Scottish Premiership
Ross County1Motherwell3

Ross County 1-3 Motherwell

Stephen Pearson scores for Motherwell against Ross County
Stephen Pearson (far left) gave Motherwell an early lead in Dingwall

Motherwell secured fifth place in the Scottish Premiership with Stephen Pearson and Keith Lasley's goals defeating Ross County.

Pearson was on hand to tap home after Louis Moult found the midfielder unmarked with County's defence posted missing.

Lasley added a second soon after, the captain drilling a wonderful low strike inside Scott Fox's right-hand post.

Liam Boyce gave County hope but Pearson settled it with a stoppage-time header.

And Wednesday's results mean County, who will finish sixth, will end the season with fewer points than the side that takes seventh place after this weekend's closing fixtures, the league having spilt in two for the final five rounds of fixtures.

Mark McGhee's visitors started with real intent and forced a couple of early corners before capitalising on a poor defensive header from Jackson Irvine.

Irvine could have found touch but instead headed into a central area where Scott MacDonald gathered, fed Moult on the right and he calmly slotted across for Pearson to convert.

Liam Boyce scores for Ross County against Motherwell
Boyce (far left) scored for County but they could not draw level

Motherwell continued to be positive and Stevie Hammell's corner found Chris Cadden with a late run into the box. His shot was blocked but the ball rebounded outside the penalty area to Lasley, who showed great composure and technique to score despite Fox getting his hand to it.

Home manager Jim McIntyre took action and sent on Raffaele De Vita for Stewart Murdoch just after the half-hour mark.

That provided a spark with De Vita deliveries finding Alex Schalk, whose shot was blocked, then Michael Gardyne, who touched back across goal where David Goodwillie failed to convert from close range.

Marvin Johnson might have sealed the points for Well when he showed great pace to race clear in on Fox but the goalkeeper did well to block.

In a highly entertaining second half, County appeared to have more impetus, with Goodwillie having a great chance from close range before Craig Samson denied him when a goal seemed certain.

As pressure built, substitute Brian Graham unlocked the Motherwell defence with a superb header into Schalk's path but his powerful volley unluckily flew wide.

The breakthrough for the home side came when Gardyne danced across the box, unleashed a shot which Samson saved but only succeeded in diverting to Boyce, who netted only his second goal of 2016 from a yard.

Johnson almost immediately replied with a fierce volley that arrowed wide before Moult shot straight at Fox on the break.

County continued to press with Boyce, Graham and Richard Foster all going close to an equaliser but Motherwell clinched it on the counter when Fox saved Johnson's drive but the ball fell perfectly for Pearson to nod home.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 6Robertson
  • 43QuinnBooked at 68mins
  • 12Foster
  • 17FranksSubstituted forBoyceat 56'minutes
  • 36IrvineBooked at 35mins
  • 26Woods
  • 18MurdochBooked at 33minsSubstituted forDe Vitaat 36'minutes
  • 7Gardyne
  • 25GoodwillieSubstituted forGrahamat 60'minutes
  • 23Schalk

Substitutes

  • 5Boyd
  • 8McShane
  • 9Graham
  • 10Boyce
  • 19Dingwall
  • 21Woods
  • 24De Vita

Motherwell

  • 13Samson
  • 3HammellBooked at 64minsSubstituted forChalmersat 72'minutes
  • 32Hall
  • 6McManus
  • 11Johnson
  • 26Cadden
  • 14Lasley
  • 17Gomis
  • 8Pearson
  • 20Moult
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 38mins

Substitutes

  • 1Ripley
  • 5Laing
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 15Chalmers
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 35Campbell
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
2,976

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away9
Fouls
Home10
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 3.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, Motherwell 3. Stephen Pearson (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Richard Foster (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Brian Graham.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Liam Boyce.

Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

Joe Chalmers (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Liam Boyce (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt saved. Louis Moult (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Richard Foster (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

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

Attempt missed. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Joe Chalmers replaces Steven Hammell because of an injury.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, Motherwell 2. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from very close range to the bottom left corner.

Booking

Paul Quinn (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Paul Quinn (Ross County).

Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Alex Schalk (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Booking

Steven Hammell (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Hammell (Motherwell).

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Richard Foster (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Brian Graham replaces David Goodwillie.

Attempt missed. Alex Schalk (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Motherwell).

Attempt saved. David Goodwillie (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Motherwell).

Foul by Chris Robertson (Ross County).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic37258486315583
2Aberdeen36225962431971
3Hearts361710956381861
4St Johnstone37167145653355
5Motherwell37155174756-950
6Ross County37136185161-1045
7Inverness CT371310145048249
8Dundee371115115353048
9Partick Thistle37129163948-945
10Hamilton37119174061-2142
11Kilmarnock3799193960-2136
12Dundee Utd3777234168-2725
View full Scottish Premiership table

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