Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell4Ross CountyRoss County1

Motherwell 4-1 Ross County: Steelmen come from behind to end poor home form

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland at Fir Park

Motherwell came from behind to beat Ross County for their first home win since early December and edge further clear in third place in the Scottish Premiership.

County lead early on when Liam Fontaine fired home a near-post corner.

But the out-of-form hosts responded with their own set-piece goal, Mark O'Hara firing in from a few yards out.

Allan Campbell then volleyed his side in front, and tapped in a third, before Tony Watt added a fourth.

The victory stretches Motherwell's lead over fourth-placed Aberdeen to three points following the Pittodrie side's 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock.

Meanwhile, County stay in ninth position just five points above the relegation play-off spot.

Campbell overcomes County

The Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson intimated in his programme notes that he was looking for his players to regain the belief they had showed in the first half of the campaign.

But it was the visitors who showed early composure and belief and snatched a third-minute lead. Iain Vigurs swung a corner in from the right and Fontaine did well to get clear of his marker and smash home a volley from the edge of the six-yard box.

County, buoyed by that, looked for a second, with Billy Mckay forcing Mark Gillespie into a decent stop. But Motherwell slowly eased their way into the game with Campbell taking control of midfield.

He was denied an equaliser when Ross Laidlaw saved at the near post, but Motherwell duly equalised after a decent spell of pressure.

County failed to clear a corner and O'Hara reacted quickly to force the ball through a throng of bodies to draw level. The belief that Robinson was looking for was now evident, with Rolando Aarons in particular proving a handful for the County rearguard.

And the pressure paid off soon after when Motherwell took the lead. Jermaine Hylton's shot rifled off the crossbar with Laidlaw helpless, and Campbell controlled the rebound with one touch before hammering into the net.

Motherwell

The young midfielder came close again with a deflected effort from the edge of the box as Motherwell began to play with real confidence. A surging run by Long almost brought about a third goal, but the striker's shot was blocked at the near post by Laidlaw, before the goalkeeper somehow denied him again from close range.

County introduced Oli Shaw and Ross Stewart in an attempt to force their way back into the game, but Motherwell sealed the points with 15 minutes left. Some fancy foot work by Long mesmerised the County defence before he fired the ball low across the six-yard box, where Campbell met it at full pace.

And, deep into stoppage-time, Watt hammered in number four after an inch-perfect pass by Campbell to send the home fans away happy for a long-awaited home win.

Man of the match - Allan Campbell

Both sets of players gave their all but one player in particular stood out. Campbell took a grip of the game in midfield and hauled his team back into it.

The Scotland under-21 cap knows how to put in a tackle and also showed he can finish with a stunning strike for the equaliser.

If he maintains this level of form, then Motherwell can look forward to a fine end to the campaign and no doubt will have suitors looking to lure him away from Fir Park.

'Some of our football was outstanding' - reaction

Some of Motherwell's football 'outstanding' - Robinson

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "I thought some of our football was outstanding. The fourth goal was magnificent. We thoroughly deserved it and looked back on track again.

"We had a real freshness about us again. Our midfield three were excellent. Our performance warranted a 4-1 victory and it possibly could have been more."

Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "We were against a very good Motherwell team. They were obviously hurting from the poor run they were on and they certainly put that right.

"All the things that we were doing well over the last couple of weeks just didn't happen for us tonight. So we'll need to take a good look at it and brush ourselves down."

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 4-3-3

  • 20Gillespie
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 31Gallagher
  • 5Hartley
  • 2TaitBooked at 65mins
  • 6Campbell
  • 52O'Hara
  • 19Polworth
  • 17AaronsBooked at 20minsSubstituted forIlicat 82'minutes
  • 9LongSubstituted forWattat 77'minutes
  • 14Hylton

Substitutes

  • 1Carson
  • 7Turnbull
  • 8Watt
  • 12Manzinga
  • 15Maguire
  • 16Ilic
  • 24Mugabi

Ross County

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2Fraser
  • 5MorrisBooked at 16mins
  • 4Fontaine
  • 18Foster
  • 14Mullin
  • 26CowieSubstituted forShawat 67'minutes
  • 11VigursBooked at 64mins
  • 20SpittalSubstituted forTillsonat 65'minutes
  • 9Mckay
  • 8ErwinSubstituted forStewartat 67'minutesBooked at 80mins

Substitutes

  • 3Kelly
  • 15Watson
  • 16Spence
  • 19Shaw
  • 21Baxter
  • 22Tillson
  • 27Stewart
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
3,191

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home17
Away7
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 4, Ross County 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 4, Ross County 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Motherwell 4, Ross County 1. Tony Watt (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Allan Campbell.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josh Mullin (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Mark O'Hara (Motherwell).

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Mark O'Hara (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Tillson (Ross County).

  9. Post update

    Jermaine Hylton (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

  11. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Liam Grimshaw.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Iain Vigurs (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Oli Shaw (Ross County) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  14. Post update

    Jermaine Hylton (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Josh Mullin (Ross County).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Christian Ilic replaces Rolando Aarons.

  17. Booking

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

  18. Post update

    Allan Campbell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Ross Stewart (Ross County).

  20. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Richard Tait.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic29252284196577
2Rangers28204463194464
3Motherwell29143124037345
4Aberdeen2911993735242
5Livingston29109104138339
6Hibernian29910104146-537
7Kilmarnock2996143140-933
8St Johnstone2871292746-1933
9Ross County2978142959-3029
10St Mirren2868142336-1326
11Hamilton2959152950-2124
12Hearts28410143050-2022
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport