Two first half goals from Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton were enough for Motherwell to take revenge on Inverness last Wednesday.
When the sides last met in august at Caledonian Stadium the home side picked up a 2-0 win and at a blustery Fir Park it was the same story here.
’Well were boosted by the return of Stevie Hammell and Stuart Carswell to the starting line-up, while Gunnar Nielsen replaced the injured Lee Hollis in goal.
It took just six minutes for Hammell to link up with James McFadden with a neat one-two on the box, but the latter just failed to make enough contact the squeeze in the full-back’s cross at the near post.
In Billy McKay the Highlanders always have a goal threat and he called Nielsen into action twice with volleys, first from James Vincent’s chest down and then from David Raven’s angled cross.
At the other end Dean Brill pushed away a Lionel Ainsworth volley on 24 minutes from Iain Vigurs’s cut back, but a minute later the winger wouldn’t be denied.
A long ball from Hammell caught out Graeme Shinnie and AINSWORTH ran on to smash the ball past Brill.
On 34 minutes it was 2-0, with Hammell again the provider as he clipped the ball to the back post for SUTTON to make no mistake with a diving header.
Despite having to be weary from their League Cup final exploits Inverness controlled the second half, but failed to find a way past Nielsen.
The closest they came to former ’Well forward Richie Foran’s shot being was parried at close range by Nielsen and then Greg Tansey’s follow-up being cleared off the line by Shaun Hutchinson.
Motherwell: Nielsen, Reid, Hammell, Lasley, Hutchinson, McManus, Carswell, Vigurs, McFadden (Francis-Angol 74), Sutton, Ainsworth. Subs not used: Stewart, Moore, Murray, Leitch, Thomas, Cadden.
Inverness CT: Brill, Raven, Shinnie, Draper, Devine, Meekings, Vincent (Watkins 75), Foran, Doran (Christie 45), McKay, Tansey. Subs not used: Esson, Warren, Ross, Tremarco, Williams.
Referee: Alan Muir.