It isn’t too often that the long and winding road north to Dingwall can be navigated smoothly, but it was one-way traffic in the main for Rangers as they cruised their way to three points in the Highlands to reclaim second spot in the Premiership.

The wheels threatened to come off a little as Ross County made a better fist of the second half, but a Daniel Candeias goal midway through a first half that Rangers entirely dominated, and a late Jason Cummings goal, his first for the club, rounded off a satisfying day’s work for Graeme Murty and his men.

The visitors were better than the hosts by the length of the A9 in that opening period, but that slight bump in the road late on came as David Ngog converted a penalty in the last minute of normal time after Russell Martin was judged to have handled in the area.

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It would have been unfair on Rangers though had they travelled back to Glasgow with anything but a full complement of points.

Of course, no one at Ibrox should be getting carried away by a win over Ross County, a side who have never beaten Rangers, and particularly in their current guise. Owen Coyle’s men are rock-bottom of the Premiership table, and they showed why for large portions of this game.

But even still, there was much for the travelling army of fans and their manager to be pleased about, with a fair bit of swagger about their side’s play, and a debut for new signing Greg Docherty thrown in for good measure.

Rangers boss Murty named the same starting eleven that swept Aberdeen aside on Wednesday night at Ibrox, so Docherty would have to wait for his chance to make his bow.

The visitors benefited from an assist from County keeper Scott Fox the last time they were here, and they almost did again as the current incumbent Aaron McCarey sliced a clearance straight at Candeias, but the keeper managed to gather the winger’s shot at the second attempt.

The hapless Kenny Van Der Weg then gave away the ball twice in quick succession to present an opportunity to visiting skipper Jason Holt, but his powerful shot from the edge of the box was diverted over by the head of Marcus Fraser. David Bates managed to get on the end of the resultant corner from Jamie Murphy, but the big defender’s flick went just wide.

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Murphy himself then went close after being teed up by Alfredo Morelos, his initial shot being saved before his follow-up effort was hacked clear by Van Der Weg.

Rangers wouldn’t be denied though, and they took a deserved lead as Candeias picked the ball up and hit a right-foot effort from 25 yards that McCarey should have done better with, but the ball somehow evaded his grasp and nestled in the corner.

Van Der Weg then played another terrible pass back towards his own goal that sent Morelos scampering through, but the striker dragged his shot wide.

The second half started as the first had ended, with Josh Windass cutting inside before his curling shot towards the back post was palmed away by McCarey.

County had been better in the second period though, and were screaming for a penalty 20 minutes from time as a deep cross from Jason Naismith was rather flapped at by Wes Foderingham, allowing Ross Draper to get a header on target that was blocked behind by Bates. The ball appeared to strike the arm of the defender, but referee Steven MacLean ruled that if it did, it wasn’t intentional.

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Docherty came on for his Rangers bow with 20 minutes remaining to a rapturous reception, but it was another substitute who sent the fans wild as Cummings made quite the entrance.

Within minutes, the former Hibernian man picked the ball up in midfield and spun towards goal before getting a decent effort away that spun off a County defender and flew beyond McCarey to send the travelling supporters spilling over the advertising hoardings to join in the celebrations.

With barely five minutes left to play, that should have been that, but Ngog’s shot came off the arm of Martin as the clocked ticked onto 90 minutes, and this time, the referee pointed to the spot. Ngog scored at the Jail End to give the home side a late lifeline, but they would have gotten out of jail had they managed to salvage something, and Rangers held on for the win that they ultimately deserved.

Referee: Steven MacLean

Attendance: 6541