Adams' first game back at County ends in goalless draw with Killie

Ross County move up to tenth with points against Kilmarnock.

Stalemate between Ross County and Kilmarnock in Derek Adams’ first game back SNS Group

Derek Adams’ third spell in charge of Ross County did not begin as he and chairman Roy MacGregor had hoped following a sudden and unforeseen change of manager.

Malky Mackay’s surprise departure after MacGregor lived up to his reputation of sacking managers at the drop of a hat by once again wielding his axe followed a run of nine matches without a victory.

County in fact had not won since beating Kilmarnock away on September 2 and had slipped to second bottom of the Premiership as a consequence of that dismal run.

But there was no instant bounce from the change in personnel despite the home side carving out a reasonable percentage of chances.

Kilmarnock were twice saved by goal-line clearances in the first half and, had this encounter taken the form of a boxing match, County would have been declared winners on points.

They had the mild satisfaction of improving a place to 10th in the table, a point off bottom spot while Kilmarnock remain in sixth despite not having won away this season.

For all that they had to settle for a single point there were probably enough positives in County’s performance to encourage Adams’ belief that he will be able to preserve the club’s Premiership status after nine years away in England.

Yan Dhanda’s clever runs and willingness to dribble with the ball was a feature of County’s performance. So, too, was their general work ethic and efforts to pressurise the opposition.

But that alone was not enough to end a near three-month wait to return to winning ways, albeit that Kilmarnock were fortunate to survive without conceding.

It took until the 14th minute for the game to open up following a period of careful assessment on the part of both teams.

When it did it was County who bared their teeth first, Ryan Leak forcing a save from William Dennis with a header.

Almost immediately Jack Baldwin played a long ball over the top for Dhanda to run onto and set up James Brown for a shot on goal.

But, with Dennis beaten, Kilmarnock were saved by Joe Wright’s goal-line clearance.

When play swung to the other end, Ross Laidlaw did well to save a deflected shot from Daniel Armstrong before Dennis then denied Dhanda.

Kilmarnock lived dangerously again coming up to half-time when Connor Randall threatened to break the deadlock.

But a second goal-line clearance, this time a header from Stuart Findlay, denied Randall a goal.

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