PARTICK THISTLE ended a miserable run of five straight league defeats with an emphatic victory in Dingwall and provided the perfect boost for this week's Alba Cup semi final at the same venue.
Ian McCall's men hauled themselves off the bottom of the first division table with a display which was based on a solid rearguard action.
Yet it's been at the other end of the park where Thistle's problems have been most evident this campaign with a paltry four goals from seven matches before the clash with County.
That all changed on Saturday though thanks to some generous defending from the home side and a welcome ruthless streak returning to McCall's charges.
Full back Paddy Boyle was the match winner in the Jags' only other league success this season - against Dundee - and he again got the ball rolling with a 13th minute opener at Victoria Park.
Boyle pounced at the far post after County keeper Michael McGovern had missed a dangerous corner from Iain Flannigan.
And the Firhill defender said afterwards: "This was massive - a huge three points.
"We're very lucky a silly goal has been given away but the boss has worked hard with us on keeping a clean sheet.
"The Firhill crowd have been patient but frustration was starting to show and we needed to start giving them results.
"Even against Dunfermline last week it was close and we were unlucky. I don't think we'd been overly bad in most games.
"But we were getting sick of the hard-luck stories and this is one the boys can take belief from.
"I'd love to say I anticipated the goal brilliantly but I was just in the right place at the right time."
THistle were comfortable at 1-0 and, indeed, it took 38 minutes for Scott Morrison to get County's first attempt on target but Bryn Halliwell saved comfortably.
Thistle looked more incisive on the break and Martin Grehan, John Robertson and Liam BUchanan all had chances before sub Chris Erskine struck the killer blow with seven minutes left.
Flannigan was again involved in the build-up as his shot from the left of the box bobbled towards the far corner. County defender Darren McCormack could only half-clear inviting Erskine to fire in from 15 yards.