Keith Watson produced a dramatic injury-time winner just as it seemed Ross County were about to lose ground on Championship league leaders Ayr United.
Alloa Athletic’s remarkable resistance was finally broken a minute after the regulation 90 and the scenes of joy in the Dingwall club’s camp told it all.
The importance of the win was not lost on County co-manager Steven Ferguson who said: “They’re huge points for us. It looked like just being a point so to come away with three is super-pleasing.
“There’s a bit of relief in that one. Alloa worked so hard to keep us out but credit to our boys. I thought we did really well and the one disappointment was not scoring when we were so far on top of the game.
“Sometimes you have to credit the opposition and the way they threw their bodies on the line, and the goalkeeper had a couple of fantastic saves.
“It was one where we hoped it was coming but when you see the clock ticking down, you think it’s not going to be your day. But it’s a great ball in by Josh Mullin and Keith deserved that goal.”
County’s Jamie Lindsay and Billy McKay both had two good opportunities while Neil Parry denied Mullin three times in a relentless assault on the Alloa goal.
However, with almost the last kick of the ball Mullin swung a ball into the back post and former Dundee United and defender Watson, pictured, was there to power a header down and past Parry.
It was a punch to the guts for Alloa’s manager Jim Goodwin who said: “It’s the second time Ross County have done it to us this season.
“I have no arguments with the end result as Ross County were the better team on the day.
“I haven’t had to say that too many times this season but sometimes you just need to hold your hands up and say the better team won.
“I’m gutted for my back four and for Neil Parry, who was outstanding and made some great saves. We defended brilliantly throughout the game but we offered very little going forward and that was the disappointing thing.
“We have to be realistic about where we are. Ross County are a very, very good side.
“They had five or six key players missing and they were still able to bring in replacements of a really good standard.
“Whoever finishes above them will win the league, it’s as simple as that.”
County are in second place, two points behind Ayr.