Final home game ends in victory

The Motherwell players salute the crowd after the game
The Motherwell players salute the crowd after the game

Motherwell celebrated qualifying for Europe with a hard fought win in their final home game of the season against Inverness.

The Fir Parkers already knew their place in the Europa League was assured before kick-off, but with second place still to play for were out for all three points.

It took them just four minutes to take the lead as John Sutton caught Ross Draper dithering in the box and nicked the ball away.

As Draper tried to recover he fouled the striker and SUTTON picked himself up to send Dean Brill the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Sutton then set up Zaine-Francis Angol who cut in from the left, but on his weaker right foot fired over.

It was mostly one-way traffic, but the visitors did have the odd chance, Aaron Doran coming close with a curler from inside the box that went just over.

On 31 minutes it was 2-0 as GARY WARREN headed an Iain Vigurs corner into his own net.

At the other end Keith Lasley nearly returned the favour as he met a Greg Tansey cross, but his luck was in as his header went inches wide of the goal.

Lionel Ainsworth came close to extending the lead as he crashed the ball off the crossbar from a Francis-Angol cutback.

Nine minutes into the second half Inverness pulled one back as GRAEME SHINNIE burst forward and his low shot deceived Lee Hollis.

’Well responded by withdrawing James McFadden and sending on Fraser Kerr to give them another defensive option.

However, the away side reminded on top and Danny Devine’s header from a Tansey free-kick just missed the top corner before Billy McKay fired into the side netting from an acute angle.

Tansey then fired in a powerful low free-kick, but Hollis unceremoniously booted it away.

The home side ended the game with ten men as Craig Moore limped off, with all three substitutes having been used.

Four minutes into stoppage time McKay got in behind the ’Well defence, but his shot on the half volley came off the inside of the post and the points were safe.

Motherwell: Hollis, Reid, Hammell, Hutchinson, McManus, McFadden (Kerr 55), Sutton, Vigurs, Lasley, Francis-Angol (Anier 79), Ainsworth (Moore 79). Subs not used: Nielsen, Erwin, Murray, Leitch.

Inverness CT: Brill, Raven, Shinnie, Warren, McKay, Draper, Doran (Williams 66), Devine, Watkins (Christie 75), Tansey, Tremarco. Subs not used: Resson, Vincent, Ross, Polworth, Sutherland.

Referee: Willie Collum.

Attendance: 4,482.