back when Hibs substitute Allan Delferriere knocked into his own net with 15 minutes remaining.

Substitute Jordan White restored parity in stunning fashion just seven minutes later, with the result moving the Staggies up to ninth in the Premiership table.

Having been on the receiving end of a late fightback from Motherwell at the weekend, coming back to secure a point when all looked lost will be all the sweeter for the Dingwall men.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay. Image: Shutterstock.

The Staggies’ line-up showed two changes from the side which suffered late agony to draw 3-3 with Motherwell on Saturday. Purrington replaced George Harmon at left back, while Yan Dhanda was left on the bench and replaced by Kyle Turner, with Mackay once again opting to pair Eamonn Brophy alongside Simon Murray up front.

The Staggies’ first meaningful glimpse of goal came through a well-worked move on 15 minutes in which Murray teed up Scott Allardice following Connor Randall’s knock-down, with the midfielder well off target with his effort from distance.

County looked to squeeze Hibs in their efforts to play the ball out from the back, which led to increasing grumbles from the home support.

Youan once again caused problems on 22 minutes however, when he got in behind the Staggies’ rearguard before pulling back for Jair Tavares, whose effort was blocked into the grasp of Ross Laidlaw.

James Brown in action against Hibernian. Image: SNS

County spurned a glorious chance to break the deadlock three minutes later when Turner squared for Murray, who quickly slipped in Brown who had showed good movement, but the Irishman’s effort brushed the outside of the post.

Hibs began to up the pressure as half-time approached, with Adam Le Fondre striking wide from the edge of the box.

The Staggies were defending resolutely to limit the danger coming Laidlaw’s way however, which made the unfortunate nature of Hibs’ breakthrough all the more frustrating just three minutes before the interval.

Youan was making little progress towards the Staggies’ goal 25 yards out, before he took aim with a speculative effort which did not appear to be travelling on target, before a wicked deflection off Purrington wrongfooted Laidlaw.

It was an untimely breakthrough as far as the Staggies were concerned, which put the onus on them to make a strong start to the second half.

They were left with a mountain to climb on 54 minutes when Lewis Stevenson played a ball down the left channel which Brown was unable to cut out, releasing Tavares to steady himself before rifling high past Laidlaw from just inside the area.

Jair Tavares celebrates scoring for Hibernian. Image: Shutterstock.

There was briefly hope for the Staggies when the goal was pulled back for a VAR review for possible offside, however referee Grant Irvine received the instruction to award it.

That left County needing a quick lifeline in order to salvage hope of mounting a comeback, with Turner sending a free-kick straight into the wall from a wide position shortly after the goal.

Dhanda was brought on to the action just after the hour mark in place of Turner, with his introduction proving crucial in their route back into the game.

Alex Samuel, Jordan White and George Harmon all followed him on with 20 minutes remaining, as Mackay looked to mount a late flurry of pressure on the home side.

Murray got on the end of a Dhanda free-kick on 74 minutes, but he was unable to direct his header goalwards.

Dhanda did supply the goal which got County back into the game on 75 minutes with his deep cross knocked into his own net by Hibs substitute Allan Delferriere after being missed by goalkeeper Jojo Wallacott.

The Staggies restored parity seven minutes later when Murray teed up White to send a rasping effort past Wollacott on the turn, which sent the Staggies fans into raptures.

Jordan White celebrates in front of the Ross County fans after levelling at Easter Road. Image: Shutterstock.

County pushed for more, with Ryan Leak and Will Nightingale both denied by Wollacott in their efforts to find a winner.

Player Ratings

HIBERNIAN (4-4-2): Wollacott 6 Miller 7, Fish 6, Bushiri 6 (Hanlon 64), Stevenson 6; Youan 7, Jeggo 7 (Delferriere 68), Levitt 6, Tavares 7; Le Fondre 6, Vente 6 (Boyle 64).

Subs not used: Marshall, Newell, Obita, Campbell, Whittaker, Landers.

ROSS COUNTY (4-3-1-2): Laidlaw 6; Brown 7, Baldwin 6, Leak 6, Purrington 6 (Harmon 72); Randall 6 (Samuel 72), Allardice 8, Loturi 7; Turner 7 (Dhanda 63); Brophy 6 (White 72), Murray 7 (Nightingale 86).

Subs not used: Munro, Sheaf, High, Smith.

Referee: Grant Irvine

Attendance: 15,300

Star Man: Scott Allardice