The win retains our two point buffer in third place and also gives a confidence boos ahead of the CIS Cup game against the same opponents on Tuesday.
Alan Gow made his first start in this game with Sutton making way. He delivered a fine performance and caused the United defence all sorts of problems with his close control and telling passes. Humphrey had a good game too and he was rewarded when the winning goal was scored.
It is an understatement to claim that we had a good start to the match. The first minute had not arrived before Gow charged through the middle of the park with the ball tied to his laces. The squared to Blackman at the edge of the box and he set up Murphy for a free shot. Pernis got a touch but the ball came off Severin and into the net.
We piled on the pressure for the next twenty minutes and overwhelmed the United defence. There were lots of incisive passing moves and it seemed inevitable that we would add to our lead. Unfortunately, we didn’t. Lasley, who had been a key part of the opening period, puled up with a hamstring pull in twenty minutes. Saunders came on and Hateley moved into midfield.
Memories of earlier games came as United came close just before the break but we held our lead at half time. There was a concern that we had not made the best of our opportunities.
Randolph clears the danger
The Tangerines (playing in a black and white strip) got the equaliser in 50 minutes. In attempting a clearance where no danger was apparent, Craigan allowed the ball to strike his arm the penalty was awarded, Goodwillie sent Randolph the wrong way and the game was all square.
To Motherwell’s credit there was a determination to reassert our dominance and though we were not as impressive as in the first half, we still looked more likely to get the winner. It came with 15 minutes remaining when Humphrey, with space and time on the left wing, delivered a powerful, low drive across the face of the Cooper end goal. Dillon had to attempt a touch as Blackman was at the far post and the ball flew into the net. Our lead was restored. Sutton replaced Gow and we closed up shop as the clock ran down.
After the game Craig Brown reckoned that we were the better team. Peter Houston agreed.