Scottish Premiership
Ross County2Aberdeen0

Ross County 2-0 Aberdeen

Brian Graham
Brian Graham opened the scoring for Ross County

Ross County moved into third in the Premiership as leaders Aberdeen lost their third straight league game.

Brian Graham put the hosts ahead after Paul Quinn's challenge on Ricky Foster only pushed the ball into his path.

He doubled the lead with another Quinn assist, the Dons defender misjudging the flight of the ball and heading to Graham to finish past Danny Ward.

Niall McGinn hit a post for Aberdeen and Adam Rooney was twice denied, but they were well beaten in Dingwall.

The result means champions Celtic can go top with a draw against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes made four changes to the team thumped 5-1 by St Johnstone before the international break.

But they did not look too sure at the back in the early exchanges as Ross County threatened through Ricky Foster on the left and the in-form Liam Boyce down the middle.

Boyce twice twisted clear in the visitors' penalty area but produced shots that failed to test Ward.

At the other end, David Goodwillie, preferred up front to Adam Rooney, looked lively and went close with an audacious overhead kick before hitting a left-foot shot across the face of Gary Woods' goal.

It was a game played at a really high tempo with the Staggies looking the more dangerous side - as they showed when Graeme Shinnie was forced to block an Andrew Davies header on the goal-line after 23 minutes.

Foster and Boyce combined, the former picking out the latter with a diagonal cross from deep. His header was a textbook effort towards the bottom right-hand corner, but Ward pulled off an impressive diving save.

Brian Graham (right) pounces to put Ross County 1-0 up before half-time
Brian Graham (right) pounces to put Ross County 1-0 up before half-time

However, there was not much the man on loan from Liverpool could do to prevent the home side finally taking the lead.

Foster dribbled into the Aberdeen penalty area then seemed to lose his way, but the ball broke into the path of Graham, who clipped in his first league goal for County.

Aberdeen resumed after half-time in a positive manner, but they were hit by a counter-attack goal minutes into the second period.

Boyce beat Ash Taylor to flick a header on and Quinn misjudged the flight of the ball. That allowed Graham to run through on goal and finish at the second attempt.

McGinn was then denied by the post for the visitors, with Rooney having his shot from the rebound cleared off the line by Jamie Reckord.

If that was a let-off for Woods then the County goalkeeper played a significant part in maintaining their two-goal advantage with a brilliant save to deny Rooney.

At the other end, Boyce continued to have a miserable night in front of goal - shooting over the bar when it looked easier to hit the target - then mis-hit a shot when clean through on goal.

He was eventually substituted to give Dutch signing Alex Schalk a brief run-out along with the fit-again Craig Curran on a night with plenty positives for McIntyre.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 21Woods
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 6Robertson
  • 3Reckord
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forFranksat 76'minutes
  • 36Irvine
  • 18Murdoch
  • 12Foster
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forSchalkat 85'minutes
  • 9GrahamSubstituted forCurranat 65'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 5Boyd
  • 8McShane
  • 11Curran
  • 17Franks
  • 23Schalk
  • 24De Vita
  • 31Severn

Aberdeen

  • 19Ward
  • 18Quinn
  • 6ReynoldsSubstituted forRooneyat 45'minutes
  • 5Taylor
  • 4Considine
  • 8FloodSubstituted forLoganat 45'minutes
  • 3Shinnie
  • 10McGinn
  • 7McLean
  • 11Hayes
  • 17GoodwillieSubstituted forParkerat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Logan
  • 9Rooney
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 20Brown
  • 21McLaughlin
  • 32Parker
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
5,543

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home13
Away13
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 2, Aberdeen 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 2, Aberdeen 0.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

Attempt saved. Alex Schalk (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Booking

Craig Curran (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Paul Quinn (Aberdeen).

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Liam Boyce.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Josh Parker replaces David Goodwillie.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jonathan Franks replaces Michael Gardyne.

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

Attempt saved. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Richard Foster.

Paul Quinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Craig Curran replaces Brian Graham.

Attempt missed. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box.

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Ross County).

Attempt blocked. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by David Goodwillie (Aberdeen).

Stewart Murdoch (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Ross County).

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Chris Robertson.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, Aberdeen 0. Brian Graham (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Liam Boyce.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Ross County).

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Chris Robertson (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal