Scottish Premiership
Ross County3Motherwell0

Scottish Premiership: Ross County 3-0 Motherwell

Craig Curran fires a shot into the top corner of the net
Curran fires a shot into the top corner of the net

Liam Boyce ended a five-game run without a goal as Ross County eased to victory over Motherwell.

Craig Curran swivelled smartly to smash a shot high into the net on 22 minutes at Victoria Park.

With the hosts well on top, the lead was doubled when Tony Dingwall played smart one-two with Martin Woods before rounding goalkeeper Connor Ripley.

Boyce then added his 12th goal of the season, converting a late penalty after he had been fouled.

Jim McIntyre's side were looking to reassert themselves after a run of three defeats in their last four outings and they did so with something to spare.

Four points separated the home side in fifth to the visitors in 10th place, highlighting how tight the mid-section of the table was prior to kick off and the importance of three points to either side.

County were first to threaten directly when Curran's challenge distracted Ripley, who managed to recover after letting the ball slip from his grasp.

The action was engaging enough without getting fans off their seats but the temperature rose when Motherwell winger Lionel Ainsworth centred and Louis Moult crashed to the ground after a nudge. Referee Crawford Allan waved play on and on first view it looked the correct decision.

County then broke and were furious when awarded a foul despite Jonathan Franks breaking through on the right.

It nearly worked out when the subsequent free-kick saw Boyce nod home, only to see the offside flag go up against Andrew Davies, who had headed the ball back across goal.

The breakthrough arrived when Dingwall danced across the box looking for an opening to strike. His drive deflected to the left, from where Woods delivered toward Curran, who hooked a shot in for a goal of real quality.

Liam Boyce (centre) is congratulated after netting a late penalty
Boyce (centre) is congratulated after netting a late penalty

Motherwell threatened to hit back when Ainsworth dispossessed Richard Foster and drove forward with lightning pace. He had support but elected to go alone and his low shot was touched wide.

Just before the break some lovely interplay in tight areas released Franks down the right and Boyce was inches away from connecting with his searching cross.

Boyce perhaps should have scored early in the second half when the ball arrived at his feet eight yards out but he could only touch it wide.

The decisive moment arrived soon after and it was worth the wait. Dingwall executed a terrific exchange with Woods and raced away from defenders before rounding the goalkeeper to roll home.

Louis Laing came close to pulling one back with a long-range shot which narrowly missed the target, but Motherwell just could not find a solution to mount any sustained pressure.

Woods went close with an angled strike, which was touched away by Ripley, before Boyce completed the scoring.

The Northern Ireland striker was clipped in the box and his penalty was confidently lofted into the net to put the seal on a very positive afternoon for the home side.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 21Woods
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 5Boyd
  • 12Foster
  • 17FranksSubstituted forMurdochat 84'minutes
  • 36Irvine
  • 26Woods
  • 19DingwallSubstituted forDe Vitaat 70'minutes
  • 11CurranSubstituted forSchalkat 74'minutes
  • 10Boyce

Substitutes

  • 6Robertson
  • 8McShane
  • 14Holden
  • 18Murdoch
  • 23Schalk
  • 24De Vita
  • 31Severn

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 18LawBooked at 27mins
  • 5Laing
  • 25TaylorSubstituted forRobinsonat 59'minutes
  • 16Kennedy
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forCaddenat 62'minutes
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 8PearsonBooked at 53mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonald
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 13Samson
  • 17Robinson
  • 19Clarkson
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 26Cadden
  • 32Hall
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
3,378

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home7
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 0.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 3, Motherwell 0. Liam Boyce (Ross County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Penalty Ross County. Liam Boyce draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Kieran Kennedy (Motherwell) after a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt missed. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Josh Law (Motherwell).

Attempt saved. Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Stewart Murdoch replaces Jonathan Franks.

Foul by Alex Schalk (Ross County).

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Theo Robinson.

Attempt saved. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Marvin Johnson.

Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Foul by Raffaele De Vita (Ross County).

Josh Law (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Louis Laing (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Louis Laing (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces Craig Curran.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Raffaele De Vita replaces Tony Dingwall.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, Motherwell 0. Tony Dingwall (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Martin Woods.

Hand ball by Craig Curran (Ross County).

Foul by Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell).

Tony Dingwall (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Theo Robinson (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Chris Cadden replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Theo Robinson replaces Jake Taylor.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Franks (Ross County) left footed shot from long range on the right is too high.

Jake Taylor (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jonathan Franks (Ross County).

Foul by Louis Laing (Motherwell).

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic15113138112736
2Hearts1593327151230
3Aberdeen149142116528
4St Johnstone158253123826
5Ross County156362219321
6Dundee154742124-319
7Hamilton145361820-218
8Inverness CT154561619-317
9Kilmarnock154471524-916
10Partick Thistle153571221-914
11Motherwell154291121-1014
12Dundee Utd1522111130-198
View full Scottish Premiership table

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