2 - 3
John Sutton (28)
John Sutton (81)
Jon Daly (5)
Jon Daly (43)
Craig Conway (49)
Dušan Perniš .1
Seán Dillon .2
Andy Webster .3
Keith Watson .27
Darren Dods .5
Prince Buaben .15
Craig Conway .6
Danny Swanson .14
Morgaro Gomis .16
David Goodwillie .25
Jon Daly .9
Steve Banks .13
Garry Kenneth .18
Scott Robertson .8
Jennison Myrie-Williams .7
Kevin Smith .22
Danny Cadamarteri .10
Fran Sandaza .11
Chris Humphrey for Stephen Craigan (37)
Lukas Jutkiewicz for Jamie Murphy (67)
Danny Cadamarteri for Craig Conway (75)
Scott Robertson for Danny Swanson (81)
Fran Sandaza for David Goodwillie (87)
|Steve Jennings (77)||
Morgaro Gomis (84)
Calum Murray (Referee)
Dundee United booked their place in Europe this evening with a hard fought 3-2 win over Motherwell at Fir Park, thanks to a Jon Daly double and a superb solo effort from Craig Conway.
The visitors took the lead inside five minutes after stand-in keeper Michael Fraser slipped when attempting to clear a back pass, and Daly was on hand to capitalise as he pounced on the error and stabbed the ball home.
Craig Brown’s side battled their way back into the match, as Tom Hateley pulled the strings for the Steelmen in the middle of the park.
The 20 year-old was at the heart of everything the home side created up front, and they were almost back on level terms when he threaded the ball through to Mark Reynolds. But he dragged his shot across the face of goal and just wide of Dusan Pernis’s right-hand post.
On 28 minutes Motherwell did get the equaliser few could deny they deserved. Hateley delivered a deep corner to the back post, and John Sutton rose above Andy Webster to head his side back into the game.
Peter Houston’s side got their noses back in front right before the interval, however, from a Craig Conway corner. But there was nothing lucky about Daly’s second of the afternoon, as the Irishman acrobatically volleyed the ball home with a fantastic right-foot finish.
Somewhat ominously for the home side as they entered the tunnel 2-1 down at half-time, Motherwell had never come from behind this season to win, while United hadn’t lost from the same position.
And that statistic seemed all the more telling when Craig Conway extended United’s lead just after the break. The winger picked up the ball inside his own half, and ran at pace down the left flank. He cut inside the box, jinking between two defenders, before composing himself to curl the ball past Fraser, who was making just his third start of the season between the sticks.
With 15 minutes to go, Hateley and Sutton again combined to make the closing stages nervy for the travelling support. Midfielder Hateley, son of former Rangers and AC Milan striker Mark, turned inside the box to deliver another dangerous ball to the back post. And Sutton’s finish was clinical from close range as he bagged his ninth league goal of the campaign.
Motherwell huffed and puffed in the final minutes, but created little in the way of clear-cut chances and never tested Pernis as United secured the three points needed to guarantee Europa League football at Tannadice next season. And, barring four consecutive freak results in the remaining post-split matches, Peter Houston’s side will finish at least third in the SPL – their best finish in 13 years.
|Dušan Perniš (GK)||25||21||-||21||-|
|Scott Robertson (sub)||25||12||-||38||5|
|Danny Cadamarteri (sub)||30||22||4||22||4|
|Fran Sandaza (sub)||25||7||1||42||11|
No league table has been added for this season.