Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell4Ross CountyRoss County0

Motherwell 4-0 Ross County: Robinson sets 'unplayable' Watt challenge

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Tony Watt was "unplayable" in Motherwell's 4-0 win over Ross County, says manager Stephen Robinson.

Watt scored the first, was fouled for Mark O'Hara's penalty and set up Devante Cole's goal after Callum Lang had netted Well's third.

Victory took Robinson's side up to eighth - a point off County.

"If he keeps those fitness levels, energy and desire then we've got a really good centre-forward," Robinson told BBC Scotland.

"When Tony came to the club (in February), he believed he was fit. I told him that he wasn't. I think you can see now when he's as fit as that, at times he is unplayable."

The Steelmen lost Trevor Carson in the first half and Robinson said the goalkeeper's injury "doesn't look good".

Motherwell had last played on 27 September, with their games against Kilmarnock and St Mirren called off over those clubs' Covid-19 issues.

And the Steelmen have had their own coronavirus problems with one positive test confirmed on Friday.

There was a further headache for Robinson midway through the first half when Carson raced out his box to make a headed clearance and appeared to land awkwardly. Aaron Chapman was sent on for his debut.

There had been few chances to speak of up until that point but Nathan McGinley's run and cross changed all that with Watt getting in front of Alex Iacovitti to fashion a shot past Ross Doohan.

Regan Charles-Cook had earlier tested Carson with a tame header and though the midfielder was able to beat Chapman, Declan Gallagher was well placed to clear off the line in first-half stoppage time.

Robinson's side started the second half with intent and Watt cantered into the box only to be felled by former Motherwell man Iain Vigurs, who was booked. O'Hara confidently beat Doohan.

Watt then cleared a Ross Stewart header off the line and Stewart's frustration continued with his next two efforts both off target.

Lang was introduced in place of Christopher Long and quickly ended the match as a contest, turning Gallagher's header at a corner over the line from close range.

And Chapman's long ball was nodded on by Watt for Cole to finish high into the net - his first goal since returning to the club from Doncaster Rovers.

Man of the match - Tony Watt

Motherwell celebrate
Watt was involved in three of the goals and made an important contribution at the other end

What did we learn?

After such a long gap since their last match, Motherwell initially lacked sharpness but settled after Watt's opener.

The energy and pace of their attacks in the second half in particular caused problems for Ross County.

Stuart Kettlewell's County did not start the match looking like a team that would lose 4-0 but defensive slackness and poor finishing was their undoing at Fir Park.

The Staggies had a decent start to the season but have not won since mid-September and Motherwell's ascent up the table is a reminder of how quickly league placings can change in the Premiership.

What did they say?

'Unplayable' Watt delights Robinson

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "To put on a level of performance like that and (midfielder) Mark O'Hara playing at centre-half was outstanding. Tony Watt was unplayable.

"Devante Cole for someone who hasn't played for such a long time was very good. Overall, really, really pleased with the performance."

Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell: "There was just a real degree of naivety in the second half. It's a real frustration for me. When we go behind, there seems to be a real softness in us.

"We had numerous chances ourselves. Ross Stewart's had three that I would expect him to finish."

Ross County 'naivety' irks Kettlewell

What's next?

Motherwell visit Livingston next Saturday when County are away to Dundee United.

Player of the match

WattTony Watt

with an average of 8.20

Motherwell

  1. Squad number32Player nameWatt
    Average rating

    8.20

  2. Squad number44Player nameCole
    Average rating

    7.01

  3. Squad number6Player nameCampbell
    Average rating

    6.99

  4. Squad number19Player namePolworth
    Average rating

    6.94

  5. Squad number31Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    6.92

  6. Squad number33Player nameO'Donnell
    Average rating

    6.89

  7. Squad number7Player nameO'Hara
    Average rating

    6.88

  8. Squad number5Player nameMcGinley
    Average rating

    6.73

  9. Squad number29Player nameLang
    Average rating

    6.46

  10. Squad number15Player nameMaguire
    Average rating

    6.41

  11. Squad number34Player nameChapman
    Average rating

    6.28

  12. Squad number1Player nameCarson
    Average rating

    6.00

  13. Squad number99Player nameLong
    Average rating

    5.64

  14. Squad number8Player nameCrawford
    Average rating

    5.22

  15. Squad number11Player nameHastie
    Average rating

    4.77

Ross County

  1. Squad number43Player nameReid
    Average rating

    5.65

  2. Squad number17Player nameCharles-Cook
    Average rating

    5.40

  3. Squad number14Player nameHylton
    Average rating

    5.31

  4. Squad number12Player nameGrivosti
    Average rating

    4.95

  5. Squad number18Player nameKelly
    Average rating

    4.94

  6. Squad number9Player nameMckay
    Average rating

    4.67

  7. Squad number22Player nameTillson
    Average rating

    4.56

  8. Squad number25Player nameDonaldson
    Average rating

    4.37

  9. Squad number19Player nameLakin
    Average rating

    4.32

  10. Squad number16Player nameIacovitti
    Average rating

    4.21

  11. Squad number21Player nameDoohan
    Average rating

    4.14

  12. Squad number27Player nameStewart
    Average rating

    3.80

  13. Squad number24Player namePaton
    Average rating

    3.72

  14. Squad number11Player nameVigurs
    Average rating

    3.61

  15. Squad number7Player nameGardyne
    Average rating

    3.22

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1CarsonSubstituted forChapmanat 28'minutes
  • 33O'Donnell
  • 7O'Hara
  • 31Gallagher
  • 5McGinley
  • 6Campbell
  • 15MaguireBooked at 65mins
  • 19PolworthSubstituted forCrawfordat 76'minutes
  • 44ColeSubstituted forHastieat 76'minutes
  • 32Watt
  • 99LongBooked at 40minsSubstituted forLangat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Crawford
  • 9White
  • 11Hastie
  • 24Devine
  • 26Cornelius
  • 27Johnston
  • 28Hussain
  • 29Lang
  • 34Chapman

Ross County

  • 21Doohan
  • 17Charles-Cook
  • 25Donaldson
  • 12GrivostiSubstituted forHyltonat 62'minutes
  • 16Iacovitti
  • 43Reid
  • 24PatonSubstituted forKellyat 62'minutes
  • 11VigursBooked at 53minsSubstituted forTillsonat 75'minutes
  • 19Lakin
  • 27Stewart
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forMckayat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 3Tremarco
  • 8Shaw
  • 9Mckay
  • 10O'Connor
  • 14Hylton
  • 18Kelly
  • 22Tillson
  • 46Williamson
Referee:
Craig Napier

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home14
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 4, Ross County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 4, Ross County 0.

  3. Post update

    Jermaine Hylton (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Nathan McGinley (Motherwell).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Josh Reid (Ross County).

  6. Post update

    Jake Hastie (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Callum Lang (Motherwell).

  8. Post update

    Coll Donaldson (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Tony Watt (Motherwell).

  10. Post update

    Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Robbie Crawford (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Kelly (Ross County).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Tony Watt (Motherwell).

  14. Post update

    Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Callum Lang (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ross Stewart (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stephen Kelly with a cross.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Nathan McGinley.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Barry Maguire (Motherwell).

Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds