the tanner ba'

Ross County F.C. 3 – 3 Partick Thistle F.C.

Today's goal scorers.

Today’s goal scorers.

It’s always better to get all three points.  Today that would have meant leapfrogging Partick Thistle into 10th place and, at least temporarily, a reprieve from relegation danger for Ross County.  However, as I’ve said here time after time, an away point is always good.  Always.  But more about that in a moment…

County opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when new loan signing Filip Kiss opened his County account in fine style after he finished off a fine sequence of passes in the County midfield by curling home his shot from the edge of the penalty area.  Unfortunately, Partick just signed a new loanee themselves and he- Lyle Taylor of Sheffield United F.C.- fired the home team back into the lead with goals in the 28th and 39th minute, leaving County with much to do as the two clubs left the field at half time.

Things did not get much better in the second half, with Partick’s Steven Lawless added to his team’s lead a mere 90 seconds after play resumed.  Now down 3-1 it looked as though County had made the long trip to Firhill only to come away worse off than they’d been when the day began.  In recent weeks, however, County have once again begun to show the resilience that made them such a hard side to put away on so many occasions last year.  Today it was Ben Gordon’s chance to contribute as he snatched at a rebound from Richard Brittain’s header and, with that kind of luck that some times only seems to belong to defenders, his shot somehow made it through the forest of legs in front of Scott Fox’s goal and into the back of the net, bringing the score to 3-2.

In the 76th minute Richard Brittain was once again involved as he touched a ball through to Kiss to pushed it past Fox for his second goal of the match and to bring the scores level.  County, which had been in the ascendence since Gordon’s goal, continued to press forward for the winner, but had to switch tactics 180 degrees when substitute Stuart Kettlewell was shown a straight red card less than two minutes after entering the match.  Those at pitch side seem to feel that a slip just before the tackle turned an innocuous challenge into a studs-up sending off, but whatever the case Kettlewell will not be available against Dundee United on the 18th.

Now, let’s get back to that away point…Yes, three would have been better, and the single point didn’t change County’s position in the table, but it did change things.  The draw kept County in 11th place (the playoff/relegation spot), just a single point behind Partick Thistle, but:

  • 12th (last) place Hearts loss (increasing the gap to County to 20 points).
  • 9th place St. Mirren lost and are only two points ahead of County.
  • 8th place Kilmarnock did not play and are only three points ahead of County.
  • 7th place Hibernian even lost on Friday to remain only 10 points ahead (and they’ve play one more match).

The point being that of County’s next six matches only one (next week against Dundee United) is not against one of these clubs (Partick, Hearts, St. Mirren, Kilmarnock, and Hibernian), so even a decent run of form over the next month and a half could turn the season around completely.  In short, the opportunity is there is County want to take it…

 

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