Scottish Premiership: Gary Mackay-Steven gives Dundee Utd 1-0 win over Ross County
Last Updated: 21/12/13 5:46pm
Dundee United made to battle by Ross County at Tannadice
Free-scoring Dundee United extended their unbeaten run to six games but they were made to dig deep for their 1-0 win by hard-working Ross County.
United had scored 21 goals in their last five games but had to wait until the final quarter before Gary Mackay-Steven claimed the winner to leave County still searching for their first away win of the season.
Ryan Gauld's header from a corner was deflected over the bar by Mihael Kovacevic as United pushed County back in the opening exchanges.
Gauld then set up Stuart Armstrong but County's Brian McLean was alert to the danger before Brian Graham saw his effort ruled out for offside.
Graham Carey's glancing header flew narrowly wide as County broke the shackles and they came even closer moments later as Carey's inswinging free-kick bounced inside the area before clipping the top of the bar.
Graham headed straight at Michael Fraser as the game swung from end to end while Melvin De Leeuw threatened with a low drive for County moments later.
County continued to impose themselves and deny United's game changers any time or space but Armstrong was able to fire off a 25-yard strike which went wide.
Michael Fraser produced a fine stop to prevent substitute Nadir Ciftci from scoring with his first touch as the pressure mounted on the visiting goal.
The breakthrough duly arrived as Mackay-Steven (70) found the bottom corner from 16 yards after good work from Armstrong.
Ciftci and John Rankin tried their luck from distance as County were unable to conjure an equaliser, stretching their winless run to eight games.