Motherwell 0 – 3 Inverness CT
Motherwell slumped to a 3-0 home defeat as former ‘Well hero Richie Foran made his first return to Fir Park as manager, taking a hard-earned three points back to the Highlands.
While Caley’s defence was solid throughout, second half lapses in the home box gave Foran’s men two goals and the initiative after a drab first half.
After their impressive debuts at Celtic Park, Ross McLean and Jack McMillan kept their places in the starting line-up. The only change was up front where Ryan Bowman was the preferred partner for Loius Moult, Scott McDonald having to settle for a place on the bench.
The first goalmouth action came within two minutes when Craig Samson was asked to clutch Ross Draper’s glancing header. Remarkably that was the first and only save from a dull and pedestrian first half.
Neither side controlled the game and as a result passing and openings were patchy.
The first half chance that came Motherwell’s way arrived in the 18th minute. Moult’s cross missed Bowman in front of goal but Craig Clay latched onto the loose ball only to smack it wide of target.
A short period of play around the ICT goal forced the next chance. McMillan drilled the ball in to Bowman, who laid the ball off for Moult but his angled drive hit the side netting.
Inverness rarely threatened although McMillan, as the back marker, did well to match and block Aaron Doran’s run as the visitors broke upfield from Tait’s corner.
Two minutes from the break the Fir Parkers came close to breaking the stalemate. Chris Cadden’s 20 yard drive for goal took a deflection into Moult’s path but before he could direct the ball towards goal Brad McKay whipped the ball behind his own goal.
Thankfully, ‘Well picked up the pace from the start of the second half. And within a minute Owain Fon Williams was forced into his first save palming the ball beyond his post to prevent Josh Meeking’s touch sending it into his own net.
From McLean’s corner Moult jumped in front of his marker only to see his header from four yards rise over the bar.
‘Well looked intent on keeping the pressure on the visitor’s defence but it was the home defence that was caught out when Thistle nicked the lead after 57minutes. A cross into the six-yard box should have been cleared but the ball found its way to Carl Tremarco at the back post who lashed the ball high into the net off the underside of the bar.
Six minutes later McDonald replaced Bowman.
That had little effect and as ‘Well toiled to get in behind the organised ICT defence the Highlander’s broke upfield in the 70th minute to grab a second and kill the game.
Former ‘Well midfield man Iain Vigurs floated a corner into a packed six yard box and with nobody in claret and amber able to clear, Losana Doumbouya thumped the ball down the middle of the goal to make it 0-2.
Mark McGhee immediately sent on James McFadden and Lionel Ainsworth. And with his first touch Ainsworth’s free kick found Moult but after heading the ball past the diving Fon Williams, the assistant’s flag for offside quickly killed any celebration and thoughts of a comeback.
Seven minutes from time Motherwell’s misery was compounded when Liam Polworth’s 22 yard drive skimmed past the diving Samson to round off a disappointing evening for ‘Well fans.
Lewis Irons at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 0 – 3 Inverness CT
A very disappointing 90 minutes here at Fir Park.
90′ | 0-3
Three minutes added on
89′ | 0-3
Final ICT sub, Doumbouya off for Boden
87′ | 0-3
ICT sub, Raven on for Meekings
86′ | 0-3
Tremarco booked for a foul on Tait.
83′ | 0-3
Goal – Polworth fires into the bottom corner to make it 0-3 to ICT.
81′ | 0-2
Great chance for Doumbouya but somehow McManus gets a touch on it and it goes out for a corner.
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77′ | 0-2
Moult heads in an Ainsworth free-kick but is ruled offside.
75′ | 0-2
Double Motherwell sub, McFadden and Ainsworth on for Clay and MacLean
67′ | 0-2
Goal – It’s 0-2 to Inverness CT, Doumbouya firing home after a corner landed at his feet.
63′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, McDonald on for Bowman
61′ | 0-1
ICT sub, King on for Doran.
57′ | 0-1
Goal – Cross in from the right travels right though to Tremarco whose shot from close range goes in off the bar
47′ | 0-0
Moult has a free-header but he is a bit under it and it goes over. Good chance to open the scoring.
Both sides back on the pitch, second half is underway. COYW!
HT: Motherwell 0 – 0 Inverness CT
A goalless first 45 here at Fir Park.
One minute added on.
44′ | 0-0
Cadden tries his luck from range and its deflected into the path of Moult but McKay does superbly to recover and sweep it clear.
42′ | 0-0
Tait whips in a great ball with his left foot which Clay and Moult both seem to go for and it goes out for a goal kick.
38′ | 0-0
Doumbouya appears to handle it into the path of Vigurs who curls his shot well over the bar.
32′ | 0-0
ICT break and from McKay’s cross Doumbouya powers his header goalward but thankfully it is wide of the post.
29′ | 0-0
Chance!! McMillan’s cross is prodded into Moult’s path by Bowman but the hitman can only hit the sidenetting!
21′ | 0-0
Corner Motherwell…..Tait’s delivery is plucked out the air by Fon-Williams.
19′ | 0-0
Chance! Clay picks up a loose ball at the back edge of the penalty box but can’t get his effort on target.
18′ | 0-0
Long range effort from Polworth which never looked like troubling Samson and flies well wide.
12′ | 0-0
Thankfully both are up and able to continue, with Tremarco getting the head bandage on.
11′ | 0-0
Nasty clash of heads there between Tait and Tremarco. Doesn’t look good for the ‘Well man.
9′ | 0-0
MacLean curls in a great little ball between the two centre backs but Fon-Williams reads it and gets in ahead of Bowman.
6′ | 0-0
From that corner, Doumbouya rises highest but heads wide of the post.
6′ | 0-0
Polworth’s deflected shot has Samson scampering along his goal trying to prevent the corner but the ball trickles out.
2′ | 0-0
Here’s a chance for ‘Well as they win a free-kick wide on the right…Tait whips it in but Heneghan can’t get his header on target
2′ | 0-0
Early opening for ICT as Tremarco clips in a ball which Draper does well to get on the end of. Routine stop for Samson though.
Pre-match pleasantries over, it’s time for action as Lasley gets the game underway. COYW!!!!
Out come the teams from the tunnel, usual colours for both sides.
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Inverness CT manager Richie Foran:
|Craig Samson||Owain Fon-Williams|
|Richard Tait||Carl Tremarco|
|Ben Heneghan||Gary Warren|
|Stephen McManus||Josh Meekings (87)|
|Louis Moult||Liam Polworth|
|(64) Ryan Bowman||Ross Draper|
|Chris Cadden||Aaron Doran (62)|
|Keith Lasley||iain Vigurs|
|(77) Craig Clay||Greg Tansey|
|(78) Ross MacLean||Brad McKay|
|Jack McMillan||Losana Doumbouya (89)|
|Dean Brill||Cameron MacKay|
|(78) Lionel Ainsworth||David Raven(87)|
|Lee Lucas||Jake Mulraney|
|(77) James McFadden||Lewis Horner|
|David Ferguson||Scott Boden (89)|
|Jake Hastie||Billy King (62)|
|(64) Scott McDonald|
|0||Shots on target||6|
|7||Shots off target||7|
|Referee: Don Robertson|