THE STAGGIES held their own against the Steelmen in an evenly matched encounter which saw history made in Ross-shire.
While it lacked the sparkle of a sun-soaked day which witnessed an Olympic gold rush, the gritty Dingwall encounter was every bit as significant to proud Staggies' fans who have witnessed County's progress from Highland League to SPL.
And though still in search of their first top flight goal after their eagerly anticipated SPL curtain-raiser on home turf, Ross County can nevertheless take two major positives out of the goalless draw against Motherwell.
For starters, they’ve got their first point on the board and discovered that on their day, they’re easily capable of holding their own in the SPL.
And in addition, County have carried over from their runaway First Division success a remarkable unbeaten run into the new campaign – something which will settle the nerves and boost confidence.
While not a sell-out, the historic encounter in the newly renamed Global Energy Stadium was viewed by 4,824 fans – amongst them a voluble contingent of travelling Motherwell fans, many enjoying subsidised coach travel courtesy of their opponents.
The Steelmen paid tribute to the SPL newcomers with a guard of honour to welcome them on to the pitch.
Thereafter possession was pretty even with neither goalkeeper having much to do for large portions of the match.
The Dingwall side was well organised at the back with Grant Munro and Ross Tokely on top of their game. The latter’s committed performance doubtless won over many sceptics dubious after his arrival from Highland rivals, Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
County captain Richard Brittain later tweeted his own assessment. Paying tribute to the “brilliant fans”, he said: “Hard fought point against a good Motherwell side. Good to get a point on the board in our first game.”
ICT also got their first point following a decent 2-2 draw away to St Mirren. Hearts and Celtic sit atop of the SPL after a game played courtesy of victories over, respectively, St Johnstone and Aberdeen.
And it’s in Aberdeen, next Saturday, that Ross County will attempt to extend that unbeaten run to 36 – with the pointless Dons doubtless ultra-keen to bring them back down to earth with a bump.
Full match report, analysis and reaction in this week’s Ross-shire Journal.