Ross County 0-5 Motherwell: Kevin van Veen hits hat-trick in big win for visitors

Kevin van Veen scored a hat-trick as Motherwell ran riot in a 5-0 victory against Ross County at Dingwall.

The Dutchman was ruthless in front of goal, with Callum Slattery and Joe Efford also finding the net for the visitors.

Ross County have now gone six games without a win, with only one victory to their name all campaign.

How Motherwell brushed aside Ross County…

Callum Slattery celebrates after making it 2-0 to Motherwell

The Staggies made two changes to the team that was beaten 2-0 by Hibernian on Saturday.

Josh Sims was brought in on the right wing to replace William Akio, with Jordan Tillson back in defence to replace the dropped David Cancola.

Motherwell also made two changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Celtic. Slattery and Efford came in for Barry Maguire and Dean Cornelius who both dropped to the bench.

The visitors had the first chance of the game midway through the first half when Jack Baldwin brought down Van Veen on the edge of the box.

Sean Goss went for power but his shot crashed against the defensive wall in what summed up a quiet first quarter of the match.

Motherwell were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute when Ross Callachan was guilty of bringing down Efford and was booked.

DINGWALL, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 04: Motherwell's Kevin Van Veen celebrates after making it 3-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Ross County and Motherwell at the Global Energy Stadium, on October 04, 2022, in Dingwall, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Van Veen scored a hat-trick for Motherwell

Van Veen kept his composure to slot the penalty past goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw and into the back of the net.

Callachan looked to make amends for his foul and did well to run through the Motherwell defence, charging into the box to find Sims six yards from goal, but the midfielder saw his shot take a deflection and go inches past the left-hand post.

Van Veen should have doubled Motherwell’s advantage at the start of the second half when Connor Shields did well to hold off the Staggies defence and set up the Dutchman but he blasted wide from eight yards.

However, Motherwell went 2-0 up five minutes into the second half. Laidlaw blocked Efford’s shot but the rebound found its way to Slattery and he fired a powerful low drive into the back of the net.

Motherwell's Kevin Van Veen celebrates after making it 1-0 against Ross County
Van Veen is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring the opener

The game was killed off a minute later when Efford’s cross into the box passed through a tired-looking Ross County defence to find Van Veen who scored from close range for his ninth of the season in all competitions.

Motherwell continued to pile on the misery as Efford made it four in the 59th minute. He connected with a cross from the left from Matthew Penney and drilled a thunderous drive into the back of the net from 18 yards.

Van Veen then secured his hat-trick two minutes from time when he burst into the box to connect with a cross from the left and fire home from close range to cap off an excellent night for the visitors.

What the managers said…

Motherwell boss Steven Hammell hailed Motherwell’s five-star performance at Ross County and claimed his side had been threatening to do it for several weeks.

He said: “It’s not our best performance of the season, I think our level of performance has been high most games this season.

“We probably created more chances in other games but the difference is how clinical we were. It is something we highlight and work to being clinical in the final third and it’s good to see it coming.

“We highlighted to the staff that we have played well most games this season. But if the results didn’t match that and the points on the board didn’t match that performance, there is only so long we can say that. Things would have to change.

“If results like that didn’t start coming we might need to be more pragmatic, but we want to stick to the style we have and some of the goals we scored were magnificent.”

Meanwhile, Ross County boss Malky Mackay said he was embarrassed by his own performance after his team were beaten so easily.

“I want to apologise to our fans for having to watch what they did,” he said.

“I am embarrassed by my own performance, so I want to give an apology from me to them.

“They have been fantastic since I got here and the backing they have given the team and they had to watch that second half.

“We started the first half reasonably well and the penalty came against the run of play.

“We were quite attack-minded and got in high areas of the pitch, but the ball seems to be rolling the other side of the post. But the second half was awful and that is something we have to address. I am deeply disappointed.”

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