Motherwell came from behind to beat Ross County 4-1 in front of 3191 spectators at Fir Park in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday night.
The visitors took an early lead courtesy of a fine Liam Fontaine finish from a corner, but goals from Mark O’Hara and Allan Campbell saw the hosts in the lead by the interval.
‘Well huffed and puffed for much of the second period, but their dominance told in the 75th minute when Campbell notched his second before Tony Watt rounded off the scoring in injury time.
Here are three things we learned:
‘Well end wretched run to boost European hopes
Stephen Robinson’s side headed into this one on a run of eight games without a win, and he must have feared the worst when Fontaine opened the scoring on three minutes.
His team showed character to get back into the game, though, and were much the better side on the night. While there will still be concerns defensively, particularly from set-pieces, they stroked the ball around well and streaked clear in the end.
These three points are timely given Aberdeen’s draw at Rugby Park, with the Dons’ failure to win ensuring ‘Well now have a small cushion above the chasing pack.
Return of Long key for hosts
Chris Long missed the league defeat to St Mirren last week through suspension and his return made a real difference for the hosts here.
The Englishman was the focal point of every Motherwell attack, while he chased down every lost cause and generally made himself a nuisance for the County defence.
He took on an ambitious shot from a tight angle just after half-time when he should have picked out a teammate, but was denied only by a superb save from Ross Laidlaw on the hour mark.
His efforts deserved a goal, but an assist will have to suffice. It was his smart feet and driven cross from the left flank which picked out Allan Campbell to secure the points with fifteen minutes remaining.
The 25-year-old received a standing ovation from the home faithful when he was substituted in the 76th minute.
Work to do for County to avoid the drop
The night started so well for the Staggies, but they failed to take advantage of that early opener.
The coaching staff will be frustrated that ‘Well’s route back into the game came via a set-piece, but they were under the cosh for large spells and failed to create much of their own.
Billy McKay cut a lonely figure up top at times, while the defence was porous and looked short of confidence. They could have conceded more had it not been for the woodwork and the efforts of Laidlaw.
Results elsewhere haven’t helped their cause, with Hearts, Hamilton, St Mirren and St Johnstone all getting something out of their respective fixtures and it doesn’t get any easier at the weekend, with Rangers travelling to Dingwall.