Ross MacIver inspired a win for Motherwell on his debut as he scored against former club Ross County in a 2-1 win.
Motherwell had plenty of chances in the opening stages. Sherwin Seedorf’s cutback into the box couldn’t find any takers before Nathan Baxter did well to deny James Scott from close range.
They were made to pay for their inability to finish early on. Sean Kelly got a cross into the box, which found Blair Spittal all alone in the box. He made no mistake with the header, finishing County’s first proper chance of the game.
Into the second half and Lewis Spence was sent off for County. He cynically brought down Seedorf as he burst through on goal and referee Greg Aitken didn’t hesitate in showing the red.
MacIver then struck with a brilliant curling effort before Declan Gallagher scored a late winner. Motherwell remain third whilst County are in eighth. Here are three things we learned.
County try to play Motherwell at their own game
On their travels Motherwell often play counter-attacking, with an emphasis on getting the ball out to their pacey wingmen. County clearly knew about this and played the exact same way.
It allowed Motherwell time on the ball, which the Staggies didn’t seem to mind. They were compact defensively minus a few little lapses of concentration and Robinson’s men struggled to really break them down consistently.
Robinson’s side may have had more of the possession, but County used their share of the ball to great effect. It was similar to the way they played and it may have worked had it not been for a sending off and late Well renaissance.
MacIver haunts old club
What a day for young MacIver. The forward arrived at Fir Park from Ross County during the summer and has featured plenty for the Well youth sides this season.
In his wildest dreams, he couldn’t have seen what was coming on his Well debut. Away to his old club, the youngster scored a screamer to get his side back into the game.
Outwith that he really hassled his old club’s backline and showed why Motherwell have brought him to North Lanarkshire.
A European tour?
Motherwell fans chanted for a European tour at the end and it’s hard to argue against it. This performance perhaps more than other wins showed Motherwell have the mettle for that achievement.
The red card may have helped them but the Steelmen still had to grab two goals in 30 minutes. They did just that to send their fans wild.
A Lanarkshire derby awaits them now and they sit 12 clear of Hibs in fifth and two ahead of Aberdeen in fourth. A return to the continent really could beckon for the Steelmen.