Scottish Premiership
Motherwell0Ross County1

Motherwell 0-1 Ross County

Tim Chow and Scott McDonald
County edged towards safety

Ross County all but sealed their Premiership safety after beating Motherwell to leave the Steelmen in a precarious position.

Scott McDonald had a shot saved for Well in the first half and Lionel Ainsworth went close in the second.

But Christopher Routis netted from close range to give County the lead.

Motherwell struggled to create chances after falling behind and they remain second bottom, but now just four points above Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Jim McIntyre's County are now safe from automatic relegation and are seven points clear of Motherwell, who occupy the relegation play-off spot with three games to go.

Hamilton Academical are level on points with Well but have a superior goal difference before their Lanarkshire derby meeting at New Douglas Park next Saturday. Both sides are four points above Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who beat Accies 2-1 earlier on Saturday.

The first half at Fir Park was far from a classic - inaccurate deliveries and poorly taken set pieces - perhaps a sign of nerves.

Motherwell failed to take advantage of four early corners and County did not fare much better, Michael Gardyne breaking free but sending his effort well over.

Ross County celebrate
County moved up to seventh after their win

McDonald fired at goalkeeper Scott Fox and Elliott Frear sent a fizzer across the face of goal but there were no Motherwell takers.

Better would be required in the second half and both teams duly obliged.

Frear produced two fabulous bursts down the left wing, while Tim Chow missed a glorious County chance and Craig Curran's header was saved by Motherwell's Russell Griffiths, who started ahead of regular keeper Craig Samson.

Referee Bobby Madden had a decision to make when Frear went down in the box. No penalty was the call from the match official.

The game had well and truly sparked into life and an Ainsworth free-kick was kept out by Fox. Winger Ainsworth, back in the Motherwell starting line-up, kept his effort low but Fox did really well to turn it round the post.

The hosts looked the more likely to score but against the run of play the visitors stole in and netted, Routis at the back post connecting with a ball across by Reghan Tumilty.

The Motherwell heads did not go down and they continued to press but County held firm.

And in the end it would be a sore one for Motherwell and a happy trip home to the Highlands for Ross County as they edge closer to safety.

Post-match reaction

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "It's disappointing.

"We've dominated large parts of the game again but you don't win games by dominating possession. You have to take your chances.

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Interviews - Robinson and McIntyre

"We make an individual error that costs us the game.

"It becomes a huge game against Hamilton next week.

"We've dominated probably the last four or five games without getting the results that we should've done. It's still in our hands, everything's in our hands so we won't be feeling sorry for ourselves."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "We're hopeful it will be significant.

"It was a really tough match. There wasn't a lot of quality in the game. It was very frantic.

"I thought we defended ever so well.

"I've got to pay tribute to the substitutions as well because every one of them played their part and were key in the goal as well.

"We get the goal at the right time and we hang on.

"Our focus has been trying to stay unbeaten. Coming into this game we were four unbeaten, that's five now."

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 13Griffiths
  • 4Heneghan
  • 8McHugh
  • 3HammellSubstituted forJulesat 67'minutes
  • 12Cadden
  • 14Lasley
  • 26CampbellSubstituted forClayat 83'minutes
  • 17Frear
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forBowmanat 75'minutes
  • 77McDonald
  • 9Moult

Substitutes

  • 1Samson
  • 11Bowman
  • 20Clay
  • 21Jules
  • 24McFadden
  • 25Ferguson
  • 36Gordon

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 3Naismith
  • 15Davies
  • 28van der WegBooked at 44minsSubstituted forTumilityat 45'minutes
  • 12Chow
  • 7Gardyne
  • 8Woods
  • 6O'BrienBooked at 61minsSubstituted forFranksat 65'minutes
  • 9DowSubstituted forRoutisat 29'minutes
  • 11Curran

Substitutes

  • 4Routis
  • 17Franks
  • 19Gobern
  • 31McCarey
  • 52Tumility
  • 57Malcolm
  • 63Dykes
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
3,870

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home6
Away7
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home14
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 0, Ross County 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Ross County 1.

Attempt blocked. Craig Clay (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Fox.

Reghan Tumility (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Foul by Martin Woods (Ross County).

Craig Clay (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Michael Gardyne.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Craig Clay replaces Allan Campbell.

Attempt blocked. Allan Campbell (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).

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

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Ben Heneghan.

Attempt blocked. Craig Curran (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Franks (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Ryan Bowman replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Zak Jules.

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

Foul by Chris Cadden (Motherwell).

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 0, Ross County 1. Christopher Routis (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the top left corner. Assisted by Michael Gardyne.

Foul by Jonathan Franks (Ross County).

Allan Campbell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Zak Jules.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Zak Jules replaces Steven Hammell.

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

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

Foul by Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jonathan Franks replaces Jim O'Brien.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Fox.

Attempt saved. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Booking

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Jim O'Brien (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Craig Curran (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Andrew Davies.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic35314096247297
2Aberdeen34214963303367
3Rangers341610849391058
4St Johnstone35157134744352
5Hearts341210125345846
6Partick Thistle341012123740-342
7Ross County35912144254-1239
8Kilmarnock35814133250-1838
9Dundee35106193755-1836
10Hamilton35614153152-2132
11Motherwell3588194065-2532
12Inverness CT35513173867-2928
View full Scottish Premiership table

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