Louis Moult, the Motherwell striker, had the Fir Park men leapfrogging Ross County and Partick Thistle into the top six last night with a second-half Dingwall winner against the careless Staggies.
County again paid for defensive errors as they slipped a single place to eighth ahead of tonight’s matches.
Scott McDonald’s opener, with Western Sydney Warriors still believed to be in pursuit of his signature, was a reminder of his worth to Motherwell but came from a poor Jay McEveley mistake.
McEveley made amends, levelling with a header, but Moult’s winner was a bitter blow to County.
The hosts’ concern had been losing too many goals and it continued after almost half an hour. Lee Lucas launched a long, fairly hopeful pass forward from deep in his own half. McEveley went to control it but took his eye off the ball and let it slip under his foot. McDonald, pictured, was there to snap up the squandered ball, racing clean through on keeper Scott Fox to fire a well-measured finish into the left-hand side of the net.
From Martin Woods’ corner from the left, though, McEveley rose to send a looping header high past Craig Samson and into the net. The defender’s wild celebration spoke of his relief at making amends for the blunder.
But County were behind for the second time after 54 minutes. It was another case of the home defence posted missing as Steven Hammell’s corner swerved to the edge of the six-yard box. There was Moult powering in a header for his 13th goal of the season.
County pressed but Well clung on for all three points.