Scottish Premiership
Ross CountyRoss County3MotherwellMotherwell2

Ross County 3-2 Motherwell

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland in Dingwall

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."


Ross County

Formation 4-4-2

  • 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


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


Formation 3-5-2

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


  • 4Grimshaw
  • 11Frear
  • 12Bowman
  • 13Griffiths
  • 17Fisher
  • 20Petravicius
  • 22Campbell
Euan Anderson

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamMotherwell
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 3, Motherwell 2.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Thomas Mikkelsen replaces Craig Curran.

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Booking

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

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

  13. 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.

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Cedric Kipre (Motherwell).

  16. Substitution

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

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by Elliott Frear (Motherwell).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Richard Tait (Motherwell).

  20. Post update

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