Motherwell took three points in a crucial game at the bottom, beating Ross County 2-1 to move out of the relegation zone and send their opponents into it.
Oli Shaw had given Ross County the lead but Graham Alexander’s side bounced back from a poor first half through Devante Cole and Bevis Mugabi efforts, handing them their first three points since October.
Motherwell started the game off with a flurry of Barry Maguire corners, but none of the Motherwell targets were able to steer home. Ross Laidlaw made a brave low save at the feet of Chris Long to prevent the visitors from finding a goal advantage.
Ross County grabbed their first clear cut chance on the 14th minute mark, going 1-0 up, when the pace of Jermaine Hylton was far too much for Declan Gallagher to deal with. His shot was parried by Liam Kelly, but Shaw was first on the scene to tap it into an empty net.
Hylton came close to doubling the advantage against his former club when he volleyed just over from a deep Jason Naismith cross. Ross County looked the dominant team on the half-hour mark, the Motherwell defence struggling to contain the pace of County’s front three.
Motherwell leveled the game just five minutes into the second half, after Tony Watt’s driving run and shot worked Laidlaw. The Staggies number one couldn’t get near the rebound which was slammed home by Cole.
It didn’t take long for Motherwell to put themselves ahead after a long spell of dominance. Maguire played in another powerful corner and Mugabi rose higher than his marker and sent a bullet header beyond the outstretched arms of Laidlaw. This was the first time Motherwell had come from behind to lead all season.
Blair Spittal came ever so close to equalising when he smacked a half volley towards goal after some nice link up play with Harry Paton,but Kelly did well to tip it round the post. County pushed and probed until the last whistle, but there was to be no breaking the Motherwell line who remained incredibly resolute. Here are three things we learned.
Shaw form continues
Oli Shaw got his name back on the score sheet, taking his tally to nine for the season. He is quickly becoming the man the Ross County are relying on to grab the goals. Despite a blank at Ibrox, the front man doesn’t look like losing his magic touch anytime soon.
Whatever Graham Alexander said to his team at half time, it worked a treat. Motherwell barely threatened in the first 45 with Ross County having a strong grasp on the game. But as soon as the second half kicked off, Motherwell instantly looked a threat and seemed to turn the game around without much threat from the home team.
This is a big result at the bottom of the Premiership. A result for Ross County and they would have cut Motherwell four points adrift in the relegation zone. Instead it is advantage Steelmen, who now leapfrog County into 10th, a confidence booster for those in claret and amber.
It would be an understatement to say that the Ross County bench were unhappy with the decisions made by Nick Walsh throughout the 90. Nick Walsh dished out many yellow cards to Ross County, which angered the Staggies bench.
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