Friday's Scottish football as it happened

Dundee United defeat Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership as Hamilton edge out Livingston in the Championship.

21 February 2014 Last updated at 19:18 GMT

As it happened

  1. 19:18: 

    Good evening and welcome to another Friday night of Scottish football. The big game is at Tannadice, where Motherwell and Dundee United continue their pursuit of not only a place in the top six but European football. Down in the Championship, second-top Hamilton Academical host Livingston.

  2. 19:24: 
    GET INVOLVED

    So are you in favour of Friday night football now that it seems to be a fixture (no pun intended) of the Scottish football scene? Can Motherwell or United challenge Aberdeen for second spot in the Premiership?

    Give us your thoughts by texting 80295 or message me on Twitter @CliveLindsayBBC.

  3. 19:25: 

    Dundee United make two changes. Young talents Ryan Gauld and John Souttar have failed to recover from injuries, so Gavin Gunning comes into defence and Ryan Dow into midfield.

  4. 19:26: 

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall sticks with the same team that defeated Partick Thistle 4-3. It means that new signing Craig Reid, the 27-year-old former Queen of the South defender, is given a place on the bench after joining McCall's squad today following his release by Championship outfit Morton.

  5. 19:27: 
    Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara on BBC Radio Scotland

    "Unfortunately, the two young boys have not made it and hopefully the ones who come in can do a job for us.

    "The difference in the last couple of games is that goals have been going in for us despite some things going against us.

    "It is important to win your home matches to catch the ones above us."

  6. 19:28: 
    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall on BBC Radio Scotland

    "We have a decent record here and they are usually entertaining games.

    "A lot is said about their young players, but they have quality throughout their ranks.

    "They played well down at our place, but we had a few out that day to be fair to the lads and we're back on course now.

    "We have a few injuries, but Lasley and Carswell have passed themselves fit.

    "They probably aren't 100 per cent, but that says a lot about them."

  7. 19:30: 

    Motherwell can move two points ahead of Aberdeen with a victory over Dundee United at Tannadice. Of course, the Dons have their own chance to gather three more points when they travel to Glasgow to face Partick Thistle in one of five games tomorrow.

  8. 19:30: 

    Dundee United are hoping to narrow the gap between themselves and Motherwell to six points, especially as the Fir Park outfit have a game in hand.

  9. 19:32: 
    LINE-UPS

    Dundee Utd: Cierzniak, Watson, Gunning, Good, Robertson, Paton, Rankin, Mackay-Steven, Armstrong, Dow, Ciftci. Subs: Dillon, Graham, Wilson, McCallum, Gomis, El Alagui, Connolly.

    Motherwell: Nielsen, Hammell, Hutchinson, McManus, Francis-Angol, Ainsworth, Lasley, Carswell, Vigurs, McFadden, Sutton. Subs: Hollis, Murray, Anier, Leitch, Shirkie, Thomas, Reid.

    Referee: Bobby Madden

  10. 19:33: 
    LINE-UPS

    Hamilton: Cuthbert, Gordon, Canning, Garcia Tena, Gillespie, Andreu, Mackinnon, Crawford, Longridge, Scotland, Keatings. Subs: Hendrie, Devlin, Routledge, Currie, Docherty, Ryan, Antoine-Curier.

    Livingston: Jamieson, Fordyce, Mevlja, Sives, Mampuya, Keaghan Jacobs, O'Brien, Kyle Jacobs, Talbot, Mullen, Scott. Subs: McNulty, Denholm, Habai, Walker, Wilkie, Praprotnik, Rutherford.

    Referee: Craig Charleston

  11. 19:34: 

    Dundee United are playing their third straight home game - and are seeking a third consecutive win, with St Mirren and Kilmarnock having already left Tannadice without even a single point. Jackie McNamara's side are unbeaten in three games, having drawn their last away game with Partick Thistle.

  12. 19:34: 

    Motherwell got back to winning ways - after two games without a victory - by beating Partick Thistle 4-3 in a dramatic finale at Fir Park last weekend.

  13. 19:34: 

    Motherwell will be seeking revenge for that 4-0 hammering by United on their own patch in November. However, their last visit to Tannadice resulted in a 2-2 draw and they have not lost on their last five visits to the home of the Tangerines.

  14. 19:39: 

    Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson has been on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW talking about some more good news on the financial front for the home club. Earlier this month, a group of fans agreed to wipe out the club's bank debt and now they have announced that they made a profit of £319,000 last season - their fourth profit in five years. More on that later.

