GOAL hero Ross MacLean has told the Motherwell support to start dreaming after his came true.

After shaking off injury worries of recent years and being thrown on to try and turn the Fir Park club’s fortunes in Dingwall on Wednesday night, the 20-year-old turned out to be the unlikely hero in a jaw-dropping Highland fling.

With just nine minutes left of extra-time to play and having already seen his team pegged back twice by Ross County, MacLean skipped clear of the home defence to round Scott Fox and book his team’s place in the quarter-finals against Aberdeen at home.

Going into the match Motherwell had only won three knockout matches across all competitions in the last five years, while the only silverware with claret and amber ribbons since 1991 was the Youth Cup hoisted aloft last year.

And MacLean, who played in that showpiece win against Hearts at Hampden, has backed Motherwell to create more Hampden magic moments this season.

“Of course, of course,” said the forward.

“It’s some team spirit in the group we have just now. Even the boys coming off the bench, we are disappointed not to start but we stick by each other. The boys who start push us in training.

“The spirit is good in the changing room. Hopefully we get into the semi-finals.

“Our confidence is sky high just now. We’ve had a good pre-season so the quicker the better.”

MacLean still seemed in a daze as he attempted to recall the nuts and bolts of what is arguably a career highlight for him.

Thrown on after 84 minutes, his first ever senior goal still seemed a long way away. But the Bellshill boy still displayed great energy and composure to race on to a Cedric Kipre pass and become an overnight hero.

“Aw what a feeling. I’ve dreamed about it since I was a wee boy. Especially with it taking us into the quarter-finals as well.

“I can’t really describe it to be honest.

“I was going to dink it but then I thought I’ll just wait for the keeper to move. He started to dive so I just took it around him.

“It was 100mph. It was hard to adapt to coming off the bench but I thought the boys did well and we all dug in.

“After the penalty and the sending off everyone just stuck to the task. Thankfully we managed to get the job done. That’s all that matters and we’re now into the next round.

“It will give me big confidence personally but I’m just trying to find my way into the team. I’ve had a hard time with injuries in the last couple of years. I’m trying to breakthrough.

“I’ll keep working hard and hopefully I’ll get into the team soon.”

It could have been so different, however. Just two minutes before the extra-time interval and with a 2-1 lead Motherwell appeared to hit the self-destruct button as Charles Dunne was red carded after conceding a penalty which was then converted by the upended Craig Curran.

MacLean didn’t give up hope, though.

“No, we kept our composure. Going down to 10 men you knew it was always going to be hard so we sat in tighter.

“We just worked hard – harder than them – so we got what we wanted.”

It was announced yesterday that Motherwell’s quarter-final date with Aberdeen will take place on Thursday September 21, live on BT Sport.