We fielded the eleven McCall had intended for the last game, on this occasion Hammell was fit and Francis-Angol moved to the bench.
United seemed to have an advantage at kick off as Randolph was tasked with guarding the goal at the east end of the park with the low sun sure to cause a problem but the solution was simple – score a couple at the other end!Lasley tries his luck
Ten yards inside the United half, Hammell delivered a short pass to McFadden. The genius escaped three defenders with a couple of deft touches and set up Higdon 25 yards out. He unleashed a lovely swerving shot that caught the postage stamp. One up in two minutes.
We added a second five minutes later when Higdon became the provider. This time Ojamaa burst into the box with only Cierzniak to beat, an accurate left footed pass into the left corner doubled the lead.
Motherwell had the home defence in shreds and several good opportunities were created but none taken. A timely warning arrived when Armstrong delivered a dangerous near post cross and Daly’s flick needed a good save from Randolph.
McFadden was in superb form. His first touch often beat any marker and his dribbling runs caused panic in the home ranks. As a bonus, his delivery to team-mates was excellent and presented with perfect weight. His colleagues were happy to make themselves available but when needed they were quick to make punishing covering runs when United pushed up. Nevertheless, at the break would have been justified in suggesting that we should have score a further goal or two and had the game killed as a contest.
The second period did not have the explosive start of the first but the crowd was raised from its slumbers when Ojamaa latched on to a throw in along the 18 yard line before unleashing a fine right foot hook that landed on the roof of the net. Higdon then claimed goal 25 of the season (24 in the league, beating Pettigrew’s post war record) when he took charge of the ball from Humphrey’s run. From inside the ‘D’ he placed a low drive to the ‘keeper’s right hand corner.
Daly (inevitably) got one for United with 20 minutes remaining when he blasted a low drive through Randolph’s legs. The momentum was now with United but as the pushed on they were vulnerable. At one stage we had a 4v2 attack but Humphrey elected to do too much and a wonderful chance was squandered.
Randolph was kept busy as United pressed and Carswell replaced McFadden in 82 minutes as we closed shop.
The early goals proved to be too much for United and we enjoyed yet another happy homeward journey with three points gained.
Dundee United 1 (Daly 69) Motherwell 3 (Higdon 2,69 Ojamaa 7)
Friday 19 April 2013 7.30pm
Motherwell: Randolph, Hammell, Law, Hutchinson, Hateley, Humphrey (Kerr 86), Ojamaa, Higdon, Lasley, Ramsden, McFadden (Carswell 82)
Subs: Subs: Hollis, Higginbotham, McHugh, Francis-Angol, Cummins
Dundee United: Cierzniak, McLean, Dillon, Souttar, Douglas, Mackay-Steven (Boulding 86), Flood, Armstrong, Gauld (Gardyne 80), Rankin (Dow 70), Daly
Subs: Anderson, Johnston, Ryan, Tornstrand