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Sims scores dramatic winner as Ross County beat bottom side Livingston

A stoppage-time winner by substitute Josh Sims in a 3-2 victory boosted Ross County’s survival hopes and drove a dagger into the hearts of bottom-side Livingston.

Having fought back from two goals down to level this bottom-of-the-table tussle, Livi threatened to turn the match on its head in the closing stages.

Trailing to Eamonn Brophy’s first-half double in the space of seven minutes, Livi mounted a brave comeback when substitute Bruce Anderson also struck twice.

But Sims cancelled out Anderson’s 86th-minute leveller in the second additional minute to leave County six points ahead of their rivals and just two adrift of 10th-placed St Johnstone.

How Ross County edged Livingston

DINGWALL, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Ross County's Simon Murray and Livingston's Jamie Brandon in action during a cinch Premiership match between Ross County and Livingston at the Global Energy Stadium, on February 24, 2024, in Dingwall, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Image: Ross County’s Simon Murray and Livingston’s Jamie Brandon in action

Livi were clearly boosted after ending a 16-match winless run with a home success against St Mirren last week, but it was County who posed the greater threat as they sought to record their first victory of 2024.

Brophy, back in favour after being given only a bit-part role for much of the season, lacked composure after six minutes, otherwise the home side would surely have been in front.

Michee Efete created an opening for the striker when he laid the ball off for Brophy, but his shot from the edge of the box was a little too high.

DINGWALL, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Ross County's Eamonn Brophy celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Ross County and Livingston at the Global Energy Stadium, on February 24, 2024, in Dingwall, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Image: Ross County’s Eamonn Brophy celebrates

Victor Loturi went closer in the 13th minute with a cracking 25-yarder, forcing Shamal George to finger-tip the ball over the bar.

Livi’s best chance fell between these openings when Jamie Brandon made a smart dash down the right side before sending over a probing cross which George Wickens was glad to claw away.

Andrew Shinnie, following up, saw his effort blocked before the ball was eventually scrambled clear.

Livi proved to be much less composed under pressure and paid a heavy price as a consequence of failing to shackle Brophy, who followed up his 21st-minute opener with a second in the 27th minute.

DINGWALL, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Ross County's Eamonn Brophy scores to make it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Ross County and Livingston at the Global Energy Stadium, on February 24, 2024, in Dingwall, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Image: Ross County’s Eamonn Brophy scores to make it 1-0

But they threatened to eat into their two-goal deficit when Tete Yengi unleashed a powerful shot from the left side, forcing Wickens to push the ball over the bar.

It also served as a warning that the Livi players were not of a mind to simply roll over and accept their fate.

If the County players required any further proof that they were a long way from being home and dry they got it within 67 seconds of the restart.

Anderson made an immediate impact when he found the net from the centre of the box following a set-piece.

DINGWALL, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Livingston's Bruce Anderson celebrates scoring to make it 2-1 during a cinch Premiership match between Ross County and Livingston at the Global Energy Stadium, on February 24, 2024, in Dingwall, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Image: Livingston’s Bruce Anderson celebrates scoring to make it 2-1

It then required the combined efforts of Wickens and Efete to deny Jason Holt a 61st-minute equaliser as Livi stepped up the pressure.

Holt was again at the centre of the action in the 71st minute, this time forcing a quick reaction block by Wickens.

When Anderson struck with four minutes remaining Livi looked like they had salvaged a point – that was until Sims produced the cruellest of endings.

What’s next?

Wednesday 28th February 7:30pm Kick off 8:00pm

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Tuesday 27th February 7:30pm Kick off 8:00pm

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Ross County’s next Scottish Premiership game is at home to St Mirren on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 8pm.

Livingston host Motherwell on Wednesday night, with that match also live on Sky. Kick-off 8pm.

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