Ross County go eight points clear at the top of the league
Ross County 1 (Grivosti)
Young defender Tom Grivosti came off the bench to score the winner for Ross County against Dunfermline.
The Staggies were far from their best in the early going, but picked up the intensity levels to dominate the second half and were good value for the win.
County never got out of first gear before half time, and they nearly fell behind early on.
Bruce Anderson's shot was blocked inside the Staggies penalty area by Andy Boyle, before the ball dropped for Matthew Todd to half volley towards the top corner – forcing Scott Fox to tip over the bar.
Todd would go even closer without getting his name on the scoreboard in the 28th minute, when his shot veered slightly away from Fox but cannoned back off the post to safety.
County changed their shape as the interval approached, with Ross Stewart moving out to the left from his partnership up front with Brian Graham, and Michael Gardyne moving into a central role behind the target man.
Both sides suffered injury blows as the referee's whistle approached, with Louis Longridge going off for the visitors to be replaced by Faissal El Bakhtaoui, while Ross County's rotten luck with defenders being ruled out of action continued as Kenny van der Weg pulled up clutching his hamstring after stretching for the ball – he was replaced by Tom Grivosti.
The changes started to pay dividends immediately from the restart.
Gardyne took the game by the scruff of the neck, with every attacking move going through him, and his teammates seemed to follow his example as they stepped it up a notch.
Then just after the hour mark, the Staggies got their reward and took the lead.
Grivosti headed home from Mullin's corner from around six yards out to break the deadlock and give County a 1-0 lead.
It could have been two shortly afterwards, when another corner was put past Ryan Scully by Stewart, but El Bakhtaoui was there to hack it away off the line.
Mullin himself could have made it two in the 74 minute, when he was given the ball after a lengthy run by Gardyne on the counter attack.
He seemed to have the goal at his mercy, but a last ditch block denied him.
The improvement going forward also served to ease the pressure at the back for County, and Fox only had one comfortable save to make as the match drew to a close..