Motherwell 1-2 Ross County: 10-man Steelmen frustrated by Highlanders' smash and grab

Allan Campbell shoots Motherwell ahead against Ross County (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Allan Campbell shoots Motherwell ahead against Ross County (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Motherwell were left stunned after two late Ross County goals condemned the Steelmen to a 2-1 defeat at a sun kissed Fir Park on Saturday.

Motherwell almost opened the scoring on six minutes when Jake Carroll's fine 20-yard free-kick only just missed the top left corner.

County responded within two minutes as Ewan Henderson's long free-kick from the right was headed wide by Billy McKay.

On 15 minutes, Henderson's corner from the left found McKay at the back post but his overhead kick was comfortably saved by Mark Gillespie.

A long punt forward then put McKay through but his shot was deflected wide.

The Steelmen made a 20th minute foray forward which saw Liam Polworth find James Scott who shot low and past the far post.

Scott nearly scored a freak opener on 22 minutes when his cross from the right was palmed wide by Ross Laidlaw.

And Motherwell then had a goal disallowed when a long throw was headed in by Gallagher but the effort was disallowed for a foul on County defender Keith Watson.

'Goal machine' Liam Donnelly then fired just over from 30 yards with his left foot for the hosts.

Sherwin Seedorf - whose name was being regularly chanted by the Well Bois - sent in a 37th minute snap shot from distance that was comfortably gathered by Laidlaw.

A fine Motherwell passing move on 44 minutes culminated in Scott finding Seedorf who shot into the side netting from 20 yards.

Three minutes into the second half there was a penalty shout refused for 'Well when Peter Hartley went down in the box under a Harry Paton challenge, before a strong run forward by Scott culminated in him shooting well wide.

Motherwell went in front in great style on 61 minutes when Campbell swept the ball home after a brilliant burst forward by Devante Cole and a set up pass by Scott.

The Steelmen then went close to doubling their advantage twice in quick succession. First the impressive Scott had a rasping drive saved before Carroll had a shot blocked at point blank range after a Hartley cross from the right.

But it was County who equalised on 75 minutes when a brilliant run by Gardyne set up substitute Brian Graham who shot home clinically.

The game took another twist on 80 minutes when Motherwell left back Carroll was sent off after an aerial collision with Ross Stewart. The second yellow card followed by a red by referee Alan Muir looked harsh.

And it was 2-1 County on 88 minutes when Richard Foster's long cross from the left was converted at the back post by Stewart.

The hosts' final two chances in injury time came and went when Cole header over from point blank range after a corner by substitute Richard Tait.

The final opportunity saw Hartley knock the ball wide after Liam Donnelly's long range free-kick was deflected into his path.

Motherwell: Gillespie, Carroll, Grimshaw, Hartley, Campbell, Seedorf (Hylton 67), Scott, Polworth (O'Hara 73), Donnelly, Gallagher, Cole.

Referee: Alan Muir

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