Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell1Dundee UtdDundee United0

Motherwell 1-0 Dundee United

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland Sport
  • 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.

Motherwell fan banners
Motherwell fans held banners listing the achievements of former manager Stuart McCall

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.

Motherwell caretaker Kenny Black
Kenny Black took charge after the resignation of Motherwell manager Stuart McCall
Motherwell midfielder Iain Vigurs celebrates
Iain Vigurs missed a good chance in the first half but finally hit the net after the break
Lionel Ainsworth slips the ball past Radoslaw Cierzniak
Lionel Ainsworth looked to have put Motherwell 2-0 ahead but was ruled offside
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara was left to ponder missed chances

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 12Twardzik
  • 20Kerr
  • 5Ramsden
  • 6McManusBooked at 41mins
  • 15O'BrienBooked at 15mins
  • 2Reid
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forLawat 77'minutes
  • 14Lasley
  • 11Vigurs
  • 24OjamaaBooked at 63mins
  • 9Sutton

Substitutes

  • 4Carswell
  • 8Lawson
  • 13Nielsen
  • 16McHugh
  • 17Francis-Angol
  • 18Law
  • 22Moore

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 6PatonBooked at 90mins
  • 4SouttarSubstituted forMorrisat 78'minutes
  • 5FojutBooked at 63mins
  • 3Townsend
  • 17Erskine
  • 8Rankin
  • 10Armstrong
  • 18Dow
  • 24SpittalSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 59'minutes
  • 22ConnollySubstituted forCiftciat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Dillon
  • 7Ciftci
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 14Morris
  • 20Butcher
  • 21Telfer
  • 26Szromnik
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
3,961

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home6
Away14
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 1, Dundee United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Dundee United 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Henrik Ojamaa (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Dow (Dundee United).

  5. Post update

    John Sutton (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Conor Townsend (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is too high.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

  9. Post update

    Mark O'Brien (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).

  11. Post update

    Fraser Kerr (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mark O'Brien.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Josh Law.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).

  15. Post update

    Josh Law (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Callum Morris replaces John Souttar.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Josh Law replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Rankin (Dundee United) header from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Iain Vigurs.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee Utd138142214825
2Hamilton1273222101224
3Celtic117222371623
4Inverness CT12723159623
5Aberdeen127141815322
6Kilmarnock126241513220
7Dundee125431714319
8St Johnstone12417915-613
9Partick Thistle113351616012
10Motherwell13319821-1310
11St Mirren122281021-118
12Ross County12129929-205
View full Scottish Premiership table

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