Michael Higdon scored twice as Motherwell leapfrogged Inverness CT into second place in the Scottish Premier League.

The striker tapped in Henrik Ojamaa's mis-hit shot half an hour into a lively first-half.

Nicky Law hammered home early in the second period after lifting the ball over keeper Ryan Esson.

And Higdon arrowed a lovely volley low into the bottom corner soon after to kill the game off.

Motherwell have beaten the Highlanders in all three of this season's encounters, scoring 12 goals in the process, while Terry Butcher's side have now gone six games without a win.

The first-half was an evenly-matched affair, with both sides knocking the ball around nicely and always eager to get forward.

Kallum Higginbotham, in for suspended Motherwell skipper Keith Lasley, was bright in the opening exchanges, while Higdon nodded a Stevie Hammell free-kick onto the roof of the net.

Nick Ross and Aaron Doran exchanged sharp passes before the latter crossed for Billy McKay to head wide.

Andrew Shinnie then drilled in a low shot that was held comfortably by Darren Randolph as Inverness responded to the early home pressure.

Another neat passing move from the visitors came close to unlocking the Motherwell defence but a lunging interception from Simon Ramsden prevented McKay from running on to the ball near the penalty spot.

Inverness had the ball in the net when Andrew Shinnie followed up as Randolph parried a long-range stinger from Doran but an offside flag was fluttering.

Esson beat away a fierce free-kick from Tom Hateley and when Law picked up the loose ball to cut into the penalty area his shot was diverted wide by team-mate Higdon.

However, the striker immediately made amends by being in the right place to tap in when Ojamaa's scuffed shot across goal fell his way.

Doran lashed a shot over as Inverness threatened a quick response, while a long ball over the top found Higginbotham in yards of free space at the left edge of the penalty box.

But, with Esson stranded in the middle of the penalty area, he shot tamely at the grateful keeper.

A minute later, Esson had to work harder to block a fierce angled shot from Ojamaa.

The second-half opened with Inverness midfielder Nick Ross stealing in behind the Motherwell defence but he lifted his shot from 16 yards narrowly over the top.

The home advantage was doubled when Law lifted the ball over Esson during a penalty box scramble and his fresh-air swipe inadvertently dummied two diving defenders before he smashed the ball into an unguarded net at the second attempt.

On 56 minutes, a Stuart Carswell header looped up and fell invitingly for Higdon 16 yards out. With the ball dipping, the in-form forward arrowed a first-time volley into the far corner for his 18th goal of the season.

With 'Well hitting on the break, Chris Humphrey showed Graeme Shinnie a clean pair of heels but the Motherwell winger could only find the side-netting with his low strike.

Inverness midfielder Andrew Shinnie squeezed between two opponents to fire off a shot only to see it hit the post as the match officials had spotted an earlier infringement.

Motherwell then went close to a fourth goal as Law's swerving strike from 20 yards left the crossbar quivering.

With the visitors wilting late on, Humphrey jinked between two players to cut into the box and his low cross was deflected narrowly wide of far post.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Motherwell

  • 01 Randolph
  • 03 Hammell
  • 05 Hutchinson
  • 15 Ramsden (Cummins - 69' )
  • 04 Law
  • 06 Hateley
  • 07 Humphrey
  • 18 Carswell
  • 08 Ojamaa (McHugh - 76' )
  • 09 Higdon
  • 11 Higginbotham (Francis-Angol - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Hollis
  • 02 Saunders
  • 26 Francis-Angol
  • 30 Cummins
  • 17 Daley
  • 16 McHugh
  • 29 Erwin

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 01 Esson
  • 02 Raven
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 05 Warren Booked
  • 14 Meekings
  • 04 Tudur-Jones Booked
  • 08 Draper (Polworth - 82' )
  • 10 Shinnie
  • 11 Ross
  • 07 McKay (Sutherland - 66' )
  • 17 Doran (Roberts - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Reguero
  • 27 Devine
  • 28 Taylor
  • 21 Polworth
  • 22 Pepper
  • 18 Sutherland
  • 23 Roberts
Ref: Murray
Att: 4,179

Match Stats

Shots

14 9

On target

4 2

Corners

3 3

Fouls

12 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:04 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

89:59

Michael Higdon takes a shot.

89:16

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Tom Hateley.

83:34

The referee blows for offside against Nicky Law. Direct free kick taken by Gary Warren.

81:56 Substitution

Substitution Liam Polworth joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ross Draper.

81:28

Shot from just outside the area by Nicky Law goes over the bar.

79:45

Unfair challenge on Graeme Shinnie by Chris Humphrey results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Graeme Shinnie.

78:55

Philip Roberts is caught offside. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

78:11

Andrew Shinnie is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.

77:47

Gary Warren fouled by Robert McHugh, the ref awards a free kick. Josh Meekings takes the free kick.

