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Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Motherwell vs Ross County. Scottish Premiership.

Fir ParkAttendance3,724.

Motherwell 5

  • A Halliday (8th minute)
  • B Spittal (21st minute, 87th minute)
  • T Bair (38th minute pen)
  • J Vale (91st minute)

Ross County 0

    Motherwell 5-0 Ross County: Theo Bair continues scoring run as Stuart Kettlewell's side ease relegation fears

    Match report as Blair Spittal hit two brilliantly-taken goals and both Andy Halliday and Jack Vale netted their first goals for the club; Theo Bair converted a penalty to make it six goals in five cinch Premiership games

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    Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Ross County.

    Theo Bair scored for a fifth consecutive cinch Premiership game as Motherwell thrashed Ross County 5-0 at Fir Park.

    The former St Johnstone forward put Motherwell three up with a 38th-minute penalty to make it six goals during his run and eight for the season.

    Blair Spittal struck two brilliantly-taken goals and both Andy Halliday and Jack Vale hit their first Motherwell goals as the Steelmen recorded their biggest victory since beating the same opponents by the same scoreline under Steven Hammell in October 2022.

    Despite claiming only a second win in 20 league games, Stuart Kettlewell's side moved one point off the top six and opened up a six-point lead over second-bottom County.

    Motherwell's Theo Bair (left) celebrates scoring a penalty to make it 3-0
    Image: Motherwell's Theo Bair (left) celebrates scoring a penalty to make it 3-0

    Derek Adams' side have not won since beating Motherwell two months ago and have only collected two points in that period.

    Bair could easily have had a hat-trick as Motherwell took advantage of an open County structure which left their two centre-backs exposed.

    Motherwell were ahead in the eighth minute when Spittal fed Bair to square for Halliday to sweep home from 12 yards.

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    The home side doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Spittal latched on to Halliday's pass and curled a powerful shot in off the far post from the left corner of the box.

    Blair Spittal celebrates scoring Motherwell's fourth goal
    Image: Blair Spittal celebrates scoring Motherwell's fourth goal

    It initially looked like being a frustrating night for Bair, who was twice set up for one-on-ones by Spittal but was foiled by George Wickens each time.

    The striker could not quite reach Spittal's low cross and was then waiting for a tap-in when Harry Paton picked the wrong option.

    Bair came closer when he chested down Stephen O'Donnell's diagonal ball and volleyed into the top corner from 18 yards, only to be denied by the offside flag.

    But the Canada international got his goal after Paton was tripped by Will Nightingale, assuming penalty duties from Spittal, who missed his last effort against Alloa. Bair shrugged off a needlessly-lengthy VAR delay to send Wickens the wrong way.

    County had plenty of possession in the first half but Motherwell generally blocked their way to goal with some compact defending and effective pressing. Liam Kelly comfortably saved from Simon Murray in the visitors' only effort on target before the break.

    Ross County's Jordan White, Josh Sims, Max Sheaf and Josh Reid look dejected at full time
    Image: Ross County's Jordan White, Josh Sims, Max Sheaf and Josh Reid look dejected at full time

    Motherwell looked comfortable after the restart without seriously threatening and Murray missed a glorious chance to give the visitors a lifeline midway through the second half when he sent a free header wide from six yards out.

    The hosts otherwise looked the far more dangerous side. Bair was again played through by Spittal and appeared to have done everything right when he dinked the ball over Wickens but his effort drifted just wide.

    Wickens saved well from Georgie Gent after slack play from James Brown but the goalkeeper was well beaten in the 87th minute when Spittal curled a majestic strike into the top corner from 25 yards.

    The midfielder then played a perfect pass in between the County central defence for on-loan Blackburn forward Vale to run on to and slot home in stoppage-time.

    Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell said: "It's a top-drawer performance. To beat any team in this league 5-0, you're playing well.

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    Stuart Kettlewell was full of praise for his squad after their 5-0 thrashing of Ross County, particularly after their torrid run of form at the end of last year.

    "I felt you saw what was an accumulation of what I feel has been some good performances. Sometimes you feel as if you're patronising supporters and people in the media but I genuinely do believe we were working towards a win.

    "We have been functioning well as a team, six unbeaten now, and that puts a nice finish to it with the five goals. But probably the ruthless side of me says that it could and should have been several more. We had some wonderful opportunities.

    "The ruthless side of me says that we still want to work towards a better conversion rate but I have just reminded everyone it's one game of football."

    Ross County manager Derek Adams said: "Motherwell were the better side, obviously, scored goals and could have scored a lot more."

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    Derek Adams admits the 5-0 loss against Motherwell could've been more had it not been for goalkeeper George Wickens, and says his players want to succeed, but there are rarely leaders in the modern game.

    Adams blamed "decision-making on and off the ball" for the heavy scoreline.

    "We didn't deal well enough with the runners," he added. "It's the basics of defending, isn't it? Seeing your man in front of you. As soon as your man is in front of you then you've got a problem.

    "The Motherwell attacker was on our shoulder a number of times and was able to get in behind. They had some good runs in behind and I thought they were excellent. They picked us off and scored five."

    What's next?

    Motherwell's attention turns to the Scottish Cup with a fifth round tie against Chamionship side Morton in Friday night. Kick-off 7.30pm.

    Their next Scottish Premiership match is away to Aberdeen on February 14 with Ross County returning to action that night at Rangers. Both games kick off at 7.45pm.

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