There were three changes to the Motherwell line-up as County kicked off in the late Dingwall sunshine. Samson, Hammell and Gomis replaced Ripley, Kennedy and Ainsworth and we wasted no time in stamping our authority on the match.
Such was the domination that we were two up in the first 15 minutes. Pearson opened our account with a low drive from 8 yards after support from McDonald and Moult. We continued to press and kept Fox busy with a series of corner kicks. Hammell delivered one and Cadden had an effort blocked but it fell to Captain Lasley at the edge of the box and his shot flew into the bottom corner to spark a well deserved celebration. His last goal more than two years ago.
A series of fouls and free kicks peppered the remainder of the half. Murdoch and Irvine were booked for hefty challenges and McDonald joined them for a bit of pay-back. DeVita came on before the break as McIntyre withdrew Murdoch to try to change the game but Samson was not troubled.
That was not the case in the second period as the home side threw everything forward. Goodwillie's poor control wasted a chance but the strikers forced Samson into a fine save as the hour approached. County committed their second and third substitutes and we were forced into defence for extended spells.
Hammell then Quinn were booked as the temperature rose and with 20 minutes to play there was no surprise to see County score. Gardyne's shot was parried by Samson and Boyce took advantage to reduce our lead.
Johnson carried the game to the other end but he missed the target with a couple of shots. Hammell had to come off and was replaced by Chalmers as the game flowed from end to end with decent attempts at both goals. Samson was kept busy until the relief of the final goal a minute into injury time.
Johnson led the charge up the right wing and saw his shot saved by Fox but Pearson had also made a trademark run and was on hand to score his second of the night to deliver a fine 3-1 win for the Mighty 'Well.
Ross County 1 Motherwell 3
Team: Samson, Hammell (Chalmers 72), McManus, Hall, Pearson, Lasley, Gomis, Johnson, Cadden, Moult, McDonald