Pictures from the 2-1 win over Dundee Utd in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Tannadice.
Pictures from the 2-1 win over Dundee Utd in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Tannadice.
Andy Ross at Tannadice
Motherwell made it three away wins on the bounce with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice.
Michael Higdon capitalised on hesitancy amongst the home defence to fire ‘Well ahead after seven minutes.
A wonderful 20-yard strike from Chris Humphrey doubled the Fir Park side’s advantage three minutes later, however, Jon Daly netted his fifth goal of the season to reduce the deficit before half-time.
The Steelmen spent much of the second half on the back-foot but showed fantastic determination to hold out for a win that moves them to within a point of top-spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Stuart McCall’s side threatened in the opening minute as Shaun Hutchinson headed wide of the target from Tom Hateley’s fizzing corner.
The hosts were handed a goal scoring chance of their own after Hutchinson bundled over Russell 20 yards from goal, however Barry Douglas could only direct a tame free-kick directly at Darren Randolph.
Motherwell opened the scoring after seven minutes when Hateley’s delivery evaded all in Tangerine and allowed Higdon to coolly slot the ball past Radoslaw Cierzniak.
Only three minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage in stunning style, Ojamaa did well to find Humphrey and the Jamaican international burst forward before unleashing a stunning right-footed effort that found the top corner.
It was clear the visitors were in the mood and Hateley fired over the top before Ojamma’s low drive nestled in the side-netting.
Randolph was forced to tip Gavin Gunning’s powerful free-kick over the crossbar as the home side attempted to find a way back into the match.
Motherwell continued to demonstrate a threat on the counter-attack and only a crucial intervention from Douglas prevented Higdon profiting from Murphy’s dangerous cut-back.
Referee Bobby Madden waved play-on just before the half-hour mark when Hateley appeared to foul Stuart Armstrong just inside the area – the home support were furious, but they did not have to wait long for their side to find a way back into the match.
Hutchinson was caught out by Sean Dillion’s long ball and Daly controlled the ball before slamming the ball into the net.
An excellent piece of goalkeeping from Cierzniak denied Higdon from doubling his tally four minutes before the interval.
United began the second half in a positive fashion and Randolph had to be alert to divert John Rankin’s shot over the top.
The Motherwell goal continued to live a charmed life and Daly failed to make contact with Russell’s dangerous cross before Skacel somehow failed to find the target when the ball fell to him 10 yards from goal.
Daly’s looping shot found the top of Randolph’s goal, before Rankin made way for Michael Gardyne with 18 minutes remaining.
Cierzniak produced another excellent finger-tip save to keep out Murphy’s low shot, in what was Motherwell’s first attempt of the second half.
McCall looked to bolster his midfield when he introduced Stuart Carswell in place of Ojamaa.
Houston was forced into a second change five minutes from time when Willo Flood limped off to be replaced with Richie Ryan.
The home supporters thought their side had ensured at least a share of the spoils when Skacel bundled home after Daly’s cut-back, however he was denied by the offside flag.
Two minutes of added time brought further pressure from the home side, but they were unable to breakthrough the stubborn Motherwell rearguard.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Tannadice
93mins: FULL TIME!
90mins: Hiding behind a chair in the gantry too scared to watch!
89mins: Randolph to the rescue as he palms Gardyne’s volley to safety!
86mins: United score!! But it’s offside. Phew!
83mins: Dundee United sub: Ryan on for Flood.
79mins: Motherwell sub: Carswell on for Ojamaa
78mins: Almost the 3rd there as Murphy shoots toward the bottom corner. Cierzniak does well to tip wide.
76mins: Biggest sigh of relief all night as Russell volleys out the stadium. Need to regroup and dig in here.
71mins: United sub: Gardyne on for Rankin.
62mins: Backs to the wall stuff here! Soon won’t be able to type as my fingers will have been chewed off.
57mins: Should have been the equaliser! Skacel somehow blasts over from close range.
56mins: Russell with a cross that may be a shot…..flashes just past the post!
55mins: Long range shooting the order of the day in this half! Skacel next to try his luck but Randolph deals with his effort well.
54mins: First chance for ‘Well of the half. Murphy with an effort from 20 yards, parried out by Cierzniak low to his right.
51mins: All Uniited so far. Randolph has to look sharp to tip Rankin’s shot over the bar.
46mins: Teams back out and second half underway.
HALF TIME: Dundee Utd 1 -2 Motherwell
45mins: 1 minute added on.
41mins: Higdon unleashes a great effort from 30 yards which Cierzniak does well to tip over.
38mins: Hutchinson rightly booked for a high tackle on Skacel.
36mins: GOAL- Daly pulls one back for United.
31mins: Rankin from distance fails to trouble Randolph.
