Scottish Premiership
Dundee0Motherwell1

Dundee 0-1 Motherwell

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Dundee 0-1 Motherwell

Motherwell closed to within one point of sixth-placed Kilmarnock thanks to a close-range finish from Craig Tanner at Dundee.

The midfielder knocked in his ninth goal of the season, finishing off a low cross from Curtis Main.

Dundee improved after the interval but could not avoid slumping to a fourth successive defeat at Dens Park.

The hosts' best chances all fell to defenders, with Josh Meekings going close with a strong header.

With Dundee's American owner Tim Keyes watching from the stands, the home players certainly began the game on the front foot.

Mark O'Hara made great strides down the right wing and although his teasing cross into the box was collected by Paul McGowan the midfielder took too long to control the ball and the chance was gone.

Meekings was also keen to utilise his long throw-in prowess but there was no way through a packed Motherwell defence.

The game was crying out for a goal and home striker Sofien Moussa was inches away with a volley from a Roarie Deacon corner that had goalkeeper Trevor Carson scampering across his line.

Then, just after the half hour mark, against the run of play the visitors took a dramatic lead.

Dundee's Roarie Deacon in tackled by Nadir Ciftci
There were several robust challenges but very little quality on show

Curtis Main found space down the right and sent a low ball across the six yard box. With the home defence sleeping, Tanner was all alone at the back post to give Motherwell the lead.

The home players no doubt felt the full force of manager Neil McCann's half-time team talk and were much brighter in the opening period of the second half.

Centre-back Genseric Kusunga blasted over from close range when it looked easier to score and then Meekings headed narrowly past the post as they strived for an equaliser.

Motherwell attacks were becoming rarer as the game progressed and Simon Murray was next to try his luck for Dundee as he skipped past the visitors defence only to be denied by the impressive Carson.

The home side were now pushing more and more men forward. That left spaces at the back but the Steelmen rarely ventured beyond the halfway line, content with their one-goal lead.

Deep into stoppage time Dundee had loud calls for a penalty turned down by referee Alan Muir after the ball struck the arm of Cedric Kipre at close quarters as he defended an overhead kick from AJ Leitch-Smith.

As the home players surrounded Muir, McCann was furious on the touchline as his team slipped down a place to ninth.

Post-match reaction

Dundee manager Neil McCann: "A bit of a sense of injustice. We absolutely dominated the match. They have one attack possibly worth noting and they score from it but I'm more angry because I had spoken to the officials about (Curtis) Main.

"I'm speaking from a forwards point of view but when there are defenders going to challenge and the striker is not interested in the ball, he takes one look at the ball and then bangs into defenders, that's a free-kick. I'm angry about losing a poor goal again but I'm more angry with a stonewall penalty not being given. I feel very aggrieved right now.

"I've spoken to all the officials. I spoke to the assistant referee who suggested to (referee) Alan Muir that yes it did strike an arm but his arms were in against his body. His arms are not against his body. There is no reason for (Cedric) Kipre's hands to be out where they were.

"He stopped the ball going over his head and it should have been a penalty."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "We will play a lot better than that on occasions. Last week, against Killie, we played very well and created so many situations but didn't take the win. Football is a strange game.

"We took our chance and held on and showed great character. Our back five today, with Carl McHugh in the middle of the pitch, were absolutely superb. If you want to be a top six team, you have to come to places and dig in and fight and I'm absolutely proud of the players.

"They put a lot of crosses into the box, mainly from us giving stupid free kicks away. But we dealt with it. If I'm a fan and I'm watching the players putting everything on the line I'm delighted with that."

Line-ups

Dundee

  • 12Parish
  • 5Kusunga
  • 24Meekings
  • 4Caulker
  • 2KerrSubstituted forAurtenetxeat 68'minutes
  • 14O'Hara
  • 8Kamara
  • 21Deacon
  • 18McGowanBooked at 75minsSubstituted forEl Bakhtaouiat 87'minutes
  • 9MoussaSubstituted forLeitch-Smithat 57'minutes
  • 17Murray

Substitutes

  • 6O'Dea
  • 7Leitch-Smith
  • 15Aurtenetxe
  • 20El Bakhtaoui
  • 27Curran
  • 28Spence
  • 67Malherbe

Motherwell

  • 1Carson
  • 21Kipre
  • 19Aldred
  • 18Dunne
  • 7Cadden
  • 22Campbell
  • 8McHughBooked at 75mins
  • 2Tait
  • 27TannerBooked at 62minsSubstituted forRoseat 64'minutes
  • 23CiftciBooked at 51minsSubstituted forBowmanat 53'minutes
  • 9MainSubstituted forNewellat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Bigirimana
  • 11Frear
  • 12Bowman
  • 13Griffiths
  • 15Rose
  • 24Newell
  • 34Maguire
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
5,003

Match Stats

Home TeamDundeeAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home10
Away1
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home12
Away0
Fouls
Home11
Away22

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee 0, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee 0, Motherwell 1.

Foul by Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee).

Richard Tait (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Cedric Kipre.

Josh Meekings (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Foul by Glen Kamara (Dundee).

Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Faissal El Bakhtaoui replaces Paul McGowan.

Foul by A-Jay Leitch-Smith (Dundee).

Carl McHugh (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Roarie Deacon (Dundee).

Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Carl McHugh.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Charles Dunne.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. George Newell replaces Curtis Main.

A-Jay Leitch-Smith (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Charles Dunne.

Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Cadden (Motherwell).

Genséric Kusunga (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Carl McHugh (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul McGowan (Dundee).

Booking

Carl McHugh (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Paul McGowan (Dundee) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Steven Caulker (Dundee).

Charles Dunne (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Chris Cadden.

Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Andy Rose (Motherwell).

Foul by Steven Caulker (Dundee).

Charles Dunne (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Aurtenetxe replaces Cammy Kerr because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Simon Murray (Dundee) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27187254183661
2Rangers28174755312455
3Aberdeen27164743311252
4Hibernian2813964032848
5Hearts2891182826238
6Kilmarnock269983335-236
7Motherwell28105133437-335
8St Johnstone2686122436-1230
9Dundee2884163043-1328
10Hamilton2675143648-1226
11Partick Thistle2866162647-2124
12Ross County2856172948-1921
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories