Scottish Premiership
Ross CountyRoss County3MotherwellMotherwell0

Scottish Premiership: Ross County 3-0 Motherwell

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Victoria Park
Craig Curran fires a shot into the top corner of the net
Curran fires a shot into the top corner of the net

Liam Boyce ended a five-game run without a goal as Ross County eased to victory over Motherwell.

Craig Curran swivelled smartly to smash a shot high into the net on 22 minutes at Victoria Park.

With the hosts well on top, the lead was doubled when Tony Dingwall played smart one-two with Martin Woods before rounding goalkeeper Connor Ripley.

Boyce then added his 12th goal of the season, converting a late penalty after he had been fouled.

Jim McIntyre's side were looking to reassert themselves after a run of three defeats in their last four outings and they did so with something to spare.

Four points separated the home side in fifth to the visitors in 10th place, highlighting how tight the mid-section of the table was prior to kick off and the importance of three points to either side.

County were first to threaten directly when Curran's challenge distracted Ripley, who managed to recover after letting the ball slip from his grasp.

The action was engaging enough without getting fans off their seats but the temperature rose when Motherwell winger Lionel Ainsworth centred and Louis Moult crashed to the ground after a nudge. Referee Crawford Allan waved play on and on first view it looked the correct decision.

County then broke and were furious when awarded a foul despite Jonathan Franks breaking through on the right.

It nearly worked out when the subsequent free-kick saw Boyce nod home, only to see the offside flag go up against Andrew Davies, who had headed the ball back across goal.

The breakthrough arrived when Dingwall danced across the box looking for an opening to strike. His drive deflected to the left, from where Woods delivered toward Curran, who hooked a shot in for a goal of real quality.

Liam Boyce (centre) is congratulated after netting a late penalty
Boyce (centre) is congratulated after netting a late penalty

Motherwell threatened to hit back when Ainsworth dispossessed Richard Foster and drove forward with lightning pace. He had support but elected to go alone and his low shot was touched wide.

Just before the break some lovely interplay in tight areas released Franks down the right and Boyce was inches away from connecting with his searching cross.

Boyce perhaps should have scored early in the second half when the ball arrived at his feet eight yards out but he could only touch it wide.

The decisive moment arrived soon after and it was worth the wait. Dingwall executed a terrific exchange with Woods and raced away from defenders before rounding the goalkeeper to roll home.

Louis Laing came close to pulling one back with a long-range shot which narrowly missed the target, but Motherwell just could not find a solution to mount any sustained pressure.

Woods went close with an angled strike, which was touched away by Ripley, before Boyce completed the scoring.

The Northern Ireland striker was clipped in the box and his penalty was confidently lofted into the net to put the seal on a very positive afternoon for the home side.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 21Woods
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 5Boyd
  • 12Foster
  • 17FranksSubstituted forMurdochat 84'minutes
  • 36Irvine
  • 26Woods
  • 19DingwallSubstituted forDe Vitaat 70'minutes
  • 11CurranSubstituted forSchalkat 74'minutes
  • 10Boyce

Substitutes

  • 6Robertson
  • 8McShane
  • 14Holden
  • 18Murdoch
  • 23Schalk
  • 24De Vita
  • 31Severn

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 18LawBooked at 27mins
  • 5Laing
  • 25TaylorSubstituted forRobinsonat 59'minutes
  • 16Kennedy
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forCaddenat 62'minutes
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 8PearsonBooked at 53mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonald
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 13Samson
  • 17Robinson
  • 19Clarkson
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 26Cadden
  • 32Hall
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
3,378

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home7
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 3, Motherwell 0. Liam Boyce (Ross County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  4. Post update

    Penalty Ross County. Liam Boyce draws a foul in the penalty area.

  5. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Kieran Kennedy (Motherwell) after a foul in the penalty area.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  7. Post update

    Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Josh Law (Motherwell).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

  11. Post update

    Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Stewart Murdoch replaces Jonathan Franks.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Alex Schalk (Ross County).

  14. Post update

    Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Theo Robinson.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Marvin Johnson.

  18. Post update

    Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

  20. Post update

    Foul by Raffaele De Vita (Ross County).

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