John Sutton netted twice as Motherwell fought back to earn a deserved three points against Ross County at Fir Park.

Melvin De Leeuw's heavily deflected strike put County in front at half-time.

But a header then a well taken strike by Englishman Sutton turned the match around.

Bob McHugh nodded home to completed the comeback as Motherwell stayed on the coat-tails of Scottish Premiership pace setters Inverness and Celtic.

Stuart McCall's side remain three points behind the joint-leaders while County's points tally after eight matches stands at seven.

Sutton and Henri Anier combined well to create a chance early to a force a sharp save from visiting goalkeeper Mark Brown.

James McFadden's pass unlocked the County defence and Stuart Carswell cut the ball back for Sutton to shoot but the toe of Brown prevented what looked to be a certain goal.

And, against the run of play, County took the lead. A cut back from Ben Gordon found De Leeuw at the edge of the box and his shot deflected off Shaun Hutchinson into the corner of the Motherwell net.

Melvin De Leeuw scores for Ross County against Motherwell

De Leeuw's deflected shot deceived Motherwell

In response, a free-kick from McFadden found Sutton but his flick-on was straight at Brown.

Just before half-time County should have doubled their lead. A cut-back, this time from De Leeuw, found Richie Brittain at the edge of the box but the midfielder - normally so assured in sight of goal - blazed high over the bar.

Motherwell hit back just after the interval. First a John Sutton free-kick was turned behind and from the resulting corner the former Hearts man rose highest to head past Brown.

From there the game really opened up. Brittain tried his luck from 25 yards but Lee Hollis blocked.

At the other end an Anier diving header went just wide.

Stuart Kettlewell was put through into the box by County team-mate Rocco Quinn but his shot was brilliantly saved by Hollis.

Motherwell gained the lead for the first time when Sutton ripped through the centre of the Ross County defence to dispatch high into the net.

Soon after, a fizzing shot from McFadden's replacement Lionel Ainsworth was slightly fumbled but eventually gathered by Brown.

'Well were much more focused in the final third in the second-half and it paid off as they made it 3-1.

A superb, thumping header from McHugh put McCall's men firmly in command as the match entered its final phases.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (6)

Motherwell

  • 01 Hollis
  • 03 Hammell
  • 04 Ramsden
  • 05 Hutchinson
  • 06 McManus
  • 07 McFadden (Ainsworth - 46' )
  • 14 Lasley
  • 17 Francis-Angol (Vigurs - 75' )
  • 18 Carswell
  • 09 Sutton
  • 24 Anier (McHugh - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Nielsen
  • 15 Cummins
  • 20 Kerr
  • 08 Lawson
  • 11 Vigurs
  • 25 Ainsworth
  • 16 McHugh

Ross County

  • 01 Brown
  • 02 Kovacevic
  • 03 Gordon
  • 05 Boyd
  • 21 McLean (Munro - 37' )
  • 04 Kettlewell
  • 08 Brittain
  • 10 Quinn
  • 17 Ross (Glen - 77' )
  • 23 Carey
  • 11 De Leeuw (Sproule - 62' )

Substitutes

  • 20 Fraser
  • 06 Micic
  • 12 Munro
  • 22 Saunders
  • 07 Sproule
  • 14 Maatsen
  • 15 Glen
Ref: Madden
Att: 4,263

Match Stats

Shots

22 13

On target

8 4

Corners

9 4

Fouls

9 18

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:15 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +2:37

Free kick taken by Stephen McManus.

90:00 +2:26

Free kick awarded for a foul by Graham Carey on Stuart Carswell.

90:00 +1:33

Iain Vigurs takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the left of the net.

90:00 +1:15

Free kick taken by Steven Hammell.

90:00 +0:46

Rocco Quinn gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lionel Ainsworth.

90:00 +0:15

Stuart Kettlewell has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the goal.

89:52

Richard Brittain crosses the ball in from the free kick.

89:43

Unfair challenge on Richard Brittain by Stuart Carswell results in a free kick.

89:10

Lee Hollis takes the free kick.

89:02

The referee blows for offside against Ivan Sproule.

87:46

Lee Hollis restarts play with the free kick.

