Football - McCall: We had to battle for win

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall admitted his side had to dig deep into their reserves as they got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory at Ross County.

PA Sport
Football - McCall: We had to battle for win

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Stuart McCall was pleased to return to winning ways

John Sutton got both goals for Well at the Global Energy Stadium as they consolidated fifth place in the Scottish Premiership.

Sutton struck twice in the first half hour as the visitors dominated, but a spirited second-half showing from County saw them reduce the deficit through Melvin De Leeuw.

Despite Ross pushing hard for a leveller, Motherwell - beaten 5-0 by Celtic in their last league outing - held on for all three points.

McCall admitted they had been made to work hard for their victory although he felt their first-half performance warranted the three points.

"We controlled large parts of the first half and but for a really good save from their keeper would have gone in 3-0 up at half-time," he said.

"Derek (Adams, Ross County manager) changed his 4-1-4-1 formation once we went 2-0 up and you're never going to get an easy ride of it up here.

"They threw everything at us second half. It was probably a tale of two halves and the first-half performance got us the victory.

"I wouldn't say we were lucky, more hard-fought and we stuck in there when we needed to."

He added: "I thought our young keeper did well in difficult circumstances.

"When you get into a 2-0 lead you need to try and kill the game off but they had a real go.

"There's all different ways to win and that was gutsy and I'm delighted to get back on the winning track.

"They've lost three on the bounce which has probably never happened to them so it was always going to be a tough game."

Opposite number Adams was convinced his side deserved to take all three points.

Richard Brittain hit the bar for County early in the game while Rocco Quinn was also close and they found themselves penalised in the 67th minute when Brian McLean headed home only for referee Crawford Allan to blow for an infringement in the box.

Adams said: "We totally dominated and obviously deserved to win. We battered Motherwell and came away with nothing - we should have won by four or five goals with the chances we had.

"If he's honest enough then Stuart McCall will say his team got off today because we should have put them to bed in the second half.

"We should never have been two down, they got the deflected goal and we believe the second might have been offside.

"There wasn't too much in the first half apart from that and we had a goal disallowed in the second half for a foul in the box.

"I didn't see it so I can't comment on that but in another incident their player totally wiped out one of ours on the halfway line in what should have been a straight red card for dangerous foul play.

"They cleared a few off the line and their keeper made a few good saves.

"We put balls across, over the bar and past the post at open goals. We should have scored and a few goals wouldn't have flattered us."

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