Iain Vigurs' late strike at Inverness moved Motherwell into second place in the Scottish Premiership.

Henri Anier latched on to Fraser Kerr's long ball to stab in off the post beyond the deputising Ryan Esson and give the visitors a half-time lead.

Ryan Christie drove in his first goal for Inverness after Greg Tansey had rattled the post as the hosts hit back.

But the home side's comeback was short lived as Vigurs struck against his old club in the final ten minutes.

The winning goal came against the run of play with John Hughes's side pinning the visitors back for much of the second-half without creating too much.

It was a 19th league win for Motherwell and improves on their record against top-six clubs just in time as they take over pole position in the battle for Europa League spots, although Aberdeen can leapfrog them with a win at Hearts on Wednesday.

Esson made his first appearance of the season, with Danny Devine and Carl Tremarco also given starts for Inverness.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper was called into action early, punching away Vigurs in-swinging free-kick.

Esson was again busy when Craig Reid struck from 30 yards but both sides looked comfortable as half-time approached until Anier broke the deadlock.

Kerr's long ball through the middle split open the defence, allowing the Estonian striker to run through before finishing low inside the post.

Inverness were booed off by a frustrated home support at the break, but they responded in the second-half.

Tansey was thwarted by Stephen McManus' block, before unleashing a thunderous long shot moments later which cracked off the post.

Substitute Ryan Christie grabbed a deserved equaliser with a sweetly struck strike finding the corner of the net from 25-yards despite being knocked off balance.

The home side looked the most likely to find a winner, but when they were caught out by a quick counter-attach Vigurs and Craig Moore exchanged passes before the former Inverness man finished beyond Esson to seal maximum points for Stuart McCall's side.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 01 Esson
  • 02 Raven (Watkins - 67' )
  • 18 Tremarco
  • 20 Polworth (Christie - 61' )
  • 05 Warren
  • 14 Devine
  • 04 Vincent
  • 08 Draper
  • 07 McKay
  • 16 Tansey
  • 03 Shinnie

Substitutes

  • 11 Ross
  • 12 Brill
  • 15 Watkins
  • 19 Williams
  • 36 Christie
  • 40 Evans

Motherwell

  • 12 Nielsen
  • 02 Reid (Francis-Angol - 45' )
  • 03 Hammell
  • 14 Lasley
  • 05 Hutchinson
  • 06 McManus
  • 20 Kerr
  • 11 Vigurs Booked
  • 24 Anier (Moore - 68' )
  • 09 Sutton Booked
  • 26 Leitch (Cadden - 87' )

Substitutes

  • 17 Francis-Angol
  • 21 Stewart
  • 22 Moore
  • 23 Murray
  • 25 Ainsworth
  • 30 Thomas
  • 34 Cadden
Ref: Craig Thomson
Att: 2,366

Match Stats

Shots

7 6

On target

3 4

Corners

5 3

Fouls

12 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Inverness CT 1, Motherwell 2.

90:00 +2:05 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Inverness CT 1, Motherwell 2.

90:00 +0:32

Foul by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).

90:00 +0:32

Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:35

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Greg Tansey.

86:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Christopher Cadden replaces Jack Leitch.

86:05

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

86:05

Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

82:06 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 1, Motherwell 2. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Craig Moore.

80:42

Attempt saved. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

79:59

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Carl Tremarco.

78:27

Foul by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

78:27

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:08

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:08

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Motherwell).

75:25

Danny Devine (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

75:25

Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

73:02 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 1, Motherwell 1. Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Greg Tansey.

71:43

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

71:43

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Craig Moore replaces Henri Anier.

66:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Marley Watkins replaces David Raven.

66:16

Foul by Ryan Christie (Inverness CT).

66:16

Steven Hammell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:00

Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:59

Foul by Fraser Kerr (Motherwell).

64:30

Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

62:55

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Steven Hammell.

62:40

Attempt blocked. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

61:00

Steven Hammell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:58

Foul by Ryan Christie (Inverness CT).

60:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Ryan Christie replaces Liam Polworth.

58:39

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:39

Foul by Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell).

56:30 Booking

Booking John Sutton (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

56:20

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

56:20

Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

55:08

Danny Devine (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

55:08

Foul by Henri Anier (Motherwell).

54:15

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

53:04

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

53:04

John Sutton (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00

Second Half begins Inverness CT 0, Motherwell 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Zaine Francis-Angol replaces Craig Reid.

45:00 +0:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Inverness CT 0, Motherwell 1.

42:39

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:39

Foul by Craig Reid (Motherwell).

41:33

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Fraser Kerr.

41:10 Booking

Booking Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

40:26

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:26

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Motherwell).

39:03 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Inverness CT 0, Motherwell 1. Henri Anier (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Shaun Hutchinson.

37:09

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Fraser Kerr.

34:38

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

34:38

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

34:06

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Carl Tremarco.

31:07

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:07

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell).

29:56

Foul by Danny Devine (Inverness CT).

29:56

Henri Anier (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:53

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

27:53

Foul by Craig Reid (Motherwell).

26:26

Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:26

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

25:11

Attempt saved. Craig Reid (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

22:44

Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:44

Foul by Craig Reid (Motherwell).

21:19

Foul by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

21:19

Jack Leitch (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

20:41

Attempt missed. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

20:16

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Fraser Kerr.

19:55

Attempt blocked. Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

18:10

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

13:44

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

13:44

Foul by Henri Anier (Motherwell).

12:43

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Gunnar Nielsen.

12:12

Attempt saved. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

11:19

Attempt saved. Keith Lasley (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

6:35

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

6:35

Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

5:03

Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).

5:03

Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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