Sometimes the win is all that matters. Ross County, against ten-man Dunfermline, took the three points, leapfrogged Dundee United and trimmed the gap on leaders Ayr United to just two points.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty victory, but before Kallum Higginbotham’s act of stupidity drew an early red card, Billy Mckay, pictured, had already netted his 12th goal of the season with an opportunist head-flick on a Josh Mullin volley.
Soon after the ninth minute opener, Higginbotham inexplicably swung an elbow at the head of County’s Stelios Demetriou off the ball and left his team-mates in trouble.
Robbie Muirhead nodded Dunfermline’s best chance over the bar in the second period before Jamie Lindsay struck close in to double the home lead, although an unfortunate Ross Draper own goal after Faissal El Bahktaoui’s drive was parried by Scott Fox kept it tense towards the end.
“It was a little bit tentative from us,” County’s co-manager Stuart Kettlewell said. “We would have liked to have been in greater control.
“By that, I don’t mean Dunfermline were banging down the door constantly, but it became a little bit ragged for us.
“But ultimately, it was three points we required today.”
Allan Johnston, the Dunfermline manager, felt his team defended set pieces poorly for the goals, even despite Higginbotham’s foolish red card.
“I haven’t seen the sending off, but by all accounts it was a red card,” Johnston admitted.
“It just puts the whole team under pressure. It looks like Higgy has let himself down and obviously the fans and the team as well.”