’Well pay penalty for ref’s decision

Motherwell keeper Connor Ripley saves Greg's Tansey's initial penalty (Pic by Alan Watson)
Motherwell keeper Connor Ripley saves Greg's Tansey's initial penalty (Pic by Alan Watson)

Virtually everything that could have gone wrong for Motherwell did in Saturday’s 3-1 home Scottish Premiership defeat by Inverness Caley Thistle.

’Well’s dreadful afternoon began with the concession of a ninth minute penalty as referee Craig Thomson – who infuriated fans with some decisions – pointed to the spot when defender Stephen McManus handled a corner from the right flank.

Although the award seemed justified as McManus’s arm was above his head and in an ‘unnatural’ position, what happened a couple of minutes later was much more contentious.

’Well keeper Connor Ripley saved Greg Tansey’s poorly struck penalty low to his right, but Thomson ordered a retake due to an encroachment into the box by ’Well players as Tansey ran up to the ball.

Tansey duly scored with the second attempt, leading to a crescendo of boos and verbal abuse towards Thomson from some ’Well fans.

Inverness’s lead was deserved though, as they’d started the better team.

Inverness then lost winger Ryan Christie on 37 minutes after he’d sustained a leg injury when ’Well defender Kieran Kennedy had struck the ball against him.

The second hammer blow for Motherwell came in first half stoppage time when Caley’s Miles Storey shot home from outside the box after a poor defensive clearance by McManus had been followed by a ‘fresh air shot’ by Stephen Pearson.

’Well almost pulled one back but Liam Grimshaw’s fine shot from distance came back off the crossbar.

Nightmare moment number three for ’Well came just eight minutes into the second half when Iain Vigurs – only released by the Fir Park outfit in the summer – volleyed home in stunning fashion after a right wing corner for 3-0.

But ’Well, who ironically had enjoyed more possession and created more chances despite being three down, pulled a goal back on 58 minutes when MOULT scored at the back post after Ainsworth’s cross from the right.

The hosts’ misery was complete in injury time when McManus was red carded for a second yellow infringement on Dani Lopez.

Motherwell: Ripley, Grimshaw, McManus, Ainsworth, Pearson, Johnson (Robinson 78), Chalmers, Kennedy, Law, Moult, McDonald (Fletcher 67).

Inverness: Williams, Tremarco, Vincent, Meekings, Devine, Tansey, Horner, Polworth, Christie (Lopez 39), Vigurs (Wedderburn 79), Storey (Warren 71).

Crowd: 3569