Scottish Premiership
Motherwell1Ross County2

Motherwell 1-2 Ross County

Jackson Irvine (second left)
Jackson Irvine (second left) celebrates after giving Ross County a first half lead

Ross County survived a late onslaught from Motherwell for their first league win of 2016, moving them up to fourth in the Premiership.

Goals in either half from Jackson Irvine and Brian Graham earned them all three points.

Motherwell's late response began with Stephen Pearson's fierce strike.

But Scott Fox saved from James McFadden and brilliantly kept out a Keith Lasley drive to frustrate Motherwell.

It was a pulsating finish to a game that only sparked into life when Irvine fired in the opening goal.

The Australian was only drafted into the starting line-up minutes before the match because of an injury in the warm-up to Martin Woods.

And he made a great case for his inclusion when he deftly controlled a deep corner before lashing the ball past Connor Ripley, despite the best efforts of Kieran Kennedy on the line.

Fox saved well from a Louis Moult header and Chris Cadden as Motherwell tried to mount a swift response, but County regained the ascendancy at the start of the second half.

Playing principally on the counter-attack, they went close on a number of occasions, with Michael Gardyne having a header cleared off the line and passing up another great chance with a low drive that was blocked.

They got the second goal their play deserved when Graham slotted past Ripley as the Motherwell defence failed to deal with a Stewart Murdoch cross.

That looked like game over until Pearson's late strike - the midfielder blasting past Fox from 12 yards.

But the keeper was sharply off his line to prevent McFadden's lob beating him and he sprung to his right to deny Lasley a spectacular equaliser.

The result leaves Motherwell just a point above the relegation play-off spot and County in good spirits ahead of next weekend's League Cup semi-final against Celtic.

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 16Kennedy
  • 32Hall
  • 6McManus
  • 3HammellSubstituted forChalmersat 67'minutes
  • 26CaddenSubstituted forAinsworthat 76'minutes
  • 14Lasley
  • 8Pearson
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonaldSubstituted forMcFaddenat 76'minutes
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 5Laing
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 9Fletcher
  • 13Samson
  • 15Chalmers
  • 19Clarkson
  • 24McFadden

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 5Boyd
  • 15Davies
  • 12Foster
  • 7Gardyne
  • 36Irvine
  • 8McShane
  • 17FranksSubstituted forMurdochat 63'minutes
  • 23SchalkSubstituted forMorrisonat 82'minutes
  • 9GrahamSubstituted forCurranat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 3Reckord
  • 6Robertson
  • 11Curran
  • 18Murdoch
  • 21Woods
  • 24De Vita
  • 53Morrison
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
3,279

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home10
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home6
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 1, Ross County 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Ross County 2.

Foul by James McFadden (Motherwell).

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Booking

Craig Curran (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Dangerous play by Marvin Johnson (Motherwell).

Delay in match Andrew Davies (Ross County) because of an injury.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Fox.

Attempt saved. Keith Lasley (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Attempt saved. James McFadden (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, Ross County 2. Stephen Pearson (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kieran Kennedy following a corner.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ian McShane.

Attempt missed. Craig Curran (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Joe Chalmers.

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Greg Morrison replaces Alex Schalk.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Connor Ripley.

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

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Craig Curran (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Chris Cadden.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. James McFadden replaces Scott McDonald.

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

Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

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

Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Craig Curran replaces Brian Graham.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 0, Ross County 2. Brian Graham (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Stewart Murdoch.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Kieran Kennedy.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Joe Chalmers replaces Steven Hammell.

Attempt blocked. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Scott Boyd.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic23174263194455
2Aberdeen23154438221649
3Hearts22117442241840
4Ross County24103114037333
5St Johnstone229583634232
6Inverness CT237883032-229
7Dundee237883539-429
8Partick Thistle226792128-725
9Motherwell2274112436-1225
10Hamilton2366112945-1624
11Kilmarnock2466122747-2024
12Dundee Utd2334162446-2213
View full Scottish Premiership table

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