Ross County pay the penalty as Motherwell battle back for a point
Louis Moult came off the bench to rescue a point for Motherwell against Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium in a match which only came to life in the second half.
Liam Boyce gave County the lead in the 61st minute, but Motherwell were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty six minutes later.
Scott McDonald was felled in the box and Moult knocked in the spot-kick to clinch a 1-1 draw.
County played the last 20 minutes without defender Jay McEveley who was sent off for two bookable offences.
Motherwell were first to threaten in the ninth minute when Ryan Bowman chased a ball into the penalty area but County goalkeeper Scott Fox raced from his line to claw it away for a throw-in.
McEveley first went into the book after 24 minutes for a wild lunge on Craig Clay.
Motherwell goalkeeper Craig Samson had to look smart to turn an inswinging free-kick from Martin Woods behind for a corner
Following the flag-kick, Chris Routis fired a first-time shot wide of Samson's right post.
County were on top but had to be careful
In a break upfield, Motherwell's Bowman played in McDonald whose attempt was charged down by Erik Cikos.
The home side went close to an opener in the 37th minute when Woods laid the ball off for Michael Gardyne and the midfielder cut in and curled a shot off the crossbar
Jonathan Franks pounced on the rebound and his cross was headed over by Alex Schalk at the near post as County finished the half strongly.
Franks sent a dangerous low ball into the Motherwell box right at the start of the second half but both Boyce and Schalk failed to get a decisive touch.
The same County wideman sent over another tempting cross a couple of minutes later and this time Boyce sent a glancing header narrowly over the crossbar.
Bowman forced a save from Fox shortly afterwards after a surging run and cross from Chris Cadden was blocked in front of goal by Andrew Davies.
Franks continued to cause problems for the visitors' defence and he let fly with a 25-yard drive which flashed a yard wide.
The former Hartlepool winger delivered another threatening cross from deep on the right which found Boyce at the far post but the forward's header missed the target.
The pressure paid off when Schalk helped on a McEveley delivery and Boyce was clinical with his finish from 15 yards.
County continued to go forward and Woods got on the end of a fine flowing move to fired a long range shot just over.
Schalk had the ball in the net after a Boyce shot was parried by Samson but the flag went up for offside.
Motherwell were gifted a way back in the 67th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Fox brought down McDonaldx
The County goalkeeper received a yellow card and Moult, who had just replaced Bowman, made no mistake with the spot-kick.
It got worse for County a couple of minutes later when McEveley was sent off after he picked up a second yellow for a challenge on McDonald.
Fox did well to keep out a close-range header from substitute Lionel Ainsworth and a shot from McDonald in the dying minutes.
Source : PA