29mins: Skacel still aligning his sights as he can only blast over with his effort from 20 yards,
28mins: Strong claim for a penalty there from United after Armstrong looked to have been hauled down by Hateley!
23mins: Russell latches onto a long ball over the top. His volley is just wide of Randolph’s post.
19mins: Free-kick to ‘Well in line with the 6 yard box. Cierzniak beats the delivery away from Murphy’s feet.
15mins: Law judged to have handled the ball just outside the box. Gunning’s free-kick is tipped over.
14mins: Ojamaa hits the sidenetting after dispossessing Douglas. Unlucky.
12mins: After seeing Humphrey rasp one into the top corner, Hateley tries his luck from similar range. Not far past!
10mins: An absolute worldy from Humphrey puts ‘Well 2 up! Unbelievable finish from 25 yards!
WHAT A GOOAALLL!!!
9mins: Neat play between Ranking and Skacel allows the Czech space in the box to get a header off. Randolph gathers easily.
7mins: Ball was delivered into the box and missed by Murphy. This fooled everyone apart from Higdon who coolly lifted over Cierzniak!
GOOOAALLL! Michael Higdon opens the scoring!
5mins: Free-kick to United after Francis-Angol clatters Russell from behind. 25 yards out…Douglas curls straight to Randolph.
1min: Cummins heads Hateley’s delivery wide.
1min: Corner to Motherwell. Good early pressure from The Steelmen.
1mins: Kick-off to United – ‘Well switch it around and will shoot towards the “Shed” first-half.
Here come the teams! Seems like a decent ‘Well support from my position.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
“It’s nice to go away, score lots of goals and play great football but sometimes it’s about digging in.
“We had our backs to the wall at times. If I’m honest, United probably deserved a draw out of it.”
“There’s lots of different ways to win a game. It’s great to play open, attractive, entertaining football and go forward at every opportunity but you’ve got to give credit to them – they pushed us back.
“It was hard fought and we needed to dig in second half. We’ve got a lot of young lads in the back four and they did it well.
“To have a clean sheet for the second half – we’re absolutely delighted with that. I think we’ve won three on the bounce now away from home and it’s testament to the character.”
Dundee Utd manager Peter Houston:
“That’s five games on the trot we’ve gone behind. Now it’s beyond a joke. I don’t know if it’s a mental thing. I’m asking them questions and I’m not getting many answers.”
“It shouldn’t be like that and for the last four of five games it’s been like that. It would be hard for me to turn round and say they weren’t working hard enough or they weren’t chasing.
“They’re doing that, but unfortunately we’re giving ourselves mountains to climb.
“For 65 minutes we absolutely chased the game and it’s crisis management in the side – we’ve got to just battle on and try to get people forward.
“Even though I thought we deserved something from the game, we got nothing.”
Motherwell travel north to take on Dundee United at Tannadice in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has a couple of injury doubts but was keeping tight-lipped over their identities.
Defender Steven Saunders remains on the sidelines for the Steelmen as he recovers from a kneeinjury but joined in training for the first time recently.
Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven will be missing for a month or more after suffering a fractured hand.
Defenders Sean Dillon and Gavin Gunning should shake off knocks to play but full-back Gregory Vignal has left the club for family reasons.
The confirmed teams will appear here just after 6.45pm.
Tickets are still available on the gate at Tannadice. Admission is priced at:
ADULTS: £21 / £19
CONCESSIONS: £12 / £10
There are no anticipated travel problems between Motherwell and Edinburgh and the area in and around Fir Park is fairly clear.
It will be a clear and cold evening in Dundee. Temperature highs in the Tayside area will be just 3 degrees Celsius (37 Fahrenheit).
FOLLOW THE MATCH:
Motherwell Media will bring you all the action from Tannadice. Graham Barnstaple and Alan Burrows will call every kick off the ball live on MFC TV.
Darren Randolph has today (Tuesday) been served with a Notice of Complaint by the Scottish FA for an alleged breach of Rule 200.
The incident centers on Saturday’s match with Heart of Midlothian at Fir Park.
Compliance Officer Vincent Lunny has offered a fixed two-match suspension applicable across all competitions.
The club has until 3pm on Wednesday, 28th November 2012 to respond to the Notice of Complaint.
Should the offer of a fixed suspension be rejected, a Fast Track Tribunal will be convened on Thursday, 29th November 2012 to consider the complaint.
The management staff and player are currently considering their options.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall says he there is a determination amongst his squad to win at Tannadice and right wrongs of three weeks ago.
The Steelmen last faced Peter Houston’s side and slipped to a 1-0 home defeat despite creating numerous chances, including being denied by both the post and crossbar.
Talented Arabs hitman Johnny Russell separated the sides with an excellent header eight minutes from time and it’s something McCall is certain will be in the players’ minds ahead of tomorrow’s match.
