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Summary

  1. Motherwell's first match since departure of Stuart McCall
  2. Kenny Black in charge of home team
  3. Iain Vigurs scores only goal at Fir Park

Live Reporting

By Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

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I'll sign off now. Congratulations to Motherwell on a long overdue victory. I'm sure the players will want to dedicate that one to former manager Stuart McCall.

Dundee United look certain to be knocked off top spot over the weekend, with so many teams within striking distance.

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United will, of course, argue that the game would take on a different complexion if they had opened the scoring during that spell of first-half dominance. But that's the kind of thing that makes football the maddening compulsion that keeps us all coming back for more.

There were two bad offside calls from assistant referee Kylie McMullan. One for each side so I guess it worked out. Lionel Ainsworth had the ball in the net and Aidan Connolly would surely have tucked his chance away had play not been halted. At least that's what the Dundee United teenager will say...

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara

"It's frustrating. First half, we were a real threat going forward and on another night we'd have had the game wrapped up by half-time.

"I'm disappointed with some of things that went against us, the offsides and challenges."

Motherwell caretaker manager Kenny Black

"For sheer guts and endeavour I think we deserved the three points. We probably rode our luck at times but it was a marvellous performance. The players have laid down a marker now, that's the first clean sheet for a while.

"I'll enjoy the win and keep doing the job I've been asked to do until told differently."

BBC Sportsound pundit Allan Preston

"Keith Lasley grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. He really took control for Motherwell in the second half."

Will Kenny Black fancy the Motherwell job now? The caretaker boss has got a 100% record and clearly got a reaction from his team at the interval.

Motherwell took a bit of battering in the first half but United could not stick away any of the chances they created in the opening 45 minutes. The home side were a different animal after the break, far more aggressive in midfield and closing down their opponents all over the park.

FULL-TIME

Motherwell 1-0 Dundee United

Motherwell celebrate Iain Vigurs' goal
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Motherwell move on to double figures with just their third win of the season. It takes them above St Mirren into 10th spot with 10 points.

A huge cheer for Fraser Kerr as the Motherwell defender gallops forward to eat up some valuable time. The ball breaks for Henrik Ojamaa, who snakes into the penalty box and his low shot is kept out by the leg of Radoslaw Cierzniak.

YELLOW CARD

We'll get three extra minutes as Paul Paton picks up a caution for kicking the ball away in frustration.

Dundee United midfielder Stuart Armstrong gets to the byline and clips an inviting cross back for Conor Townsend but the full-back sends another great headed chance over the top.

Motherwell goalscorer Iain Vigurs connects with a dropping ball on the edge of the penalty area but his volley skids wide of the the target.

A nervous moment for the home fans as Chris Erskine gets to the byline to knock in a cross. Dan Twardzik gets a hand to it but appears to mis-time his jump and the ball floats towards his own goal but the keeper is a picture of calm as he retrieves it at the second time of asking.

Motherwell are sitting deeper and deeper now as Dundee United increase the tempo in search of a leveller. The visitors are leaving gaps at the back, which is dangerous with Henrik Ojamaa so fired up and full of running.

Dan Twardzik flops gratefully on a deflected strike from John Rankin after a frenzied spell of Dundee United pressure. The best chance fell to Chris Erskine but he could only get the slightest touch on Gary Mackay-Steven's low centre, with bodies flying all over the place in the home penalty area!

SUBSTITUTION

With 15 minutes remaining, Josh Law comes on for Mothewell winger Lionel Ainsworth.

United make their final change as Jon Souttar is replaced by fellow centre-back Callum Morris.

CLOSE!

Conor Townsend pops up at the other end of the park and he really should level the game as he meets Nadir Ciftci's delivery at the back post. A collective sigh of relief from the home fans as the full-back's header flashes over...

Henrik Ojamaa speeds forward again and his raking cross-field pass has Lionel Ainsworth haring after it but Conor Townsend gets in an important sliding tackle to poke the ball narrowly wide of his own goal from the edge of the penalty box.

CLOSE!

Motherwell forward Henrik Ojamaa is a man transformed as he cuts in from the left and absolutely melts a shot in the direction of the far top corner. It misses but not by much...

