Ross County triumph with Alex Iacovitti winner away to Brora Rangers to mark manager Malky Mackay's first competitive fixture in charge
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Brora Rangers (0) 0 Ross County (0) 1
(Scorer: Iacovitti 51)
Alex Iacovitti set the Malky Mackay era rolling at Ross County with a powerful headed winner away to Brora Rangers.
The former Notts Forest and Oldham defender struck early in the second half of a fiercely competitive Group C clash.
The Staggies were always in control in what was the first meeting of the two sides since they both held Highland League status 27 years ago.
The Premiership side were also playing their first competitive fixture under manager Mackay, with group matches against Forfar and Dundee having fallen to Covid-19.
Brora, completing their group campaign, were searching for a first League Cup point - and goal - but both proved elusive.
The Highland League champions, without a win in seven games since that historic Scottish Cup triumph against Hearts in March, held their own comfortably for the first 20 minutes.
Soon after, Connor Randall drew a strong save from ex-County goalkeeper Joe Malin having found space to strike from the right side of the box.
Despite a dearth of goalmouth action, it was feisty stuff with County’s Jordan Tillson taking a yellow card for a clattering challenge on Brora’s Andrew Macrae.
County took a firm grip on play towards half-time and Iacovitti flashed a header just wide from Southampton loanee Jake Vokins’ dangerous corner.
But the same combination came good in similar circumstances just six minutes into the second half.
Vokins swept another corner in high from the right and this time Iacovitti’s connection, leaping high with Brora’s Jordan Macrae, was deadly as it rattled in off the top of the left hand inside post.
The top-flight side remained comfortably in control throughout the second half, but couldn’t add to their tally.
With six minutes left, Andrew Macrae wound into space on a rare Brora foray forward, but cut his left foot attempt wide from 15 yards.
Brora Rangers (4-4-1-1) - Malin; Kelly, Nicolson, Gamble, A. Macdonald; Sutherland, Maclean (Gillespie 72), G. Macdonald, A. Macrae; Wallace, J Macrae. Subs: Mackay, Meekings, Stephen.
Booked: Gamble 56, Sutherland 69
Ross County (3-5-2) - Laidlaw; Watson, Iacovitti, Donaldson; Randall, Tillson, Callachan, Vokins (Robertson 66); Spittal; Shaw, Samuel (White 70). Subs: Munro, Wright, Williamson, Macleman.
Booked: Tillson 22
Referee: Euan Henderson