Motherwell 1-1 Dundee: Match Report
Motherwell 1-1 Dundee: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Dundee show some fight
Dundee provided further evidence that they could mount a serious fight against relegation as Nicky Riley's strike earned them a 1-1 draw against Motherwell.
Riley struck against the run of play before Motherwell finally made their first-half dominance count in injury-time when Michael Higdon followed up after Rab Douglas had stopped Henrik Ojamaa's shot.
The visitors refused to buckle though and survived intermittent spells of second-half pressure, which included a disallowed goal from Higdon, while showing a touch of menace on the break.
Barry Smith's side have now doubled their previous points tally in the space of two games as they followed up victory over Hearts, and are only four points off St Mirren at the foot of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
There was a negative to their day though as a section of their fans had to be shouted down as they sang through the opening stages of a Remembrance Day minute's silence.
Both sides were unchanged after Motherwell defender Shaun Hutchinson failed a fitness test and the hosts quickly took control with Ojamaa and Higdon both getting shots on target.
Dundee were looking sharp when they did attack though and Riley's return pass set up Steven Milne, but he shot straight at Darren Randolph and saw his appeal for a foul by Simon Ramsden ignored.
Motherwell continued to control the game though and Keith Lasley and Nicky Law both had shots pushed away by Douglas before Jamie Murphy fired just wide from 22 yards.
Motherwell came closer when Higdon headed Tom Hateley's corner past Douglas but Gary Irvine acrobatically cleared off the line.
Douglas then made a diving save to catch Law's curling effort but Motherwell somehow found themselves behind on 28 minutes.
Jim McAlister set up the attack by breaking down the left and passing square to Riley, who found Iain Davidson on the edge of the box.
Hateley slid in to block the shot but Riley was first to react and ran into the space left by the right-back before sweeping the ball just inside Randolph's far post.
Motherwell had failed to score in five of their previous six matches, the most recent a late 1-0 defeat by Dundee United on Wednesday in which they missed a series of chances, and they looked stunned to be behind.
The visitors grew in confidence and Milne shot wide after Colin Nish had dummied McAlister's inside pass.
Ojamaa had an ambitious shot saved in the aftermath of the opener but Motherwell could not immediately regain control.
However, they still produced some patient passing moves and both Higdon and Murphy were off target from Hateley crosses.
Randolph got down well to hold Matt Lockwood's 25-yard free-kick and Dundee looked set to go in ahead at half-time.
But Motherwell finally made their pressure pay. Law's half-cleared cross fell to Ojamaa 20 yards out and the Estonian fired a powerful left-foot strike that Douglas stopped, but Higdon followed up to tap home.
However, Dundee were determined to ensure they were not hemmed in after the break and the first 15 minutes were a stalemate.
Douglas made the first save of the half but only after Hateley over-hit a free-kick that he pushed over the bar.
The effort sparked some home pressure but Dundee defended a series of crosses and Motherwell, with Zaine Francis-Angol on for Stevie Hammell, could not sustain their territorial advantage.
And Randolph saved the hosts in the 72nd minute when he reacted well to push the ball over after Ramsden had got a head to Milne's overhead kick following a long throw.
Murphy soon hit back and Douglas pushed away Murphy's drive following his one-two with Lasley. Higdon had a shot blocked after a corner but Motherwell needed a spark and Stuart McCall brought on Bob McHugh and Omar Daley for Murphy and Humphrey.
The home fans were celebrating with three minutes left when Higdon volleyed home from inside the six-yard box after Lasley's shot had spun up in the air off a Dundee defender but the offside flag was raised.
Motherwell maintained the late pressure but McHugh curled wide from 16 yards.
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