Ross County may have only had one effort on goal at Easter Road but it was enough to sink faltering Hibernian in a dismal match.
On 57 minutes Richard Brittain got on the end of an Iain Vigurs cross and the County skipper's header from 12 yards left keeper Ben Williams floundering.
Strikers Eoin Doyle and Leigh Griffiths missed good headed opportunities as the home side responded.
And former Hibs keeper Mark Brown had to push away a shot from Jorge Claros.
The home side ended the match camped around the visitors' penalty area but County held on for their first win in eight games as they remain unbeaten against Hibs.
Hibs welcomed back defenders James McPake and Tim Clancy, with Alan Maybury missing with a bug and Lewis Stephenson dropping to the bench.
County boss Derek Adams recalled former Hearts striker Gary Glen to his starting eleven, with Colin McMenamin joining the substitutes.
It was a poor start to the game with hard fought tackles in midfield but little created by either side.
Clancy was the first player to have a shot at goal but from 30 yards out his effort ended up in the empty top tier of the South Stand.
Hibs finally forced a succession of corners and captain James McPake came close when he headed narrowly past Brown's right post.
Pat Fenlon's men also failed to take advantage of a free kick on the edge of the penalty box with David Wotherspoon playing in Paul Cairney for the former Partick Thistle midfielder to slice his effort well wide of the target.
Within a minute of the second half Ross County were forced into making a change.
Stuart Kettlewell was about to cross the ball when he crumpled to the ground holding the back of his right leg. Paul Lawson came on as a replacement.
The deadlock was broken on County's first attack of note.
Vigurs swung a cross in from the left and Brittain sent a glancing header beyond Williams and into the corner of the net.
The goal brought the spark the game badly needed and some meaty challenges followed as tempers frayed in the home ranks, with McPake, Cairney and Clancy all finding their way into the notebook of referee John Beaton in quick succession.
Doyle headed over from a good Ryan McGivern delivery before a fierce shot from Claros was pushed away by Brown, who was the first-choice keeper at Easter Road at the end of the last season.
Doyle did find the back of the net for Hibs after Brown spilled a Griffiths shot from 22 yards but a linesman's flag was raised for offside.
Griffiths then headed another good McGivern cross straight into the arms of Brown.
Hibs won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area in the final minute but Griffiths' effort summed up an off-day for Hibs as he thundered the ball against the defensive wall.
County's win lifts them nine points ahead of bottom club Dundee, who host Celtic in the Boxing Day evening kick-off, while Hibs remain fourth in Scottish Premier League despite picking up mere four points from their last seven outings.
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Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:22
Scott Boyd challenges James McPake unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Leigh Griffiths.90:00 +3:03
Free kick taken by Ben Williams.90:00 +3:03 Booking
Booking The referee shows Alex Cooper a yellow card.90:00 +2:55
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Handling by Alex Cooper.90:00 +2:36
Ryan McGivern crosses the ball, blocked by Mark Brown.90:00 +2:15
Richard Brittain is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Ben Williams takes the indirect free kick.90:00 +0:36
Paul Cairney has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.89:09
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Brittain by Shefki Kuqi. Free kick taken by Mark Brown.85:49
The referee blows for offside against Eoin Doyle. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Brown.85:02
Free kick taken by Mark Brown.85:02 Substitution
Substitution Shefki Kuqi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Tim Clancy.85:02
Gary Deegan challenges Rocco Quinn unfairly and gives away a free kick.78:01
Paul Hanlon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Cooper. Iain Vigurs takes the free kick.76:55
A cross is delivered by Ryan McGivern, Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Save made by Mark Brown.74:33 Substitution
Substitution Gary Glen goes off and Sam Morrow comes on.73:47
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Brown.73:23
Leigh Griffiths takes a shot. Save by Mark Brown.72:42
Leigh Griffiths takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Scott Boyd manages to make a clearance.72:14
Jorge Claros takes a shot. Save by Mark Brown.
