He was raised in a Ross County family growing up- but Motherwell youngster Ross MacIver was delighted to get one over a club he knows so well.

The young forward made a dream debut for the Well against Ross County. With the game at 1-0, the 20-year-old arose from the bench to give Motherwell a route back into the game.

It was completed in spectacular fashion too. He cut in from the left, curling a fantastic shot beyond Nathan Baxter. It set up a dramatic finish in which Declan Gallagher headed home a late, late goal to hand Stephen Robinson’s men all three points.

For MacIver though, it was a special day. He was released by Ross County during the summer and Motherwell picked him up from his Dingwall spell. He knows his County-supporting family would have been happy for him, despite inspiring their downfall.

“My dad, Roddy, is a season ticket holder at Ross County,” said MacIver. “They were at the Boxing Day game, in their usual seats. It obviously must have felt a bit different for them, watching their team with their son playing against them.

Staggies season ticket holders. (Photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“I thought I’d maybe get kicked out of the house on Boxing Day night, but they were fine! They were obviously delighted for me, making my debut and then scoring on it, but I got a few wee digs about scoring against Ross County.

“I found out on Wednesday I’d be travelling in the squad, but I didn’t know I was going to be in the 18 until the morning of the game. We had a meeting and I saw my name was down for the bench. I wasn’t really nervous – it was just a game of football to enjoy.

“Hopefully this can help me stake my claim. As a striker, I just want to keep playing games and scoring goals. That’s all I can do. Hopefully I can repay the manager by doing well every time he puts me on.”

Praise from Robinson

It certainly caught the eye of manager Robinson, who handed his young forward a baptism of fire. With a grin on his face, Robinson waxed lyrical about his man of the moment and how MacIver can be a ‘lesson’ for other young players.

MacIver’s a lesson. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“People get released for reasons, maybe he wasn’t quite good enough at that time, maybe he wasn’t quite what Ross County were after,” said Robinson. “We needed that type of young striker that we thought we could develop, and he has.

“He has got the bit between his teeth, he has tried to pick strikers off and force his way into the team with a great attitude and he got a lot of rewards today.

“It’s a lesson for young players, if you get released it’s not necessarily the end of the world, and he has certainly shown a great attitude and appetite.”

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