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Ross County’s winless start goes on as St Mirren hold on for victory

St Mirren v Heat of Midlothian – cinch Premiership – The SMiSA Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Ross County’s bid for a first cinch Premiership win of the season ended in frustration once again as St Mirren stretched their unbeaten run to six matches with a 3-2 victory.

Leading 3-1 at the break through goals from Eamonn Brophy, Marcus Fraser and Scott Tanser, the visitors withstood late pressure as County attempted to add to Blair Spittal’s 37th-minute strike and Alex Iacovitti’s 66th-minute strike.

But Saints held firm to leave the hosts on just three points from their opening nine matches.

County were after a fast start and nearly went in front with barely three minutes on the clock.

Spittal’s free-kick dropped perfectly for Iacovitti, but St Mirren had a left-off as the defender’s header struck the right-hand post.

But it was the visitors, undefeated since suffering a six-goal thrashing by Celtic, who took the lead after 15 minutes.

Having failed to nullify the threat posed by Ethan Erhahon, the hosts paid the price when he set up Brophy for a shot from the left side of the area that easily beat Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

St Mirren appeared capable of scoring every time they crossed the halfway line, but it was their turn to feel threatened in the 31st minute when Spittal, Harry Paton and Ross Callachan combined to open up the defence in a slick move which ended with the latter forcing a spectacular save from Jak Alnwick.

Three goals then followed in the space of five hectic minutes, with St Mirren claiming the first in the 34th minute when former Staggies full-back Fraser came back to haunt his former club by doubling this side’s lead with a header from Tanser’s cross.

Spittal pulled one back three minutes later, giving Alnwick no chance with a viciously struck free-kick from 25 yards that deflected off the top of the wall.

However, just a minute later the visitors had a third, Tanser beating Maynard-Brewer from the edge of the area after Alnwick had created the opening with a long clearance.

County survived further scares as Brophy twice caught the defence cold only to shoot wide of the target.

But they grabbed a lifeline in the 66th minute when Iacovitti’s glancing header from Harry Clarke’s delivery found the net.

Saints, though, stood firm to close out a third consecutive league win.