A hat-trick from Chris Long sent Motherwell into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup with a 3-0 win against Dundee at Dens Park. A commanding first half performance was the decisive element on a chilly January night.
A strong start ensured that we had a two goal lead after 30 minutes and despite a spirited half hour from our hosts in the second period the game delivered a convincing away win.
Chris Long score a Scottish Cup hat-trick
Peter Hartley and Richard Tait returned to the defence as Bevis Mugabi and newly extended Liam Grimshaw were rested. Liam Polworthgot the game underway as we attacked the goal backed by a healthy Motherwell support. The home fans were thinly spread in the 2,407 crowd.
Motherwell took charge immediately and soon half chances arrived via the right flank. Jermaine Hylton supplied a few crosses but he had to be substituted by Sherwin Seedorf later on in the half.
The opener came from a 19 yard free kick inside the ‘D’. Long shot low and found a deflection that moved the ball to Hamilton’s right. The ‘keeper was stranded as the ball found the net.
There was no hint of fortune for Long’s second goal. Allan Campbell made a forty yard midfield run then passed to Liam Polworth. A first time pass allowed Long to collect, turn and curl the ball beyond the ‘keeper. It was a fine goal and our best move of the match.
Dundee drew credit for the attempt they made to recover the game in the second half. We were pinned back for long spells and Mark Gillespie was kept busy. The early signal was a Hemmings’ header that found the woodwork.
The home side paid the price for their inability to profit from their efforts. With fifteen minutes remaining Long fired a long shot goalward. Hamilton was well positioned for the high flight and he got two hands on the target before it dropped over the line to extinguish any hope of a home comeback.
We were given a glimpse of our new loanee Mikael Ndjoli when he replaced James Scott in the final stages.
Chris Long claimed the match ball and acknowledged the thanks for the claret and amber faithful before they set off back to Lanarkshire with thoughts of the fifth round draw.
Dundee 0 Motherwell 3
Team: Gillespie, Hartley, Gallagher, Carroll, Tait, Campbell, O’Hara, Polworth (Donnelly 62), Scott (Ndjoli 75), Hylton (Seedorf 31), Long
Attendance 2,407 (1,350)
Saturday 18 January 2020