Sutton double in a welcome result

John Sutton
John Sutton

Motherwell got back to winning ways on Saturday as a double from John Sutton was enough to take home all three points from the Highlands.

It was almost a case a deja vu as Sutton had also struck twice when Ross County came calling at Fir Park in September.

However, a lot of water has run under the bridge since then and both sides were desperate for a win in this one.

’Well to put their recent humiliations to Albion Rovers and Celtic behind them, and County as they plot to escape their current position in the relegation play-off spot.

There was a surprise in goal for the visitors as Gunnar Nielsen failed to shake off a thigh injury meaning Dundee goalkeeper Dan Twardzik, signed on an emergency loan on Thursday, donned the gloves.

Twardzik almost signed for ’Well back in 2009, but at that time his club Bayern Munich demanded compensation and the move fell through, meaning he stayed in Germany.

He would later end up in Scotland with Aberdeen and had a trial at Celtic in the summer, where his brothers Pat and Filip play, before signing on at Dens Park.

Only the woodwork denied County from taking the lead as Richard Britain crashed a fierce free-kick against the bar.

However, it was ‘Well who took the lead in 15 minutes as Stuart Carswell tackled Marc Klok in the midfield and the ball ran for SUTTON to lash in a shot from 25 yards that deflected of Brian McLean and beat Michael Fraser.

On 27 minutes it was 2-0 as Sutton fed the ball to Henri Anier, the Estonian’s shot also took a deflection, this time off Ben Gordon, and while Fraser made the save, SUTTON was on hand to nod in.

This prompted County boss Derek Adams to act almost immediately and he sent on sent on Dutch striker Kevin Luckassen for his countryman, defensive midfielder Klok.

With the hosts showing more impetus both Brittain and Rocco Quinn had chances before they finally pulled one back in 62 minutes.

Luckassen showed persistence on the right and ADRIAN DE LEEUW used his strength to get in a header meaning Twardzik wouldn’t have a clean sheet on his debut.

Five minutes later it appeared County had equalised as McLean headed in a Graham Carey corner against his old side but referee Crawford Allan blew for an infringement.

Craig Moore and James McFadden were sent on to try and reinvigorate ‘Well as the home side continued to dominate the second half.

Indeed County substitute maybe could have found an equaliser with his first touch, but perhaops caught cold, made a poor connection.

Several other chances went begging, as Twardzik made the most of his opportunity to impress, and in the end ’Well were left hanging on for the points and a very welcome win, but hang on they did.

Ross County: Fraser, Kovacevi, Gordon, Klok (Luckassen 31), Boyd, McLean, Quinn, Kettlewell, De Leeuw, Brittain, Carey (Glen 73). Subs not used: Brown, Mustafi, Maatsen, Cooper, Ross.

Motherwell: Twardzik, Ramsden, Hammell, Carswell, Hutchinson, McManus, Ainsworth (Lawson 82), Lasley, Anier (Moore 76), Sutton, Vigurs (McFadden 78). Subs not used: Stewart, Cummins, Murray, Leitch.

Referee: Crawford Allan.

Attendance: 2,792.