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Ross County face relegation play-off after drawing against 10-man Aberdeen
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Yan Dhanda’s penalty was not enough to take Ross County to safety (Simon Galloway/PA)
Yan Dhanda’s penalty was not enough to take Ross County to safety (Simon Galloway/PA)

Ross County will contest the Scottish Premiership relegation play-off after drawing 2-2 with Aberdeen.

St Johnstone’s win at Motherwell meant the Staggies needed all three points against the Dons to secure safety.

And despite playing the last 26 minutes against 10 men and hitting the woodwork in stoppage time, the hosts could not find a winner which would have moved them up to 10th.

Ross County had made a fine start as Simon Murray gave them a fifth-minute lead.

Connor Randall’s cross was only half-cleared by the Dons defence and County’s top scorer Murray flicked the ball over his head before firing past Dons goalkeeper Kelle Roos and into the bottom corner.

The visitors responded well in Dingwall and equalised just after the half-hour mark.

Connor Barron dribbled past multiple County defenders and into the box, where he floated a cross towards the back post for Ester Sokler to power a header past County keeper Ross Laidlaw from close range.

County tried to come out swinging in the second half, with Randall hitting the outside of the post after receiving the ball inside Aberdeen’s box from Yan Dhanda.

However, in the 50th minute Aberdeen took the lead, with Junior Hoilett getting to the byline before cutting the ball back for Jamie McGrath to tap in.

The Dons thought they had made it 3-1 shortly afterwards, with Sokler tapping in after Hoilett had hit the post, but the offside flag was raised.

But the complexion of the match was changed in the 64th minute.

A wayward header from Nicky Devlin looked to send Jordan White through on goal, but when he was pulled down by Angus MacDonald the referee pointed to the penalty spot and sent the Aberdeen defender off.

Dhanda stepped up to take it, and he sent Roos the wrong way to level the scores once again.

Needing a winner, the hosts pushed forward and Murray forced Roos into a good save just moments before Will Nightingale’s long-range volley was deflected on to the crossbar.

Nightingale hit the post again in injury time, heading Dhanda’s free-kick on to the frame of the goal, before White blazed over the bar from six yards out.

Try as they might, though, they could not find a winning goal and will have to beat Raith Rovers in a play-off to remain in the Premiership next season.


Scottish PremiershipAberdeenRoss County
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