Dundee had their defence to thank for the point which moves them to within four points of St Mirren after drawing at Motherwell.

The visitors broke the deadlock through Nicky Riley's deft first-half finish against the run of play.

Motherwell levelled when Michael Higdon tapped home from close range after Rab Douglas palmed Henrik Ojamaa's shot into the path of the striker.

The home side dominated but couldn't find a way through the Dundee defence.

In a stuttering early period, Steven Milne went down as he cued up a shot at the edge of the Motherwell penalty area but, despite the striker's protests, nothing was awarded.

The match began to develop some sense of flow, mostly towards the Dundee goal, and veteran keeper Douglas had to parry 20-yard efforts from Keith Lasley and Nicky Law.

Jamie Murphy then curled a shot just past Douglas's left-hand post, while Gary Irvine had to acrobatically clear a 'Well corner off his goal-line with an overhead kick.

The home side were dominant, although the visiting defence were keeping them to shots from distance, with Law bringing out another save from Douglas.

And Motherwell were forced to pay for their lack of cutting edge when the ball came loose during a rare Dundee attack and Riley waltzed into the box and coolly slotted the ball into the corner of the net.

Dundee were seeing more of the ball in an attacking sense with confidence boosted by the goal, and Milne flashed an effort just wide after a neat turn at the edge of the area.

Motherwell were still creating more chances, but Higdon's header wide seven minutes before the break was their first effort from inside the box as Dundee continued to keep them at arm's length.

However, the Fir Park side should have levelled when Murphy connected with Hateley's low cross from the right, but the ball bounced off the striker's shin and wide from only six yards out.

But the home fans didnt have long to wait for a leveller, as Higdon tapped home the rebound from two yards after Douglas parried Ojamaa's initial effort.

The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with the home side enjoying the lion's share of possession, but unable to carve out clear opportunities in the Dundee danger area.

Time and again, the final pass let Motherwell down as Ojamaa, Higdon and Murphy were drawn deeper, with Dundee content to sit in and hit on the counter.

Dundee then carved out a terrific chance as Colin Nish was played through one-on-one with Randolph, but the big striker completely miscontrolled the pass and the keeper smothered the ball.

And Randolph had to pull off the save of the game after Milne's overhead kick deflected off a 'Well defender, with the Irishman stretching to tip it over the bar.

The closing stages remained a story of irresistable force against immovable object as Motherwell pushed for a winner, with Higdon's strike ruled offside and Ojamaa also going close.

However, Dens Park boss Barry Smith will be delighted at a defence which remained composed to claim a point.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Motherwell

  • 01 Randolph
  • 03 Hammell (Francis-Angol - 57' )
  • 15 Ramsden
  • 30 Cummins
  • 04 Law
  • 06 Hateley
  • 07 Humphrey (Daley - 80' )
  • 14 Lasley
  • 08 Ojamaa
  • 09 Higdon
  • 11 Murphy (McHugh - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Hollis
  • 19 Kerr
  • 26 Francis-Angol
  • 17 Daley
  • 18 Carswell
  • 27 Hetherington
  • 16 McHugh

Dundee

  • 01 Douglas
  • 02 Irvine Booked
  • 03 Lockwood Booked
  • 17 Benedictus
  • 18 Gallagher
  • 06 Davidson
  • 07 Riley (Conroy - 71' )
  • 08 McBride
  • 15 Milne (Baird - 85' )
  • 20 McAlister
  • 24 Nish

Substitutes

  • 36 Baird
  • 05 McGregor
  • 25 Toshney
  • 11 Conroy
  • 16 Webster
  • 10 Baird
  • 23 Boyle
Ref: Beaton
Att: 4,318

Match Stats

Shots

18 7

On target

11 4

Corners

10 2

Fouls

8 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +6:18 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +1:16

Effort from the edge of the area by Robert McHugh goes wide of the right-hand upright.

90:00 +0:13

Ryan Conroy is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

88:09 Booking

Booking Gary Irvine goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

87:58

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Irvine on Henrik Ojamaa. Tom Hateley restarts play with the free kick.

86:42

Michael Higdon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Rab Douglas restarts play with the free kick.

84:43 Substitution

Substitution Steven Milne goes off and John Baird comes on.

82:00

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Cummins on Colin Nish. Ryan Conroy takes the free kick.

80:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Benedictus on Michael Higdon. Strike on goal comes in from Keith Lasley from the free kick.

