Ross County general
Wed 24 Nov 2021
HT 0-0
Ross County Ross County
Hibernian Hibernian
Match Report

Blair Spittal scored the only goal of the game as Hibs suffered defeat in the Highlands.

We created plenty of opportunities and hit the post before falling behind in a game that saw County dominate late on to claim their first home league win of the campaign.

A disappointing 90 minutes was compounded by red cards for Christian Doidge and Martin Boyle late on.

We were forced into one change from the side that produced heroics against Rangers at Hampden on Sunday with Darren McGregor replacing Ryan Porteous, who was suspended.

Josh Doig managed to shake off the knock that saw him limp off at the national stadium to line-up in his usual berth at full-back and make his 50th appearance for the club.

Josh Campbell’s impressive performance against Rangers certainly caught the eye of many and it was little surprise that he retained his position in Jack Ross’ starting XI.

We started brightly on a bitterly cold evening in the Highlands and took the game to our hosts in the opening moments.

It was not long before we carved out an opening as Boyle darted down the right flank and from his cross Kevin Nisbet headed straight into the arms of Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

On 15 minutes Nisbet had another opportunity as he got his head to Chris Cadden’s cross only for his effort back across goal to drop just wide of the far post.

Ross County went into tonight’s contest looking for a victory that would close the gap on Dundee at the foot of the table and secure their first home league win of the season.

Malky Mackay’s side had a wonderful opportunity to go ahead in the 20th minute when Joseph Hungbo’s floated cross found Jordan White peeling off McGregor and his powerful header from a good position was wide of Matt Macey’s far post.

County offered little in an attacking sense outside of set pieces and we were soon back on the attack with Boyle’s trickery finding Cadden on the right and from his cut back Paul Hanlon struck the post with a right foot shot.

That proved to be the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the first half as the pitch held up brilliantly despite the constant rain in Dingwall.

The home side had a penalty appeal waved away in the opening moments of the second period when Hungbo went down inside the box under a challenge from Doig.

We were enjoying a lot of success down the right flank and Cadden’s deliveries were causing County numerous problems.

On 54 minutes the full-back picked out Boyle on the edge of the home penalty box and his shot on the turn was gathered by Maynard-Brewer.

We kept the pressure on County and a good team move ended with Nisbet running onto a Jake Doyle-Hayes lay-off and his snapshot was well saved by Maynard-Brewer.

It was proving not to be Nisbet’s night in front of goal and he passed up another good opportunity when he got his head to Cadden’s cross only to direct it straight at the goalkeeper.

Despite playing well we were reminded of the hosts’ dangers when Hungbo drove at Doig on the right before cutting inside onto his left and drawing a good save from Macey with an angled drive.

The deadlock was broken in the 73rd minute when Spittal’s cross from the left was missed by everyone and sneaked into the net at the back post. The County substitute had only been on the field for a matter of minutes.

It could have been even worse for us less than a minute later when Macey, under pressure from White, cleared straight to Hungbo 30 yards from goal. The on-loan Watford man should have scored but lobbed his effort too high and over the crossbar.

With six minutes remaining we were reduced to ten men when Doidge was shown a straight red card for a challenge on David Cancola.

As we pushed bodies forward in search of a late equaliser we were hit on the counter attack and Spittal should have grabbed his second of the evening when he was put through on goal before blazing high over the crossbar with only Macey to beat.

As the game entered the first of four additional minutes County had two further opportunities to extend their lead with Hungbo having an effort beaten away by Macey at his near post before Iacovitti dispossessed Scott Allan to race through on goal only to also be denied by the Hibs goalkeeper.

A miserable evening in Dingwall was compounded after the final whistle with Boyle picking up our second red card of the evening.

Ross County: Maynard-Brewer, Randall, Baldwin, Paton, Callachan, Iacovitti, Charles-Cook (Spittal 71‘), Clarke, Tillson (Cancola 62’), Hungbo, White (Watson 81’). Substitutes not used: Laidlaw, Vokins, Samuel, Robertson.

Hibernian: Macey, McGregor, McGinn, Hanlon, Doig (Gullan 80‘), Boyle, Doyle-Hayes, Newell, Cadden, Campbell (Allan 75’), Nisbet (Doidge 67’). Substitutes not used: Dabrowski, Wright, Gogic, Stevenson.

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Attendance: 3,316.