Eoin Doyle has a headed effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.70:39
Ryan McGivern takes a shot.69:47 Substitution
Substitution Mihael Kovacevic goes off and Ross Tokely comes on.66:53
Mihael Kovacevic takes a shot. Save made by Ben Williams.66:03
Mark Brown takes the indirect free kick.66:03 Booking
Booking Booking for James McPake.65:42
Unfair challenge on Richard Brittain by James McPake results in a free kick.65:11 Booking
Booking Tim Clancy is given a yellow card.63:04 Booking
Booking Paul Cairney receives a caution for dissent.62:35 Booking
Booking Mihael Kovacevic goes into the book for dissent.61:32 Substitution
Substitution David Wotherspoon goes off and Danny Handling comes on.61:32 Substitution
Substitution (Hibernian) makes a substitution, with Jorge Claros coming on for Tom Taiwo.61:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan McGivern on Scott Boyd. Free kick taken by Mark Brown.60:27
Unfair challenge on Tim Clancy by Mihael Kovacevic results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Gary Deegan.59:17
Leigh Griffiths is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Mark Brown takes the indirect free kick.57:17
Paul Cairney challenges Rocco Quinn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Iain Vigurs.56:02
The assist for the goal came from Marc Fitzpatrick.56:02 Goal scored
Goal! - Richard Brittain - Hibernian 0 - 1 Ross Co Richard Brittain scores a headed goal from inside the box. Hibernian 0-1 Ross County.55:12 Booking
Booking Scott Boyd goes into the referee's book.54:44
Scott Boyd challenges Leigh Griffiths unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Wotherspoon restarts play with the free kick, James McPake takes a shot. Save made by Mark Brown.52:12
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Brittain by Tom Taiwo. Iain Vigurs takes the free kick.51:50
Rocco Quinn takes a shot. Blocked by Paul Hanlon.50:30
Unfair challenge on James McPake by Gary Glen results in a free kick. James McPake restarts play with the free kick.47:14 Substitution
Substitution Paul Lawson replaces Stuart Kettlewell.45:01
The referee starts the second half.45:00 +1:31 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +0:55
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Leigh Griffiths.43:57
The ball is crossed by Marc Fitzpatrick, clearance made by James McPake.42:22
Unfair challenge on Richard Brittain by Gary Deegan results in a free kick. Grant Munro takes the indirect free kick.41:29
Paul Cairney has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.40:38
Unfair challenge on Paul Cairney by Mihael Kovacevic results in a free kick. David Wotherspoon takes the indirect free kick.39:24
Unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Richard Brittain results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Leigh Griffiths.38:30
Inswinging corner taken by Richard Brittain, Ben Williams makes a brilliant save.36:07
The assistant referee signals for offside against Gary Glen. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.35:28
Handball by Eoin Doyle. Free kick taken by Mark Brown.34:53
Foul by Iain Vigurs on Ryan McGivern, free kick awarded. Paul Hanlon takes the free kick.34:04
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Deegan on Stuart Kettlewell. Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick.33:39
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Leigh Griffiths from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Marc Fitzpatrick.31:27
Foul by Marc Fitzpatrick on David Wotherspoon, free kick awarded. Leigh Griffiths produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, Mark Brown makes a comfortable save.31:08
Foul by Iain Vigurs on Tim Clancy, free kick awarded. James McPake restarts play with the free kick.29:58
The assistant referee flags for offside against Iain Vigurs. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.28:49
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Leigh Griffiths from the right by-line, Mihael Kovacevic makes a clearance.24:48
Corner taken left-footed by Leigh Griffiths from the right by-line to the near post, Close range header by James McPake goes wide of the left-hand post.24:32
Corner from the left by-line taken by David Wotherspoon, Grant Munro manages to make a clearance.21:19 Booking
Booking The referee books Gary Deegan for dissent.16:37
Leigh Griffiths concedes a free kick for a foul on Marc Fitzpatrick. Grant Munro restarts play with the free kick.15:12
Effort from range distance by Tim Clancy goes wide of the right-hand upright.14:48
The ball is sent over by David Wotherspoon, Grant Munro makes a clearance.13:41
The ball is crossed by Tim Clancy.12:30
Leigh Griffiths gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Grant Munro. Grant Munro takes the free kick.10:59
A cross is delivered by Marc Fitzpatrick, James McPake makes a clearance.10:40
The ball is swung over by Gary Glen.8:19
Unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Richard Brittain results in a free kick. David Wotherspoon takes the indirect free kick.7:47
Free kick awarded for a foul by Eoin Doyle on Richard Brittain. Grant Munro restarts play with the free kick.4:28
The referee blows for offside. Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick.1:02
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Brittain by Tom Taiwo. Indirect free kick taken by Iain Vigurs.0:00
The game gets underway.
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