Gavin McCafferty at Dens Park
Motherwell failed to build on a decent first half showing, losing 2-1 to Dundee at Dens Park this afternoon.
The Steelmen had a lot of the ball and got into great areas on several different occasions during a first-half dominated by injuries, with Greg Stewart and Kevin Thomson along with Lionel Ainsworth having to be replaced.
However, a disappointing second half saw the Dees take the lead through Rory Loy before Kevin Holt fired free kick through the wall to double the home side’s lead.
Stephen Pearson reduced the arrears with five minutes left on the clock, but ‘Well couldn’t haul themselves level as Paul Hartley’s side held out for all three points.
Dundee were missing captain James McPake because of a jaw injury while Motherwell started with a 4-1-4-1 formation with Josh Law restored at right-back and Louis Moult wide on the left. Marvin Johnson had to be content with a place
The Dark Blues’ main man Greg Stewart’s lasted less than half an hour before he was injured by a sliding challenge from the back-tracking Moult, who earned a booking.
As Stewart hobbled round the perimeter of the pitch to be replaced by Gary Harkins, Ainsworth went down clutching his thigh after slipping on the heavily-watered turf. Johnson came on to play on the Motherwell right wing.
The visitors, wearing black armbands in memory of former skipper Joe Wark, who died on Thursday, gradually imposed themselves on the game.
Moult fired over on the run from 18 yards before releasing Scott McDonald, whose cross was just too high for Johnson.
Thomson eas the third place to hobble off shortly before the break after failing to run off a knee problem, Jesse Curran coming on for his debut.
Dundee finished the half strongly and threatened from several Harkins set-pieces. Ripley saved two free-kicks before holding Thomas Konrad’s header following a corner.
It was a Harkins free-kick that led to the opener 13 minutes after the break. Motherwell were still penned in following the lofted ball into the box as Riccardo Calder fired the ball back into the goalmouth for Loy to turn home with the heel of his boot.
Harkins almost cost his side moments later when he lost the ball to Keith Lasley but Johnson mishit his shot after being picked out 12 yards out by McDonald and the ball spun into Scott Bain’s hands.
Ripley got down well to save from Loy after the former Falkirk striker made space 18 yards out but the Motherwell goalkeeper was soon beaten in the 70th minute.
Holt drilled a low free-kick through the wall from 22 yards and into the bottom corner, the deflection doing enough to take it further away from Ripley.
Motherwell threw on strikers Wes Fletcher and Theo Robinson and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
Moult looped a header just over but Dundee came close to a third when Harkins’ shot hit off teammate Kane Hemmings and spun just wide.
Motherwell got back in the game in the 83rd minute when Pearson drilled a ball across the face of goal that evaded several players and Bain before going in off the post.
The Claret and Amber men sensed they could get level, however, an overhit Johnson cross was the visitors’ best opportunity to equalise.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Cappielow Park
FT’ | 2-1
Dundee 2 – 1 Motherwell
90′ | 2-1
3 minutes added on.
86′ | 2-1
Corner for ‘Well, great delivery by Grimshaw but no takers!
83′ | 2-1
GOAL – Pearson pulls on back for ‘Well!
81′ | 2-0
Harkins’ long-range shot is deflected which has Ripley scrambling. Rolls just past the post.
76′ | 2-0
Final Dundee change, Loy off for Healey
74′ | 2-0
Law advances forward and clips in a cross to the head of Moult but it’s inches over the bar.
71′ | 2-0
Double Motherwell change, Robinson and Fletcher on for Lasley and McDonald
70′ | 2-0
Goal – Holt drills in a low free-kick to make it 2-0
66′ | 1-0
Motherwell break away but the chance goes when Johnson slips as he shoots and it ends up over the bar,.
60′ | 1-0
McDonald puts it on a plate for Johnson but he fires into the ground and takes the sting out it for Bain who gathers easily.
58′ | 1-0
Goal – Loy connects with Calder’s cross to make it 1-0 to Dundee.
54′ | 0-0
Kennedy booked for fouling Loy just inside the Motherwell half. From that free-kick, Grimshaw heads out for a corner.
47′ | 0-0
Ripley quickly called into action, racing off his line to gather at the feet of Loy.
46′ | 0-0
Back underway here at Dens Park. COYW!!
HT’ | 0-0
Half-time whistle goes and its goalless here in Dundee.
45+3′ | 0-0
Ripley has to be alert, diving low to his left to palm away Harkins’ curled free-kick.
45+1′ | 0-0
5 minutes added on.
45+1′ | 0-0
Curran sneaks round at the back post and gets his head on a corner. Easy save for Ripley though.
42′ | 0-0
Another Dundee injury, Thomson limps off for Curran
40′ | 0-0
Harkins curls in a great ball which flies through a ruck of bodies. Thankfully Ripley reads it and makes the stop.
39′ | 0-0
Half-chance there for Moult as he cuts inside from the left and gets a shot away from range. Fired over the bar.
35′ | 0-0
Konrad booked for a body-check on Johnson as he broke away.
30′ | 0-0
Motherwell with a forced sub, Ainsworth limps of for Johnson
28′ | 0-0
Dundee sub, Stewart hobbles off for Harkins.
23′ | 0-0
Moult booked for a foul on Stewart.
20′ | 0-0
More positive play from Ainsworth. Gets past Holt again but Bain is on hand to pluck his cross out the air.
17′ | 0-0
Calder drifts in-field, then cuts back out on his left and gets the shot away. Routine stop for Ripley though.
16′ | 0-0
Another ‘Well corner, but this time a Dundee defender gets his head to it just before Kennedy.
14′ | 0-0
Ainsworth gets past Holt and wins a corner…..McManus’ header is cooly gathered by Bain.
7′ | 0-0
Stewart jinks his way in-field and is only thwarted by a great sliding block by Kennedy.
5′ | 0-0
Stewart gets played in with plenty of space down the right but opts to shoot first time, ballooning it well over the bar.
2′ | 0-0
Loy spins in the box and sees his shot deflected wide for a corner. Grimshaw nods the dellvery clear at the front post.
1′ | 0-0
Thomson and Stewart get the action underway. COYW!!!!
Out come the teams. Lovely sunny afternoon for it, with kick-off moments away.
Motherwell interim manager Stephen Craigan:
I thought first half we were in the ascendancy. We spoke during the week about having more composure in the final third and picking an extra pass rather than smashing the ball into an area.
“So it was disappointing that we got ourselves into areas and didn’t capitalise first half.
“But it boils down to not defending a cross ball and a wall that disintegrates.”
Dundee manager Paul Hartley:
“The first half wasn’t a great spectacle. I though they were better than us but I thought it was a much better second half for us.
“When you have Loy and (Kane) Hemmings they are always a threat.
“Rory has started four games and got five goals and Kano’s work rate was terrific.”