87:34

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Sutton by Rocco Quinn.

86:56

Clearance made by Shaun Hutchinson.

86:49

Corner taken by Graham Carey from the left by-line.

85:27

Header by John Sutton goes to the left of the goal.

85:18

Iain Vigurs crosses the ball in from the free kick.

85:09

Foul by Mihael Kovacevic on Iain Vigurs, free kick awarded.

84:08

Corner from the left by-line taken by Lionel Ainsworth.

83:40

Shot by Iain Vigurs. A parry by Mark Brown prevents the goal.

83:15

Lee Hollis takes the free kick.

81:31

Ivan Sproule is caught offside.

81:12

Header at goal by John Sutton goes over the frame of the goal.

81:06

The ball is swung over by Steven Hammell.

79:14

Robert McHugh has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the target.

78:49

Simon Ramsden restarts play with the free kick.

78:42

Keith Lasley fouled by Gary Glen, the ref awards a free kick.

77:47

The official flags Ivan Sproule offside.

76:52

The assist for the goal came from Simon Ramsden.

76:52 Goal scored

Goal! - Robert McHugh - Motherwell 3 - 1 Ross Co Robert McHugh scores a headed goal. Motherwell 3-1 Ross County.

76:05 Substitution

Substitution Steven Ross leaves the field to be replaced by Gary Glen.

74:48 Substitution

Substitution Iain Vigurs joins the action as a substitute, replacing Zaine Francis-Angol.

74:36

Robert McHugh takes a shot and cleared the net.

72:45

Corner from the left by-line taken by Lionel Ainsworth.

69:07

Lionel Ainsworth takes a shot. Mark Brown blocks the ball.

67:55 Substitution

Substitution Robert McHugh joins the action as a substitute, replacing Henri Anier.

67:03

Henri Anier provided the assist for the goal.

67:03 Goal scored

Goal! - John Sutton - Motherwell 2 - 1 Ross Co John Sutton scores a right footed goal. Motherwell 2-1 Ross County.

66:08

Steven Hammell takes the free kick.

66:00

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mihael Kovacevic on John Sutton.

64:46

Shot by Richard Brittain went wide left of the goal.

63:19

Corner taken by Richard Brittain from the right by-line.

62:49

Stuart Kettlewell takes a shot. Lee Hollis parries the ball away.

61:19 Substitution

Substitution Ivan Sproule is brought on as a substitute for Melvin De Leeuw.

60:21

Shaun Hutchinson fouled by Stuart Kettlewell, the ref awards a free kick.

59:50

Richard Brittain takes a shot and went wide of the left-hand post.

58:31

Header at goal by Henri Anier to the left of the net.

58:14

Lionel Ainsworth sends in a cross.

57:40

Richard Brittain takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Lee Hollis makes a block.

56:40

John Sutton takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the left of the net.

56:13

Scott Boyd restarts play with the free kick.

56:04

The assistant referee flags for offside against Zaine Francis-Angol.

55:37

Corner taken by Lionel Ainsworth.

55:16

Header by Stephen McManus misses right.

55:07

Corner from the right by-line taken by Lionel Ainsworth.

54:36

Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick.

54:25

Henri Anier challenges Stuart Kettlewell unfairly and gives away a free kick.

53:55

The assist for the goal came from Lionel Ainsworth.

53:55 Goal scored

Goal! - John Sutton - Motherwell 1 - 1 Ross Co John Sutton scores with a header. Motherwell 1-1 Ross County.

53:42

Corner from the right by-line taken by Lee Hollis.

52:58

John Sutton has an effort at goal.

52:44

Free kick taken by John Sutton.

52:14

Rocco Quinn concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen McManus.

51:33

Free kick taken by Keith Lasley.

51:21

Foul by Grant Munro on Stuart Carswell, free kick awarded.

50:51

Steven Ross takes a shot and cleared the crossbar.

50:41

Grant Munro takes the free kick.

50:30

Keith Lasley concedes a free kick for a foul on Stuart Kettlewell.

50:20

Steven Hammell restarts play with the free kick.

50:14

Unfair challenge on Stephen McManus by Steven Ross results in a free kick.

