Lewis Irons at Dens Park
Motherwell moved up to third in the Ladbrokes Premiership with a clinical 1-0 win over Dundee.
An early goal from Craig Tanner was enough at Den’s Park as the Steelmen made it four wins on the bounce whilst recording their eighth clean sheet of the season in the process.
Stephen Robinson rang the changes following his sides efforts at Hampden on Sunday, giving Chris Cadden, Allan Campbell, Andy Rose and Louis Moult well earned rests, whilst giving Elliott Frear, Gaël Bigirimana, Craig Tanner and Alex Fisher well-earned starts.
And the fresh faces made an immediate impact, with Tanner firing the Fir Parkers ahead inside the first five minutes.
A clipped ball towards the ‘Well front men was nodded down neatly by Bowman in to the path of Tanner, who’s clever touch kept away the surrounding Dee defence and afforded the Englishman the time to finish high past the helpless Scott Bain.
Motherwell’s number 27 nearly had his second of the game just five minutes later when a clever, low corner found the peeling run of the goalscorer, who struck it low and hard on target, only for Bain to palm away from danger.
Fisher and Frear looked lively all evening and the latter sent in a terrific cross in the 16th minute which fizzed across the six-yard box, whilst the former struck a terrific low effort on target from the edge of the box which Bain did well to keep out.
Shortly after the half hour mark, the hosts were handed a golden opportunity to grab an equaliser despite barely laying a glove on the Steelmen for the opening 30 minutes.
A clear tackle from Carl McHugh trundled all the way back towards Trevor Carson who had time to think before picking the ball up, which referee Stephen Finnie deemed to be a pass back – resulting in an indirect freekick for Neil McCann’s side.
Kevin Holt laid it off for Roarie Deacon but the Dee man fluffed his chance and dragged his effort well wide of the mark.
The home side had the ball in the back of the net in the 41st minute but it was disallowed due to Sofien Moussa’s clear push on Peter Hartley as the striker nodded the ball home.
Dundee started to drag themselves back in to the fixture but half time arrived at a good time for the ‘Well, who had started to let their hold on the match slip following a superb start.
Chris Cadden was introduced to the action early in the second half before goal scorer Tanner made way on the hour mark to be replaced by Louis Moult.
Just seconds after the change, the Fir Parkers were inches from doubling their lead when Frear’s delightful cross curled between Bain and his backtracking defence and just narrowly ahead of the onrushing Tait, who was the only one who read the cross but couldn’t quite prod it home.
Nine minutes from time, Bigirimana should have made it two and with it, all but confirmed the three points when he linked up brilliantly with Moult.
The Burundian played it in to the substitute, who flicked a neat back-heel in to the midfielders run, but his touch took the last Dee man out of the game to leave him with just Bain to beat, but his finish was straight at the stopper.
Moult went close with a freekick in the final few minutes, but a slight deflection off the top of the wall took it away from goal and kept the deficit to one with just stoppage time remaining.
The Steelmen saw the game out well, keeping the ball and keeping the hosts pegged back in their own half, with one tame Marcus Haber header the only real threat on Carson’s goal in the final stages of the match as some crucial clearing headers from Tait, Kipré, Dunne, McHugh and Frear quelled any long hopeful long balls from the home side.
Alastair Reilly at Dens Park
FT: Dundee 0 – 1 Motherwell.
The Steelmen leave Dens park with their first three points since 2013. COYW!!!!!!
90′ | 0-1
There will be three minutes added on
86′ | 0-1
Decent chance there for Haber but again it’s a routine stop for Carson from the header
83′ | 0-1
Chance here as Cadden wins a free-kick 25 yards out…Moult’s shot is deflected over the bar.
81′ | 0-1
What a chance for Bigirimana as he gets on the end of Moult’s backheel but Bain makes a sensational save to deny him!
70′ | 0-1
Cadden booked for kicking the ball away as Dundee had a free-kick
Motherwell also make a change, Grimshaw on for Hartley
65′ | 0-1
Dundee make their final change, Moussa off for Leitch-Smith
60′ | 0-1
Great ball across the face of goal from Frear which is read by Tait but he is inches away from making contact
59′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, Tanner off for Moult
56′ | 0-1
And a Dundee change, Deacon off for McGowan.
53′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, Bowman makes way for Cadden
52′ | 0-1
Great wing play by Frear cutting in off the left but he can’t quite find a man with his cut-back.
Kamara gets the second 45 underway. COYW!!
HT: Dundee 0 – 1 Motherwell
The Steelmen with a goal advantage going into the break.
45′ | 0-1
There will be two minutes added on.
43′ | 0-1
Great chance for Moussa to level but he fires harmlessly at Carson from 12 yards.
41′ | 0-1
Dundee have the ball in the net but it’s disallowed. Not entirely sure why….
39′ | 0-1
Close. Corner is sent looping into the air at the front post then headed over the bar by Hartley.
35′ | 0-1
Deacon fires the free-kick well wide of the post.
33′ | 0-1
Indirect free-kick to Dundee inside the box. McHugh hits the ball but was never an intentional pass back which Carson picked up
31′ | 0-1
Dundee sub, O’Dea off for Waddell
30′ | 0-1
O’Dea booked for a clear shoulder charge on Tanner as he broke away.
27′ | 0-1
Deacon booked for a high tackle on Tanner inside the Motherwell half.
24′ | 0-1
‘Well have a free-kick wide on the left which Tait whips in but Bain punches to safety.
18′ | 0-1
Nice turn and low shot from distance by Fisher is well saved by Bain, low to his right. Great effort.
16′ | 0-1
Close! Frear fizzes a ball across goal and somehow the Dundee defence manage to clear!
10′ | 0-1
‘Well work a short corner which gives Tanner some space inside the box but his shot is palmed away by Bain.
5′ | 0-1
Ball is clipped into Fisher, which was nodded on to the path of TANNER who poked the ball past Bain!!
Tanner gets the action underway. COYW!!
Out come both sides, it’s a cold one up here in Dundee. Usual colours for each team.
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson:
Dundee manager Neil McCann