77:00

Chris Humphrey takes a shot.

75:25 Substitution

Substitution Robert McHugh comes on in place of Henrik Ojamaa.

74:57 Substitution

Substitution Zaine Francis-Angol replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

69:09

Michael Higdon concedes a free kick for a foul on Josh Meekings. Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.

68:13 Substitution

Substitution Adam Cummins replaces Simon Ramsden.

67:21

Owain Tudur Jones takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Darren Randolph makes a save.

65:40

Free kick taken by Graeme Shinnie.

65:40 Substitution

Substitution Aaron Doran leaves the field to be replaced by Philip Roberts.

65:40 Substitution

Substitution Billy McKay goes off and Shane Sutherland comes on.

65:40

Free kick awarded for a foul by Shaun Hutchinson on Ross Draper.

59:58

Direct free kick taken by Nicky Law.

59:58 Booking

Booking Booking for Owain Tudur Jones.

59:50

Kallum Higginbotham fouled by Owain Tudur Jones, the ref awards a free kick.

57:42

Graeme Shinnie challenges Chris Humphrey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Nicky Law.

55:19

Stewart Carswell provided the assist for the goal.

55:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Higdon - Motherwell 3 - 0 Inverness Michael Higdon grabs a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Motherwell 3-0 Inverness CT.

53:38

Ross Draper takes a shot. Blocked by Simon Ramsden.

52:40

Corner taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie, Stevie Hammell manages to make a clearance.

51:05

Henrik Ojamaa provided the assist for the goal. Stewart Carswell challenges Andrew Shinnie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.

51:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Nicky Law - Motherwell 2 - 0 Inverness Nicky Law fires in a goal from close range high into the middle of the goal. Motherwell 2-0 Inverness CT.

49:37

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ross Draper by Kallum Higginbotham. Josh Meekings takes the free kick.

48:37

Josh Meekings concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Higdon. Nicky Law takes the free kick.

47:50

Unfair challenge on Kallum Higginbotham by David Raven results in a free kick. Stevie Hammell restarts play with the free kick.

46:10

Effort on goal by Nick Ross from just inside the area clears the crossbar.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +0:06 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

42:08

Kallum Higginbotham takes a shot. Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot.

41:39

Andrew Shinnie fouled by Simon Ramsden, the ref awards a free kick. Andrew Shinnie takes the free kick.

40:29

Ross Draper concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Humphrey. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.

39:33

Aaron Doran has an effort at goal from 20 yards.

38:55

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Humphrey on Graeme Shinnie. Direct free kick taken by Graeme Shinnie.

34:35

The assistant referee signals for offside against Nicky Law. Ryan Esson restarts play with the free kick.

33:32

Michael Higdon takes a shot. Free kick awarded for a foul by Henrik Ojamaa on Gary Warren. Josh Meekings takes the direct free kick.

32:58

Aaron Doran takes a shot.

31:04

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Josh Meekings by Henrik Ojamaa. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Esson.

29:32

Henrik Ojamaa provided the assist for the goal.

29:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Higdon - Motherwell 1 - 0 Inverness Michael Higdon finds the back of the net with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Motherwell 1-0 Inverness CT.

28:25

Tom Hateley takes a shot. Save by Ryan Esson. Shot from just outside the box by Henrik Ojamaa misses to the left of the goal.

27:37

Tom Hateley takes the free kick.

27:37 Booking

Booking Gary Warren is given a yellow card.

27:30

Foul by Gary Warren on Henrik Ojamaa, free kick awarded.

25:54

Aaron Doran takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph. Billy McKay is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

24:23

Tom Hateley takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Graeme Shinnie manages to make a clearance.

17:21

The official flags Nick Ross offside. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

15:56

Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Warren. Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the left by-line.

15:07

Free kick awarded for a foul by Graeme Shinnie on Chris Humphrey. Tom Hateley restarts play with the free kick.

14:29

Owain Tudur Jones takes a shot.

13:37

Corner taken right-footed by Aaron Doran, clearance by Stevie Hammell.

12:26

Shot by Andrew Shinnie from 12 yards. Save made by Darren Randolph.

11:57

The ball is swung over by Aaron Doran, Billy McKay takes a shot.

10:47

Stevie Hammell concedes a free kick for a foul on Aaron Doran. Aaron Doran takes the free kick.

8:50

Free kick awarded for a foul by David Raven on Henrik Ojamaa. Direct free kick taken by Stevie Hammell. Header on goal by Michael Higdon from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

3:42

Ross Draper fouled by Henrik Ojamaa, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Esson.

2:31

David Raven gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Henrik Ojamaa. Stevie Hammell takes the direct free kick.

1:26

Kallum Higginbotham takes a shot.

0:14

Corner taken by Aaron Doran from the right by-line.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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