Laidlaw saves the day for Ross County at Kilmarnock
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ROSS Laidlaw was the hero for Ross County as he was vital in helping his team leave Kilmarnock with a point.
A penalty save and a number of excellent stops from the goalkeeper resulted in the Staggies withstanding a dominant Killie at Rugby Park.
Ross County made two changes to the team that beat Motherwell last week. Joe Chalmers replaced Liam Fontaine while Blair Spittal came in for Harry Paton.
The Staggies had an early chance in the game when Michael Gardyne intercepted Mohamed El Makrini’s pass and charged towards goal but he blasted his shot over the bar.
Kilmarnock responded well and had a great chance after 15 minutes when El Makrini was teed up at the edge of the box by a Niko Hamalainen pass and his shot went inches wide of the left post.
The hosts went closer as Alex Bruce got his head on a Rory McKenzie cross and nodded the ball towards goal forcing a decent diving save from Laidlaw.
The Staggies’ number one was called into action a minute later when he did well to parry away a thunderous El Makrini 20-yard shot from danger.
Killie’s Rory McKenzie was denied by the woodwork when he ran on to a Stephen O’Donnell pass as his shot from 18-yards hit the left post.
Kilmarnock continued to pressure at the start of the second half when Bruce beat County’s defence in the air and his header forced Laidlaw to tip the ball over the bar.
Laidlaw was on hand to keep the score at 0-0 as he saved Osman Sow’s powerful shot from 20 yards.
But Kilmarnock were given a golden opportunity to take the lead midway through the second half when they were awarded a penalty.
Marcus Fraser was judged to have lunged into Liam Millar in the box. But Laidlaw guessed right as he saved Sow’s penalty by diving to his bottom left corner.
Brian Graham went close to finding a winner for County in the closing stages but saw his shot cleared from goal by Gary Dicker.
Ross Stewart also went close when he got his head on a Harry Paton cross but headed over the bar from close range.
Kilmarnock: Branescu, O’Donnell, Bruce, Findlay, Hamalainen, Power, Dicker, El-Makrini, McKenzie, Millar (Thomas 78), Sow.
Subs (Unused) Koprovec, Hendrie, Wilson, St Clair, Del Fabro, Burke.
Ross County: Laidlaw, Fraser, Watson, Grivosti, Henderson (Paton 54), Chalmers, Spittal (Graham 65), Gardyne, McKay (Mullin 78), Stewart.
Subs (Unused) Ruddy, Erwin, Spence, Power.
Attendance - 4906
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