Scottish Premiership
Ross CountyRoss County1MotherwellMotherwell2

Ross County 1-2 Motherwell

By Andrew ThomsonBBC Scotland

Two stunning Motherwell second-half goals ended a run of four straight defeats away to Ross County.

The home side dominated the first half with Michael Gardyne putting a shot just wide, but Motherwell gradually grew stronger.

Rocco Quinn had to clear off the line before Iain Vigurs' free-kick broke the deadlock after half-time.

John Sutton made it two with a 30-yard strike, but Liam Boyle made it a nervy finish when he bundled the ball home.

It leaves County still searching for their first point of the season despite Jim McIntyre taking charge for the first time following the exit of Derek Adams.

Motherwell, though, gained their first league win since the opening day of the season.

Stuart McCall made three changes to the Steelmen's starting line-up going into the game, while Ross County's Jim McIntyre's team features six new faces.

That included debuts for new signings Jackson Irvine and Darren Barr, while former County favourite Gardyne made his return to the club.

Motherwell had the first chance when John Sutton came close with a shot that whistled passed Antonio Reguero's left-hand post.

But, after that, County found their stride. First, Joe Cardle was found in space on the left wing.

He beat one man and sent a wicked-looking cross into the Motherwell box, but it went just behind striker Jake Jervis, who had looked poised to strike.

A few minutes later, Gardyne came close. After weaving through the Motherwell box, he fired a powerful right-footed shot, but Dan Twardzik saved well at his right-hand post.

County's Rocco Quinn crossed to Melvin De Leeuw at the back post, but he wasn't able to get enough on the header.

Motherwell came back into the match as the first half drew to a close.

Josh Law fired the ball towards the bottom right of Reguero's goal, but he palmed his effort away to safety.

Then former County player Iain Vigurs knocked the ball into Lee Erwin at the back post, but his header was cleared off the line.

Motherwell came out the traps at top speed after the restart. Vigurs lined up to take a free kick at the edge of the box and he curled his shot beautifully round the defensive wall and into the back of the net.

Moments later, Sutton added an equally impressive second. He chested the ball down just outside the penalty area and then sent a perfect left-footed volley into the County goal.

Following these two decisive Motherwell strikes, the game looked to be petering out, but County found some urgency again in the closing stages.

Boyce pulled one back by blasting the ball into the Motherwell goal from close range.

Quinn then came close to getting an equalizer as the final whistle approached, but goalkeeper Twardzik did well to dash County hopes by pulling off a great save to stop the ball finding the bottom corner.

While Motherwell will hope their victory will kick-start their season, there will be continued concern at County, who have now lost six league games in a row, the poorest start of any top-flight team for many years.

Line-ups

Ross County

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Reguero
  • 13Barr
  • 36Irvine
  • 20Balk
  • 5Boyd
  • 23Carey
  • 4Quinn
  • 11De LeeuwSubstituted forArquinat 56'minutes
  • 7Cardle
  • 40GardyneSubstituted forMaatsenat 70'minutes
  • 9JervisSubstituted forBoyceat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Brittain
  • 10Kiss
  • 14Maatsen
  • 15Arquin
  • 16Boyce
  • 19Fenlon
  • 21Brown

Motherwell

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 12Twardzik
  • 15O'BrienBooked at 29mins
  • 2Reid
  • 6McManus
  • 5Ramsden
  • 8LawsonSubstituted forCarswellat 70'minutes
  • 14LasleyBooked at 79mins
  • 11Vigurs
  • 18Law
  • 19ErwinSubstituted forOjamaaat 82'minutes
  • 9Sutton

Substitutes

  • 4Carswell
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 13Nielsen
  • 16McHugh
  • 17Francis-Angol
  • 21Leitch
  • 24Ojamaa
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
3,012

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home20
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yoann Arquin (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is too high.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rocco Quinn (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Darren Barr (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  6. Post update

    Jackson Irvine (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Henrik Ojamaa (Motherwell).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Henrik Ojamaa replaces Lee Erwin.

  9. Post update

    Hand ball by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Boyd (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Dan Twardzik.

  12. Booking

    Keith Lasley (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Joe Cardle (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

  15. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 1, Motherwell 2. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Graham Carey.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Jackson Irvine (Ross County).

  17. Post update

    Simon Ramsden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Graham Carey (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Sutton (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Stuart Carswell replaces Paul Lawson.