In vic­tory against strug­gling Ac­cies

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP -

Ac­cies might jus­ti­fi­ably claim their ar­ti­fi­cial sur­face spares teams bat­tles on heavy parks in win­ter. But few at the Global En­ergy Sta­dium were com­plain­ing. It was breath­less, thrilling stuff in the Ding­wall mud. County grasped a lead on the cusp of half time through Schalk at a time when Hamil­ton had ex­erted a great deal of pres­sure, in­clud­ing a Lu­cas Tagli­api­etra header blocked on the line by Paul Quinn.

Richard Foster’s free kick was nod­ded back across goal by An­drew Davies and Schalk showed great alert­ness to launch him­self at it and power a header in off Michael McGovern’s flail­ing glove.

County then saw their best-laid plans torn to pieces by a fool­ish Jamie Reck­ord red card early in the se­cond half. The left back’s hes­i­tancy had Dougie Im­rie threat­en­ing to wrig­gle away and race clean through the middle. The foul was a clear send­ing off of­fence.

At 1-0 down with 10 men, County ‘keeper Fox pulled off a num­ber of fine saves in­clud­ing one quite jaw-drop­ping stop from Im­rie. But when Ac­cies lev­elled through Im­rie, there looked to be no way back for a home side in­creas­ingly on the ropes.

With great re­solve, County shored up in the face of heavy pres­sure – and then be­gan to probe for­ward them­selves. Ac­cies were in­censed with the free kick award 22 yards out when County skip­per An­drew Davies tum­bled un­der an Ali Craw­ford chal­lenge.

McShane, al­ready County’s es­tab­lished dead ball spe­cial­ist, stepped up with ice in his veins and swirled a won­der­ful free kick strike in the top cor­ner of the net.

De­feat left Martin Can­ning’s Ac­cies side just a point above the dreaded play-off spot.

There was deep un­hap­pi­ness, though, over ref­eree Greg Aitken’s de­ci­sion to pe­nalise Ali Craw­ford with a free kick on An­drew Davies, lead­ing to McShane’s win­ner.

“We lost the game to a won­der strike but it shouldn’t have been a free kick in the first place,” said Im­rie.

ROAR­ING: Ross County’s Alex Schalk cel­e­brates put­ting his side ahead

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