Phil McGhee at Global Energy Stadium
Stephen Pearson scored twice as ‘Well took the points to cement fifth in the table with a 3-1 win away at Ross County.
The 33-year old gave ‘Well a fourth-minute lead and Keith Lasley quickly doubled the advantage with a wonder strike from 25 yards.
County improved in the second half and substitute Liam Boyce headed one back but the Steelmen finished the job in stoppage time when Pearson scored again.
The visitors forced a couple of corners in the opening exchanges but from the second flag kick Steven Hammell’s cross was headed over by Stephen McManus.
But ‘Well did not have long to wait for the opener. A good move down the right ended with a Louis Moult cut-back which left Pearson with a simple finish. It got better for the visitors in the 16th minute when they doubled their lead with a fantastic strike from Lasley.
A Hammell corner was only partially cleared and the Motherwell captain fired a low drive into the corner of the net. County made a tactical switch in the 36th minute with Raffaele De Vita replacing Stuart Murdoch to give the home side an added attacking option.
The hosts came close to getting one back in the final minute of the half when De Vita crossed for Michael Gardyne but his knock down was too hard for Alex Schalk who hooked it over the crossbar.
County had the first real chance of the second half when Gardyne found David Goodwillie in space in the box but the forward lost control of the ball at the vital time.
Goodwillie then got on the end of a chip from Martin Woods but he could not get his shot on target.
The chances kept coming for the home side and it was Goodwillie again who had the chance to net when he was put through by substitute Boyce but Well goalkeeper Craig Samson pulled off a fantastic one-handed save at point-blank range.
It was all County now and Schalk should have done better when he latched on to a Brian Graham knock on but he blasted his shot wide of the upright.
But County got the goal their play deserved in the 70th minute when Samson could only parry a Gardyne shot and Boyce was left to nod in from close range.
Well almost restored their two-goal lead a minute later when Pearson drove the ball wide of target from well inside the box. Marvin Johnson then missed two great chances, firing wide on both occasions, to make the game safe.
At the other end, Boyce had a great chance to level in the 79th minute when he latched on to a Woods pass but he blasted the ball high and wide. Graham almost caught Samson out with a deep cross cum shot that the keeper scrambled to turn over the crossbar.
In the dying seconds Boyce got on the end of a Chris Robertson cross but his header was well saved by Samson again. But in stoppage time Pearson scored his second of the game, his ninth of the season, when he headed home from close range after Scott Fox saved from Johnson.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Global Energy Stadium
Lasley and Pearson with the goals to give ‘Well a 3-1 win at Dingwall. #RCFCvMFC
FT: Ross County 1 – 3 Motherwell #RCFCvMFC
90+2′ | 1-3
Johnson’s shot is saved and it falls to PEARSON who heads home!!
Three minutes added on.
89′ | 1-2
Boyce’s header from 12 yards is comfortably saved by Samson.
85′ | 1-2
Samson does well to adjust his footing and tip Graham’s looping cross/shot over the bar
77′ | 1-2
McDonald plays in Pearson who shoots straight at Fox. County break and Boyce blazes well over from a good position.
73′ | 1-2
Johnson goes close, cutting in off the right but his shot drifts just wide of the post.
72′ | 1-2
Motherwell sub, Chalmers on for Hammell.
71′ | 1-2
Great chance for Johnson as he gets on the end of a ball looping out the air. but he volleys just wide.
69′ | 1-2
Goal – Gardyne’s shot is palmed out to Boyce who takes a touch and volleys home. Thats been coming.
68′ | 0-2
Quinn booked after flying into a tackle on Moult
67′ | 0-2
Close again or County, Graham with the knock down and Schalk volleys just past the post.
63′ | 0-2
Hammell booked for impeding Boyce as he broke away down the right.
60′ | 0-2
County sub, Graham on for Goodwillie
59′ | 0-2
Schalk jinks around the edge of the box, but looks off balance as he shoots and it’s well over. Decent spell for County.
57′ | 0-2
Great save by Samson! Goodwillie looked like scoring but the big goalie spread himself well to smother the chance
55′ | 0-2
Ross County sub, Boyce on for Franks
50′ | 0-2
Close! Gardyne with the ball in but Goodwillie’s control is too heavy which allows Samson to gather.
Motherwell get the second 45 underway. COYW!! #RCFCvMFC
HT: Ross County 0 – 2 Motherwell #RCFCvMFC
44′ | 0-2
Very nearly 3! Pearson is played in but Fox does well and beats his low shot away.
44′ | 0-2
Good chance for County! Gardyne’s knock-down is a fraction ahead of Schalk and he can’t get enough on it to test Samson
43′ | 0-2
County with a succession of corner but can’t fashion a chance from any of them.
37′ | 0-2
McDonald just back on the pitch and is booked for an aerial challenge on Irvine.
35′ | 0-2
Ross County sub, De Vita on for Murdoch
34′ | 0-2
Now Irvine is booked for a high boot on McDonald’s face.
32′ | 0-2
Murdoch booked for clattering Johnson wide on the right.
28′ | 0-2
Chance for County! Free-kick in a great area but Schalk drills it right into the wall
22′ | 0-2
From that corner, Moult has a free header but can’t get it on target!
22′ | 0-2
Motherwell well on top here. Moult goes close but his shot is deflected over the bar!
(surprised we had that goal graphic made up)
16′ | 0-2
A rare one for LASLEY!! Some strike from the edge of the box, thundering into the net!! 0-2 ‘Well!!
10′ | 0-1
Indecision in the County defence concedes another corner. Motherwell with a bright start.
4′ | 0-1
PEARSON opens the scoring! Moult is slid in, cuts it back and Pearo does the rest from 10 yards. COYW!!
2′ | 0-0
Slack touch from Foster hands Motherwell the first corner of the game….headed clear by Robertson but it’s another corner.
County get the game underway. COYW!!
Out come the teams at a sunny Dingwall. Moments away from kick-off.
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
“We should have got the third goal earlier to put it beyond doubt. We missed good opportunities but over the piece deserved to win the game.”
Ross County Manager Jim McIntyre
“We got off to a really sloppy start. We handed Motherwell the initiative by being really careless, giving away needless corners and possession of the ball which gave them a lot of play in our half and they punished us.”