Match ends, Ross County 2, St. Mirren 3.
Struggling Ross County must stop their individual errors, suggested manager Malky Mackay after his side fell to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership after succumbing to St Mirren.
Eammon Brophy gave the away side the lead before Marcus Fraser and Scott Tanser scored either side of a deflected free-kick from Blair Spittal in a dominant first-half display from Jim Goodwin's side.
Alex Iacovitti's header forced St Mirren into some nervy moments in the closing stages, but it wasn't enough.
"Having that many shots and crosses and coming away with a defeat really shows that we just need to work on those individual errors." Mackay said.
"It's not the way we're applying ourselves, it's not the team selection, it's those individual errors that have to stop."
It was deja vu for the home side, who will point to some neat football in patches, but their repeated mistakes have been their downfall this season and it proved the case again with all three goals avoidable.
Brophy had threatened from a near identical position moments before he gave his side the lead, slamming the ball high into the net. Questions will be asked of goalkeeper Ash Maynard-Brewer being beaten at his near post.
That would not be the last time Maynward-Brewer looked suspect.
After the opening goal, Jim Goodwin's visitors continued to show their dominance and Matt Millar had a gilt-edged opportunity to give Brophy his second but elected to shoot from a tight angle.
Millar's team-mates quickly made amends for his poor decision-making as Fraser nodded in at the back post from Tanser's corner.
Maynard-Brewer was again at fault as he rushed out of his box only to miss the floating ball and leave the goal gaping.
The home side responded immediately as Ross Callachan brought a wonderful save from Jak Alwnick before Spittal's free-kick looped over the St Mirren goalkeeper.
That looked to have given County a lifeline, but calamitous play between Jack Baldwin and Maynard-Brewer allowed Tanser to sneak in and re-establish St Mirren's two-goal cushion with a poked finish.
The away team could not maintain their control in the second period as Mackay's men improved with a series of dangerous crosses and free-kicks.
Harry Clarke emerged as their main attacking figure and hit a post after the ball had dropped to him from a Spittal delivery.
Clarke was on hand moments later, this time as provider, to send a delicious cross towards Iacovitti, who used the pace on the ball to flick it into the far corner.
That meant a nervous finish for Goodwin's men, but County were unable to craft any clear-cut chances in the final minutes.
Man of the match - Eamonn Brophy
What did we learn?
It's same old, same old for Ross County. Decent performances but individual errors continue to cost them. Maynard-Brewers will now be under pressure to keep his place, with Ross Laidlaw awaiting his chance to step in.
For St Mirren, after a slow start they have appear to have found a settled side capable of getting results against most sides in the division.
Jamie McGrath was again a key performer and Goodwin has said they are prepared for more interest in the Ireland international in January. The question is, if they lose him, do they lose their top-six hopes too?
What did they say?
Ross County head coach Malky Mackay: "I think, if the fans take the games and look at the stats and the amount of chances we're creating, they'll see a team that's going toe-to-toe with every team in the division.
"If we were getting hammered every week, I'd be distinctly worried, but we're not."
St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "I've got to give great credit to the players, because when you're winning comfortably, your standards can slip a bit and I thought we completed ever so well and stuck in there.
"We could easily have dropped a couple of points here, but instead we've got our third win in a row, which is a great achievement for the team."
County welcome Livingston next Saturday (15:00 BST), while St Mirren face Rangers the following day (12:00).
- 5BaldwinBooked at 48mins
- 18BurroughsSubstituted forPatonat 56'minutes
- 4CancolaSubstituted forHungboat 71'minutes
- 8CallachanBooked at 90mins
- 9SamuelSubstituted forWhiteat 56'minutes
- 16ErhahonSubstituted forFlynnat 68'minutesBooked at 71mins
- 3TanserSubstituted forTaitat 73'minutes
- 7McGrathSubstituted forMainat 74'minutes
- David Munro
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Ross County 2, St. Mirren 3.
Attempt missed. Eamonn Brophy (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Curtis Main.
Ross Callachan (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ross Callachan (Ross County).
Eamonn Brophy (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, St. Mirren. Ryan Flynn tries a through ball, but Curtis Main is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Blair Spittal.
Offside, St. Mirren. Connor Ronan tries a through ball, but Curtis Main is caught offside.
Joseph Hungbo (Ross County) hits the right post with a left footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Blair Spittal.
Attempt blocked. Harrison Paton (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joseph Hungbo.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Ryan Flynn.
Attempt blocked. Ross Callachan (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harrison Paton.
Ross Callachan (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matthew Millar (St. Mirren).
Attempt missed. Eamonn Brophy (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Curtis Main replaces Jamie McGrath.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Richard Tait replaces Scott Tanser because of an injury.
Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Conor McCarthy.
Attempt blocked. Blair Spittal (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.