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.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (3)

Dundee Utd

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 02 Dillon
  • 03 Douglas
  • 04 McLean
  • 05 Gunning
  • 06 Flood (Ryan - 84' )
  • 08 Rankin (Gardyne - 72' )
  • 16 Armstrong
  • 51 Skacel
  • 07 Russell
  • 09 Daly

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 12 Watson
  • 10 Ryan
  • 15 Gardyne
  • 18 Dow
  • 20 Lacny
  • 23 Hilson

Motherwell

  • 01 Randolph
  • 05 Hutchinson Booked
  • 26 Francis-Angol
  • 30 Cummins
  • 04 Law
  • 06 Hateley
  • 07 Humphrey
  • 14 Lasley
  • 08 Ojamaa (Carswell - 81' )
  • 09 Higdon
  • 11 Murphy

Substitutes

  • 12 Hollis
  • 19 Kerr
  • 17 Daley
  • 18 Carswell
  • 27 Hetherington
  • 16 McHugh
  • 35 Craig Moore
Ref: Madden
Att: 5,289

Match Stats

Shots

16 8

On target

10 5

Corners

9 7

Fouls

11 7

Live Text Commentary

92:46 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +2:00

Gavin Gunning challenges Tom Hateley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Humphrey restarts play with the free kick.

89:30

Stuart Armstrong takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph. Corner taken by Barry Douglas from the right by-line played to the near post, Tom Hateley manages to make a clearance.

87:28

Barry Douglas produces a cross. The referee blows for offside. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

86:59

Barry Douglas takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Tom Hateley makes a clearance.

85:37

Brian McLean sends in a cross, clearance by Shaun Hutchinson.

83:50

Corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley from the right by-line, Brian McLean makes a clearance.

83:50 Substitution

Substitution Willo Flood goes off and Richie Ryan comes on.

82:53

Corner taken by Barry Douglas from the right by-line, Michael Higdon makes a clearance.

80:07 Substitution

Substitution Henrik Ojamaa goes off and Stewart Carswell comes on.

79:11

Nicky Law crosses the ball, Sean Dillon gets a block in.

78:35

Jamie Murphy takes a shot. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Tom Hateley.

76:37

Shot from just outside the box by Johnny Russell goes over the crossbar.

74:15

The official flags Jon Daly offside. Indirect free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

72:48

The ball is crossed by Willo Flood.

71:27 Substitution

Substitution Michael Gardyne joins the action as a substitute, replacing John Rankin.

69:20

Tom Hateley takes a inswinging corner to the near post.

66:35

Keith Lasley fouled by Stuart Armstrong, the ref awards a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

65:01

Jon Daly is caught offside. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

63:07

Rudi Skacel fouled by Zaine Francis-Angol, the ref awards a free kick. Barry Douglas delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Shaun Hutchinson. Outswinging corner taken by Barry Douglas, Gavin Gunning takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.

61:12

Willo Flood takes the outswinging corner, Jamie Murphy makes a clearance.

58:53

Rudi Skacel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy. Direct free kick taken by Adam Cummins.

58:14

Corner from the left by-line taken by Barry Douglas, clearance by Adam Cummins.

57:25

Centre by Willo Flood, Shot from deep inside the area by Rudi Skacel goes over the bar.

56:27

A cross is delivered by Johnny Russell.

55:16

Rudi Skacel takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

53:46

Jamie Murphy takes a shot. Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a save.

52:55

Unfair challenge on Tom Hateley by Stuart Armstrong results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

51:23

John Rankin takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph. Outswinging corner taken by Willo Flood from the right by-line.

51:00

Foul by Michael Higdon on Sean Dillon, free kick awarded. Sean Dillon restarts play with the free kick.

48:55

The offside flag is raised against Johnny Russell. Darren Randolph takes the indirect free kick.

46:44

Adam Cummins concedes a free kick for a foul on Johnny Russell. Free kick taken by Willo Flood.

45:32

Johnny Russell sends in a cross, Shaun Hutchinson makes a clearance.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:06 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +0:02

Handball by Nicky Law. Direct free kick taken by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

44:31

Free kick awarded for a foul by John Rankin on Nicky Law. Free kick taken by Adam Cummins.

40:59

Michael Higdon takes a shot. Save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak. Outswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line, clearance made by Sean Dillon.

40:00 Booking

Booking Shaun Hutchinson goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

39:35

Rudi Skacel takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

38:40

Outswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley, save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

38:04

Foul by Tom Hateley on Stuart Armstrong, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Barry Douglas, save by Darren Randolph.

36:19

Brian McLean provided the assist for the goal.

36:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Jon Daly - Dundee U 1 - 2 Motherwell Jon Daly scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 1-2 Motherwell.

36:05

The ball is swung over by Brian McLean,

35:08

Stuart Armstrong produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.

32:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Rudi Skacel on Zaine Francis-Angol. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

31:06

Willo Flood takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

29:51

Rudi Skacel takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.

28:33

Rudi Skacel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zaine Francis-Angol. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

25:12

Corner from the right by-line taken by Tom Hateley, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Radoslaw Cierzniak by Adam Cummins. Radoslaw Cierzniak takes the direct free kick.

25:03

Centre by Jamie Murphy, Barry Douglas makes a clearance.

24:13

Brian McLean concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Higdon. Nicky Law takes the direct free kick.

23:07

Johnny Russell has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.

22:33

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Hutchinson by Jon Daly. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

20:50

Unfair challenge on Sean Dillon by Michael Higdon results in a free kick. Sean Dillon takes the free kick.

19:23

The referee gives a free kick against Brian McLean for handball. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tom Hateley, save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

18:13

Willo Flood crosses the ball.

16:34

Chris Humphrey fouled by Stuart Armstrong, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Hateley takes the free kick.

15:30

Nicky Law is penalised for a handball. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Gavin Gunning, save by Darren Randolph. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Willo Flood.

13:57

Henrik Ojamaa has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

12:36

Effort on goal by Tom Hateley from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.

11:24

Barry Douglas concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Humphrey. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Tom Hateley, clearance by Willo Flood.

9:57

Assist on the goal came from Henrik Ojamaa.

9:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Chris Humphrey - Dundee U 0 - 2 Motherwell Chris Humphrey finds the net with a goal from outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 0-2 Motherwell.

9:20

Corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood, clearance by Zaine Francis-Angol.

8:40

John Rankin sends in a cross, Rudi Skacel takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

6:52

The assist for the goal came from Tom Hateley.

6:52 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Higdon - Dundee U 0 - 1 Motherwell Michael Higdon scores a goal from close range high into the middle of the goal. Dundee Utd 0-1 Motherwell.

6:40

Centre by Tom Hateley,

5:21

Adam Cummins challenges Johnny Russell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Barry Douglas has an effort direct from the free kick, save made by Darren Randolph.

3:14

John Rankin takes a shot.

1:45

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley from the right by-line, Shaun Hutchinson produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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