Motherwell had to recover from a two goal deficit to earn an unlikely draw against Dundee United with goals from Chris Long and Devante Cole.
The visitors delivered a poor, unjointed performance that lacked the drive shown by the home side. Moments of uncertain defending and over reliance of long hopeful punts offered poor viewing but persistence earned a barely deserved point.
It was hardly a surprise to see Declan Gallagher on the bench as Motherwell kicked off. Tyler Magloire was given the vacated central defence position. He faced a much changed United side, manager Mellon had made eight changes from the side that lost the weekend's semi-final.
After a decent start and a let off when Shankland failed to beat Liam Kelly from inside the six yard box Motherwell suffered a blow when Allan Campbell failed to recover from a slip. Robbie Crawford was the early replacement.
The opener came in the 13th minute when Logan Chalmers' shot from the right wrong footed Kelly after a touch from Laurence Shankland. It was a poor goal to lose but Motherwell did not take heed.
Motherwell are not in the habit of playing out from the back and they paid the price for slack play on the half hour. Magloire made a careless attempt at a clearance just inside the angle of the box and caught his opponent. Shankland did us a favour by stroking the penalty wide of Kelly's right post. The defender made some amends when he produced a well timed tackle to rob the striker as he closed in on goal.
Chris Long showed some attacking threat but the home side doubled their lead when unmarked Archie Meekison fired home from the edge of the box. Strong words were called for at the break.
Long got the reward for his industry soon after the restart when he forced the ball though the 'keeper from the angle of the six yard box.
Kelly kept us in the game with a couple of fine saves but an equaliser looked unlikely. Occasional movement on the right wing combining Stephen O'Donnell and Jake Hastie offered hope but no joy.
The assistant had signalled four added minutes when a free kick was won just inside the 'Well half. Kelly launched the ball into the box and found Ricki Lamie able to knock down into the path of Cole. The striker smashed the ball into the net to level the game.
Let's hope for a better showing when Ross County visit on Sunday.
Dundee United 2 Motherwell 2
Team: Kelly, O'Donnell, Magloire, Lamie, McGinley, Campbell (Crawford 6), Foley (O'Hara 78), Lawless (Watt 63), Hastie, Cole, Long
Wednesday 13 May 2021