Lewis Irons at Global Energy Stadium
It was a case of too little too late for Motherwell as a poor first-half ultimately led to a fifth domestic defeat this season.
Second-half headers from Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult decreased the three goal deficit inflicted in a poor opening 45 minutes, but the Fir Parkers couldn’t muster enough to grab a point.
Stephen Robinson, forced to spectate from the stands at the Global Energy Stadium, named three changes from the defeat to Hibs, opting for Craig Tanner, Gaël Bigirimana and Richard Tait in place of Allan Campbell, Elliott Frear and Ryan Bowman.
And despite a positive start to the match, with Tanner causing problems playing just off frontman Moult, County took the lead with virtually their first attack when Michael Gardyne roamed in to acres of space in the box and smashed Andrew Davies knock down beyond Trevor Carson.
Straight up the other end, Peter Hartley flicked a header off the top of the crossbar as the Steelmen looked to respond immediately.
However, the home side punished the travelling ‘Well in the 25th minute to double their lead.
Davis Keillor-Dunn, afforded far too much time and space, wandered in to the box and finished across goal as Robinson’s side looked uncharacteristically slack defensively.
Matters got even worse before half time when County went three ahead through Gardyne. A low effort was cleared off the line but the home side’s tricky winger was on hand to grab his second of the afternoon.
Two changes at the break made an immediate impact as Elliott Frear’s cross was headed beyond McCarey inside the first three minutes to set the visitors en route for what could have been an unlikely comeback given the deficit.
It was almost a mirror image for the second goal, Cadden crossing from the opposite flank towards Moult who headed beyond the Staggies stopper to set up a grandstand finish in the Highlands.
Cedric Kipré headed a Deimantas Petravičius throw-in straight at McCarey before a goal-mouth scramble in the final seconds, but the elusive goal could not be conjured.
Alastair Reilly at Global Energy Stadium
FT: Ross County 3 – 2 Motherwell
90+3 | 3-2
So close to an equaliser as the ball bounces around the County box but nobody can finish.
’90+1 | 3-2
County sub, Curran off for Mikkelsen
’90 | 3-2
Three minutes added on.
’89 | 3-2
Great chance from Petravicius’ long-throw but Kipré heads straight at McCarey
’84 | 3-2
Frear comes in off the left but his shot hits the side-netting.
293 ‘Well fans have made the journey up. Thank you, as always, for your support.
’79 | 3-2
Moult heads in Cadden’s cross to set up a big finish here in Dingwall. Come on!
’75 | 3-1
County sub, Lindsay on for O’Brien
’66 | 3-1
County sub, Keillor-Dunn off for Dow
’60 | 3-1
Motherwell sub, Petravicius on for Tanner.
’58 | 3-1
Kelly knocks the ball out for a corner but incredibly the ref gives a goal-kick.
’52 | 3-1
Hartley booked for a tackle in midfield. Looked harsh.
’48 | 3-1
GOAL! Bowman claws a goal back with a fine header from Frear’s cross!
McHugh gets the second 45 underway.
Two changes at the break, Bowman and Frear on for Rose and Dunne
HT: Ross County 3 – 0 Motherwell
’41 | 3-0
Goal – County make it 3. Gardyne firing home after the ball is knocked around the box.
’36 | 2-0
Cadden gets past Kelly but is cross is routine for McCarey.
’29 | 2-0
Decent chance for County as Draper’s shot is diverted goalwards but Keillor-Dunn but it lands on the roof of the net.
’27 | 2-0
O’Brien tries his luck with a half-volley from distance but it’s well over the bar.
’25 | 2-0
Goal – County are two up, Keillor-Dunn the scorer after finding plenty of space on the left and finishing cooly.
’22 | 1-0
Hartley’s deep free-kick is headed wide for a corner. Good ball in from Cadden but it’s punched clear for another corner.
’12 | 1-0
Close! Free-kick is clipped into the head of Hartley who heads off the bar!
’12 | 1-0
Goal – The home side take the lead as Gardyne pokes home Davies’ cross along the face of goal.
’11 | 0-0
Nice football as Bigirimana and Tanner combine. Moult sticks it in the net with a great finish but the flag is up.
’10 | 0-0
McHugh plays in Tanner down the left who produces a great little turn to create some space but he can’t pick out a man with cross
‘9 | 0-0
Tanner does well down the right and forces a corner…..Bigirimana plays it short to Cadden but he curls it over the bar
‘2 | 0-0
Decent chance for Motherwell! Tait’s cross from the left flashes across the face of goal but Tanner just can’t get his head on it.
We’re up and running here in Dingwall. Ross County kick off.
Out come the two sides at a sunny but cold Global Energy Stadium.
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson:
Ross County manager Owen Coyle