Early goal helps St Mirren see off Ross County
St Mirren moved up to fifth in the Scottish Premiership table courtesy of a 1–0 win over Ross County in Paisley.
Declan Gallagher’s eighth-minute header proved to be the difference between the two sides, with the Staggies unable to find a response.
St Mirren started the game on the front foot, pinning their visitors inside their own half and applying plenty of pressure.
They would get the early rewards too, going ahead in the eighth minute at a corner kick when Gallagher met Ryan Strain’s corner at the near post and headed past Ross Laidlaw and into the net.
With an advantage to defend, the Paisley outfit did drop their press slightly deeper, quite happy for County’s defenders to pass the ball amongst themselves, and the Staggies still struggled to find a foothold in the game.
As far as the away contingent were concerned, their best chance of the first half would also come from a corner, with George Harmon’s delivery finding an on-rushing Keith Watson at the back post – only for the volley to fly over the bar.
Perhaps sensing that a result was slipping away from his side, Malky Mackay made an triple attacking substitution at half-time to try and spark a comeback, and County did have the early chances after the restart.
Nohan Kenneh and Ross Callachan each missed the target, but an equaliser was not forthcoming for the Staggies.
Instead, St Mirren regained a measure of control over the game, and going into the last 10 minutes they again looked the most likely to score.
They forced multiple blocks and one excellent double save out of Laidlaw, denying Kieran Offord and then Strain, but they could not add to the scoresheet.
Gwion Edwards, making his Staggies debut, did have a chance to find a late leveller only to be denied by Trevor Carson.
Owura Edwards had been charging in and bundled Carson over, and although initially playing on referee Graham Grainger was instructed by VAR to take another look – eventually deciding to show the on-loan Bristol City man a red card and forcing County to see out the game with 10 men.
St Mirren would suffer a blow of their own, though, as match-winner Gallagher limped off in stoppage time after pulling up with an apparent hamstring injury.
Defeat leaves County second-bottom – one point ahead of next opponents Dundee United.