Scottish Premiership
Inverness CT0Motherwell1

Inverness CT 0-1 Motherwell

Motherwell's Wes Fletcher celebrates scoring
Fletcher opened the scoring on his debut

Wes Fletcher's debut strike earned Motherwell a valuable opening three points as they look to consign last season's relegation fight to history.

Stephen Pearson gathered outside the box, his low shot was parried and Fletcher was in the right place to tap home with ease.

A Scott McDonald penalty was saved by Caley Thistle's Owain Fon Williams.

Inverness were ineffective up front with no attempts on target, a statistic that will concern manager John Hughes.

A good start was exactly what visiting manager Ian Baraclough desired after last season's relegation fight and he couldn't have wished for more.

His side seized on possession near the edge of the opposition box, Pearson had his low effort parried, but Fletcher assuredly tapped home for a dream debut goal.

Motherwell seemed intent to allow the home side possession, keep their shape and counter effectively, while Inverness struggled to build any momentum early on and again looked light up front.

A great rolling turn on the right edge of the box allowed Fletcher an angle, but his left-foot shot curled a yard wide of the far post.

Marvin Johnson gathered in a central area and drove forward, a deflection stopping his impressive surge.

Johnson then demonstrated magnificent running and dribbling skill as he beat three players and was upended by Danny Devine, resulting in a clear penalty.

McDonald took responsibility, but Fon Williams read his strike and impressively held on low to his left.

Scott McDonald fires a penalty kick that was saved
Motherwell striker Scott McDonald had a penalty saved by Owain Fon Williams

Hughes was clearly concerned and just after the half hour mark replaced Nathaniel Wedderburn with Andrea Mbuyi Mutombo, a move that appeared tactical.

A key factor in Caley Thistle's success last season was few injuries and suspensions, but an injury to Gary Warren meant that, by kick off in this second half, the defence of Draper, Devine, Horner and Raven was unrecognisable from last season.

Motherwell seemed marginally less threatening in the second half, although Johnson's long-range effort was tipped wide by Fon Williams.

Johnson went close again with a close-range effort, McDonald followed up and it was cleared off the line when a second goal seemed inevitable.

The crowd became restless as the home side struggled to create much threat.

The main threat came for a late set-piece in a great position, but Greg Tansey tried to float it over the wall and it deflected away.

Motherwell seemed comfortable and, while they committed less forward as the game proceeded, Josh Law and Louis Moult both went close.

Line-ups

Inverness CT

  • 25Fon Williams
  • 2Raven
  • 5WarrenBooked at 1minsSubstituted forPolworthat 43'minutes
  • 6MeekingsSubstituted forHornerat 45'minutes
  • 14Devine
  • 15WedderburnSubstituted forMbuyi-Mutomboat 33'minutes
  • 16Tansey
  • 8Draper
  • 19Williams
  • 7Lopez Robles
  • 22Christie

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 17Horner
  • 20Polworth
  • 28Mbuyi-Mutombo
  • 34Brown

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 15Chalmers
  • 5Laing
  • 6McManus
  • 3Hammell
  • 18Law
  • 14Lasley
  • 8PearsonBooked at 38minsSubstituted forLeitchat 46'minutes
  • 11Johnson
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forMoultat 67'minutes
  • 77McDonaldSubstituted forClarksonat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Twardzik
  • 16Kennedy
  • 19Clarkson
  • 20Moult
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 27Ferguson
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
3,307

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home3
Away13
Shots on Target
Home0
Away8
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home6
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Inverness CT 0, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Inverness CT 0, Motherwell 1.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Owain Fon Williams.

Attempt saved. David Clarkson (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Josh Law (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. David Clarkson replaces Scott McDonald.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Louis Laing.

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

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Keith Lasley.

Attempt blocked. Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Lewis Horner (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Greg Tansey (Inverness CT).

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

Danny Devine (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Danny Devine.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Louis Moult replaces Wes Fletcher.

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ryan Christie (Inverness CT).

Attempt blocked. Dani López (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Josh Law.

Foul by Dani López (Inverness CT).

Louis Laing (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Wes Fletcher (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Josh Law.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ross Draper.

Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Owain Fon Williams.

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

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Josh Law.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Jack Leitch replaces Stephen Pearson because of an injury.

Second Half

Second Half begins Inverness CT 0, Motherwell 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Lewis Horner replaces Josh Meekings.

Half Time

First Half ends, Inverness CT 0, Motherwell 1.

Ryan Christie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steven Hammell (Motherwell).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee11004043
2Celtic11002023
3Motherwell11001013
4Hamilton10100001
5Partick Thistle10100001
6Aberdeen00000000
7Dundee Utd00000000
8Hearts00000000
9St Johnstone00000000
10Inverness CT100101-10
11Ross County100102-20
12Kilmarnock100104-40
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