Ross County move seven points clear of St Johnstone with relegation battle win

Celtic v Ross County – Pre-Season Friendly – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Ross County moved seven points clear of St Johnstone at the bottom two in the cinch Premiership table as they came from behind to win 3-1 at the Global Energy Stadium.

Callum Hendry gave St Johnstone the lead in Dingwall, but the league’s top scorer Regan Charles-Cook found the net in both halves to put in County in front.

Joseph Hungbo then scored midway through the second half to seal the victory and move the Staggies only four points away from the top six.

Ross County approached the clash with only one win in their last five games, but it was also a run of matches where they were only beaten once, a 2­-0 defeat to Hibernian the previous weekend.

St Johnstone went into the encounter in good form with only one defeat in their last six matches.

The Perth outfit broke the deadlock midway through the first half.

Hendry beat the Ross County defence in the air and connected with Thomas Sang’s cross into the box and from eight yards out nodded the ball out of goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw’s reach into the top left corner.

But County levelled 10 minutes before half-time when a challenge between Harry Paton and Jacob Butterfield saw the ball ricochet to Charles-Cook who took control 20 yards from goal and fired a delightful curling shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

Charles-Cook almost gave County the lead at the beginning of the second half when Hungbo surged up the field and his cross towards the far post was inches away from the forward nodding it into the net.

But he scored his second of the game eight minutes into the second half to put the Staggies in front.

Jack Baldwin’s long throw into the box was allowed to bounce and the Grenadian international fired a looping effort from 12 yards past Elliot Parish into the top right corner.

His two goals brought his total for the season to 13 as he moved two ahead of Alfredo Morelos of Rangers at the top of the goalscoring charts.

County established a two-goal lead midway through the second half when Keith Watson sent a high ball to the right wing which found Jordan White.

He headed the ball into the path of Hungbo at the edge of the box and he fired a thunderous low drive past Parish into the bottom right corner to give the home side a significant advantage which St Johnstone never threatened to overcome.

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