Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell2Ross CountyRoss County0

Motherwell 2-0 Ross County

By John BarnesBBC Scotland at Fir Park

Motherwell took advantage of two Ross County errors at Fir Park to move back into the Premiership top six.

Harry Souttar had a nightmare start to his Ross County career when he headed Andy Rose's cross into his own net.

Curtis Main finished from close range to make it 2-0 after Nadir Ciftci pick-pocketed Marcus Fraser on the edge of the box.

Ross Draper was twice denied from close range for County but they could not pull themselves back into the game.

While Motherwell leapfrog both Kilmarnock and St Johnstone who were inactive due to their game being postponed, Ross County remain three points adrift at the bottom of the table.

An injury to captain Andrew Davies after only six minutes saw new on-loan signing Souttar make his Ross County debut from the bench. The defender only arrived back in Scotland last night to conclude his move to the Dingwall club from Stoke City and what an impact he was to make.

Motherwell had the first effort on goal when Ciftci linked with Carl McHugh before sending in a shot from the edge of the box, but it was deflected wide.

Craig Tanner was next to try his luck with a free-kick from 30 yards out, which he curled with his left foot just wide of Aaron McCarey's left hand post.

County's first real effort came from Inih Effiong. The former Woking striker, with his back to goal, turned well on the edge of the box and sent a left foot shot wide of the target.

As the first half was drawing to a close the home side made the breakthrough from that unlikely source Souttar. He looked to clear a teasing cross from Andy Rose from the right, but instead of heading the ball wide he directed it into his own net.

Dejection for Ross County's Harry Souttar (left) after his own goal gave Motherwell the lead
Dejection for Ross County's Harry Souttar (left) after his own goal gave Motherwell the lead

Supporters were still returning to their seats after the interval when Motherwell doubled their lead. This time it was their January signings who combined to breach the visitors defence. Ciftci delivered a low cross from the right and Main dinked the ball past McCarey from six yards.

County came close to pulling themselves back into the game with two fine headed efforts from Ross Draper. His first saw him connect with Jason Naismith's cross from the right but goalkeeper Trevor Carson reacted brilliantly to save.

Within seconds the ball bounced up again and this time Draper's header was cleared off the line by Main.

David N'Gog was introduced as a second half substitute for his first appearance for County, but the former Liverpool player could not find a way of turning the game in the visitors favour.

The home looked solid in defence with Cedric Kipre and Tom Aldred commanding fending off the Staggies threat and they were quick on the counter attack as well.

This was Motherwell's first league win in nine matches and moves them into sixth place in the Premiership. County though are now 10 league matches without a victory.

Post-match reaction

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "I thought the result was more important than the performance tonight. I don't think we were at our best if we're being honest, but we were organised, the back four were excellent.

"Trevor (Carson) made an excellent save, but other than that I didn't feel we were in any kind of trouble. We were comfortable in the game without playing overly well.

"It was a game we needed to win. It pushes us back into the top six again.

"I think Nadir (Ciftci) is only 70% fit at the minute. It's a super finish from Curtis Main. I'm confident both players will get better and better as time goes on.

"I'm delighted with the back four, I'm delighted with the result, and I know we'll play better than that."

Ross County manager Owen Coyle: "The young kid (Harry Souttar) scores an own goal on his debut. That said, it sounds daft to say it, but I thought he had an outstanding performance. I've seen international stars in the Premier League in England crumble when something like that has happened but he picked himself up, played well in the game.

"The second goal was as clear a foul as you're ever going to see. I hope it's shown because it's happened to Ross County again.

"I think he's (Kevin Clancy) a very good referee but he's made a terrible blunder.

"The reaction we showed was terrific, we created chances, the 'keeper has had an unbelievable save from Ross Draper's header, we had one cleared off the line.

"There was things we were pleased about. I thought David Ngog was outstanding. Young Souttar did well. (Ross) Tansey is on his way back. So there's no doubt when we get them all together we're going to be a very good team."

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 1Carson
  • 21KipreBooked at 79mins
  • 19Aldred
  • 18Dunne
  • 8McHugh
  • 7Cadden
  • 22Campbell
  • 27TannerSubstituted forHammellat 86'minutes
  • 15Rose
  • 23CiftciSubstituted forPetraviciusat 63'minutes
  • 9MainSubstituted forMacLeanat 76'minutesBooked at 81mins

Substitutes

  • 3Hammell
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 13Griffiths
  • 20Petravicius
  • 26MacLean
  • 29Livingstone

Ross County

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31McCarey
  • 3Naismith
  • 15DaviesSubstituted forSouttarat 6'minutes
  • 4RoutisBooked at 60mins
  • 28van der Weg
  • 17Draper
  • 2Fraser
  • 25O'Brien
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forKeillor-Dunnat 75'minutes
  • 12EffiongSubstituted forN'Gogat 51'minutes
  • 22Mckay

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 5Souttar
  • 9Dow
  • 10Schalk
  • 14N'Gog
  • 33Eagles
  • 40Keillor-Dunn
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
3,196

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home5
Away12
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home18
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 2, Ross County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Ross County 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Deimantas Petravicius (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is too high.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Kenny van der Weg (Ross County).

  5. Post update

    Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Steven Hammell replaces Craig Tanner.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Carl McHugh.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jim O'Brien (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Souttar (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  10. Booking

    Ross MacLean (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Deimantas Petravicius (Motherwell).

  13. Booking

    Cedric Kipre (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    David N'Gog (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Cedric Kipre (Motherwell).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. David N'Gog (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  17. Post update

    Jason Naismith (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Andy Rose (Motherwell).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Ross MacLean replaces Curtis Main.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Davis Keillor-Dunn replaces Michael Gardyne.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic23166150163454
2Rangers23134643251843
3Aberdeen2313463326743
4Hibernian2310853227538
5Hearts238962419533
6Motherwell2283112832-427
7Kilmarnock216872528-326
8St Johnstone217592130-926
9Hamilton2265113037-723
10Dundee2364132333-1022
11Partick Thistle2355132039-1920
12Ross County2345142138-1717
View full Scottish Premiership table

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