Deadly duo ensure County don’t spoil ’Well’s party

Chris Humphrey scores
Chris Humphrey scores

Goals from James McFadden and Chris Humphrey were enough to see off Ross County on a day of celebration at Fir Park.

With Inverness losing to Dundee United the day before ‘Well knew they had guaranteed second spot in the SPL before they took to the pitch on Sunday.

Despite the inclement weather the beach balls and the sombreros were in evidence as a bumper crowd of over 7,500 enjoyed a carnival atmosphere.

McFADDEN ensured they didn’t have to wait long to get the party started as he slotted in Humphrey’s diagonal ball with just eight minutes on the clock.

County tried to hit back as Steffen Wohlfarth spun off the edge of the six yard box, but found his route to goal blocked as Stevie Hammell and Shaun Hutchinson threw themselves in front of the ball.

Right on half-time the home side doubled their advantage as County gave the ball away to HUMPHREY on the edge of his own box and he charged almost the entire length of the field to score past Michael Fraser.

At the start of the second half Mihael Kovacevic lobbed the ball into the area, but Martin Scott volleyed wide without testing captain for the day Darren Randolph.

County were dealt a blow on 56 minutes as captain Richard Brittain appeared to twist his knee and had to be stretchered off.

McFadden showed his class with a cheeky chip from 25-yard out, but the backpedalling Fraser was relieved the see the ball drift wide.

He then should have made it 3-0 as he met a Humphrey cross at the far post, but unmarked headed over, while claiming he was shoved by Andre Hainault.

The visitors hit the woodwork as Ivan Sproule’s cross-come-shot beat Randolph, but crashed against the bar and then Wohlfarth was out of luck as Hammell cleared his header off the line.

With one minute of injury time remaining there was just time for a ’Well debut as Randolph went off to a standing ovation allowing 17-year-old Ross Stewart to make his first appearance.

Motherwell: Randolph (Stewart 94), Hammell, Law (Higginbotham 80), Hutchinson, Hateley, Humphrey, Higdon (McHugh 80), Lasley, Ramsden, Carswell, McFadden. Subs not used: Daley, Kerr, Francis-Angol, Cummins.

Ross County: Fraser, Munro, Lawson (Cooper 74), Brittain (Fotheringham 56), Vigurs, Hainault, Scott (Glen 65), Wohlfarth, Sproule, Ikonomou, Kovacevic. Subs not used: Gallacher, Boyd, Ross, Porritt.

Referee: Craig Thomson.

Attendance: 7,734.