  15. 19:45: 

    Craig Reid is a bit of a surprise choice to be given a contract by Motherwell considering he has just been released by a Championship club, Morton. However, Well manager Stuart McCall has been on BBC Radio Scotland explaining that the 27-year-old had impressed on trial. McCall said that, because a number of his players are struggling with injuries, Reid is an important addition as the defender can play in several positions. The manager added that Reid was keen to take the chance - on minimal money - to "put himself in the shop window". Who can argue with McCall's recent record in the transfer market? You might....give us a text or tweet!

  16. 19:46: 
    KICK-OFF

    Here we go at Tannadice, with United in their traditional Tangerine and Motherwell in black with white socks.

  17. 19:49: 

    United have an early chance with a free-kick 30 yards from goal, but it takes a deflection off the top of the crossbar for a corner.

  18. 19:50: 

    Of course, me being colour blind. That was Motherwell!

  19. 19:51: 

    I was that busy wondering why James McFadden wasn't taking it. As the guys on radio were just saying, there was a time when the one-time Scotland hero would have been first to the ball. Instead, Keith Lasley was the man who took the kick. from the corner, John Sutton is close to making contact in front of goal.

  20. 19:51: 
    CLOSE

    United midfielder John Rankin slides in to meet a cross that finds its way to the back post, but it trickles wide of the far post with goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen struggling.

  21. 19:54: 

    Andy Robertson looks to celebrate his call-up to the Scotland squad with a trademark thrust towards the edge of the penalty box, but the left-back's drive flies well wide. However, the highlight of that move was a cheeky bit of nimble footwork from Nadir Çiftçi, the impressive Turk having taken a few tips from team-mate Gary Mackay-Steven perhaps.

  22. 19:56: 

    United are the ones who are looking the more dangerous and John Rankin is next to let fly, although his first-time volley from the edge of the box flies high into the empty stand behind the Motherwell goal.

  23. 19:58: 

    A last-ditch tackle from Motherwell defender Stephen McManus nicks the ball off the toes of Andy Robertson as the full-back bursts into the penalty box after a clever wee flick through from Ryan Dow.

  24. 20:04: 

    Motherwell are living dangerously and Zaine Francis-Angol just gets back in time to deny Stuart Armstrong in the six-yard box then Stephen McManus has to clear a Gary Mackay-Steven cross from in front of his own goal.

  25. 20:06: 

    There must be some Galatasaray scouts in the stand. Nadir Çiftçi is putting on a real show of tricks and flicks and this time back-heels the ball over the head of a mesmerised Stephen McManus only to send his first-time volley over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

  26. 20:07: 
    GOAL - Dundee United 1-0 Motherwell (Ryan Dow)

    What a howler by Shaun Hutchinson. The big centre-half makes a mess of his attempt at a pass back and Ryan Dow has the simple job of slotting the ball past advancing Motherwell goalkeeper Gunnar Nielson.

  27. 20:13: 

    It had been coming. United would have been dreaming about repeating that 4-0 scoreline achieved at Fir Park earlier in the season. Now they must be thinking they have a good chance of making it a reality.

  28. 20:14: 

    James McFadden somehow escapes a yellow card for a lunging, studs-first challenge on Paul Paton. I know he has lost a lot of pace, but McFadden turning into a hatchet man just shows the Motherwell frustration.

  29. 20:16: 

    United defender Gaving Gunning rises at the back post to head towards the Motherwell goal, but it does not have enough power to trouble Gunnar Nielsen.

  30. 20:17: 
    GOAL - Hamilton Academical 1-0 Livingston (Jason Scotland)

    Former Trinidad and Tobago striker Jason Scotland fires home from close range to score his second goal in five games for Hamilton after arriving during January from Barnsley.

  31. 20:21: 
    GREAT SAVE!

    United goalkeeper Radosław Cierzniak somehow gets a strong hand to the ball on the goal line to deny Iain Vigurs. The midfielder pounced on a John Sutton head flick and fired in a powerful drive on the turn from only seven yards.

  32. 20:23: 

    It is turning into a bit of an end-to-end affair and Nadir Çiftçi squanders a chance for United. The Turkish striker has impressed so far with his trickery, but this time his skill escapes him as he fires well wide after doing well to make space for himself just inside the penalty area.

  33. 20:26: 

    Another blistering break from United and Stuart Armstrong and Nadir Çiftçi both have efforts blocked in front of goal.

  34. 20:27: 
    GOAL - Dundee United 2-0 Motherwell (Gavin Gunning)

    Gavin Gunning makes a scoring return to the United side. From the corner, Nadir Ciftci, while running away from goal, somehow strains his neck to turn the ball back into the six-yard box and the defender is standing alone at the back post to fire into the net.

