The Scottish Premiership has reached the point where, while not every match is a “must win” for Ross County, every match does have immediate and concrete consequences.
On the heels of the weekend victory over fourth place Dundee United, County welcomed fifth place St. Johnstone to Victoria Park on Tuesday evening. It took a little while, but County eventually did the business and walked away with all three points thanks to an 84th minute goal from Liam Boyce (above). This victory, combined with the predictable Patrick Thistle loss to Celtic on Wednesday means that the Scottish Premiership table currently looks like this:
So, if we do a little math we find that, should County beat St. Mirren this weekend (the last match for both clubs before the league splits for the final five matches) County cannot be automatically relegated as they would have 37 points and St. Mirren, with only 15 post split points available to them, would top out with 36 points. It would also mean that St. Mirren could hope for no better than a spot in the relegation playoffs even if they won the rest of their matches and Motherwell absolutely imploded- neither of which seem likely. Three points this weekend would also put County within three points of matching last season’s total of 40, a number that would have been enough for survival even if Hearts had not been deducted 15 points for their off-field issues.
So, there’s no “safety” yet, but County have done the work to put themselves in a position where they absolutely control their own fate. Continuing their impressive recent form might see County rise to ninth place, or maybe even 8th if Kilmarnock stumble, but matching Motherwell’s results from here on out would be fine and would lead to safety.
Here are the highlights from the St. Johnstone match on Tuesday: