Motherwell played well but had to settle for a point after a goalless draw with Dundee United at Fir Park.
United will be the happier team with this result as they were outplayed for much of the game. They can thank Carljohan Eriksson for keeping them in the contest with a fine first half penalty save from Kevin Van Veen.
Stevie Hammell kept faith with the eleven who started against Inverness in midweek and they did not disappoint. Testament to their play was the standing ovation afforded them as they retired to the changing room at the break.
Motherwell’s control of the first period was a joy to behold. From captain Kelly at the back the play flowed forward with confident players eager to take possession. A touch or two and a forward pass as they took the game to the South Stand goal entertained the appreciative home crowd.
Half chances soon appeared. Blair Spittal ran on to the ball and tested Eriksson. Van Veen glanced a header wide. Jamie McGrath, booked early on for a cynical foul on Ross Tierney, was judged to have used an arm to block a shot and the penalty was awarded.
Van Veen fired left but the ‘keeper anticipated and made the save. It was to be a frustrating afternoon for the Dutchman and several chances were spurned. Just before the break Tierney set the striker up but the shot came off the bar.
That the second period failed to deliver as high a standard of football was hardly a surprise. The visitors started in more determined mood and the ‘Well defence was regularly tested.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon greeted the substitution of Tony Watt.
Van Veen and then Matt Penny fired tempters across the face of the United goal but there were no takers. Late substitutions came on but there was to be no breakthrough and the stalemate held after two added minutes.
Next up for Motherwell is a trip to Dingwall.
Motherwell 0 Dundee United 0
Attendance 5,783 (998)
Team: Kelly, Penney, McGinn, Lamie, Solholm, Tierney (McKinstry 73), Spittal (Shields 85), Slattery, Goss, Van Veen, Efford (Aarons 73)
Saturday 3 September 2022