Phil McGhee Fir Park
An excellent performance helped ‘Well to a 3-1 win over Dundee at Fir Park this afternoon.
Two first half goals from Scott McDoanld and Loius Moult rewarded ‘Well for a terrific opening forty-five.
However, after Gary Harkins pulled one back for Dundee midway through the second half the Steelmen had to work hard to retain their lead before Stephen Pearson’s last minute strike wrapped up the points
Having recorded only one victory between them from their last seven games, both sides were eager to regain their winning form and that ensured a competitive and entertaining affair for the fans.
The ‘Well boss gave 18 year-old Ben Hall a starting place in central defence. The Northern Ireland teenager made a very impressive debut and a couple of early interventions against a very attack minded Dundee helped settle him alongside the solid and experienced Stephen McManus..
However, it was Motherwell, for the second consecutive home game, that snatched the early lead.
Loius Moult with a brilliant turn and pass released Marvin Johnson and after his drive was blocked by Paul McGinn, he was fouled by the Dee defender as they chased the rebound.
Josh Law’s resultant free kick was cleared only as far as Pearson, who immediately slid the ball through to the unmarked McDonald who calmly stabbed the ball beyond the helpless ‘keeper from eight yards to make it 1-0.
Play was pretty even after that until around the half hour mark when the visitors’ goal was put under some sustained pressure.
A sweeping move in the 27th minute between Stevie Hammell and McDonald ended with the latter picking out Pearson and his low shot was sneaking inside the post until Scott Bain at full stretch palmed the ball round the post.
A minute later a tempting cross from Johnson was met by Moult and his glancing flew past Bain only to rebound from the ‘keeper’s post. Liam Grimshaw latched onto the rebound but his effort was palmed over the bar by Bain.
The Dundee ‘keeper was finally beaten again and Moult rewarded with his ninth goal of the season when the striker rose to meet Law’s inswinging corner and send his header high into the net.
Connor Ripley was forced to make his first save ten minutes from the break throwing himself to his left to turn Kane Hemmings angled drive from six yards behind his goal. The ‘Well ‘keeper then had to race from his line to slide and block the ball at the egde of his area with Hemmings homing in.
There was still time for another home effort on Bain’s goal before the break with the ‘keeper happy to see Grimshaw’s 20 yard drive dip over his crossbar.
Not surpringly Paul Hartley’s men started the second half in a determined fashion with ‘Well required to do some solid defending.
On the hour, though, and with almost a replay of the second goal, Law’s corner found Moult but his glancing header sent the ball just wide. Minutes later Moult came close again with a clever chip from outside the box but the ball floated over the bar and onto the netting.
It was end to end action and Ripley had to react quickly to beat away Hemmings thumping effort from 12 yards. The ‘Well ‘keeper was helpless, though, after 68 minutes when Dundee pulled a goal back, Gary Harkins’ shot from 10 yards taking a slight deflection as it raced beyond Ripley to make it 2-1.
The scores should have been level five minutes later but from five yards Greg Stewart sent his diving header wide of a begging target.
The Taysider’s almost immediately paid for that miss when Law’s free kick was curling low inside the post until Bain threw himself across goal to claw the ball off the line.
That save ensured a tense final ten minutes with ‘Well holding off an eager Dundee until a third goal in the final minute settled the game.
David Clarkson,who came off the bench for his first appearance since August, made his way to the goal line before driving the ball across where amidst a packed goal Pearson’s touch directed the ball into the net to round off a great afternoon’s work for McGhee’s men.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
Big three points for the Claret and Amber men. Really encouraging performance, topped off with three goals.
FT: Motherwell 3 – 1 Dundee
93′ | 3-1
Motherwell sub, Dylan Mackin is on for goalscorer @louismoult . Great shift from Moulty!
There will be 4 minutes added on.
91′ | 3-1
Pearson claims it but hard to tell. Looked like an own goal but 3-1 to the Steelmen!!
86′ | 2-1
Ainsworth curls in a great ball to Moult whose diving header loops over the bar.
Young ‘Well fans can vote now for their Man of the Match. Use #MatchAttaxMOTM within your tweet.
82′ | 2-1
Motherwell sub, Clarkson on for Johnson
72′ | 2-1
Good chance there for Calder but thankfully the substitute can’t get enough curl on his shot and it goes wide.
76′ | 2-1
Bain has to scamper across his line to palm Law’s free-kick from 20 yards to safety
74′ | 2-1
Great chance for Stewart as he got on the end of McGowan’s cross. Perhaps Harkins put him off, but he heads wide from 8 yards.
68′ | 2-1
Goal – Harkins pulls on back for Dundee, getting on the end of Hemmings’ low cross.
67′ | 2-0
McGowan booked for a rash challenge on Johnson as he raced away from him
65′ | 2-0
Ball breaks kindly to Moult about 20 yards. With better options he opts for a lob, which is inches over the bar.
And a Dundee sub, Low off for Calder
63′ | 2-0
Motherwell sub, McDonald off for Ainsworth
60′ | 2-0
Similar chance to the one Moult scored earlier but this time he nods it wide of the post.
59′ | 2-0
McDonald booked for pulling down Stewart about 30 yards from the Motherwell goal…
58′ | 2-0
Dundee sub, Harkins on for Loy.
56′ | 2-0
Irvine booked for a late tackle on Stevie Hammell…
Second half is underway. COYW!!
Very positive opening 45 from the Steelmen! Very much in command and playing some real good stuff.
HT: Motherwell 2 – 0 Dundee.
46′ | 2-0
Great run by Grimshaw down the right to get into the box but his final ball lets him down, firing it straight to Bain.
45′ | 2-0
Great tackle by McDonald allows Pearson to set up Grimshaw. His left footed shot curls just over the bar from 18 yards.
42′ | 2-0
Hemmings races through on goal but Ripley is alert and beats him to the ball, allowing Lasley to sweep it clear. Good save!
41′ | 2-0
Dundee sub, Konrad on for Etxabeguren
36′ | 2-0
Good chance for Hemmings as he gets the ball on his favoured foot inside the box but Ripley is equal to it and beats it away
31′ | 2-0
Moult nods in Law’s front post corner to stick the Steelmen 2 goals ahead!!
28′ | 1-0
Grimshaw follows it in and sees his shot deflected onto the bar! 2 great chances!!
28′ | 1-0
Off the post from Moult! Great ball in by Johnson finds the strikers head but it comes crashing back off the post.
27′ | 1-0
Great ball from Hammell finds McDonald who smartly picks out Pearson. Bain does well to tip it away for a corner!!
21′ | 1-0
Stewart’s corner sets up an acrobatic effort from Hemmings but it’s well over Ripley’s bar.
17′ | 1-0
Very positive start from the Steelmen. Plenty of good play, just as they search for a second.
Ball falls to Pearson on the edge of the box and he shows excellent awareness to slide in McDonald who slotted home!
3′ | 0-0
Nice bit of play down the left from ‘Well as lets McDonald cut inside but his square ball across goal has no takers.
Hemmings and Loy get the Action underway. COYW!!!
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Dundee manager Paul Hartley: