What a difference a year makes.
If Ross County had given up an injury time winner last season I would have be livid- and disappointed. It was tough to lose a match that was, but for a poor rebound given up by goalkeeper Michael Fraser, in the bag. It was tough to walk away with one point when three were probably deserved. It is not, however, tough to find the positives in this match.
First, regardless of how it happened, County still took a point off the defending SPL champions. Going into the season I think most supporters would have agreed that any points taken against Celtic this year should be considered “bonus” points. There’s a chance somewhere down the road that County will wish it had those two additional points, but it’s much more likely that somebody will say, “It’s a good thing we took that point from Celtic…”
Second, County have not taken two points from the top two returning clubs (see what I did there?) in their first three matches this season. This bodes well for the club because give their form so far they should be able to take three points from the likes of Kilmarnock, St. Johnstone, etc. as the season progresses.
Third, it was only fitting that County’s first goal in the SPL came courtesy of the captain, Richard Brittain, was a stunner of a free kick, came against the best club in the country, came against a top goalkeeper in the league, and took place in front of the historic Jail End. You can see from the reaction in the clip above just how special it was.
Fourth, it’s only one match, but it, in combination with the matches against Motherwell and Aberdeen, has served notice that Ross County are for real and that there will be no easy matches against them. There have been a few media types in recent weeks (most notably last weekend) who have treated County as something of a joke at worst or a “quaint little club” at best. I’m not going to name names (yet…) but the results speak for themselves. So, that’ll be enough of “accidentally” referring to the club as “Inverness” during play-by-play or asking questions like, “Where the hell is Dingwall?!”
Fifth, chairman Roy McGregor offered commentator Derek Rae a pie (best in the SFL for two years running, we’ll see about this year!) and a cup of tea at half time. Why? Because that’s what he/we do. Community club. Classy club. Plays a bit of good football club.
Sixth, did I mention that it’s now 37 matches without a defeat?
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, County remain on track for my “37 points = saftey” prediction. In fact, they are on target for 38. As I may have mentioned, County’s survival in the SPL is of paramount importance as it will allow me to see them play SPL football when I make my next trip to Scotland in the spring of 2014.