Match ends, Motherwell 1, Dundee United 0.
- Motherwell win first game under Kenny Black
- Well end run of five straight defeats
- United miss chance to stretch Premiership lead
- Well move above St Mirren into 10th
- Well end United's run of four wins at Fir Park
Iain Vigurs's strike was enough to defeat leaders Dundee United in Motherwell's first game since the resignation of manager Stuart McCall.
But United will wonder how they squandered this chance to stretch four points clear of Hamilton Academical.
Led by impressive 19-year-old Aidan Connolly, they tormented the home defence until Vigurs found the net with a low drive shortly after the break.
And Well protected their lead to end a run of five straight defeats.
As United's run of four successive victories at Fir Park came to an end, the home side moved above St Mirren into 10th place and, perhaps more crucially, five points clear of bottom side Ross County.
The minute's silence for Remembrance Day was observed impeccably while some Motherwell fans held up banners hailing the achievements of McCall, who resigned on Sunday.
Caretaker boss Kenny Black's first selection showed two changes from McCall's last, with Craig Reid and Mark O'Brien coming into defence in place of the dropped Zaine Francis-Angol and the injured Stevie Hammell.
Motherwell began with a confident bravado that contrasted with the listlessness that so frustrated the former Scotland midfielder that he tendered his resignation at the weekend.
However, the nimble forward play of Connolly, Blair Spittal, Chris Erskine and Ryan Dow gradually put the visitors on the ascendency as Well uncertainty returned.
Last-ditch Stephen McManus challenges were needed to deny Dow and Conor Townsend in front of goal then a looping Jaroslaw Fojut header brushed the far upright.
After Vigurs squandered a sight at goal, goalkeeper Dan Twardzik was Motherwell's star for the rest of the first half as he rushed out to force Spittal to poke just wide then thwarted drives from Erskine and Connolly.
When Connolly finally weaved a path past the Czech, the teenager was wrongly flagged for offside by assistant referee Kylie McMullan before firing off the post with the empty goal beckoning.
That same upright came to United's rescue shortly after the break as Radoslaw Cierzniak pushed a low Reid shot into the path of Lionel Ainsworth, who fired off the post and across the face of goal.
United were again exposed down their right seconds later and this time Vigurs's low drive evaded the reach of the Polish goalkeeper.
Well, suddenly looking more like the side who finished second in the top flight last season, ought to have been further ahead when Ainsworth beat the offside trap and flicked past Cierzniak only for McMullan's wayward flag to rule out another goal.
Townsend headed United's best two chances over the crossbar and Motherwell's Henrik Ojamaa was denied in the dying seconds by Cierzniak.
- 6McManusBooked at 41mins
- 15O'BrienBooked at 15mins
- 7AinsworthSubstituted forLawat 77'minutes
- 24OjamaaBooked at 63mins
- 6PatonBooked at 90mins
- 4SouttarSubstituted forMorrisat 78'minutes
- 5FojutBooked at 63mins
- 24SpittalSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 59'minutes
- 22ConnollySubstituted forCiftciat 59'minutes
- Steven McLean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Dundee United 0.
Attempt saved. Henrik Ojamaa (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Ryan Dow (Dundee United).
John Sutton (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Conor Townsend (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is too high.
Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).
Mark O'Brien (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).
Fraser Kerr (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mark O'Brien.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Josh Law.
Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).
Josh Law (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Dundee United. Callum Morris replaces John Souttar.
Substitution, Motherwell. Josh Law replaces Lionel Ainsworth.
Attempt blocked. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. John Rankin (Dundee United) header from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Iain Vigurs.