Inverness CT 1-5 Motherwell

By Keir MurrayBBC Sport Scotland

Motherwell leapt four places to fourth in the Scottish Premier League as they swept Inverness aside in the Highlands.

Michael Higdon nodded home Nicky Law's cross and Jamie Murphy volleyed a second as Stuart McCall's side controlled the first half.

Inverness pulled one back through Richie Foran on 46 minutes but notions of a comeback were soon crushed.

Adam Cummins smacked in Well's third from close range, Henrik Ojamaa slotted home and Omar Daley fired in another.

Inverness fall to seventh spot, the defeat having scuppered their chance of moving up to third in the table.

Motherwell's preparations for the trip north had been hit by illness, yet they utterly dominated the first half, their 60% of ball possession rewarded with a two-goal lead at the interval.

The first quarter hour offered little in the way of entertainment but that changed on 18 minutes when, after good work by Chris Humphrey, Law crossed for Higdon, who rose above David Raven to nod the ball past Antonio Reguero.

Inverness forward Richie Foran scored to make it 2-1 to Motherwell
Richie Foran brought Inverness back into the match with his early second-half goal

It was the Englishman's 55th SPL goal.

The visitors' second came three minutes later, again from the right wing, thanks to the enterprising Humphrey, who worked his way to the bye-line and sent in a cross that was diverted to Murphy by a glancing Josh Meekings defensive header and the resulting shot beat Reguero.

Just after the half-hour mark had passed, Ojamaa was fractionally late in meeting Stevie Hammell's cross from the left. His team-mate Humphrey's timing was impeccable, though, and his side-footed effort was saved well by Reguero.

Motherwell's steely grip on the match continued and the home side's Spanish goalkeeper was called on again to deny Murphy, diving to his left and parrying the forward's curling shot.

The contrast between Motherwell's inventiveness and the hosts' flat-footedness was highlighted just before half-time when Hammell's corner was dummied by Keith Lasley, allowing Nicky Law a clear shot at goal from 20 yards.

His effort, though, fizzed a foot or so over the bar.

Inverness manager Terry Butcher was in a jovial mood in his pre-match interview but his kick at a pitchside microphone indicated his half-time team talk would be fiery.

His words looked to have stirred his players into life because within 60 seconds of the restart Foran skilfully controlled Raven's cross and slotted the ball past Darren Randolph from a tight angle.

With the home fans eyeing a comeback, Motherwell quickly moved 3-1 ahead. As Inverness failed to clear their lines from a corner, Tom Hateley was given too much time to swing in a cross to the back post where centre-half Cummins killed the ball and blasted high past Reguero.

The Inverness goalie was off his line sharply to save from Ojamaa as Well threatened to make Caley Thistle pay for their forays forward.

But it was not long before Reguero failed to prevent Ojamaa from breaking his scoring duck for the season.

Humphrey played in Law near the right corner flag and the Englishman danced into the box, worked a one-two with Murphy and rolled the ball to the Estonian whose meek shot went through the legs of the keeper.

With the points in the bag, Motherwell eased off, allowing Inverness a trio of chances.

The pink-shirted Randolph made a superb save from Aaron Doran, tipping his 20-yard shot on to the bar, then Andrew Shinnie, the club's first player to win a Scotland cap, had a close-range shot diverted over.

Foran had Inverness's final chance, a looping header just over the bar from substitute Conor Pepper's deep cross.

With the home fans in the 3,000 crowd dejected, Daley scored Well's fifth, the Inverness defence allowing the sub an age to turn and shoot.

Reguero, who until the fourth goal had looked impressive, allowed Daley's shot to squirm through his body and cross the line.

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