Ross County 0-1 Hibs: First win in five Premiership matches

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Paul Hanlon claimed his first goal of the season as Hibs held on for a hard-fought victory in the Highlands.

The defender was first to react when John McGinn's corner fell at his feet, lashing it into the net. And that 13th minute goal was enough to win the points although County goalkeeper Scott Fox pulled off a string of stunning saves, most notably two from Anthony Stokes to prevent the Easter Road outfit extending their lead.

The Capital outfit, though had their own goalkeeper to thank for hanging onto that narrow lead, Ross Laidlaw bringing off an incredible point-blank save from Michael Gardyne and then pushing away a late effort from substitute Alex Schalk.

Martin Boyle had already sent a rising angled shot narrowly over before Hibs took the lead in the 13th minute. McGinn's corner from the left fell in no-man's land in the middle of Count's penalty area where Hanlon was the first to react, the defender wheeling to fire a shot beyond Fox from eight yards.

However, having fallen behind, the home side began to take control, Lewis Stevenson forced to head behind as Reghan Tumilty threatened to get on the end of Kenny Van der Weg's deep cross before Efe Ambrose got himself in front of Ross Draper's shot.

Billy Mckay then saw his effort deflected into the path of team-mate Craig Curran who couldn't react quickly enough to take advantage of the space he was in, Stevenson again stepping into mop up the danger.

Staggies boss Jim McIntyre would have been encouraged at the way in which his side had fought their way back into the match but it took a decent save from Fox to prevent Simon Murray doubling Hibs lead two minutes into the second half, the goalkeeper getting down to hold the striker's low shot.

And it was the fingertips of fox which came to County's rescue a few minutes later, the goalkeeper throwing himself high to his right to touch away Stokes' free-kick from finding the top corner of his net.

But it was a case of anything Fox could do, Ross Laidlaw could do better, the Hibs goalkeeper pulling off a superb point-blank save to turn the ball onto his left hand post after Mckay's cross had eluded everyone and dropped into the path of Michael Gardyne.

McIntyre used all three substitutes in an attempt to at least get an equaliser, County throwing men forward as they tried to do so but were almost caught on the break when McGinn released Boyle only for Marcus Fraser to cut out a cross intended for Stokes lurking at the back post.

Once again Fox had to get down, this time to deny Stokes after a charging run from his own half by Stevenson although Hibs boss Neil Lennon was obviously becoming increasingly exasperated as he saw his side needlessly surrender possession on too many occasions for his liking.

Again, though, it took another terrific save from Fox to keep the home team in the game, the goalkeeper throwing himself across his goal to touch away another net bound effort from Stokes.

Hibs lead was narrow but Laidlaw ensured they kept it, bringing off a superb one-handed stop from Schalk which threatened to bring County level with only 11 minutes remaining.

Stokes must have been wondering what he had to do to score when, with three minutes left he finally beat Fox with a brilliant free-kick only for the ball to clip the outside of the post.

Ross County: Fox, Naismith, Fraser, Davies, Van der Weg, Gardyne, Draper (Lindsay, 64), O'Brien, Tumilty (Keillor-Dunn, 46), Curran, Mckay (Schalk, 63)

Substitutes not used: McCarey, Chow, Kelly, Mikkelson, Keillor-Dunn.

Hibs: Laidlaw, Whittaker, Ambrose, Hanlon, Stevenson, McGeouch, Bartley, Boyle, McGinn, Stokes, S Murray.

Substitutes not used: Marciano, Slivka, Matulevicius, Swanson, Martin, F Murray, Porteous.

Referee: Andrew Dallas