IVAN Sproule got off to a flying start with Ross County as his double helped the Staggies to a 4-1 SPL win at St Mirren.
Greek defender Evangelos Ikonomou also made his debut for the club, while departing captain Richard Brittain shone in his first game since signing a pre-contract with St Johnstone.
Brittain steered County in front, while sub Sam Morrow was also on the scoresheet in an impressive display.
This victory takes the Dingwall team 11 points clear of basement side Dundee.
Brittain’s opener on 22 minutes was a superb free-kick from distance after Marc McAusland handball gifted the visitors the chance.
Ex-Hibs ace Sproule was causing Saints lots of trouble with his pace and direct running and he almost doubled his team’s lead on 33 minutes.
However, the Buddies drew level five minutes after the restart when Steven Thompson connected with David Barron’s cross for his 12th goal of the season.
St Mirren were lifted by this for a while, but some poor defending allowed Derek Adams’ side back in.
Barron’s misplaced header was picked up by Morrow and he fired his shot beyond keeper Craig Samson on 67 minutes.
Sproule’s quick-fire double came from 71 minutes.
He hit a superb half volley after Iain Vigurs got the better of Jon Robertson then he pounced to knock home a spilled drive from Rocco Quinn.
St Mirren: Samson, Robertson, McAusland, Barron, Teale, Carey, Parkin (Guy 53), Thompson, Newton (Imrie 45), McGowan (McGinn 79), Goodwin. Subs not used: Kelly, Mair, Van Zanten.
County: Brown, Munro, Boyd, Lawson, Brittain, Quinn, Vigurs (Cooper 87), Sproule (Ross 80), Ikonomou, Glen (Morrow 64), Kovacevic. Subs not used: Fraser (GK), Tokely, MacPhee, Fitzpatrick.
Referee: Euan Norris.