Grant Russell at Dens Park
Motherwell booked their place in the last eight of the Scottish Cup with an assured win over Dundee.
Goals from Craig Tanner and Curtis Main did the job for the Steelmen, who now go into the draw for the quarter finals of the competition.
Manager Stephen Robinson made just one change to the team that defeated St Johnstone 2-0 in midweek. Injury saw Allan Campbell drop out of the squad completely, with Tanner taking his starting place.
Within three minutes of the start, Motherwell had the ball in the net.
From a corner kick, Cédric Kipré rose well to head the ball back across goal, where Tom Aldred was on hand to smash the ball into the net.
But his effort was ruled out for offside, with the far side linesman immediately lifting his flag to quell the celebrations.
Motherwell continued to dominate and Curtis Main was the next to test the reactions of the travelling support.
The striker found room 25 yards out from goal and, sensing his opportunity, fizzed a left-footed shot towards goal.
‘Keeper Elliott Parish was stranded and the supporters behind the goal were on their feet in expectation, but the ball just bulleted wide of the right post.
Just two minutes later, Nadir Çiftçi was the next to be presented with a golden chance. A cross from Chris Cadden from the right landed kindly to him six yards out, but his diverted header past Parish also dropped agonisingly wide of the left post.
Motherwell were the dominant team and they finally made that pay as the game hit the half hour work.
Great build-up play eventually led to the ball landing at the feet of Tanner 25 yards from goal. With Main screaming to be laid in to his left, the forward instead saw the opportunity to catch the ball on the half volley.
It turned out to be the right call. His left-footed shot dipped and bounced under the dive of Parish and nestled into the right hand corner of the net to give the Steelmen a deserved lead.
A battle ensued as the first half wore on. Çiftçi found himself in the book after clattering into Paul McGowan, who was also shown a yellow card as he responded by going in aggressively while the Motherwell man lay on the ground.
As half time approached, Motherwell then had a shout for a penalty waved away by referee Bobby Madden. Carl McHugh’s header from 12 yards was blocked, leading to big appeals from the players around him that a hand had been used to do so, but nothing was given.
Immediately up the other end, Dundee went close. A free kick from the right found Darren O’Dea’s run but his header dropped over the crossbar.
Straight after the restart, Dundee arguably should have levelled.
Sofien Moussa found himself with room at the front post but, with the cross from the right coming in low and with pace, he just failed to get it under control and it bobbled harmlessly away.
The Dark Blues continued to apply pressure. Mark O’Hara was next with a chance, his shot from 25 yards sending Trevor Carson stretching to tip it over the top.
Aurtenexte was the next to cause problems amongst the Motherwell backline. Finding himself one on one with Kipre, he cut inside to leave the defender trailing before bearing down on Carson.
In the blink of an eye, the Dundee man’s shot was heading for goal but the big goalkeeper was down quick and low to turn the ball away.
The sucker punch then arrived for the hosts. A long ball forward caused panic in the Dundee defence, with Parish rushing out of his area to try and clear.
Main’s presence alone turned the situation into a positive one for the visitors, and he beat Holt to the ball to nick it past the goalkeeper 18 yards out and into the empty net.
The 1447 travelling Motherwell fans continued to roar their team on as the game petered out without much more in the way of chances for either side.
A place in the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup now awaits Robinson’s men, one game away from another potential trip to Hampden Park.