Gavin McCafferty at Fir Park
Motherwell’s wretched run of form continued as they crashed to a fourth consecutive home defeat in the Scottish Premiership.
Goals from former ‘Well ace David Clarkson, Clarkson, Gary Harkins and Greg Stewart had Dundee three goals ahead before the hour mark amid yet more individual errors and lax Motherwell marking. The home side could not find a way back despite Henrik Ojamaa quickly reducing the deficit back to two.
Clarkson played over 200 games in Claret and Amber and the goal against his former club took little over two minutes and was among the best he scored at Fir Park, although he was allowed yards of space on the edge of the box.
Motherwell failed to clear an attack and Harkins nodded the ball to Clarkson, who turned and sent a left-foot volley into the top corner.
The goal did nothing for the confidence of a side which had lost seven goals in their previous two games and it was not until the final 15 minutes that they exerted any sustained pressure.
Motherwell were without Steven Hammell, Craig Reid and Lee Erwin after being hit by injury and illness late in the week while Dundee were missing James McPake and saw goalkeeper Kyle Letheren pull out minutes before kick-off, allowing Scott Bain to make his league debut.
Motherwell had some half-chances to level after Clarkson’s opener, Ojamaa getting two shots on target but both times Bain got down well to save.
Motherwell defender Simon Ramsden had a shot cleared off the line by Jim McAlister after a corner but Dundee generally looked more dangerous when they went forward and they doubled their lead in the 29th minute.
Paul McGowan beat Iain Vigurs to a challenge and the ball fell for Stewart just inside the Motherwell box. The forward cut inside and poked a shot that was blocked by Dan Twardzik, but Harkins was on hand to power the rebound home from 10 yards.
Dundee, who brought on Cammy Kerr for Paul McGinn in the 42nd minute, had two good chances to add a third before the interval but Twardzik saved well from Clarkson’s header after the striker was left completely unmarked at a Harkins corner.
Harkins then set up McGowan inside the box but former Dundee keeper Twardzik got down well to save.
McCall, who uncharacteristically watched the first half from the stand, made a double switch at half-time with Stuart Carswell and Fraser Kerr replacing Stephen McManus and Jack Leitch.
But Dundee threatened to cut Motherwell open twice inside the first two minutes of the half and went further ahead in the 59th minute thanks to some more dreadful marking.
Stewart was all alone inside the box when Clarkson picked up the ball on the left wing and the former Bristol City player managed to get the ball across for his strike partner to stab home.
Some home fans departed but their team got a lifeline three minutes later.
Ojamaa forced a corner with an excellent long-range strike that Bain tipped over and the Estonian turned and steered Kerr’s header in off the bar following Lionel Ainsworth’s delivery.
Dundee tried to hit back and Twardzik saved from both Harkins and substitute Kevin Thomson, making his first appearance for two months following a calf injury.
They were pressed back in the final 15 minutes, however Bain saved from Ojamaa, Vigurs and substitute Josh Law as Dundee held out to leave last season’s runners-up in second-bottom spot.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 1 – 3 Dundee #MFCvDFC
90mins: Great football between Law, Ojamaa and Carswell but Law can only shoot straight at Bain from a narrow angle #MFCvDFC
4 minutes added on #MFCvDFC
83mins: Great bit of play from Ojamaa but again the finishing touch is lacking as he curled a cross in #MFCvDFC
82mins: Vigurs finds a bit of room just inside the box but can only fire straight at Bain! #MFCvDFC
81mins: Irvine is booked for a clumsy tackle on Ainsworth #MFCvDFC
77mins: Dundee sub, Harkins off for Boyle #MFCvDFC
76mins: Ball eventually falls to Vigurs on the edge of the box but from an awkward bounce, he can only volley over the bar #MFCvDFC
74mins: Motherwell sub, Law on for Francis-Angol #MFCvDFC
68mins: Harkins’ front post shot is tipped past by Twardzik #MFCvDFC
67mins: Dundee sub, Stewart off for Thomson #MFCvDFC
Ojamaa flicks it into the net. 3-1 now. Could there be a comeback?
60mins: Ojamaa’s long range shot is well tipped over by Bain. Corner….GOOAAL!
58mins: GOAL! Stewart taps it home from close range. All too easy as ‘Well pushed forward. 3-0. #MFCvDFC
‘Well would have had a throw-in in a good position but instead have to make do with a drop ball which is cleared. Unbelievable.
53mins: Ridiculous refereeing as the a Dundee player takes a ball to the face and as it’s going out, ref blows for play to stop.
Second half is underway. #MFCvDFC
Half-time subs, McManus and Leitch off for Carswell and Kerr.
HT: Motherwell 0 – 2 Dundee #MFCvDFC
45mins: Great save by Twardzik to deny goal number 3! McGowan should have scored but was blocked by the foot of the ‘keeper #MFCvDFC
44mins: Leitch is pulled up and booked after the ref had played an advantage for a foul on McGowan as Dundee countered #MFCvDFC
43mins: Francis-Angol does well to win a corner. Letheren punches Vigurs’ delivery to safety #MFCvDFC
42mins: Dundee sub, McGinn off for Kerr #MFCvDFC
Ainsworth’s free-kick is driven straight into the wall #MFCvDFC
40mins: Konrad is booked for a foul on Vigurs just outside the box.#MFCvDFC
38mins: McGowan watches it drop out the sky and tries a volley from just inside the box but he slices it harmlessly wide #MFCvDFC
29mins: GOAL! Harkins drills home form 15 yards following a bit of a scramble. 2-0 to Dundee #MFCvDFC
28mins: Ojamaa tries a clever reverse pass to Ainsworth but perhaps the shot looked the better option. Dundee clear
23mins: Ojamaa finds space 25 yards out and has a pop at goal but never really looked like troubling Letheren as he dived to save.
17mins: McManus’ header form Ainworth’s corner is heading into the top corner until Letheran plucks it out the air. Good chance! #MFCvDFC
16mins: Shouts for a penalty there as a ‘Well player looked to have been pushed from a corner but ref says no.#MFCvDFC
10mins: Ojamaa goes close! He does well to shrug off Konrad but can only drill his shot straight at Letheran from 20 yards #MFCvDFC
6mins: Could so easily have been 2! Clarkson gets past O’Brien and cuts it back to Stewart who was inches away from connecting #MFCvDFC
3mins: GOAL! Clarkson makes it 1-0 to Dundee with a great finish on the spin just in side the box #MFCvDFC
Underway here at Fir Park! #COYW #MFCvDFC
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
Dundee manager Paul Hartley:
“It’s a great three points for us after a sticky run.
“We played really well today, we scored three great goals and I thought some of our play was great.
“I felt if we started the game well we could cause Motherwell problems and not let them get into their stride. They’ve been on a difficult run as well and we felt if we could start well the fans might get on their back. We did that and got an early goal.
“We’ve been playing well and we’re pleasing on the eye as we try to pass the ball. I’m delighted with the way things are going so far.”