A late late Kevin van Veen penalty goal earns Motherwell a 1-0 win over Ross County at Fir Park.
It was almost like a staged event to offer KVV the chance to win the game and score in a ninth consecutive game. He stroked the ball into the net in the 100th minute, set a post-war scoring streak for Motherwell and left the field to a standing ovation.
Harry Paton started as Callum Slattery served a suspension; otherwise it was a familiar ‘Well side that faced ‘County’s kick off.
Motherwell had the better opportunities in the first half and the visitors had Ross Laidlaw to thank as they reached the break without loss. Paul McGinn had a couple of on target efforts from 20 yards and Kevin ven Veen twisted and turned to test the ‘keeper from both sides of the penalty area. Dan Casey had a close range shot blocked following a corner and the first period ended with a Laidlaw at full reach to tip a long range shot over the bar.
Dean Cornelius came off the bench a couple of minutes before the break as Harry Paton limped off.
The visitors were well marshalled anytime they pushed forward but Liam Kelly had no direct shots requiring attention.
Motherwell had to endure a tense five minute VAR delay shortly after the restart. Butcher and Randall manhandled each other as County attacked and Referee Anderson pointed to the spot. The official was advised to watch the replay and changed his mind. The game resumed with a dropped ball for Kelly.
The incident spurred the home side forward. A chance was created for Spittal but he declined the shot as he ran in on the left side of the penalty area and failed to connect with van Veen in the centre.
Casey and Furlong were injured either side of the 70 minute mark and Stuart Kettlewell made use of all five rep[lacements.
Sean Goss let fly from 25 yards but his low drive was off target. There was a flurry of bookings in the closing stages including two for Owura Edwards to reduce the visitors to ten as the game entered added time.
The final twist arrived almost ten minutes after the ninety. Keith Watson was penalised for a hand ball and the dramatic chance for van Veen arrived.
The win keeps Motherwell in seventh place and does nothing for Ross County’s slim chance of league survival.
Motherwell 1 Ross County 0
Attendance 5,289 (190)
Team: Kelly, O’Donnell, Casey (Aitchison 70), Butcher, McGinn, Furlong (Blaney 64), Spittal, Goss, Paton (Cornelius 44), Mandron (Obika 70), Van Veen (McKinstry 90+10)
Saturday 20 May 2023