Motherwell 4-1 Inverness CT

Michael Higdon scored a hat-trick as Motherwell beat Inverness to move top of the Scottish Premier League.

The hosts raced into a two-goal lead with Tom Hateley scoring directly from an 11th-minute corner and Higdon netting a quick second.

Richie Foran nodded one back for the Highlanders.

Higdon took advantage of a mistake to score his second and then completed his treble before Andrew Shinnie's missed penalty for the visitors.

Stuart McCall's side move a point above Celtic, who have a game in hand, while Inverness slip to second bottom, one point in front of St Johnstone.

Motherwell forward Michael Higdon
Higdon's treble sent Motherwell top of the SPL

Inverness midfielder Ross Draper tested Darren Randolph with an early shot but the visitors soon found themselves with a mountain to climb as Stuart McCall's side scored twice within the space of two minutes.

Hateley's whipped corner deceived goalkeeper Ryan Esson and ended in the net.

And it got better for the hosts as Chris Humphrey crossed for Higdon to convert.

The visitors tried to respond with strikes by Aaron Doran and Owain Tudor Jones but neither posed much of a problem for Randolph.

But Foran did register for Inverness, with the midfielder netting against his former club.

Doran's corner was cleared but Jones returned the ball into the box and Foran directed a header past Randolph.

And the Inverness captain could have levelled before the break, with Randolph blocking his initial shot before Foran tamely headed the rebound wide.

Foran continued to pose a threat in the second half as Inverness sought to take advantage of any Motherwell tiredness following their Europa League defeat by Levante on Thursday.

Higdon also tried to double his personal tally, but the big striker's volley was wide.

But the former St Mirren player took advantage of David Raven's wayward passback and finished well past Esson.

And Higdon then hammered Henrik Ojamaa's cross into the net 11 minutes from the end.

Inverness had the chance to reduce their deficit after Jonathan Page had fouled Foran in the box but Andrew Shinnie's penalty was saved by Randolph.

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