Scottish Premiership
Ross County0Dundee1

Ross County 0-1 Dundee

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Highlights: Ross County 0-1 Dundee

Ross County remain two points adrift at the foot of the Scottish Premiership, and face at least a play-off to stay up, after home defeat by Dundee.

County must leapfrog second-bottom Partick Thistle in the final round of fixtures to avoid automatic relegation and tackle Dundee United or Livingston in a two-legged play-off.

The Staggies travel to St Johnstone on Saturday, while Thistle tackle Dundee.

The Dees' Dingwall victory guaranteed their top-flight status.

Simon Murray scored the only goal, the on-loan Hibernian striker nodding home Randy Wolters' bouncing cross six minutes into the second half.

Simon Murray celebrates scoring
On-loan striker Simon Murray scored the only goal in Dingwall

The hosts, perhaps recognising the severity of their situation, made a storming start, with Billy Mckay having goal disallowed for offside in just the second minute.

In fact, the vast majority of the first 20 minutes' play took place in the Dundee half, and the Staggies squandered a big opportunity to settle any nerves with an early goal.

Davis Keillor-Dunn's corner found Liam Fontaine at the back post, but the former Hibs defender carelessly volleyed wide from inside the six-yard box.

Neil McCann's side survived County's frantic start and gradually began exerting pressure themselves, with Scott Fox finally forced into a save from Wolters after 23 fiercely-contested minutes.

The longer the half went, the more nervous the home defence looked and in the 35th minute Dundee left-back Kevin Holt broke forward to flash a shot just wide.

Cammy Kerr and Davis Keillor-Dunn contest possession
Davis Keillor-Dunn squandered a good chance for Ross County

The second quarter was a complete reversal of the first as the Highlanders struggled to play out of their own half. Dees skipper Paul McGowan pulled the strings in midfield, leaving the Staggies relieved to get to the break all-square.

Home co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson were forced to replace injured goalkeeper Fox at the interval with Aaron McCarey taking over. The Irishman looked as unsure of himself as the men immediately in front of him.

Keillor-Dunn could have eased County's stresses had the 20-year-old not passed up a golden chance to edge his side in front just seconds in to the new half, guiding his close-range volley from Jason Naismith's cross wide.

Instead, the breakthrough came at the other end when Fontaine was indecisive, and needlessly conceded a corner that led directly to his former Hibs team-mate Murray finding the net.

Simon Murray scores for Dundee
Simon Murray, far right, watches his header float beyond Aaron McCarey and into the Ross County net

Wolters took the set-piece short to Spence, then whipped the return pass to the back post where the striker was unmarked and looped his header home. It was the 26-year-old's ninth league goal of the season, but only his third since joining Dundee in January.

County remained tentative and profligate in front of goal, Alex Schalk failing to trouble Parish, and replacement David Ngog lashing wide from six yards after stumbling through a couple of Dundee challenges.

McGowan almost doubled Dundee's lead with a wicked curling effort from the right angle of the penalty box, the ball striking McCarey's right-hand post.

Michael Garydne went down in the visitors' area under the challenge of Faissal El Bakhtaoui late on, but referee Andrew Dallas showed the midfielder a yellow card for diving - a decision that incensed Kettlwell, who claimed the Dees substitute brought his player to ground.

The Highlanders are left hoping that McCann's team make life as tough for Thistle on Saturday as they did for County, while trying to clinch a dramatic reprieve from automatic relegation in Perth.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1FoxSubstituted forMcCareyat 46'minutes
  • 3NaismithBooked at 64mins
  • 15DaviesBooked at 56mins
  • 32Fontaine
  • 2Fraser
  • 7GardyneBooked at 86mins
  • 17DraperBooked at 53mins
  • 18Lindsay
  • 40Keillor-Dunn
  • 10SchalkSubstituted forCurranat 74'minutes
  • 22MckayBooked at 7minsSubstituted forN'Gogat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Souttar
  • 9Dow
  • 11Curran
  • 14N'Gog
  • 31McCarey
  • 35Melbourne
  • 47Kait

Dundee

  • 12Parish
  • 2Kerr
  • 4Caulker
  • 6O'Dea
  • 3Holt
  • 8KamaraBooked at 68mins
  • 18McGowan
  • 23WoltersBooked at 16minsSubstituted forDeaconat 62'minutes
  • 28SpenceBooked at 25minsSubstituted forKusungaat 87'minutes
  • 17MurrayBooked at 52mins
  • 33WightonSubstituted forEl Bakhtaouiat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Kusunga
  • 7Leitch-Smith
  • 15Aurtenetxe
  • 20El Bakhtaoui
  • 21Deacon
  • 38Ferie
  • 40Piggott
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
3,976

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamDundee
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home6
Away7
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 0, Dundee 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 0, Dundee 1.

Roarie Deacon (Dundee) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jason Naismith (Ross County).

Attempt blocked. Marcus Fraser (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Roarie Deacon (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Attempt saved. Simon Murray (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Genséric Kusunga replaces Lewis Spence.

Booking

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Paul McGowan (Dundee) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Cammy Kerr.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

Attempt missed. David N'Gog (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. David N'Gog replaces Billy McKay.

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Craig Curran replaces Alex Schalk.

Attempt missed. Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Liam Fontaine.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaces Craig Wighton.

Simon Murray (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Liam Fontaine (Ross County).

Steven Caulker (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

Booking

Glen Kamara (Dundee) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Glen Kamara (Dundee).

Foul by Paul McGowan (Dundee).

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

Booking

Jason Naismith (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kevin Holt (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jason Naismith (Ross County).

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Cammy Kerr.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Roarie Deacon replaces Randy Wolters.

Booking

Andrew Davies (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

Attempt saved. Davis Keillor-Dunn (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Liam Fontaine.

goal