Scottish Premiership
Ross CountyRoss County1MotherwellMotherwell3

Ross County 1-3 Motherwell

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Victoria Park
Stephen Pearson scores for Motherwell against Ross County
Stephen Pearson (far left) gave Motherwell an early lead in Dingwall

Motherwell secured fifth place in the Scottish Premiership with Stephen Pearson and Keith Lasley's goals defeating Ross County.

Pearson was on hand to tap home after Louis Moult found the midfielder unmarked with County's defence posted missing.

Lasley added a second soon after, the captain drilling a wonderful low strike inside Scott Fox's right-hand post.

Liam Boyce gave County hope but Pearson settled it with a stoppage-time header.

And Wednesday's results mean County, who will finish sixth, will end the season with fewer points than the side that takes seventh place after this weekend's closing fixtures, the league having spilt in two for the final five rounds of fixtures.

Mark McGhee's visitors started with real intent and forced a couple of early corners before capitalising on a poor defensive header from Jackson Irvine.

Irvine could have found touch but instead headed into a central area where Scott MacDonald gathered, fed Moult on the right and he calmly slotted across for Pearson to convert.

Liam Boyce scores for Ross County against Motherwell
Boyce (far left) scored for County but they could not draw level

Motherwell continued to be positive and Stevie Hammell's corner found Chris Cadden with a late run into the box. His shot was blocked but the ball rebounded outside the penalty area to Lasley, who showed great composure and technique to score despite Fox getting his hand to it.

Home manager Jim McIntyre took action and sent on Raffaele De Vita for Stewart Murdoch just after the half-hour mark.

That provided a spark with De Vita deliveries finding Alex Schalk, whose shot was blocked, then Michael Gardyne, who touched back across goal where David Goodwillie failed to convert from close range.

Marvin Johnson might have sealed the points for Well when he showed great pace to race clear in on Fox but the goalkeeper did well to block.

In a highly entertaining second half, County appeared to have more impetus, with Goodwillie having a great chance from close range before Craig Samson denied him when a goal seemed certain.

As pressure built, substitute Brian Graham unlocked the Motherwell defence with a superb header into Schalk's path but his powerful volley unluckily flew wide.

The breakthrough for the home side came when Gardyne danced across the box, unleashed a shot which Samson saved but only succeeded in diverting to Boyce, who netted only his second goal of 2016 from a yard.

Johnson almost immediately replied with a fierce volley that arrowed wide before Moult shot straight at Fox on the break.

County continued to press with Boyce, Graham and Richard Foster all going close to an equaliser but Motherwell clinched it on the counter when Fox saved Johnson's drive but the ball fell perfectly for Pearson to nod home.


Ross County

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Fox
  • 6Robertson
  • 43QuinnBooked at 68mins
  • 12Foster
  • 17FranksSubstituted forBoyceat 56'minutes
  • 36IrvineBooked at 35mins
  • 26Woods
  • 18MurdochBooked at 33minsSubstituted forDe Vitaat 36'minutes
  • 7Gardyne
  • 25GoodwillieSubstituted forGrahamat 60'minutes
  • 23Schalk


  • 5Boyd
  • 8McShane
  • 9Graham
  • 10Boyce
  • 19Dingwall
  • 21Woods
  • 24De Vita


Formation 4-4-2

  • 13Samson
  • 3HammellBooked at 64minsSubstituted forChalmersat 72'minutes
  • 32Hall
  • 6McManus
  • 11Johnson
  • 26Cadden
  • 14Lasley
  • 17Gomis
  • 8Pearson
  • 20Moult
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 38mins


  • 1Ripley
  • 5Laing
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 15Chalmers
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
  • 35Campbell
John Beaton

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 3.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 1, Motherwell 3. Stephen Pearson (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Richard Foster (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Brian Graham.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Liam Boyce.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

  12. Post update

    Joe Chalmers (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liam Boyce (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Louis Moult (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  15. Post update

    Richard Foster (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

  17. Post update

    Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Joe Chalmers replaces Steven Hammell because of an injury.