With the top two in the SPFL Reserve League facing off at the Hummel Training Centre on January 28, 2019 a great game was in prospect and Ross County Reserves and hosts Rangers Reserves did not disappoint.
Rangers started the first half the livelier of the two teams and Ross Munro was called into action on a couple of occasions before Richard Brittain's reserves took the lead on 34 minutes. After a County free kick, Rangers failed to clear their lines and the ball broke to centre half Ben Johnstone who made no mistake with his close range finish.
As the half wore on County nearly doubled their lead when Mark Gallagher came close with his fine shot. The home side always looked dangerous and were, perhaps, unlucky not to level just before the interval when Josh McPake rounded Ross Munro only to find the side netting with his shot.
A lively second half really sparked into life on 56 minutes when the home side were awarded a spot kick after Jack Murray appeared to handle the ball in the box. Jordan Houston stepped up to take the penalty and was denied by a fantastic Munro save.
With the home side pushing for an equaliser County broke away on 61 minutes with Ross MacIver rounding Kiearan Wright before striking the post with his shot.
Five minutes later Rangers levelled when Houston pounced on a lose ball in the box to fire home.
With a place at the summit of the SPFL Reserve League at stake the last half hour of the game saw both sides push for a vital winner. James Wallace went close for the Staggies before Munro made another fantastic save from McPake.
But it was Ross County who were to seize the opportunity to draw level on points with Rangers at the top of the league with two games in hand over the Glasgow club. After Declan Hughes was fouled in the box, Ross Stewart stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to wrap up a hard-earned three points against an impressive home side.
Rangers Reserves 1-2 Ross County Reserves
Houston 66 Johnstone 34, Stewart 83 (pen)
Updated SPFL Reserve League table: https://spfl.co.uk/league/rl1/table