Motherwell's impressive away form continued with victory against Dundee United at Tannadice.

Stuart McCall's side moved up to fifth in the league thanks to two first-half goals.

Michael Higdon gave 'Well an early lead, firing home in the box and Chris Humphrey's 20-yard strike made it 2-0.

Jon Daly pulled one back for Dundee United before half-time, but John Rankin's volley was the closest to an equaliser in the second period.

'Well open up a four-point gap on United and go level on points with third-place Hibernian and Aberdeen in fourth. United remain seventh.

McCall's men threatened in the opening minute as Shaun Hutchinson headed wide from Tom Hateley's fizzing corner.

The hosts were then handed a goalscoring chance of their own after Hutchinson clumsily bundled over Russell 20 yards from goal, but Barry Douglas could only direct a tame free-kick directly at Darren Randolph.

Motherwell opened the scoring after Humphrey's delivery evaded all in tangerine and Higdon controlled neatly with his left instep before coolly slotting the ball past Radoslaw Cierzniak.

Dundee Untied midfielder Rudi Skacel

United have not won at home since August

And, three minutes later, the visitors doubled their advantage in stunning style.

Henrik Ojamaa found Humphrey and the Jamaica international burst forward before unleashing a stunning right-footed effort that found the top corner.

It was clear the visitors were in the mood and Hateley fired over before Ojamma's low drive nestled in the side-netting.

Randolph was forced to tip Gavin Gunning's powerful free-kick over as the home side attempted to find a way back into the match.

Referee Bobby Madden waved play on just before the half-hour mark when Hateley appeared to foul Stuart Armstrong just inside the area, leaving the home support were furious.

But they did not have to wait long for their side to find a way back into the match.

Hutchinson was caught out by Sean Dillon's cross and Daly controlled the ball before slamming it into the net.

However, only an excellent piece of goalkeeping from Cierzniak denied Higdon from doubling his tally four minutes before the interval.

United began the second half in positive fashion and Randolph had to be alert to divert Rankin's left-footed volley over.

The Motherwell goal continued to live a charmed life. Daly failed to make contact with Russell's dangerous cross before Rudi Skacel somehow failed to find the target when the ball fell to him 10 yards from goal.

Cierzniak produced an excellent finger-tip save to keep out Jamie Murphy's low shot, in what was Motherwell's first attempt of the second half.

The home supporters thought their side had ensured at least a share of the spoils when Skacel bundled home after Daly's cut-back, but it was ruled offside.

Two minutes of added time brought further pressure from Dundee United, but they were unable to breakthrough the stubborn Motherwell rearguard.

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