Motherwell recorded their first home win since November with a vital 4-2 success over Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday.
The Steelmen moved up to 10th place with this crucial Scottish Premiership victory over the bottom of the table Highlanders.
The importance of this game had been emphasised to the ’Well players by gaffer Stephen Robinson in the build-up and they made an explosive start with two goals inside the opening eight minutes.
The first came after just six minutes when Chris Cadden cut in from the right flank and superbly curled a left footed shot past keeper Owain Fon-Williams and into the far corner.
And the Steelmen doubled their advantage when a cross from the left by top scorer Louis Moult - returning after a two-game injury layoff - flew in at the back post.
Caley’s nightmare start then got worse when key defender Carl Tremarco went off injured and was replaced by the grey haired Kevin McNaughton.
A great chance for 3-0 was wasted when Ryan Bowman’s rebound effort was blocked by Fon-Williams after the keeper had fumbled Moult’s initial shot.
But Caley gradually gained a stranglehold and Greg Tansey had a shot well blocked by Carl McHugh before the Highlanders did level when Tansey’s shot was turned in by Alex Fisher.
ICT then gained the ascendancy and a fine run by Liam Polworth finished with a shot just wide.
Motherwell keeper Craig Samson earned his corn with a fine block from Fisher after a slip by Carl McHugh.
The action was relentless and an Iain Vigurs corner saw Fisher’s header well saved by Samson.
Chris Cadden’s corner from the left nearly curled into the Caley net but Fon-Williams blocked at the back post.
Despite dominating the early stages of the second half, Motherwell were pulled back to 2-2 on 53 minutes when the back four stopped to appeal for offside, Samson ran well off his line and he was lobbed by Fisher from 18 yards.
But the Steelmen went back in front when Elliott Frear – who had a fine second half – sent over a cross which McDonald nodded home from close range.
And there was more joy for the Fir Parkers on 68 minutes when youngster Allan Campbell – making his first start in four months – headed home from point blank range after brilliant wing play by McDonald.
There was no further scoring and Motherwell players celebrated while Caley stars looked dejected at a defeat which leaves them five points adrift at the bottom.