Motherwell see off Ross County 2-0 to leap into Scottish Premiership top six
Motherwell moved into the top six of the Scottish Premiership with a comfortable 2-0 home win over bottom club Ross County on Wednesday evening, writes Craig Goldthorp.
The Steelmen - for whom club legend Stevie Hammell made his final home appearance for the club as an 87th minute substitute - recorded their first league victory since a 2-0 success at Aberdeen back on November 18.
There was an early blow for struggling County at Fir Park when defender Andrew Davies went off injured and was replaced by Harry Souttar, newly signed on loan from Stoke City.
Motherwell then created a chance on 15 minutes when Carl McHugh played in Nadir Ciftci but the Turk's effort was blocked for a corner.
A low key opening 35 minutes was then enlivened by a first goal attempt for County as new signing Inih Effiong shot wide.
Returning Motherwell star Chris Cadden then produced a fine cross which was brilliantly defended by Souttar.
And the game exploded into life in the final minute of the opening half when Motherwell made a crucial breakthrough.
Andy Rose did the spadework for the Steelmen and provided a fine cross which was headed into his own net by the luckless Souttar.
After Saturday's own goal by Hamilton Accies, this was the second time in just four days that the Dossers had benefited from the opposition putting through their own net.
Leading 1-0 at the interval, Motherwell didn't take long to double their advantage after the second half got underway.
And it was Curtis Main who netted his first goal for the club in fine style when he chipped the keeper after fantastic set-up play by fellow new signing Ciftci, who robbed a defender before passing to his strike partner.
But the Highlanders weren't about to quit and a great ball in by Naismith found the head of N'gog but from close range Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson made a superb low save.
Lithuanian winger Deimantas Petravicius then replaced on loan Celt Ciftci, who went off to a terrific ovation from the home supporters.
The hosts then came close to netting a third when a crisp Tanner free-kick from the right missed everyone and went inches wide.
On 75 minutes, youngster Ross MacLean replaced goalscorer Main, who was also applauded off by home fans.
Motherwell managed to repel any County attacks and almost added a late third goal when a fine run and cross by Petravicius just evaded Allan Campbell in the middle.
Petravicius blazed well over late on but it didn't matter as the Steelmen comfortably saw out the remaining minutes for a second win out of two in 2018.
Motherwell: Carson, Cadden, McHugh, Main (MacLean 75), Rose, Dunne, Aldred, Kipré, Campbell, Çiftçi (Petravicius 64), Tanner (Hammell 87).
Referee: Kevin Clancy