  35. 20:33: 
    HALF-TIME - Dundee United 2-0 Motherwell
  36.  
    Join the debate at #bbcsportscot

    Sedara Oluwadara: "Motherwell can even win the league." I know that was sent just before the second goal, but I assume you are full of sarcasm!

  37. 20:38: 
    HALF-TIME - Hamilton Academical 1-0 Livingston
  38. 20:40: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

    "I would give credit to a Dundee United performance of the highest quality. They have been incisive, direct and clinical. It is either going to be a three, four or five nil or Motherwell can get something back and turn it because United are having difficulty handling John Sutton at set-pieces."

  39.  
    Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara celebrates after Ryan Dow puts their side 1-0 ahead against Motherwell at Tannadice Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara celebrates after Ryan Dow puts their side 1-0 ahead against Motherwell at Tannadice
  40. 20:45: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

    "Stuart McCall will want his team to come out of the traps after the break. Motherwell will have to come forward, but that might leave them vulnerable at the back. When they've go the ball into the box, admittedly without any great play, there is a chance for them to get back into the game."

  41. 20:48: 
    KICK-OFF

    Nadir Ciftci wins a free-kick right the start of the second period.

  42. 20:49: 
    GOAL - Dundee United 3-0 Motherwell (Gavin Gunning)

    Gavin Gunning hadn't scored this season until his return to the United side tonight and now he has two. Nadir Ciftci looks like he wants to take the free-kick he won himself but leaves it for Gunning and the defender's low drive goes in off the far post, via a deflection, from 30 yards.

  43. 20:53: 

    Motherwell have had three wins and a couple of draws in their last five visits to Tannadice. However, they look like they are heading for defeat here unless there is a major change in fortunes - and they have few resources on their injury-hit bench to suggest there is much they can do much about it.

  44. 20:54: 

    James McFadden is understandably not a happy man. Not just about the scoreline but the fly stamp on the Motherwell forward's back by Paul Paton after the forward wins a free-kick after being dumped to the deck 22 yards out.

  45. 20:56: 

    Motherwell at last force Radosław Cierzniak into another save, but the goalkeeper gather's Lionel Ainsworth's low drive towards the near post at the second attempt.

  46. 20:58: 
    PENALTY

    Nadir Cifcti concedes a penalty and is booked after a James McFadden free-kick strikes the United striker's arm in the defensive wall.

  47. 20:59: 
    GOAL - Dundee United 3-1 Motherwell (John Sutton)

    John Sutton sends United goalkeeper Radosław Cierzniak the wrong way from the penalty spot. Nadir Ciftci has been the star of the show for United tonight, but he has blotted his copybook with that rather stupid and needless hand ball.

  48. 21:02: 

    Stuart Armstrong powers a drive wide after a free-kick fired into the penalty box is only cleared as far as the D. The United midfielder should have at least hit the target.

  49. 21:06: 

    The talk in the radio studio - and no doubt after we publish the highlights of the game on the BBC Sport website tonight - was a call for a Motherwell penalty shortly after Gavin Gunning's first (and United's second) goal. On a second look, it seems that the goalscorer barged Iain Vigurs as the visiting Motherwell charged into the box.

  50. 21:07: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Motherwell introduce new signing Craig Reid, with the former Morton right-back replacing Lionel Ainsworth. That would mean Zaine Francis-Angol moving up into midfield and Steven Hammell switching to his more natural left-back spot.

  51.  
    Jason Scotland (left) celebrates after putting Hamilton ahead against Livingston in the Championship. Jason Scotland (left) put Hamilton ahead against Livingston in the Championship.
  52. 21:16: 
    BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

    "When it was slick football, United had all the answers. But now it is a bit more of a battle, Motherwell are coming more into the game. You can see from the reaction from the crowd, there's a few nerves around now."

  53.  
    Ryan Gow looks to the heavens after opening the scoring. Ryan Gow opened the scoring for United against Motherwell.
  54. 21:18: 

    Motherwell are going to go for it, with Estonia striker Henri Anier poised to come on for midfielder Iain Vigurs.

  55. 21:19: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Motherwell make that change, with Henri Anier joining John Sutton up front. However, it is Stuart Carswell who is withdrawn from midfield.

  56. 21:21: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    United, who have goalscorer Gavin Gunning nursing a bloody lip, make a change of their own, with scorer Ryan Dow being replaced with on-loan Brentford forward Farid El Alagui.

  57.  
    Gavin Gunning (left) celebrates his second goal. Gavin Gunning (left) scored twice for United at Tannadice.
  58. 21:25: 
    GREAT SAVE!

    United go close to extending their lead, but a fine double save from Gunnar Nielsen denies Gary Mackay-Steven then Stuart Armstrong.

