Scottish Premiership
Ross County3Motherwell2

Ross County 3-2 Motherwell

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Ross County 3-2 Motherwell

Michael Gardyne scored a double and set up another as Ross County survived Motherwell's second-half fightback.

He opened the scoring after only 13 minutes when he curled home from captain Andrew Davies' knock-down.

Gardyne set up Davis Keillor-Dunn, who chested down before supplying a fine finish, and his second was an action replay of his first.

Headers from half-time substitute Ryan Bowman and Louise Moult gave County a nervous finish.

But that clinical first half ensured that Well's run of four wins in a row away from Fir Park came to an end.

It means County move above Hamilton Academical, who were held at home to Aberdeen, into eighth place in the Scottish Premiership, with Well still in fifth but falling five points behind Rangers.

Dingwall has been a happy hunting ground for Motherwell, the Lanarkshire side being unbeaten in their last four trips there, and Moult thought he had got them off to a great start.

Gael Bigirmana and Craig Tanner, who were both handed starts this week after impressing as second-half substitutes last weekend, linked up well for the striker to break away and finish, but the goal was ruled offside.

Davies had returned to the side following injury and the central defender played his part in the home side taking the lead after 12 minutes, when he headed down for Gardyne to fire his second goal of the season and second in two games.

Motherwell came close to equalising when Paul Hartley's header from Tanner's floated free kick clipped the crossbar.

Yet, despite Well being the team on top, County extended their lead, with Gardyne the providing a clever chipped pass for Keillor-Dunn.

Ross County's Michael Gardyne scores
Gardyne had a hand in all three County goals

The 19-year-old, who signed a new contract with County this week, proved his worth by smashing it past Trevor Carson in the Motherwell goal.

It could have been 3-0 shortly after, but Keillor-Dunn's shot from just yards out flew over.

A third goal did come as half time approached.

Jim O'Brien's shot was cleared off the line by Bigirmana, but Gardyne was there with the follow up.

County were hardly all over their opponents, but they were clinical with their chances.

For Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson, who was serving a dugout ban, it was not great viewing no matter where he was watching it from.

On came Bowman and Elliott Frear as Robinson made two changes at half time - and it had the desired effect.

Minutes into the second half, they combined well and Bowman headed in.

Motherwell looked the livelier of the teams after that and, with 11 minutes remaining, Chris Cadden delivered a lovely ball in for Moult to head in.

It was game on and the visitors continued to press for an equaliser.

Cedric Kipre came close, but goalkeeper Aaron McCarey kept his cool to keep out the defender's close-range effort and leave Well with back-to-back defeats.

Match reaction

Ross County manager Owen Coyle: "I'm delighted. I think before the game we knew it was going to be a tough challenge - Motherwell were carrying all before them and in a cup final on merit.

"It was disappointing that we allowed Motherwell to get back into the game and we know what they do - they like to get in to wide areas and get crosses in.

"They've score two wonderful headers, but there's no doubt we were the far better team and deserved the three points.

"I've always prided myself in my teams being attack-minded and always playing with wide players that can be match winners - Michael Gardyne and young David Keillor-Dunn, who is an emerging talent and he'll be knocking on the Scotland Under-21s' door very soon.

"We need to make sure we continue this and we do that by working very hard on the training ground and making sure the intensity we bring into training transmits into games."

Motherwell assistant manager Keith Lasley: "We gave ourselves too much to do - simple as that.

"You go 3-0 down anywhere in this league and I think you're going to struggle to get back into it.

"We gave it a good shot in the second half we looked for a reaction. I think that was the only thing we could do.

"It's really disappointing from our point of view that we lost two goals at set plays. We found ourselves behind in a game that we were well in.

"We've not got one eye on the cup final. We've hardly even spoken about it. The league is too important to us."

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 31McCarey
  • 3Naismith
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 6Kelly
  • 7Gardyne
  • 17DraperBooked at 84mins
  • 25O'BrienSubstituted forLindsayat 76'minutes
  • 4Routis
  • 11CurranSubstituted forMikkelsenat 90+2'minutes
  • 40Keillor-DunnSubstituted forDowat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Chow
  • 9Dow
  • 10Schalk
  • 18Lindsay
  • 19Mikkelsen
  • 22Mckay
  • 51Munro

Motherwell

  • 1Carson
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 6HartleyBooked at 52mins
  • 18DunneSubstituted forFrearat 45'minutes
  • 7Cadden
  • 15RoseSubstituted forBowmanat 45'minutes
  • 8McHugh
  • 21Kipre
  • 2Tait
  • 27TannerSubstituted forPetraviciusat 62'minutes
  • 9Moult

Substitutes

  • 4Grimshaw
  • 11Frear
  • 12Bowman
  • 13Griffiths
  • 17Fisher
  • 20Petravicius
  • 22Campbell
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
4,014

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home7
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home0
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 2.

Attempt missed. Chris Cadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Thomas Mikkelsen replaces Craig Curran.

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

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Attempt saved. Cedric Kipre (Motherwell) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

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

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

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 3, Motherwell 2. Louis Moult (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Chris Cadden.

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cedric Kipre (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jamie Lindsay replaces Jim O'Brien.

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

Foul by Elliott Frear (Motherwell).

Foul by Richard Tait (Motherwell).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Aaron McCarey.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Ryan Dow replaces Davis Keillor-Dunn.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

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

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell).

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Andrew Davies (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Deimantas Petravicius replaces Craig Tanner.

Attempt missed. Ross Draper (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).

Cedric Kipre (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Peter Hartley (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Peter Hartley (Motherwell).

Hand ball by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Foul by Craig Tanner (Motherwell).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic129302962330
2Aberdeen128312012827
3Hibernian137422114725
4Rangers1273227131424
5Motherwell126151815319
6Hearts124351115-415
7St Johnstone134361320-715
8Ross County134271421-714
9Hamilton133371924-512
10Partick Thistle132471122-1110
11Kilmarnock12156918-98
12Dundee132291325-128
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories