Scottish Premiership
Inverness CT3Motherwell2

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-2 Motherwell

Inverness Caledonian Thistle have been relegated from the Scottish Premiership despite beating Motherwell.

Hamilton's win over Dundee meant Caley Thistle could not leapfrog the Accies into second-bottom place, regardless of their result against the Steelmen.

After a drab first period, Greg Tansey and Alex Fisher - twice - struck for the hosts in four second-half minutes.

But Accies' triumph rendered the goals moot, as Caley exit the top flight for the first time since returning in 2010.

Veteran striker James McFadden came off the bench to nod home a consolation for Motherwell, before Ryan Bowman netted a stoppage-time penalty to add gloss to the scoreline.

Caley Thistle's fate long sealed

For Inverness, the damage had been done long before Saturday, with the midweek victory over Dundee - the second of three post-split wins - simply prolonging the agony.

Richie Foran
Richie Foran has now been relegated with Caley Thistle as a player (in 2009) and manager

It will perhaps be the decisions to be taken off the field that will matter most in the immediate future.

Just two years ago, the club lifted the Scottish Cup and played European football. It has been a dramatic descent over the course of this season.

Come the final day, Hamilton's early goals in Lanarkshire clearly had an impact on this match.

Inverness opened brightly with Louis Laing testing Motherwell goalkeeper Russell Griffiths from long distance.

Liam Polworth screwed a great chance wide, then Ross Draper curled over from a fabulous position when it seemed an opener was imminent.

Greg Tansey celebrates scoring for Inverness against Motherwell
In his last game before joining Aberdeen, Tansey rifled home the opening goal

Some of the pressure might have been transferred to Hamilton had Richie Foran's men taken the lead first, but the atmosphere changed in the stadium when news of Accies' two-goal first-half lead filtered through.

Inverness at least got the win they needed to have a chance of survival thanks to three quick-fire goals.

Midfielder Tansey, in his final game for the club before departing for Aberdeen, netted a powerful drive before striker Fisher fired two in quick succession.

As Accies scored a third, then a fourth goal at New Douglas Park, it became brutally apparent that, yet again this season, it was not to be Caley Thistle's day.

Job done for Steelmen

The match meant little to Motherwell beyond professional pride, and managing as high a final league position as possible - their Premiership status was secured before this final fixture.

James McFadden scores for Motherwell against Inverness
Motherwell player-assistant manager James McFadden came off the bench to head home his side's first goal

The travelling support had a moment to cheer when McFadden converted after Elliot Frear struck the bar, before Bowman scored from the spot to reduce the deficit further.

For manager Stephen Robinson, the real test follows in assembling a squad to improve on this season.

For Inverness, the coming days and weeks will be instrumental in their short-term future, which now lies as a Scottish Championship club.

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "I thought first half we were very good, controlled the game. We made changes second half, brought a young boy [Adam Livingstone] on and he made a couple of mistakes, but he'll get better and better.

"That's what we do at this club - we give young kids a chance, and unfortunately they make some mistakes, but he'll learn from that and he's one for the future.

Gary Warren
Inverness captain Gary Warren wasted a first-half opportunity

"We've got 14 contracted players at this moment. We might have to do a little bit of wheeling and dealing to get some people out, and get better players in, if we're being honest.

"We're down there this season for a reason. We weren't good enough, and we have to be prudent with what we do to make sure we're not down there again next season.

"The league's going to get stronger next year, so our first and foremost is always to get survival. Within the confines of our dressing room we aim a lot higher, but first and foremost is to stay up and build from there."

Line-ups

Inverness CT

  • 1Esson
  • 22McKay
  • 5Warren
  • 21Laing
  • 2Raven
  • 11VigursSubstituted forMcCartat 83'minutes
  • 18Fisher
  • 8Draper
  • 16Tansey
  • 7PolworthSubstituted forMulraneyat 77'minutes
  • 13Mckay

Substitutes

  • 4McNaughton
  • 12McCart
  • 15Mulraney
  • 19Boden
  • 23Anier
  • 29Cole
  • 42Hoban

Motherwell

  • 13Griffiths
  • 12Cadden
  • 4Heneghan
  • 8McHugh
  • 3Hammell
  • 20Clay
  • 26Campbell
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forLivingstoneat 56'minutes
  • 9MoultSubstituted forMcFaddenat 73'minutes
  • 17Frear
  • 36GordonSubstituted forBowmanat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Bowman
  • 14Lasley
  • 21Jules
  • 24McFadden
  • 31Pain
  • 32Turnbull
  • 43Livingstone
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
5,351

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home11
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away0
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Inverness CT 3, Motherwell 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Inverness CT 3, Motherwell 2.

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 3, Motherwell 2. Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty conceded by David Raven (Inverness CT) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Motherwell. Craig Clay draws a foul in the penalty area.

Foul by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

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

Attempt missed. Steven Hammell (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Jamie McCart replaces Iain Vigurs because of an injury.

Jake Mulraney (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steven Hammell (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Jake Mulraney replaces Liam Polworth.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Ben Heneghan.

Iain Vigurs (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Elliott Frear (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 3, Motherwell 1. James McFadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. James McFadden replaces Louis Moult.

Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

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

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

Attempt blocked. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Craig Clay (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 3, Motherwell 0. Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross Draper.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Ryan Bowman replaces Shea Gordon.

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 2, Motherwell 0. Alex Fisher (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ross Draper.

Goal!

Goal! Inverness CT 1, Motherwell 0. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Liam Polworth.

Brad McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Adam Livingstone (Motherwell).

Attempt saved. Iain Vigurs (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Billy McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Livingstone (Motherwell).

Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Adam Livingstone replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Attempt missed. Gary Warren (Inverness CT) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Ben Heneghan.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic3733401042579103
2Aberdeen372341068353373
3Rangers371810954431164
4St Johnstone37177134944558
5Hearts371210155550546
6Partick Thistle371012153848-1042
7Ross County381113144858-1046
8Kilmarnock38914153656-2041
9Motherwell38108204669-2338
10Dundee38107213862-2437
11Hamilton38714173756-1935
12Inverness CT38713184471-2734
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories