Published: 05/08/2012 08:57 - Updated: 05/08/2012 09:01

County hold Motherwell in SPL opener

Ross County boss Derek Adams saw his side grab a fine point against Motherwell on Saturday.
Ross County boss Derek Adams saw his side grab a fine point against Motherwell on Saturday.

ROSS County have arrived in the Clydesdale Bank and held Champions League opponents Motherwell 0-0 on Saturday in their first-ever top-flight fixture.

There was a terrific atmosphere inside Victoria Park, with the searing sunshine adding to the occasion for almost 5,000 supporters.

County paid for the Motherwell fans buses and their songs rang loud throughout the ground for most of the afternoon.

There were plenty of lively exchanges in the first 20 minutes, without a cutting edge from either side.

What was clear though was that the First Division champions who unfurled their title flag before kick-off were holding their own.

Michael Higdon had the first real go on 16 minutes, but his low drive was gathered by goalkeeper Michael Fraser.

Two minutes later, County captain Richard Brittain’s set-piece just evaded striker Colin McMenamin.

On 25 minutes, Paul Lawson flashed a shot just past the right post after neat work from Iain Vigurs and Russell Duncan.

Moment later, Tom Hateley cracked a shot goalwards, but it whizzed wide. Motherwell claimed a corner, but were denied it.

Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph pulled off a cracking save on 32 minutes to stop Grant Munro’s header which came from another tasty free-kick from Brittain.

Motherwell upped the tempo at the start of the second half, but the Staggies soon raised their game too, forcing several corners.

Chances were, however, at a premium and Lawson had a pop on the hour mark, but his shot flew over the bar and into the Jail End Stand.

On 77 minutes, Omar Daley let fly with a fine effort, but Fraser was equal to it.

There were appeals from the Staggies fans on 85 minutes for a penalty when Mark Corcoran took a tumble in the box, but these were waved away by referee Alan Muir.

Champions League side Well pressed hard late on, but the Highlanders held on for a superb point on day one.

On the back of this opening performance in the top-flight, County will travel to Aberdeen with confidence next weekend.

Ross County: Fraser, Fitzpatrick, Munro, Boyd, Tokely, Lawson, McMenamin, Brittain, Vigurs, Scott (Morrow 78), Duncan (Corcoran 68). Subs not used: Malin (GK), Cooper, Kovacevic, McPhee, Dingwall.

Motherwell: Randolph, Hamell, Law, Hutchison, Hateley, Humphrey (Ojama 69), Higdon, Murphy, Lasley, Ramsden, Daley. Subs not used: Hollis (GK), Page,  (McHugh 83)Cummins, Francis-Angol, Hetherington.

Referee: Alan Muir.

Attendance: 4,828.

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