Motherwell are showing far more aggression in this second half as defender Simon Ramsden blooters the ball into a different postal code. That mighty hoof cleared the stand and may have amateur astronomers across Lanarkshire blinking down their telescopes.

YELLOW CARD

Classic handbags as Jaroslaw Fojut and Henrik Ojamaa indulge in some foolish pushing and shoving and both end up in referee Steven McLean's wee black book.

Nadir Ciftci is involved straight away but his first shot on goal is not a thing of beauty and he inspects the turf for a divot as the ball is retrieved from the stand.

SUBSTITUTION

Dundee United send for the big guns, bringing on Gary Mackay-Steven and Nadir Ciftci. It's the young guns making way as Aidan Connolly and Blair Spittal trot off.

DISALLOWED GOAL

It's another stinker from the assistant referee as Lionel Ainsworth gets a deft touch on a raking pass from Craig Reid to divert it past Radoslaw Cierzniak. It should be 2-0 but the offside flag is fluttering. Ouch!

GOAL

Motherwell 1-0 Dundee United (Vigurs)

The home side are in front as captain Keith Lasley drives forward and sets up Iain Vigurs on the left edge of the penalty area. The midfielder drills in a shot and it nicks off the toe of defender Jaroslaw Fojut and creeps past the paw of keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.

HITS THE WOODWORK

So close for Motherwell! A swift breaks allows Craig Reid to bang in a shot from the edge of the penalty box and United keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak spills it into the path of Lionel Ainsworth only for the winger to slam his effort against the junction of post and crossbar!

KICK-OFF

Motherwell get the action up and running again.

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Pie and Bovril on Twitter: "Dundee Utd's under-20 side doing really well tonight. Look by far more likely to break the deadlock."

What about the former Queen's Park connection at Tannadice? Aidan Connolly and Blair Spittal look very handy indeed. Could they follow Andy Robertson's route to riches in the English top flight and full international honours?

"This game could be over if United had a clinical finisher," is the opinion of former Tannadice player Allan Preston on Sportsound.

Nadir Ciftci is on the bench. Could he be the man to make the breakthrough for the visitors?

HALF-TIME

Motherwell 0-0 Dundee United

Dundee United are well on top at Fir Park
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Dundee United are well on top at Fir Park. The home defence has been under severe pressure from the visitors' lively forward line and much of that stems from the acres of space afforded to Jackie McNamara's side in the middle of the park.

However, the score remains 0-0 and Motherwell have a half-time team talk to sort out their troubles.

Remarkable! The Motherwell defence is opened up again as Aidan Connolly jinks past advancing goalie Dan Twardzik to slot into an open goal. But hang on; an offside flag goes up and the little midfielder bangs a shot from seven yards against the post. Did he see the assistant referee or hear a whistle?

Just to add to the drama, TV replays show the offside call was incorrect...

YELLOW CARD

Stephen McManus is booked for a cynical trip on Aidan Connolly. The former Scotland defender is blowing hard as he chases after these young United whippets...

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Andrew Priestly: "Patrick Kluivert to Motherwell? Well, Edgar Davids did manage Barnet for a spell last year. Stranger things could happen! #bbcscotfootball"

Neil Halliwell: "Surely Rafa Benitez can sort out all the European issues Motherwell have?! #bbcscotfootball"

GREAT SAVE!

Some very nifty footwork from Dan Twardzik as he back-pedals furiously to tip away a looping, deflected strike from Aidan Connolly.

United keep coming forward and Chris Erskine's fierce drive is pushed away by a diving Dan Twardzik.

Aidan Connolly splits the home defence to find his old Queen's Park team-mate Blair Spittal surging into the penalty area. Under pressure from two lunging defenders, he gives it the old toe-bash and the ball skids inches wide of the upright.

Aidan Connolly is a real livewire for United, showing two opponents a clean pair of heels to whip in a delicious cross from the left. If Ryan Dow can get a touch, it's 1-0 to the visitors, but the ball is just a whisker above his outstretched leg.

Henrik Ojamaa is away again, this time wriggling his way across the penalty box from the right but the Estonian doesn't manage to get a shot away, with John Rankin getting a toe to the ball in a vital clearance. It falls for Iain Vigurs but the home midfielder is leaning back and his rising shot fails to trouble visiting keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.