Scottish Premiership
Ross County1Motherwell2

Ross County 1-2 Motherwell

Louis Moult (second left)
Louis Moult (second left) gave Motherwell a second half lead

Motherwell moved into the Premiership's top six as they beat Ross County to end a run of three games without a win.

Jay McEveley's mistake allowed Motherwell striker Scott McDonald to run through on goal unopposed and knock the ball past goalkeeper Scott Fox.

However, McEveley made amends when he headed in Martin Woods' corner.

Louis Moult headed Motherwell back in front from Chris Cadden's corner and, despite chances from Alex Schalk and Liam Boyce, the visitors held on.

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Highlights: Ross County 1-2 Motherwell

Motherwell came into this off the back of two defeats by Rangers, with uncertainty surrounding the future of McDonald who has been the subject of interest from Australia.

The script was written and he delivered. Any doubt about his focus was quickly extinguished, mainly thanks to McEveley's lack of it.

He let a simple ball slide under his boot straight into McDonald's path and he did what he does in such situations with a composed finish.

He nearly added a second from close range before Moult flicked the ball off a post from an offside position.

Moult delivered though with a firm header after being allowed too much space from a corner.

There was a lot to like about Motherwell. They were comfortable on the ball and caused problems for the County back-line by pressing early.

They had to defend more as the match wore on but they stood firm, which will delight Mark McGhee.

Stephen Pearson will sign on to bolster the midfield and if McDonald is retained with interest in Celtic's Nadir Ciftci very much alive at time of writing, this could prove to be a pivotal evening for the Fir Park side after a well-earned win.

Louis Moult (right)
Louis Moult (right) heads Motherwell in front

Defensive lapses costly again

Manager Jim McIntyre talked before the match about the need for his players to cut out unnecessary errors and maintain concentration.

McEveley must take responsibility for allowing the ball to skid under his foot with little danger, straight to McDonald who netted.

You could see in McEveley's reaction to his equaliser how much it meant; he knew he had made a disastrous error beforehand.

Their goal was typical of County at set-pieces. It was straight off the training ground with McEveley's looping header evading Craig Samson, although the goalkeeper felt he was impeded by Schalk.

County create chances and score goals, but they are conceding too many too cheaply, as was also the case for Motherwell's second.

Schalk came close on three occasions while Boyce might have done better from a few yards out.

Michael Gardyne should definitely have done better from an angle but screwed well wide.

Consecutive defeats here and against Kilmarnock have been damaging for their top-six hopes with Rangers at Ibrox next.

Post-match reaction

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Interviews: Jim McIntyre and Mark McGhee

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "Again, even in games we've won, we've had calamitous moments that have led to us gifting teams goals and we've got another two tonight.

"We never played well at all tonight but created opportunities - but until we stop gifting teams it's tough to win games.

"There's no doubt Motherwell were playing the better stuff. We had a poor 45 minutes at Kilmarnock and it carried on tonight.

"I think if it continues to happen, [players] have to be left out. It comes from a lack of concentration. It's not good enough at this level.

"Nobody's questioning the boys' attitude or effort but I'm certainly questioning that mentality."

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee: "I thought it was tidy. I was disappointed to lose a goal from a corner. That was a set-back but we dug in and I feel comfortable that we deserved to win.

"That's why we've been desperate to keep [Scott McDonald]. He leads the line so well. I thought the two up front were brilliant.

"I hope McDonald stays you just never know right up to the last minute but we do want him to stay."

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 43Quinn
  • 5McEveleySubstituted forNaismithat 45'minutes
  • 28van der Weg
  • 12ChowBooked at 60mins
  • 10Boyce
  • 8Woods
  • 6O'BrienSubstituted forGardyneat 62'minutes
  • 4RoutisSubstituted forLalkovicat 45'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 23Schalk

Substitutes

  • 3Naismith
  • 7Gardyne
  • 9Dow
  • 11Curran
  • 19Gobern
  • 27Lalkovic
  • 31McCarey

Motherwell

  • 1SamsonBooked at 34mins
  • 2Tait
  • 6McManusBooked at 67mins
  • 4Heneghan
  • 3HammellSubstituted forJulesat 78'minutes
  • 12Cadden
  • 14Lasley
  • 8McHugh
  • 18LucasSubstituted forClayat 70'minutes
  • 77McDonald
  • 9MoultSubstituted forAinsworthat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Ainsworth
  • 11Bowman
  • 13Griffiths
  • 17Frear
  • 20Clay
  • 21Jules
  • 30McMillan
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
2,511

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Motherwell 2.

Booking

Milan Lalkovic (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Milan Lalkovic (Ross County).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Louis Moult.

Tim Chow (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Chris Cadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Alex Schalk (Ross County) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Martin Woods (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Attempt blocked. Jason Naismith (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Zak Jules replaces Steven Hammell because of an injury.

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Craig Clay (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Steven Hammell.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Craig Clay replaces Lee Lucas.

Foul by Kenny van der Weg (Ross County).

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

Attempt saved. Milan Lalkovic (Ross County) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Booking

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Attempt blocked. Martin Woods (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Keith Lasley.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Michael Gardyne replaces Jim O'Brien.

Booking

Tim Chow (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).

Milan Lalkovic (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Heneghan (Motherwell).

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 1, Motherwell 2. Louis Moult (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Hammell with a cross.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic22211059144564
2Rangers2212643021942
3Aberdeen21124538191940
4Hearts228773830831
5St Johnstone228772825331
6Motherwell2266102736-924
7Partick Thistle225892429-523
8Ross County2358102641-1523
9Kilmarnock225891937-1823
10Dundee2264122131-1022
11Hamilton2331192434-1020
12Inverness CT2338122643-1717
View full Scottish Premiership table

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