St Mirren return to winning ways to see off Ross County

Stephen Robinson's side ended a three-game winless run to move back into third place.

St Mirren return to winning ways to see off Ross County SNS Group

St Mirren ended a run of three successive losses to defeat Ross County 2-0 and move back into third place in the Scottish Premiership table.

An own goal from County’s Ryan Leak broke the deadlock early in the second half before Jonah Ayunga added a second five minutes later.

The visitors, who lost for the first time since Derek Adams’ return as manager, rarely threatened, a late header from Alex Samuel that was saved the closest they came to scoring.

St Mirren made three changes from the side beaten by St Johnstone. Out went Ryan Flynn, Charles Dunne and Lewis Jamieson, replaced by Richard Taylor, Stav Nahmani and Thierry Small.

County made just one enforced change from their 3-0 midweek win over Motherwell, Dylan Smith in for the suspended Will Nightingale.

It was the home team who had the first real chance, Ayunga creating room for a shot that Ross Laidlaw did well to save at the expense of a corner.

At the other end, Small was fortunate to see his clearance strike team-mate Mark O’Hara and drift only narrowly wide. From the resulting James Brown corner, Jordan White headed off target from a promising position.

St Mirren ought to have gone in front after 24 minutes.

Greg Kiltie fed Nahmani down the left wing then met the Israeli’s return ball, only to strike the bar with his effort.

Nahmani then dribbled through on goal but saw his near-post shot blocked by Laidlaw for another Saints corner that came to nothing.

The goalkeeper was a key performer for County and made another smart save to keep out Ayunga’s low driven effort before the break.

Saints started the second half still on top and made the breakthrough after 51 minutes.

The home side celebrated, believing Leak had inadvertently knocked the ball over his own line, only for referee Calum Scott to initially wave play on.

After a few seconds, VAR intervened and play was stopped before the goal was confirmed.

St Mirren messed up a great chance to double their lead when Nahmani’s shot was blocked by Jack Baldwin but did get their second goal after 56 minutes.

Ayunga was the scorer this time, firing an effort low beyond Laidlaw, who perhaps ought to have done better to keep it out.

County made changes to try to get back in the contest and only a brilliant save from Zach Hemming kept out a header from substitute Alex Samuel.

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