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Dundee’S Unbeaten Run In Spfl Continues At Expense Of Motherwell


JoeCovenant

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Source: The Evening Telegraph

Motherwell dropped to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership after a 1-0 defeat by Dundee in a dreary encounter at Fir Park.

Dees defender Paul McGinn scored a fortuitous goal after 12 minutes - an intended cross flew into the net - to ultimately give the Taysiders all three points. Ross County's 3-1 win at Partick Thistle meant they leapfrogged Ian Baraclough's side, who are without a win in eight games, and St Mirren, who lost 3-0 at Aberdeen.

It was Dundee's third victory over Motherwell this season and although they were only slightly superior, they will be happy stretching their unbeaten run to eight games, with only one draw in that run. In an attempt to stop the rot, Baraclough made three changes as Marvin Johnson, Louis Laing and Craig Moore came in at the expense of Fraser Kerr and Nathan Thomas, who started on the bench, and Craig Reid, who was out altogether.

Striker Greg Stewart returned from suspension for Dundee and fit-again skipper Kevin Thomson and Willie Dyer were also back in the starting line-up with Paul Heffernan, Kostadin Gadzhalov and Gary Irvine all missing.

Well striker John Sutton's looping header in the seventh minute, easily captured by Dens Park keeper Scott Bain, was the game's first real effort on goal.

The early stages were especially disjointed and scrappy, neither side able to take control, but that worried the visitors little when they took the lead with a goal which carried more than a measure of luck. McGinn made his way up the right flank to link up with Thomson and appeared to simply swing the ball into the middle but it arched over Motherwell keeper George Long and into the far side of the goal, leaving the home players and fans stunned.

Five minutes later Dundee midfielder Paul McGowan flashed a drive from 22 yards just wide of the target as the visitors sensed the Steelmen were still feeling sorry for themselves. Baraclough's side could not get their game going and any threat there was came from Dundee, albeit they were hardly any better.

Some hesitancy in the Motherwell defence in the 36th minute provided an opportunity for Stewart but his low, angled-drive from 10 yards was parried behind by Long for a corner which came to nothing. There was a decent penalty shout by the Dens Park side seconds later when McGowan was bundled over in the box by Laing but referee Don Robertson was unimpressed.

To add to the Lanarkshire side's woes Johnson hobbled off to be replaced by Thomas four minutes before the interval. The football purist would not have been encouraged by the start of the second half.

A congested middle third stifled any real creativity, although in the 53rd minute Stewart forced a save from Long after Dundee broke with menace. It was difficult to see where a Motherwell goal would come from and as they began to push numbers forward, gaps emerged. Dundee winger Alex Harris caused some panic with a couple of runs past Well left-back Anthony Straker but could not capitalise.

Moore was replaced by Dom Thomas and Sutton made way for Lionel Ainsworth but there was no discernible improvement from Motherwell, nor indeed their opponents, and the game petered out in a rather painful way, with not even a late rally by the home side enough to encourage their suffering fans.

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