Sproule a Ross County saviour

Ivan Sproule's early strike was enough for Ross County to beat St Johnstone in the SPL with a hard-earned 1-0 triumph.

Last Updated: 16/02/13 at 17:51 Post Comment

Ivan Sproule's wonder goal separated the two sides on Saturday

Ivan Sproule's wonder goal separated the two sides on Saturday

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The three points ensured the hosts, who remain unbeaten this year, climbed to eighth and within just two points of fourth spot.

Northern Irishman Sproule was the man who made the difference with a lively showing at the Global Energy Stadium and it was all the more surprising with the winger a major doubt for the encounter with a hamstring problem.

The visitors had also been in impressive form and having started the match in fourth place they too would have had designs on the top positions but winger Sproule and his early strike on 11 minutes ensured it was the hosts celebrating.

Saints started on the front foot and Mehdi Abeid tested the brilliant Mark Brown with a low drive, but it was County who took the lead (11) with their first meaningful attack as Sproule picked up a pass from skipper Richard Brittain to curl in a delicious shot to give his side the edge.

The visitors stormed back and Steven Maclean went close to restoring parity (16) when he beat his marker and fired a shot towards the far corner and it needed a spectacular one-handed save from Brown to keep it out.

Brown was becoming ever-busier and parried Michael Kovacevic's effort and it would have been the hosts heading in at the interval relieved to have their advantage undamaged.

After the break the Saints continued to pour forward and it took a timely intervention from Grant Munro to stop Rowan Vine after the striker played a one-two with Abeid.

Whenever Brown was called upon, he did not disappoint and shut out Liam Craig with his legs on 55 minutes.

Finally County were reignited and Sproule twice went close, before Brittain wasted a chance to score against his former employers when his free-kick (77) flew narrowly wide.

The hosts were hanging on desperately as Craig fired wide in injury-time, but they held on to produce a very satisfying three points and breathe fire into their quest for a place in the top four.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

inners: F365 for not getting so caught up in transfer deadline day, for getting rid of the ridiculous live blog and for having jobs where all they do is talk about football.

man of ire
Transfer Window Winners & Losers...

P

ictorially, this would be represented by a rotund lady, arms folded screaming, ' you been told, stay away from my man'.

mufc phil
United respond on De Gea

T

his should end the myth that only English players are over priced

cookie_monster
United wrap up surprise Martial deal

Footer 365

Barcelona: Messi will stay for life

Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona for "the rest of his life", according to the club¿s sporting director Robert Fernandez.

Insigne to stay at Napoli for life - Agent

Lorenzo Insigne intends to end his career with Napoli, scuppering hopes Arsene Wenger might have had of bringing the striker to The Emirates.

Gradel out and now Mings gets season KO

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has confirmed that £8million summer signing Tyrone Mings will miss the rest of the season.

Mail Box

Why Aren't Manchester City Criticised More?

Manchester City aren't being criticised enough for their spending. Also, the David De Gea situation is explained in full and we have a running Winners and Losers table.

Wenger Guilty Of The Most Negligent Of Acts

Arsene Wenger comes in for a lot of Danny Welbeck based flak in the Mailbox. We also have a happy Spurs fan, and someone pleading to stop the Van Gaal revisionism.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company