Ross County go five points clear at top in derby victory
Ross County 2
Scorers ¬ ICT: Tremarco (24) Ross County: Mullin (8) Boyle (34)
Ross County went five points clear at the top of the Championship with a 2-1 win in the Highland derby over 10-man Inverness.
Josh Mullin put County in front after eight minutes only for Carl Tremarco to level midway through the first half.
But Andrew Boyle’s header 11 minutes from half time proved to be the difference in a vital victory for the Staggies as Inverness lost for the first time in six games who had Charlie Trafford sent off before half time.
Ross County had the first chance of the game when Daniel Armstrong’s cross from the right wing found the head of Declan McManus whose header was knocked off the line before Mullin fired over the bar.
Mullin broke the deadlock after eight minutes with a stunning low drive from the edge of the box which beat Mark Ridgers.
Inverness were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute when Liam Polworth’s through ball found Jordan White who was brought down by Scott Fox.
But the goalkeeper redeemed himself by guessing correctly as he dived to his right to block the shot from 12 yards.
However, Inverness equalised in the 24th minute when Joe Chalmers’ corner found White who headed the ball across the face of goal to find Tremarco who nodded home from close range.
The scores were level for only 10 minutes as Ross County went in front again when Ross Draper volleyed a corner into the ground and the ball bounced kindly to Boyle to nod home from close range.
Inverness were then reduced to 10 men just before half time when Trafford picked up his second yellow card after a foul on Jamie Lindsay.
Caley Thistle started the second half brightly and almost scored an equaliser when Tom Walsh’s shot took a deflection off Kenny van der Weg which went wide of the left post.
But Ross County should have made it 3-1 when Jamie Lindsay was unchallenged from six yards to connect with a Mullin cross and saw his header smash against the crossbar.
The Staggies could have put the game to bed five minutes before full time when Brian Graham saw a shot from the edge of the box flashed wide. But in the end they did enough to win all three points.
Inverness stay six points above Dunfermline Athletic in the final play-off spot.
ICT: Ridgers, Tremarco (McDonald 85), Chalmers, Donaldson, McCart, Polworth, Doran, Walsh (Austin 71), White, McKay (Rooney 75), Trafford.
Subs (Unused) Mackay, McDonald, Mackay, McHattie, Machado.
Ross County: Fox, Fraser, Kelly, Draper (Spence 45), Lindsay, McManus, Boyle, Mullin, Stewart, Van der Weg, Armstrong (Graham 71).
Subs (Unused) Munro, Semple, Paton, Cowie, Grivosti.
Referee: Nick Walsh