Published: 02/12/2017 17:33 - Updated: 02/12/2017 17:41

Ross County slide to home defeat against Dundee

Written byKenny MacDonald

 

Owen Coyle hopes supporters turn out in their droves on Wednesday night. Picture: Ken Macpherson.
Owen Coyle could only watch on as his side succumbed to a 2-0 loss.. Picture: Ken Macpherson.

 

ROSS COUNTY slid to defeat with a goal in each half from Dundee's Mark O'Hara and Faissal El Bakhtaoui.

O'Hara hit a laser like finish in the first half against the run of play while El Bakhtoui sent a cute lobbed effort ito the ungurarded net at the end.

Ironically, the home side had a bright start to the encounter and new signing Chris Eagles took less than a minute of his debut to make an impression for the Staggies by firing in a low 20-yarder after cutting in from the left.

But Dundee goalkeeper Elliot Parish was well positioned to gather on the line.

However, the visitors replied within seconds at the other end with Roarie Deacon letting fly with a vicious, rising effort from almost 25 yards on the left which zipped inches over the top.

But Eagles threatened again in 10 minutes with a fabulous run from the middle slaloming past three players then exchanging passes at the edge of the box with Jamie Lindsay.

However, he took a heavy first tough on the return ball just eight yards out and the chance was lost.

Then Ross Draper headed wide from a far-side corner by Eagles in 14 minutes as the Dingwall side appeared to tight their grip on the game.

But suddenly the Dens Parkers snatched the lead after Deacon headed on a long ball and it found its way to  O'Hara in space on the right. He ran on to crack a superb 25 yard first time shot which scorched past the despairing Aaron McCarey.

The Dee were in the driving seat now and Jack Hendry made a terrific surging run through the middle with little oppostion before firing narrowly over the top from 20 yards on the half hour.

Next up was  El Bakhtaoui with a run down the right and hisswirling cross ended up bouncing on top of the bar in 32 minutes.

The Dens men broke through again eight minutes from the interval, but this time Sofien Moussa blazed his shot high and wide with a clear view of goal from the right of the box.

 

Staggies boss Owen Coyle made an ambitious half-time substitution, throwing on Craig Curran for Kenny van der Weg.

But it was Dundee who emerged the stronger team and they could have had the points wrapped up with a couple of super chances inside the first 10 minutes of the second period.

Firstly, El Bakhtaoui lashed in an angled shot from distance which McCarey could only parry out to the six yard line in 52 minutes. But Moussa and Deacon both appeared to leave the tap in to each other and the opportunity evaporated.

A couple of minutes later and a deep , diagonal free kick on the left by Jon Aurtenetxe picked out the unmarked Josh Meekings, who glanced a delicate header inches past the far post sparking a furious response from goalkeeper McCarey at the slack defending.

McCarey was busy again moments later, this time plunging down to smother a power-packed, angled drive from O'Hara.

However, the Staggies rallied briefly on 64 minutes when Eagles slung in an inviting cross from the left which tempted goalkeeper Elliot Parish from his line only to be beaten by sub Billy McKay but the ball flew onto the roof of the net.

Then El Bakhtouai hit back when he rifled in a powerful shot which forced McCarey into a smart diving save to push the ball around for a corner as Dundee strived for the killer second goal.

Staggies manager Coyle was left clutchng his head in despair with five minutes left when Jamie Lindsay lunged in to stab an effort over goalkeeper Parish and also over the crossbar.

And with a minute left Dundee finally extinguished County's flickering hopes of rescuing the game when Glen Kamara released El Bakhtouai with a fantastic diagonal pass and he lobbed the onrushing McCarey and the ball sailed into the empty net.

ROSS COUNTY: McCarey, Fraser, Naismith, Routis, Kelly, Gardyne (Keillor-Dunn, 71), Schalk (McKay, 57), Draper, Lindsay, van der Weg (Curran, 45), and Eagles. Subs not used: Fox, Chow, Dow, Mikkelsen. Booked: Draper.

DUNDEE: Parish, Kerr, Kamara, Moussa (Haber, 75), O'Hara, Aurtenetxe, McGowan (Waddell, 79), El Bakhtaoui, Deacon (Allan, 71), Hendry and Meekings. Subs unused: Ferrie, Holt, Leitch-Smith  Curran. Booked: McGowan, Haber.

Attendance: 3896.

Referee: S McLean.

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