Motherwell boss blasts side’s ‘weak spot for cheap goals’ despite controversial John Beaton penalty call costing them against Ross County

Graham Alexander admits his Motherwell side have a weak spot for giving away cheap goals as their wait for a first win of 2022 went on after a defeat to Ross County.

The Steelmen were undone by a controversial penalty decision in the first half when referee John Beaton ruled that Jake Carroll was brought down County’s Kayne Ramsay, although replays showed the foul was clearly committed outside of the area.

Joseph Hungo stepped up to fire the spot-kick past Liam Kelly. Incredibly, Kelly was denied an equalizer right at death when he cam up for a corner and the penalty was all that separated the two sides on the night.

Despite that injustice, Alexander was more concerned by his side’s failure to build on Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Rangers at Ibrox as he blasted his side for continuing to give away “cheap goals”.

Graham Alexander

The Steelmen have none gone nine games without a league win and they’ve yet to pick up a victory in 2022, leaving their hopes of a top-six slot in jeopardy with just four games before the Premiership split.

Reacting to the defeat, Alexander told the club’s media team: “It’s not the performance, it’s the result that is my biggest concern.

“We’ve been beaten 1-0 at home.

“We give a poor goal away, but it’s outside the box and I know it is because I’ve seen it [the video replay].

“But the first goal was important tonight and we didn’t get it. That allowed them to soak up pressure and play a way that was difficult to break down.

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“We did get past it on a few occasions but we didn’t find the quality we needed to go and win a game of football.

“At this stage of the season, it’s just about getting over the line and getting three points.

“We huffed and puffed and had opportunities. We had a couple of great chances and the keeper has made a fantastic save at the end.

“But I think we’ve got a weak spot for giving cheap goals away and that’s what’s cost us tonight.”

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The Steelmen, who sit seventh in the table behind Dundee United on goal difference, must now look to Saturday’s visit of Dundee and former manager Mark McGhee.

Asked how Motherwell can stop the rot, Alexander added: “We just have to go and win on Saturday, that’s the reality.

“There’s a lot of things that go into winning a game of football – which we are doing – but all the stuff you do between boxes counts for nothing if you can’t keep a clean sheet and you can’t take chances.

“Before Christmas we had clean sheets and we took opportunities.

Motherwell keeper tried to help his team salvage a point at the end of the game

“It’s not about performances now. It’s about getting over the line, it’s about making sure you do everything you can to keep the ball out of your net.

“You’ve got to have that killer instinct and at the minute, we are finding that hard to come by but we still have opportunities.

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“We’ve been on this run now that you’ve dragged on. It can beat us down, but we’ve still got an opportunity to make it a good season.

“It’s up to us to grasp that opportunity. It will be in our control. We don’t have to wait on the other teams.

“We’ve got four games to win as many points to make it a good season, so that’s what the challenge is.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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