We lined up in the silver away strip boosted by the return of Jennings to midfield. Craigan called correctly and chose to face the strong wind and attack the West Stand end.
Both teams traded half chances in the opening stages; Hateley’s free kick caused a harmless spill from Pernis then Mackay-Steven replied with a 25 yard effort just over the bar. Randolph produced a terrific save from a Rankin rocket as the home team started to look the more threatening. They got their reward just before the half hour when a low cross to the near post by Dixon came off Craigan and into the net. In fairness to the captain he was under pressure from Russell.
Hateley tries his luck in the first half
Our immediate response saw shots on target from Lasley and Law but both were straight at the keeper. Higdon should have done better when he had a chance from the six yard line but, again, the effort was too close to Pernis. All the same, United looked the more likely to score and we had to survive a few scares before reaching the safety of the dressing room for the break.
Daley and Murphy switched wings as we kicked off the second period with the gale helping. We soon earned a couple of corners but we were sadly lacking any creative spark. Daley was replaced by Ojamaa on the hour in an attempt to add some urgency to our uninspired attack.
The pace picked up and we started to pin United back into the last third. Higdon got his head to a couple of crosses while Law and Murphy had shots deflected for corners. We had to be alert for breakaways and were lucky to escape when Russell’s turn and shot sailed over Randolph’s bar.
Ojamaa produced a great pass inside the last ten minutes to release Higdon on the left side of the box. The striker had plenty of time to line up his shot but it sailed into the stand. Our new signing was creating problems for the opposition and his determination and pace allowed him to cut in from wide on the left wing before setting up Higdon for a fix yard finish. We had the equaliser and the momentum was with us. We had a good penalty claim turned down when Ojamaa was sandwiched but referee O’Reilly turned away.
At least Motherwell stopped the rot and we can look forward to regaining fourth place on Tuesday. Will Ojamaa get the start he deserves?