79:02 Substitution

Substitution Omar Daley replaces Chris Humphrey.

79:02 Substitution

Substitution Robert McHugh is brought on as a substitute for Jamie Murphy.

79:02

Michael Higdon takes a shot.

77:56

Corner taken by Tom Hateley played to the near post, clearance by Declan Gallagher. Tom Hateley takes a outswinging corner.

77:07

Drilled right-footed shot by Steven Milne. Save by Darren Randolph.

72:15

Steven Milne has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Save by Darren Randolph. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ryan Conroy, clearance by Jamie Murphy. Unfair challenge on Colin Nish by Adam Cummins results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Gary Irvine. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tom Hateley by Iain Davidson. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick. Kyle Benedictus challenges Michael Higdon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tom Hateley produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick. Jamie Murphy takes a shot. Save made by Rab Douglas.

70:12 Substitution

Substitution Nicky Riley leaves the field to be replaced by Ryan Conroy.

67:20

Simon Ramsden concedes a free kick for a foul on Colin Nish. Rab Douglas takes the free kick.

67:20 Booking

Booking Matthew Lockwood receives a caution.

67:09

Matthew Lockwood gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Humphrey. Tom Hateley takes the direct free kick.

64:19

Corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Kyle Benedictus.

63:06

Adam Cummins takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar.

58:53

Foul by Nicky Riley on Jamie Murphy, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Tom Hateley from left wing, outswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line, clearance made by Steven Milne. Corner from the right by-line taken by Tom Hateley, Adam Cummins takes a shot. Save by Rab Douglas.

55:59 Substitution

Substitution (Motherwell) makes a substitution, with Zaine Francis-Angol coming on for Stevie Hammell.

55:59

Nicky Riley has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

52:34

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Benedictus on Henrik Ojamaa. Free kick taken by Jamie Murphy.

51:30

Free kick awarded for a foul by Colin Nish on Adam Cummins. Simon Ramsden restarts play with the free kick.

48:51

Michael Higdon is caught offside. Direct free kick taken by Rab Douglas.

46:29

Shot by Jamie Murphy.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:56 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +0:29

Assist by Henrik Ojamaa.

45:00 +0:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Higdon - Motherwell 1 - 1 Dundee Michael Higdon grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Motherwell 1-1 Dundee.

44:39

Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Kyle Benedictus.

43:22

Nicky Riley fouled by Stevie Hammell, the ref awards a free kick. Matthew Lockwood has an effort direct from the free kick, save made by Darren Randolph.

42:38

Michael Higdon is ruled offside. Direct free kick taken by Rab Douglas.

40:56

Tom Hateley sends in a cross, Jamie Murphy produces a volleyed left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

39:30

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by James McAlister, save made by Darren Randolph.

37:10

Centre by Tom Hateley, Header from close range by Michael Higdon misses to the right of the goal.

35:14

Steven Milne produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

34:46

Henrik Ojamaa has an effort at goal. Save made by Rab Douglas.

30:50

Foul by Henrik Ojamaa on Matthew Lockwood, free kick awarded. Rab Douglas restarts play with the free kick.

30:26

Foul by James McAlister on Tom Hateley, free kick awarded. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.

27:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Nicky Riley - Motherwell 0 - 1 Dundee Nicky Riley gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Motherwell 0-1 Dundee.

26:37

Nicky Law takes a shot. Rab Douglas makes a save.

24:49

Nicky Law challenges Kevin McBride unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Matthew Lockwood.

21:08

Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the left by-line. Tom Hateley takes the inswinging corner, Gary Irvine manages to make a clearance.

18:32

Nicky Law takes a shot. Save by Rab Douglas. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley, clearance by Declan Gallagher. Jamie Murphy has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.

17:13

Keith Lasley takes a shot. Rab Douglas makes a save.

16:46

The assistant referee signals for offside against Steven Milne. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

14:54

Steven Milne takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

13:03

Corner taken by Stevie Hammell. Free kick awarded for a foul by Simon Ramsden on Iain Davidson. Direct free kick taken by Rab Douglas.

11:26

Unfair challenge on Iain Davidson by Henrik Ojamaa results in a free kick. Rab Douglas takes the free kick.

10:14

Michael Higdon takes a shot. Save by Rab Douglas.

4:43

The referee blows for offside against Steven Milne. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

3:24

Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot. Save made by Rab Douglas.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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