50:02

Graham Carey takes a shot. Lee Hollis catches the ball.

49:43

The ball is sent over by Richard Brittain.

47:37

The referee blows for offside.

46:59

Shot by Rocco Quinn went wide left of the target.

46:25

Scott Boyd restarts play with the free kick.

46:21

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mihael Kovacevic by Henri Anier.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Lionel Ainsworth comes on in place of James McFadden.

45:00 +2:05 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

45:00 +0:41

Grant Munro restarts play with the free kick.

45:00 +0:31

Foul by John Sutton on Grant Munro, free kick awarded.

45:00 +0:09

Rocco Quinn takes a shot and went wide left of the goal.

44:33

The assistant referee flags for offside against Henri Anier.

43:48

Corner taken by James McFadden.

43:25

Steven Hammell makes a clearance.

43:13

Richard Brittain takes the free kick.

43:05

Graham Carey fouled by James McFadden, the ref awards a free kick.

42:26

Richard Brittain takes a shot and goes harmlessly over the bar.

40:54

Corner taken by Keith Lasley.

40:11

Scott Boyd takes the free kick.

40:08

Henri Anier is caught offside.

39:29

Shaun Hutchinson takes a shot and missed to the left of the net.

39:03

Corner taken by James McFadden from the right by-line.

37:55

Unfair challenge on Henri Anier by Ben Gordon results in a free kick.

37:29

Header by Simon Ramsden misses left.

37:07

Steven Hammell restarts play with the free kick.

37:02

Keith Lasley fouled by Stuart Kettlewell, the ref awards a free kick.

36:56

Shaun Hutchinson takes the free kick.

36:39 Substitution

Substitution Grant Munro comes on in place of Brian McLean.

35:23

Stuart Kettlewell concedes a free kick for a foul on Keith Lasley.

32:23

Free kick crossed by James McFadden.

32:16

Unfair challenge on James McFadden by Melvin De Leeuw results in a free kick.

29:55

Assist on the goal came from Ben Gordon.

29:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Melvin De Leeuw - Motherwell 0 - 1 Ross Co Melvin De Leeuw slots the ball left footed into the goal. Motherwell 0-1 Ross County.

28:19

Free kick taken by Shaun Hutchinson.

28:13

The referee blows for offside.

26:54

Corner from the right by-line taken by Graham Carey.

25:24

Henri Anier has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the goal.

25:11

Shot by John Sutton. A parry by Mark Brown prevents the goal.

24:18

Stephen McManus restarts play with the free kick.

24:03

Steven Ross concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen McManus.

23:48

Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick.

23:42

Henri Anier concedes a free kick for a foul on Ben Gordon.

19:41

Shot by Shaun Hutchinson missed to the right of the target.

17:06

Scott Boyd takes the free kick.

17:00

The offside flag is raised against Henri Anier.

16:04

Henri Anier is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

15:08

Zaine Francis-Angol sends in a cross.

12:24

Stuart Carswell restarts play with the free kick.

12:18

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell on Stuart Carswell, free kick awarded.

11:32

Header by Steven Ross goes over the bar.

11:19

Corner taken by Richard Brittain.

9:55

Free kick taken by Mark Brown.

9:46

Foul by Stephen McManus on Graham Carey, free kick awarded.

9:29

Keith Lasley crosses the ball in from the free kick.

9:06

Zaine Francis-Angol fouled by Mihael Kovacevic, the ref awards a free kick.

5:32

Zaine Francis-Angol takes a shot and went wide left of the goal.

4:48

Graham Carey takes a shot and went wide right of the goal.

3:22

Scott Boyd manages to make a clearance.

3:02

Free kick crossed by James McFadden.

2:55

Foul by Graham Carey on James McFadden, free kick awarded.

2:06

Header at goal by Zaine Francis-Angol goes over the frame of the goal.

1:58

Corner from the right by-line taken by James McFadden.

1:27

Henri Anier has an effort at goal. A parry by Mark Brown prevents the goal.

0:25

Brian McLean restarts play with the free kick.

0:15

John Sutton concedes a free kick for a foul on Stuart Kettlewell.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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