Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell1Ross CountyRoss County1

Motherwell 1-1 Ross County

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
  • Scott McDonald opens scoring for Motherwell
  • Liam Boyce equalises before half-time
  • County remain six points clear of Steelmen
  • Motherwell second bottom, eight ahead of St Mirren

Motherwell's hopes of avoiding a relegation play-off diminished as they were held to a draw by Ross County.

The hosts began the match well and took a deserved lead when Scott McDonald poked in a low cross.

However County grew into the game and scored an excellent equaliser through Liam Boyce, who finished from 12 yards.

The result keeps the Dingwall side six points ahead of their opponents with only three matches remaining.

On a positive note for Motherwell, their point allied to St Mirren's defeat by Partick Thistle means automatic relegation is only a remote possibility.

An eight-point gap separates them, but Ian Baraclough's side's participation in the play-off looks increasingly likely.

Their hunger could not be questioned and they showed greater desire at the outset, going close through Marvin Johnson and McDonald before the Australian edged them in front.

Josh Law's cross from the right looked like evading everyone only for the striker to stretch to force the ball into the net.

But County gradually hauled themselves back into the match, Martin Woods testing George Long from distance before the equaliser arrived.

Boyce picked up possession on the left of the penalty area before engineering a bit of room to allow him to curl a vicious shot past Long.

Liam Boyce fired Ross County level after Scott McDonald's opener
Liam Boyce fired Ross County level after Scott McDonald's opener

The game was contested tenaciously throughout, underlining the high stakes involved, with yellow cards being dished out with regularity by referee Crawford Allan.

Both sides had chances to take all three points, with Scott Boyd and Michael Gardyne going close for County.

Motherwell, though, piled forward in greater numbers as the second half wore on, knowing the draw was of less use to them.

Stephen Pearson did his utmost to force a winning goal, twice being thwarted by last-ditch challenges from Paul Quinn and then Boyd.

Conor Grant twice tested Mark Brown from distance but Motherwell couldn't find the goal that would have given them a fighting chance of avoiding 11th place.

And, barring an unlikely sequence of results in the final three rounds of matches, they will have to battle Hibernian, Rangers or Queen of the South over two legs to retain their Scottish Premiership status.

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Long
  • 18Law
  • 6McManus
  • 15O'BrienBooked at 63mins
  • 3Hammell
  • 24JohnsonSubstituted forAinsworthat 68'minutes
  • 14Lasley
  • 48PearsonBooked at 52mins
  • 47GrantSubstituted forThomasat 87'minutes
  • 19ErwinBooked at 37minsSubstituted forSuttonat 77'minutes
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 5mins

Substitutes

  • 5Ramsden
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 9Sutton
  • 12Twardzik
  • 22Moore
  • 26Thomas
  • 44Straker

Ross County

Formation 4-4-2

  • 21Brown
  • 44Fraser
  • 43QuinnBooked at 44mins
  • 5BoydBooked at 49mins
  • 12Reckord
  • 40GardyneSubstituted forKissat 87'minutes
  • 26Woods
  • 36Irvine
  • 24De VitaSubstituted forDingwallat 66'minutes
  • 11CurranSubstituted forQuinnat 81'minutes
  • 16Boyce

Substitutes

  • 1Reguero
  • 3Meite
  • 4Quinn
  • 10Kiss
  • 20Sernas
  • 22Palazuelos Garcia
  • 30Dingwall
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
4,281

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home7
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home10
Away5
Fouls
Home21
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 1, Ross County 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Ross County 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Mark O'Brien (Motherwell).

  4. Post update

    Paul Quinn (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Steven Hammell (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Martin Woods (Ross County).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Ross County) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Pearson (Motherwell).

  9. Post update

    Jackson Irvine (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

  11. Post update

    Jackson Irvine (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rocco Quinn (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Conor Grant.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Filip Kiss replaces Michael Gardyne.

  15. Post update

    John Sutton (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Keith Lasley (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Rocco Quinn replaces Craig Curran.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Mark O'Brien (Motherwell).

  20. Post update

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