[pullquote]We are well aware of their attacking threat but likewise they know we have good attacking players and our away form has been exceptional of late.[/pullquote]
He said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt we deserved something last time we played United. In fairness to Dundee United, they are getting the little things now that they weren’t getting earlier in the season.
“They’ve turned three draws against us, St Mirren and Ross County, into wins and that has been terrific for them.
“They’re showing good spirit and we are well aware of their attacking threat but likewise they know we have good attacking players and our away form has been exceptional of late.
“We certainly go to have a go at teams and try to score goals. It has been easier to play away from home this season; not that I’m saying it will be easy on Tuesday night but the shackles are certainly off when teams come at us and leave a little more space for us to play.”
Referee for Tuesday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee Utd at Tannadice will be Bobby Madden.
It will only be Bobby’s fourth ever Motherwell game. His first was back in January of last season as the Steelmen slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Inverness; Grégory Tadé grabbing the game’s only goal.
His second was the thrilling 5-1 win over St Johnstone as Motherwell reaffirmed their grip on third spot in the SPL. Goals that day from Higdon, Law, Murphy and an Ojamaa double all but ended Saints’ hopes of nicking the best of the rest gong last season.
The most recent was this season’s 3-3 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Motherwell had raced into a 3-1 lead courtesy of goals from Higdon, Hutchinson and Law but a late Aberdeen fightback handed Craig Brown’s men a draw.
The 33-year old has been fourth official on a number of occasions, including Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup last season and the Semi Final with St Johnstone at Hampden.
The whistler busy already this campaign, with domestic duties topped up with games in the Europa League with FK Vojvodina vs FK Suduva and Elfsborg Boras vs AC Horsens.
In addition, he handled the Spain U21’s 5-0 demolition of Denmark as well as Under 19s matches in both Austria and Hungary.
He was also the man in the middle for the World Cup Qualifier between Germany and the Faroe Islands; the home side running out 3-0 winners.
His most recent SPL appointment was last weekend when Aberdeen ran out impressive 1-0 winners at Easter Road.
Bobby will be ably assisted by Charlie Smith and Stuart Hodge with Gary Hilland on fourth official duties.
Jonatan Johansson’s Under 20s side return to action this midweek when they face Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Fir Park.
The youths have had to wait an extra week for a game after the proposed fixture against St Johnstone last Tuesday was shifted to protect the Fir Park pitch in the midst of a bleak weather.
Ironically, it’s the second attempt at playing the Highlanders after the original match earlier this month had to be moved due to the first-team’s match with Dundee Utd the day after.
Kick-off at Fir Park is at 1pm with admission for this match free of charge.
Extended highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell and Hearts battle hard but draw 0-0.
‘Well boss Stuart McCall admitted a draw was fair after Motherwell and Hearts slugged out a 0-0 draw at Fir Park.
Neither team really got going in what was a pretty low key afternoon at Fir Park.
Chances were at a premium with only Ryan Stevenson, Michael Higdon and Chris Humphrey making goalkeepers Jamie MacDonald and Darren Randolph work for their money.
McCall was slightly frustrated at not breaking down a rigid Hearts rearguard but conceded the draw was a fair account.
[pullquote]When it’s tight you have to take the positives and the positive is we’ve kept a clean sheet for the first time since the opening game of the season.[/pullquote]
He told MFC TV: “I said prior to the game that they probably have one of the strongest defences in the league.
“They started the game better, their one man up front gave them an extra man in midfield and they probably used that slightly better without really creating any great danger. We’ve had a good chance with Higgy’s header but in the first half we weren’t good enough.
“In the second half we started better and were the dominant side. Chris and Higgy have had good chances and there were some half chances.
“When it’s tight you have to take the positives and the positive is we’ve kept a clean sheet for the first time since the opening game of the season.”
Liverpudlian defender Adam Cummins was pleased with his sides’ clean sheet – the first in fourteen SPL matches.
The Steelmen were resolute at the back and the former Everton defender, culminating in both centre backs picking up sponsors’ man of the match awards.
And the nineteen-year old celebrating the blank at the back but admitted the team were frustrated at not being able to break down a stubborn maroon defensive line.
[pullquote]Starting with the back five, but also from the front, we defended really well and deserved to keep them out.[/pullquote]
“We are pleased with a clean sheet; it is long overdue,” he told MFC TV after the match.
“Starting with the back five, but also from the front, we defended really well and deserved to keep them out.
“In terms of the game, we created a few chances but there was very little clean cut from either side that would merit them winning the game.
“They are a good defensively – the manager warned us about it before the match. They play two sitting in front of their back four and make it very difficult for teams.
“We couldn’t play our usual stuff and that is frustrating but we’ve taken four points from the last two games and that’s a good platform to work from going into this week.”