The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Jackie McNamara made once change to his starting line-up from the side which had lost 6-2 at Celtic with Richie Ryan coming in for Barry Douglas.Motherwell started on the front foot putting United under pressure with two corners in the first two minutes. United were clearly defending with great determination limiting Motherwell to one speculative shot which passed Cierzniakís right hand post. After 10 minutes United got a foothold in the game with Willo Flood back to his best after his recent illness, battling for everything in midfield. United opened the scoring in 17 minutes with an excellent piece of counter attacking football. Gary Mackay-Steven broke from a Motherwell corner making a 60 yard run, holding off the attention of Higgenbotham, before releasing a superb defence splitting pass to put Johnny Russell through on goal and he calmly slotted past Randolph to give United a 1-0 lead. The 345 Arabs huddled in the main stand celebrated Russellís 5th strike in 4 games with a chorus of ĎGlory Glory Dundee Unitedí. Motherwell reacted by piling more pressure on the United defence, but United defended gallantly. Always looking dangerous in attack, with frequent forays from Keith Watson for the remainder of the half, United came close to scoring a second when McLean sent Russell free once again, but this time Russellís shot flew just over the bar.The open flowing football continued in the second half with Motherwell pushing to get back into the game. However, United continued where they left off with some incisive counter attacking football. From one sweeping counter attack, Motherwellís Hutchinson was booked for illegally bringing down Gary Mackay-Steven as he broke clear down the left wing. Five minutes later Stuart Armstrong appeared to make an excellent challenge on the edge of the United box as Motherwell pushed forward. However, the referee harshly adjudged the tackle to be a bookable offence. The resultant free-kick by Hammell flew harmlessly over the bar. As the half developed, some of the interplay from United was a joy to watch with Stuart Armstrong, Gary Mackay-Steven and Johnny Russell linking, while being ably supported by Flood, Rankin and Ryan. Time after time United turned defence into attack to great effect. As the game entered the final quarter it became even more open with United creating several clear cut opportunities to make the scoreline more comfortable. Motherwell lived dangerously as United cut through their defence leaving Randolph exposed. The big keeper pulled off several saves from Gary Mackay-Steven, Russell, Rankin and Armstrong. Arguably Unitedís best chance was created when Willo Flood left Hutchinson in his wake to set up Johnny Russell, whose shot was saved by Randolph with the rebound falling to Gary Mackay-Steven who blasted over the bar. Then when Randolph was finally beaten, first Hately cleared off the line from Jon Daly, then Hutchinson cleared off the line from Gary Mackay-Steven. At the other end the United defence continued to thwart the Motherwell attack with Cierzniak requiring to make only a couple of routine saves. Not even the introduction of talisman James McFadden for Motherwell could knock United off their stride and the team comfortably held on to win their third game in a row at Fir Park and fourth without conceding a goal.