  59. 21:27: 

    A long throw causes problems inside the United penalty box and, after a John Sutton flick-on, Andrew Robertson just manages to clear at the back post.

  60. 21:28: 

    Zaine Francis-Angol has a shot blocked 12 yards from goal after a flick from Henri Anier as a desperate Motherwell apply some belated pressure.

  61. 21:31: 

    Henri Anier sends a header wide with United goalkeeper Radosław Cierzniak stranded after having come off his line for an ill-advised slap at a ball thrown into the United penalty box.

  62. 21:31: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Aidan Connolly comes on for Stuart Armstrong and the teenage midfielder will hope to make a similar impact as former Queen's Park team-mate Andrew Robertson now he has been given a chance - of course, he has only been given a few minutes to do so on this occasion.

  63.  
    John Sutton celebrates his goal from the penalty spot John Sutton scored from the penalty spot for Motherwell.
  64. 21:34: 

    It looks like it is too late for a late Motherwell comeback now.

  65. 21:36: 
    FULL-TIME - Dundee United 3-1 Motherwell
  66. 21:38: 
    GOAL - Hamilton Academical 2-0 Livingston (Mickael Antoine-Curier)

    Mickael Antoine-Curier fires a deserved stoppage-time settler after a second-half that disappointed as a spectacle. However, Accies fans will be happy that the victory takes them to within a point of Dundee, although the Championship leaders do have a game in hand. Livingston miss a chance to go level with fifth-top Dumbarton.

  67. 21:43: 
    FULL-TIME - Hamilton Academical 2-0 Livingston
  68. 21:45: 

    Dundee United record their third straight win - all at home - to move to within six points of third-top Motherwell. Aberdeen can stretch the gap between themselves and Motherwell to four points should they win away to Partick Thistle tomorrow.

  69.  
    Join the debate at #bbcsportscot

    Andrew Priestley: "Aberdeen are in the box-seat for 2nd place in the SPL. They're riding the crest of a wave at the minute."

  70. 21:48: 

    There are worrying signs for Motherwell. After a run of six victories, they have now only won once in their last four outings and conceded 11 goals.

  71.  
    Text us on 80295

    Jim McGuckin, a Celtic fan from Addiewell: "Thanks boys - enjoyed that game. Scottish football on the up and up and good to see the New Firm on the rise again. Stuart has done a great job at Fir Park, but his team in Europe are as much good as a handbrake on a canoe, so hope Jackie and Derek at Dons can get a bit further."

  72. 21:52: 
    Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara on BBC Radio Scotland

    "For the first-half performance, we thoroughly deserved to win.

    "I thought it wasn't a very good match after that. It was percentage football at times.

    "But I think that's equalled the number of wins we had last season, so that's progress."

  73. 22:03: 
    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall on BBC Radio Scotland

    "The way we lost the first two goals was really poor and sloppy.

    "Then after, the second-half performance, it would have been easy to crumble after losing a deflected free-kick just after the break.

    "They showed a lot of guts and character. We've still got the stomach for the battle and they proved that.

    "That's the second defeat in 10 and we can't rest on our laurels and accept that.

    "I know the characters there, we'll lick our wounds and come out fighting on Tuesday night."

  74. 22:08: 

    Thanks for your company tonight for an exciting game at Tannadice. Hopefully there are as many silky skills and goals in tomorrow's five Scottish Premiership games. Please join us again for our coverage of those. Meanwhile, you can read Andrew Southwick's match report here. and watch out for the highlights of the match between Dundee United and Motherwell when they are published here at midnight.

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 21 Feb 2014 UK

Scottish Premiership summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Celtic 25 48 69
No movement 2 Aberdeen 25 14 48
No movement 3 Motherwell 25 3 47
No movement 4 Dundee Utd 26 15 41
No movement 5 Inverness CT 23 8 38
No movement 6 St Johnstone 24 2 32
No movement 7 Hibernian 25 -5 31
No movement 8 Kilmarnock 26 -12 26
No movement 9 St Mirren 26 -18 24
No movement 10 Ross County 25 -15 22
No movement 11 Partick Thistle 26 -18 22
No movement 12 Hearts 26 -22 6

As It Stood Table

Last updated 21 Feb 2014 UK

Scottish Championship summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Dundee 24 18 46
No movement 2 Hamilton 25 14 45
No movement 3 Falkirk 24 16 40
No movement 4 Queen of Sth 24 6 35
No movement 5 Dumbarton 24 0 35
No movement 6 Livingston 25 -1 32
No movement 7 Raith Rovers 23 -5 30
No movement 8 Alloa 23 -7 29
No movement 9 Cowdenbeath 24 -17 25
No movement 10 Morton 24 -24 16