Dundee Utd 3-1 Motherwell: Match Report – view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Telfer double lifts United
Dundee United returned to winning ways in the Scottish Premiership with a 3-1 victory over struggling Motherwell at Tannadice.
A second-half brace from midfielder Charlie Telfer allied to defender Jaroslaw Fojut’s header proved enough for Jackie McNamara’s men, despite Simon Ramsden’s goal on 79 minutes for Ian Baraclough’s third-bottom side.
This was Well’s fifth straight league defeat, during which they have conceded 17 goals, while United stayed fourth in the table.
Motherwell had a penalty claim turned down on 16 minutes after Stephen Pearson appeared to have been brought down by United’s Callum Morris, but referee Craig Thomson waved play on.
Lee Erwin’s weighted cross in the 20th minute took out the whole United defence and John Sutton looked set to take the ball down inside the box, but his touch let him down and United goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak was able to claim it comfortably.
United had lost some of their early rhythm, but they did have a chance to do something on 27 minutes.
Telfer’s deep corner was met by central defender Morris but he could not get enough power in his header, which ran safely through to visiting keeper Dan Twardzik.
A minute later, Aidan Connolly made some space for himself wide on the left and crossed for Stuart Armstrong, who mis-kicked his effort so the chance went begging.
Then, on 38 minutes, United created the best chance of the match.
Calum Butcher did well to spray a pass wide to Blair Spittal, who had overlapped down the right. Spittal quickly cut in onto his left foot and unleashed a shot which brought out a brilliant save from Twardzik.
That gave the hosts a lift and soon after Armstrong fired in a shot which Twardzik did well to hold.
But there was real controversy on 44 minutes, when the visitors had a goal disallowed.
Pearson’s cross was aimed for Sutton but Sean Dillon intercepted, only for his clearance to hit off Sutton. Morris ran back to clear but Thomson ruled the ball had crossed the line, only for the assistant referee to declare that it had not – so the goal was chalked off.
The visitors were even more angered when United were given a drop-ball to restart the match as Cierzniak cleared well down the park.
They should have taken the lead on 58 minutes, however. A mistake by United defender Fojut allowed Pearson a clear sight of goal, but from 12 yards he shot straight at Cierzniak.
And, when the deadlock was broken just after the hour mark, it was the home fans who were celebrating.
Telfer collected a loose ball from 20 yards after Connolly has started an attack and, from 20 yards, the former Rangers midfielder picked his spot to send an accurate right-foot effort low into Twardzik’s bottom corner.
On 69 minutes the home team went 2-0 ahead in simple fashion, as Fojut’ss free header from Connolly’s corner beat Twardzik low down.
Ten minutes later, Motherwell pulled a goal back when substitute Lionel Ainsworth dispossessed Dillon out wide, before crossing for Ramsden to fire home a half-volley from 12 yards.
Telfer, though, sealed matters in stoppage time with a cool 12-yard finish from Ryan Dow’s cut-back to give the home team the ideal morale-booster ahead of next weekend’s League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen.