Match ends, Motherwell 4, Inverness CT 2.
Motherwell moved out of the Premiership relegation play-off spot with a win that leaves Inverness CT five points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Well raced into the lead with goals from Chris Cadden and Louis Moult.
Inverness replied through Alex Fisher, who turned Liam Polworth's tame effort into the net.
Fisher equalised after the break with a delightful lob but a controversial Scott McDonald goal and a header from Allan Campbell won it for the hosts.
The Fir Park men join Ross County on 32 points, while Inverness remain on 25, five below Dundee.
The game could have gone either way after a tremendous Inverness comeback, but it seemed to hinge on the decision to award Motherwell's third goal.
Striker McDonald hit the base of the post with a close-range header and the ball was then scooped clear by keeper Owain Fon Williams, who had his feet behind the line.
The officials were quick to award the goal but it looked very tough to call.
Inverness had offered so much and their misery was compounded when McDonald superbly laid the fourth on a plate for Campbell to nod home from close range.
Motherwell could have been out of sight after going 2-0 up inside nine minutes, with Inverness looking completely on the ropes.
Cadden opened the scoring when he danced in from the right and curled a wonderful left-foot shot beyond Fon Williams.
The second had a touch of fortune with Moult's deep cross from the left evading everyone before bouncing in off the post.
Ryan Bowman was denied third by a good Fon Williams save before Inverness mounted a spirited fightback.
Two goals down so early, it was reasonable to assume Inverness were heading for another damaging defeat.
Their response was impressive. Fisher flicked home Polworth's shot and Richie Foran's side were full of belief.
Polworth fired wide before Fisher shot straight at Craig Samson and had an effort touched past the post when he was clean through.
Fisher delivered again, though, when he ran in behind and floated a fabulous first-time chip over the advancing Samson on 54 minutes.
The visitors showed tremendous fight and ability but McDonald's goal was key. When your luck is out, it is out and the result inflicts further damage on Foran's side.
A monumental turn around in results is required or they are Championship-bound.
Motherwell manager Steve Robinson: "We concern ourselves with us and we took care of the job that was put in front of us today. We made relative hard work of it. The players are human beings, there are emotions involved and the crowd are tense as well so sometimes you start making decisions you shouldn't make.
"We showed a lot of character to go on and win the game after they came back.
"Credit to Inverness, they have some very good players. I've watched them a few times and I'm surprised at where they are to be honest.
"If you were here for our game against Hamilton when the ball comes back off the underside of the crossbar after being four yards over, perhaps we deserve that bit of luck (regarding Well's controversial third goal). We've earned that luck.
"In terms of automatic relegation there's a gap opening up now but that's only a few games and we have to concentrate solely on our next game."
- 3HammellSubstituted forJulesat 87'minutes
- 11BowmanSubstituted forAinsworthat 59'minutes
- 9MoultSubstituted forBlythat 83'minutes
- 25Fon Williams
- 22McKayBooked at 89mins
- 3TremarcoSubstituted forMcNaughtonat 13'minutes
- 11VigursSubstituted forMulraneyat 64'minutes
- 20KingSubstituted forAnierat 74'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Motherwell 4, Inverness CT 2.
Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Craig Samson.
Attempt saved. Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Brad McKay (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Brad McKay (Inverness CT).
Substitution, Motherwell. Zak Jules replaces Steven Hammell.
Foul by Jacob Blyth (Motherwell).
Henri Anier (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Jacob Blyth (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Substitution, Motherwell. Jacob Blyth replaces Louis Moult.
Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Allan Campbell (Motherwell).
Jake Mulraney (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Chris Cadden (Motherwell).
Attempt saved. Henri Anier (Inverness CT) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Substitution, Inverness CT. Henri Anier replaces Billy King.
Attempt saved. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).