Ross County 1 - 1 Queen of the South: Stirling strike denies County

There is a theory that Queen of the South are pretty much a one-man band. Starved of 29-goal Stephen Dobbie, though, the Dumfries men proved durable in Dingwall.

Queen of the South's Andrew Stirling celebrates his equaliser. Pic: SNS/Paul Devlin

Andy Stirling’s equaliser wiped out Josh Mullin’s second-half opener to deny Ross County the chance of jumping above Ayr United ahead of the two clubs’ meeting at Somerset Park next weekend.

Stuart Kettlewell, the County co-manager, admits they blew the chance to take a psychological edge in the title race.

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“It is a sore one to take – a huge missed opportunity to go back to the top of the table,” Kettlewell said. “It is a huge tie against Ayr, but we wanted to be going into it at the top of the league.”

The Dumfries side were second best in the first half and it took a wonder-save from keeper Alan Martin to keep it level after 50 minutes.

But the Staggies celebrated the breakthrough after 56 minutes with a superbly-worked move.

Midfielder Lindsay’s long through pass sent Billy Mckay tearing away on the right and the striker’s well-timed ball inside rolled perfectly into Mullin’s path. From just inside the 18-yard line, his low strike tore under the body of keeper Martin.

Then substitute Stirling, just seven minutes on the park, met a Lyndon Dykes cutback with a lethal finish from 12 yards with the previously solid County defence caught unawares.