Motherwell 0-0 Dundee Utd

By Fraser GibsonBBC Scotland

Motherwell's pursuit of second-placed Celtic was held up at Fir Park as they were shut out by Dundee United in a frustrating goalless draw at Fir Park.

Stuart McCall's side have been rampant on the road but have failed to hit the heights at home.

Michael Higdon had netted for the league high-flyers, but his strike was disallowed as the ball had crossed the bye-line in the build-up.

United impressed in the first half before a second-half Motherwell rally.

Omar Daley was part of a two-pronged Jamaican wing attack alongside Chris Humphrey and he set up the home side's first opportunity after 10 minutes.

The Caribbean player fed Higdon but Dundee United keeper Dusan Pernis tipped the effort past his right-hand post for a corner.

Dundee United sent a reminder that they were a threat when Gary Mackay-Steven turned on the edge of the box and unleashed a strike straight at goal which Darren Randolph easily dealt with.

The wild, windy conditions were causing problems for both teams but early deliveries from wide were poor in any case from the visitors, especially.

A fast break from Motherwell with Humphrey at the heart of it led to a wild left-foot volley soaring over the bar from Keith Lasley just after the half-hour mark.

The Lanarkshire side then had the ball in the net but referee Iain Brines disallowed Higdon's effort.

Motherwell winger Omar Daley
Motherwell's Omar Daley troubles the Dundee United defence

Humphrey had set up the striker to tap home after playing it off Jon Daly, but it was ruled that the ball had already gone over the bye-line when the former controlled it.

The action switched to the other end before half-time and Randolph made two good saves from John Rankin's left-foot strike and Daly's curling effort.

Well raced out of the blocks in the second half and defender Nicky Law saw his effort blocked in a crowded United penalty box.

Stuart McCall's third-placed side continued to press and Pernis saved well on the line from Shaun Hutchinson's header after Steven Hammell's in-swinging corner.

Peter Houston brought on defender Shaun Dillon for forward Johnny Russell in an attempt to halt the claret and amber tide but Motherwell continued to hold the upper hand.

Daley sped down the left wing and had an ideal chance to square for Higdon after he cut inside on 72 minutes. However, Pernis was down quickly to smother the ball.

Dundee United still fancied their chances of a winner and long-serving Lasley made a superb sliding tackle to dispossess Rankin when the visitors broke forward with purpose.

In a frantic closing period neither side could break the deadlock and the match finished goalless.

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