Motherwell moved top of the Scottish Premier League after a dramatic away win against Dunfermline.

Strikes from Michael Higdon and Jamie Murphy gave the visitors a 2-0 first-half lead.

Chris Humphrey's 55th-minute shot appeared to put the match beyond the Pars, before a Joe Cardle double made it 3-2 with two minutes remaining.

Humphrey and Nicky Law then combined to set-up Higdon who ensured all three points for Stuart McCall's side.

New signing Tim Clancy was handed a surprise debut for the Fir Park side after Shaun Hutchinson missed out with a hamstring injury.

And buoyed by their best start to a league season since 1977, Motherwell took control from the start against a Dunfermline side who appeared to be affected by nerves for the first time since their return to the top flight.

Easily dominating the early stages, Motherwell's possession was rewarded in the 11th minute when excellent build-up play allowed Higdon to curl home from 18 yards after a one-two with Keith Lasley.

With little positive response from the home side, the visitors went on to create chance after chance - Tom Hateley also coming close early on when he hit the post with a 30-yard free-kick.

And it took just 25 minutes for Motherwell to double their lead.

Murphy burst away from Gary Mason in the right channel and his 20-yard drive deflected off Alex Keddie and went inside Paul Gallacher's near post.

Motherwell maintained their superiority throughout the half, with Dunfermline struggling to enjoy any possession and with no real chances on goal.

In a bid to address the problem, striker Andy Barrowman was replaced just after half-time by David Graham, but all the action continuted around the Dunfermline box with their defence very much at fault for Motherwell's third.

There appeared little danger as Humphrey attacked the hosts from the right wing but the Dunfermline defence sat off, allowing him to cut in and fire a powerful left-footed shot in off the far post from 14 yards.

The increased deficit prompted more changes to the Dunfermline line-up with youngsters Ryan Thomson and Paul Willis introduced at the expense of Gary Mason and Paul Burns.

But it was a slice of luck that brought the Pars back into the match in the 69th minute. David Graham let fly from 30 yards and the ball hit off team-mate Joe Cardle's back and beat Randolph.

And the drama and goals continued when Motherwell were caught on the break in the 88th minute after Lasley lost the ball inside the Pars' half.

Cardle picked up and ran to the edge of the box before unleashing a low drive that took a deflection off Stephen Craigan and beat Randolph.

With seconds remaining - and Dunfermline hunting for an equaliser - it fell to Higdon to steady the nerves.

Motherwell played the ball from the back and Humphrey found Law inside the box with the English midfielder sending in a low cross that Higdon stabbed home from close range.

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