Inverness ended Ross County's 11-match unbeaten run to maintain their Highland derby upper-hand and leapfrog the visitors in the Premier League.

Andrew Shinnie's tap-in gave the hosts an early advantage.

But Paul Lawson's impressive curling strike levelled matters before the half-time interval.

The hosts won a penalty following Mihael Kovacevic's tackle on Charlie Taylor and Billy McKay converted to move his side up to third in the table.

Terry Butcher's men had gone into the match boasting two wins from the previous four derbies in all competitions this season, the other two encounters ending in draws.

But County were a point ahead of their rivals at kick-off.

The home side took the early initiative with top scorer McKay testing Michael Fraser with a fierce shot on the turn inside the box.

And any prospect of a repeat of the 0-0 draw between the sides earlier this month ended with the corner that followed.

Richie Foran's downward header from Taylor's delivery was blocked on the line by Fraser and Shinnie was on hand to roll the ball over the line.

Ross County midfielder Paul Lawson

Lawson's goal temporarily brought County level

Suddenly, County's unbeaten 2013 was under threat and Derek Adams' men were required to display the battling qualities which helped them come from behind to beat Celtic last week.

The visitors struggled to gain territory for much of the first half but took advantage of a set piece around 30 yards from goal.

Iain Vigurs squared for Lawson, who unleashed a swerving shot that flew past Ryan Esson's despairing dive.

There was a further blow for Inverness when Esson picked up an injury while kicking the ball forward and he was soon replaced by Antonio Reguero.

Inverness started the second period positively and Shinnie's effort spun out off a defender's head.

And, when Taylor went down in the wake of Kovacevic's sliding challenge, referee Iain Brines pointed to the spot.

Ross County were incensed by the decision and players from both sides got involved in an angry exchange in the penalty area.

When the melee had subsided, McKay calmly tucked the ball past Fraser for his 24th goal of the season.

The visitors could not rouse another comeback with Sam Morrow's header claimed by Reguero in injury time.

And though County slip to fourth, they remain a point ahead of St Johnstone.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Inverness CT

  • 01 Esson (Reguero - 41' )
  • 02 Raven
  • 05 Warren
  • 14 Meekings
  • 28 Taylor
  • 04 Tudur-Jones
  • 08 Draper
  • 10 Shinnie (Ross - 79' )
  • 07 McKay
  • 09 Foran
  • 17 Doran

Substitutes

  • 12 Reguero
  • 27 Devine
  • 11 Ross
  • 21 Polworth
  • 22 Pepper
  • 26 Gibbons
  • 18 Sutherland

Ross County

  • 01 Fraser
  • 04 Munro (Glen - 82' )
  • 05 Boyd
  • 18 Ikonomou
  • 22 Kovacevic
  • 07 Kettlewell Booked (Cooper - 72' )
  • 08 Lawson Booked
  • 11 Vigurs Booked
  • 12 Quinn
  • 16 Sproule (Wohlfarth - 49' )
  • 17 Morrow

Substitutes

  • 28 McCarthy
  • 13 Hainault
  • 23 Macphee
  • 21 Cooper
  • 24 Ross
  • 15 Wohlfarth
  • 20 Glen
Ref: Brines
Att: 5,750

Match Stats

Shots

5 8

On target

3 3

Corners

3 6

Fouls

10 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:32 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +3:17

Sam Morrow takes a shot. Save made by Antonio Reguero.

90:00 +1:40

Corner taken right-footed by Paul Lawson from the left by-line, clearance made by Gary Warren. Iain Vigurs takes the inswinging corner, Close range headed effort by Mihael Kovacevic goes wide of the left-hand post.

90:00 +0:57

Billy McKay is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Paul Lawson.

90:00 +0:24

Sam Morrow takes a shot. Save made by Antonio Reguero.

89:21

Short corner taken by Aaron Doran.

85:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ross Draper on Steffen Wohlfarth. Free kick taken by Paul Lawson.

84:24

Sam Morrow produces a header from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.

83:00

Aaron Doran handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Fraser.

82:24 Booking

Booking Iain Vigurs goes into the referee's book for dissent.

81:27 Substitution

Substitution Gary Glen replaces Grant Munro.

79:55

David Raven restarts play with the free kick.

79:55 Booking

Booking Paul Lawson booked for unsporting behaviour.

79:53

Paul Lawson concedes a free kick for a foul on Nick Ross.

78:28

David Raven takes the direct free kick.

78:28 Substitution

Substitution Nick Ross on for Andrew Shinnie.

78:28

Scott Boyd challenges Billy McKay unfairly and gives away a free kick.

74:39

Billy McKay is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Michael Fraser.

72:41

Unfair challenge on Aaron Doran by Iain Vigurs results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Josh Meekings.

71:32 Substitution

Substitution Alex Cooper replaces Stuart Kettlewell.

70:59

Foul by Steffen Wohlfarth on Gary Warren, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by David Raven.

69:43

Free kick taken by Charlie Taylor.

69:43 Booking

Booking Stuart Kettlewell is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

69:41

Unfair challenge on Charlie Taylor by Stuart Kettlewell results in a free kick.

67:59

Foul by Josh Meekings on Steffen Wohlfarth, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Iain Vigurs from right channel, save by Antonio Reguero.

67:37

Handball decision goes against Andrew Shinnie. Free kick taken by Michael Fraser.

67:10

The assistant referee signals for offside against Steffen Wohlfarth. Gary Warren takes the direct free kick.

63:09

Richie Foran is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Michael Fraser.

60:26

Corner taken by Paul Lawson from the left by-line, Antonio Reguero makes a save.

59:42

Corner taken by Paul Lawson from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Owain Tudur Jones.

58:38 Goal scored

Goal! - Billy McKay - Inverness 2 - 1 Ross Co Placed penalty scored by Billy McKay. Inverness CT 2-1 Ross County.

57:23

Unfair challenge on Charlie Taylor by Scott Boyd results in a Penalty.

56:02

Iain Vigurs takes a shot from long distance which goes wide of the right-hand post.

53:39

Andrew Shinnie takes a shot. Evangelos Ikonomou gets a block in. Charlie Taylor takes a inswinging corner.

51:39

The assistant referee signals for offside against Steffen Wohlfarth. Antonio Reguero restarts play with the free kick.

50:48

Richie Foran fouled by Iain Vigurs, the ref awards a free kick. Gary Warren restarts play with the free kick.

49:17

Free kick awarded for a foul by Sam Morrow on Charlie Taylor. Charlie Taylor takes the direct free kick.

48:34 Substitution

Substitution Steffen Wohlfarth comes on in place of Ivan Sproule.

47:22

Iain Vigurs takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Ross Draper makes a clearance.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +1:07 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

44:04

Mihael Kovacevic produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.

43:18

Charlie Taylor challenges Ivan Sproule unfairly and gives away a free kick. Iain Vigurs delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.

40:19 Substitution

Substitution Antonio Reguero is brought on as a substitute for Ryan Esson.

38:23

Ivan Sproule fouled by Owain Tudur Jones, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Lawson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Ryan Esson makes a save. Close range headed effort by Grant Munro misses to the right of the target.

37:05

Ross Draper concedes a free kick for a foul on Iain Vigurs. Free kick crossed right-footed by Paul Lawson from left wing, save made by Ryan Esson.

36:01

Foul by Richie Foran on Scott Boyd, free kick awarded. Michael Fraser restarts play with the free kick.

34:13

Iain Vigurs provided the assist for the goal.

34:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Paul Lawson - Inverness 1 - 1 Ross Co Paul Lawson grabs a goal from the edge of the area to the top left corner of the goal. Inverness CT 1-1 Ross County.

33:24

The referee gives a free kick against Richie Foran for handball. Iain Vigurs takes the free kick,

31:15

The referee gives a free kick against Aaron Doran for handball. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Paul Lawson from right channel, Ross Draper makes a clearance.

25:40

Aaron Doran takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.

24:29

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell on Richie Foran, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Josh Meekings.

23:08

Free kick awarded for a foul by Iain Vigurs on Aaron Doran. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charlie Taylor from right wing, save made by Michael Fraser.

20:27

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Evangelos Ikonomou by David Raven. Direct free kick taken by Evangelos Ikonomou.

19:28

Effort from deep inside the area by Billy McKay misses to the left of the goal.

18:42

Scott Boyd gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Billy McKay. Charlie Taylor takes the free kick.

17:33

Ross Draper challenges Iain Vigurs unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Fraser takes the direct free kick.

16:25

Billy McKay gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Boyd. Michael Fraser takes the direct free kick.

15:14

Unfair challenge on Iain Vigurs by Ross Draper results in a free kick. Paul Lawson takes the direct free kick.

14:05

Corner taken by Paul Lawson from the left by-line, clearance made by Owain Tudur Jones.

11:37

Billy McKay fouled by Stuart Kettlewell, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ross Draper.

8:51

Richie Foran is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Michael Fraser restarts play with the free kick.

8:27

Free kick awarded for a foul by Grant Munro on Andrew Shinnie. Free kick taken by David Raven.

4:04

Assist on the goal came from Charlie Taylor.

4:04 Goal scored

Goal! - Andrew Shinnie - Inverness 1 - 0 Ross Co Goal scored by Andrew Shinnie from close in low into the middle of the goal. Inverness CT 1-0 Ross County.

3:34

Billy McKay takes a shot. Save made by Michael Fraser. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Charlie Taylor,

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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