Scottish Premiership
Ross County1Rangers2

Ross County 1-2 Rangers

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Highlights: Ross County 1-2 Rangers

Rangers moved back into second place in the Premiership with goals from Daniel Candeias and Jason Cummings adding to the woes of bottom side Ross County.

Goalkeeper Aaron McCarey failed to keep out a shot from Candeias as the visitors dominated the first half.

A strike from substitute Cummings then found the bottom corner via a slight deflection on 82 minutes.

A late penalty from David Ngog could not prevent County from slipping six points adrift.

The spot-kick decision was bizarre, with an effort from Ngog blasting against the hand of Russell Martin from point-blank range.

Not long before Cummings' goal, the hosts had what looked like a much stronger claim for a penalty waved away when David Bates stopped a Ross Draper header with his arm.

From the start, Rangers' movement and passing was impressive. James Tavernier on the right and Declan John on the left terrorised a frantic County's defence. Candeias and Bates had early chances - only the post preventing the latter from giving the men in red, the lead.

New signing Greg Docherty enjoyed a winning start to his Rangers career
New signing Greg Docherty enjoyed a winning start to his Rangers career, coming on as a second-half replacement

McCarey should have done much better when the inevitable breakthrough did come on 21 minutes.

Candeias let fly from distance but, instead of blocking or parrying the shot, the goalkeeper watched it disappear through his fingers and into the net. It was a bad blunder and from it Rangers smelled blood.

They swarmed forward and Alfredo Morelos fizzed a shot just wide after skipping through on goal unchallenged. A second goal looked a certainty.

With the Highland rain now pouring, Rangers continued to turn the screw and Tavernier was at the centre of all that was good for the visitors. From the full-back's cross, Jamie Murphy's glancing header was superbly pushed away by McCarey.

Ross County started the second half with a little more drive and belief but again it was Rangers who were more purposeful. This time Josh Windass twisted and turned impressively down the left on the angle but his shot was stopped by McCarey on the stretch.

The home side's jittery nerves had settled and they ventured over the halfway line with more regularity.

With Rangers struggling to find their earlier fluency, County started to believe and they pressed with a renewed purpose.

There were loud cries for a penalty when Bates blocked with his arm. No spot kick but further evidence of a second-half turnaround in performance.

Jason Cummings fires Rangers into a 2-0 lead soon after coming off the bench
Cummings fires Rangers into a 2-0 lead shortly after coming off the bench

However, Rangers' new boy Cummings entered the stage and soon killed off any home hopes of a comeback.

The former Hibs man was on the pitch for a mere five minutes before he burst through on goal and fired a shot low past McCarey, with the help of a Harry Souttar deflection.

A mini pitch invasion of celebrating Rangers fans followed; they knew it was game over and, like their new hero, they were loving it.

In the closing stages referee Steven McLean did point to the spot, with Martin dazed and confused by the ferocity of Ngog's shot and the penalty award.

The former Liverpool striker converted with real composure to tease the possibility of a grandstand finish that never materialised.

So, despite that spirited second half fight back, the misery continues for County boss Owen Coyle, who has gone 11 league games without a victory. He's a man with enough experience to know that serious questions about his position could be coming.

For Rangers, it was a third win in a four-match unbeaten sequence as they nudge ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference and stay 11 points behind leaders Celtic.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 31McCarey
  • 3NaismithBooked at 25mins
  • 2Fraser
  • 5Souttar
  • 28van der Weg
  • 4RoutisSubstituted forChowat 9'minutesBooked at 50mins
  • 7Gardyne
  • 17Draper
  • 25O'Brien
  • 40Keillor-DunnSubstituted forSchalkat 78'minutes
  • 11CurranSubstituted forN'Gogat 55'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 8Chow
  • 10Schalk
  • 12Effiong
  • 14N'Gog
  • 22Mckay
  • 24Dingwall

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 33Martin
  • 24Bates
  • 3John
  • 27GossSubstituted forDochertyat 74'minutes
  • 23HoltBooked at 56mins
  • 21CandeiasSubstituted forHallidayat 84'minutes
  • 11Windass
  • 28Murphy
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forCummingsat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Cardoso
  • 15Herrera
  • 16Halliday
  • 19Kranjcar
  • 25Alnwick
  • 26Cummings
  • 48Docherty
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
6,541

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home5
Away16
Shots on Target
Home2
Away9
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home19
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 1, Rangers 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Rangers 2.

David Bates (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, Rangers 2. David N'Gog (Ross County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty conceded by Russell Martin (Rangers) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Attempt missed. Jamie Murphy (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kenny van der Weg (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Andy Halliday replaces Daniel Candeias.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 0, Rangers 2. Jason Cummings (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jason Cummings replaces Alfredo Morelos.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Davis Keillor-Dunn because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Greg Docherty replaces Sean Goss.

Foul by Michael Gardyne (Ross County).

Sean Goss (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Harry Souttar (Ross County).

Russell Martin (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by David Bates.

Attempt blocked. Tim Chow (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Davis Keillor-Dunn (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).

Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).

David Bates (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).

Sean Goss (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Jamie Murphy (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Davis Keillor-Dunn (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Harry Souttar.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jason Holt (Rangers).

Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).

Sean Goss (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. David N'Gog replaces Craig Curran.

Attempt blocked. Kenny van der Weg (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

David Bates (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic24176151163557
2Rangers24144645261946
3Aberdeen2414463627946
4Hibernian2410863228438
5Hearts2481062520534
6Motherwell2384112933-428
7Kilmarnock226882631-526
8St Johnstone2275102233-1126
9Dundee2474132534-925
10Hamilton2365123139-823
11Partick Thistle2465132340-1723
12Ross County2445152240-1817
View full Scottish Premiership table

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