Ross County win to secure top-flight status


Ross County secured their place in the Scottish Premiership for another season in dramatic fashion as they fought back from behind to beat Motherwell.

Trailing to an early Sam Foley opener – and with Kilmarnock leading against Hamilton – the Highlanders were facing a play-off final against Dundee.

However, captain Iain Vigurs levelled after the break before Michael Gardyne put the Dingwall men ahead.

That was enough to ensure they finished in 10th place, ahead of Kilmarnock.

Motherwell finish the season in eighth, after being leapfrogged on the final day by St Mirren.

County needed a point to ensure safety, but it was a tall order against a Motherwell side who had not been defeated at home since February, and had lost just once in their last seven Premiership games.

And, early on, the home side got their noses in front when a cross deflected on to the thigh of the on-rushing Foley, who did not know much about it but claimed the opening goal.

Within minutes, news filtered through that Kilmarnock had taken the lead against Hamilton.

Now County were looking at a play-off spot, but they could have moved back up the table moments later when the ball fell kindly in the box for Jordan White, but he volleyed his shot off the top of the bar.

It was looking like a frustrating afternoon for John Hughes’ side, but they took control of the contest and their own destiny in the second half.

It began with Vigurs conjuring up a special strike to level. After an exchange of passes, the County captain curled a delightful left-foot shot around the goalkeeper.

Stephen Kelly could have made it 2-1 but swiped fresh air when a low cross was played into his path. But County kept pressing and Garydne latched on to a through ball and made no mistake, finishing inside the near post to give County their lead.

Now only two goals from Motherwell would put them back into trouble, but it never looked likely as the home side’s campaign petered out to an unremarkable conclusion.

Man of the match – Iain Vigurs

Ross County's Iain Vigurs
County’s Vigurs scored a fine goal to cap a battling display

What did we learn?

Motherwell got their noses in front but never looked like they would build on their lead. The urgency was clearly with the visitors as they battled to preserve their Premiership status.

County took their time to get going but played some good football in the second half, and once again showed they can step it up in a big game.


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