Dundee boss Jim Duffy was without last week's star man Jonay Santos Hernandez for this afternoon's game versus Motherwell.
The Trinidad stopper is currently stranded in his homeland due to flight delays after playing for his country in midweek.
After just eight minutes Motherwell were awarded a penalty when David Clarkson was fouled by Robert Mann.
The same player stepped up to take the kick but fired well wide of Derek Soutar's left-hand post with the keeper diving to his right.
Clarkson had another good chance to break the deadlock midway through the first half but again he shot wide of the target this time from ten yards out, after Stephen Craigan picked him out with the cross from the right.
Motherwell did take a deserved lead in the 28th minute when Scott McDonald collected a great pass from Clarkson before skipping past a Dundee defender and curling a low right-foot shot into Soutar's left-hand corner.
Barry Smith was moved into midfield for the second half and within three minutes the Dundee captain fired a 25-yard right-foot shot inches over the crossbar.
John Sutton saw his close-range effort saved under the post by Gordon Marshall ten minutes into the second half.
Dundee keeper Soutar kept his team in the match when he dived full length to turn Scott McDonald's effort away from goal on the hour.
Two minutes later however the visitors did grab a second when McDonald collected a pass from Clarkson and beat the Dundee keeper with a low 15-yard drive for his second goal of the match.
The Motherwell striker had a hat-trick in his sights and maybe should have passed instead of going for goal when he shot high over the crossbar on 73 minutes.
Steven Hammell was next to have a go for the visitors but his 30-yard free-kick was easily saved by Soutar in the Dundee goal.
Steve Lovell gave Dundee a lifeline when he scored with a spectacular 22-yard volley in the 78th minute when there seemed little danger to the Motherwell goal.
Moments later Marshall denied Dundee an equaliser when he blocked Neil Jablonski's close-range effort.
Callum McDonald then saw his header clear of the line by Martyn Corrigan in the final minute and Motherwell survived the late Dundee pressure to collect the points.