Motherwell manager Mark McGhee laid the blame for his side’s Scottish Cup exit firmly at the door of referee Steven McLean. The match official failed to halt play when Jordan Roberts pushed Morgaro Gomis off the ball from behind immediately before scoring Inverness’s winner during time added on.
“I’m gutted,” he said. “Just look at the incident on video. Their boy has barged our player down, we are a man down and the boy scores.
“Every week we are talking and the last point of the game is the referee. Gomis is barged in the back, what can I say?
“The referee is five yards away. Did I speak to him? No. I kicked his door! We are gutted to be out of the Scottish Cup in these circumstances.
“I was quite satisfied to go up the road and face them again. I am very disappointed with the result but not with the performance.”
Marvin Johnson looked to have broken the deadlock for the home side with a venomous volley from Josh Law’s cross but Motherwell midfielder Stephen Pearson could not get out of the way of the ball and it deflected off him to safety.
At the other end, Carl Tremarco’s arcing header from Andrea Mutombo’s cross almost caught out Connor Ripley but the goalkeeper recovered to touch it on to the crossbar.
Scott McDonald emulated that feat, heading a Johnson cross against the bar from point-blank range when he ought to have scored. It proved to be a costly miss when Inverness swept upfield and took the lead.
Tremarco’s driven cross would have been awkward enough to defend without the presence of the inrushing Miles Storey and Stephen McManus, attempting to clear, turned the ball into his own net.
Pearson squandered a glorious opportunity to restore parity when he failed to get on the end of an inviting cross from Chris Cadden but the home side drew level from a set play just as their supporters were beginning to turn on the manager.
Steven Hammell’s outswinging corner was headed towards goal by McManus and a third veteran, McDonald, reacted quickest to the loose ball to force it home.
The hosts had enjoyed the better of the second half but, for the second time in five days, they lost to a goal scored in added time when Roberts, after gaining possession, fired into Ripley’s top right-hand corner from 20 yards.
“We were always trying to get at them in the last 15-20 minutes but it was going to take something special to win it and I’m absolutely delighted that it was Jordan who got it,” said Inverness manager John Hughes.
“He’s had a torturous time with groin problems since he’s come to the club – he’s had operations, rehab, broken down and never had a chance to get going.
“He needs game time but he deserves a reward for all the hard work he’s put in but he’s got that in his locker. He’d tried a few times previously to get the ball on his left foot so it was great to see it hit the net because it puts us in the hat for the next round.”