Match ends, Motherwell 2, Ross County 1.
Tony Watt's late Scottish Premiership winner against Ross County snatched Motherwell's "biggest three points" so far this season, says Graham Alexander.
Callum Slattery's stunning early strike had seemingly put the Fir Park side on course to finish the day in the division's top three.
But a Regan Charles-Cook cross evaded everyone, including helpless goalkeeper Liam Kelly, and found the net to level.
However, Watt struck with 10 minutes to play to move Motherwell up to third.
The Fir Park side remain two points behind leaders Rangers and one adrift of second-placed Hearts, while County stay 11th.
"We're not pretending we particularly played at our best, but we dug out a game that was on an even keel, which is a great trait to have," Alexander said.
"I thought this week that this would be our toughest challenge and it was."
Only goals scored keeps County off the foot of the division, but manager Malky Mackay will be encouraged by how they managed to fight their way back into the game after the early concession.
Despite their opening goal, Motherwell were not involved much in the first half other than trying to keep the Dingwall side quiet as they began their search for an equaliser.
Blair Spittal was the visitors' bright spark and had a volley from a narrow angle at the back-post thwarted by Kelly.
Motherwell struggled to create openings but were comfortable in defence and limited County to half-chances and shots from distance for the most part.
Spittal had another opportunity after gliding past Juhani Ojala, but ballooned his shot over the bar from close range after the ball had ping-ponged around the Motherwell box.
Motherwell, fresh from a draw at Ibrox and unbeaten in four, started the second half in a confident and energetic manner.
Watt crashed a free header off the bar from a Stephen O'Donnell cross, but the hosts fell out of the game again, even if their defence was well-equipped to keep the ball out of the net.
County's attacking football was a joy to watch at times, with Ross Callachan, Joseph Hungbo and Jordan White linking up effectively.
Jack Burroughs went close, driving in from the left and flashing a shot narrowly wide, before County hit the bar themselves when Callachan cut back to on-loan Watford winger Hungbo, who struck the frame of the goal from close range.
Burroughs had another sight of goal but could not beat Kelly and County were punished when Motherwell found a winner with 10 minutes to play.
Ricki Lamie floated a ball over the top of the County defence and Watt showed great composure with an excellent first touch before he unleashed a powerful strike past Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
Man of the match
What did we learn?
Motherwell are now well-versed in weathering storms. Much like their last two league outings - particularly against Aberdeen - they weren't always in control of the game but managed to find the key goal when it mattered.
County showed great character to rally after going behind early on in the match but despite the quantity of chances they had they were let down by the quality of them.
Hungbo came off the bench at the break and looked like the dynamic attacker they will need as Mackay's men search for their first three points this season.
What did they say?
Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: "Today was a tough game and as we expected County really worked us hard. They grew into the game and had opportunities.
"This was a game that we lost last season in similar circumstances after going ahead earlier then they equalised so every credit to the players for winning."
Ross County manager Malky Mackay: "My centre backs were up against a challenge. The amount of long balls and balls floated into the box, and Motherwell being a big team, was a real challenge and I thought that to a man they were great.
"The second half we kept feeding young Hungbo and he was excellent. He has great pace and he'll only get more confident from today."
Motherwell travel to Hearts in the Premiership on Saturday (15:00 BST), while County are at Dundee United at the same time.
- 23GrimshawSubstituted forDonnellyat 63'minutesBooked at 78mins
- 16SlatteryBooked at 62mins
- 7WoolerySubstituted forRobertsat 63'minutes
- 32WattBooked at 90mins
- 9van VeenSubstituted forCarrollat 82'minutes
- 15WatsonBooked at 47minsSubstituted forClarkeat 51'minutes
- 6PatonBooked at 37minsSubstituted forRobertsonat 81'minutes
- 17Charles-CookBooked at 41minsSubstituted forHungboat 45'minutes
- 8CallachanBooked at 90mins
- Craig Napier
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Ross County 1.
Foul by Alex Robertson (Ross County).
Tony Watt (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Ross Callachan (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.
Tony Watt (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.
Joseph Hungbo (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Callum Slattery (Motherwell).
Attempt missed. Alex Iacovitti (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Joseph Hungbo (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Stephen O'Donnell (Motherwell).
Foul by Jack Burroughs (Ross County).
Liam Donnelly (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Jack Burroughs (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mark O'Hara (Motherwell).
Substitution, Motherwell. Jake Carroll replaces Kevin van Veen.
Foul by Jordan White (Ross County).
Ricki Lamie (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Ross County. Alex Robertson replaces Harrison Paton.
Goal! Motherwell 2, Ross County 1. Tony Watt (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ricki Lamie.
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