Motherwell, error strewn and disjointed, lost 2-0 to Dundee United on a bad night at Tannadice.
Graham Alexander’s side failed to take any of the few chances they created and lost the game to a goal in each half. The manager used fifteen of his squad but at no time did it look like there was a coherent plan. A top six place looks increasingly unlikely.
There were four changes to the Motherwell team that suffered the heavy loss on Sunday. A new forward line of Joe Efford, Jordan Roberts and Kaiyne Woolery were given the test and Ojala joined at the back.
There was almost a dream opening for the visitors when Sean Goss let fly from almost thirty yards after 30 seconds. His shoe rattled the bar and flew to safety.
The game settled into a pattern of long clearances, misplaced passes and little goalmouth action. Bevis Mugabi impressed on the right side of the back three with a mix of adventure forward and some last ditch tackles. He earned an early booking.
Another excellent opportunity arrived just before the half hour. Some persistence from Roberts allowed him to deliver a pinpoint cross to Efford but he missed the target when a goal seemed likely.
The price paid for the miss was costly. At the other end a cross from Tony Watt (receiver of cat calls from the Fair Play stand all evening) was half cleared but it fell invitingly to Dylan Levitt 20 yards out and he thundered the ball into the net.
The second half started with a mix up in front of the United goal but the stramash ended with a clearance.
The inevitable goal from Watt arrived on the hour. Niskanen ran up the left wing escaping any defensive attention before firing low across the six yard box. Watt arrived at the far post to slam the ball into the net. He made his feelings known to the travelling support.
Motherwell rang the changes but rarely threatened. Ross Tierney produced a header that had Seigrist at full stretch but that was that.
United played out the finale comfortable in the realization that Motherwell posed no risk of a comeback.
With no league win this year and a cup and league double against Aberdeen next Alexander will have to pull a masterstroke to get his team back to a winning way.
Dundee United 2 Motherwell 0
Team: Kelly, Mugabi, Ojala, Solholm, McGinley, Donnelly (Shields 62), Goss, Slattery(Cornelius), Efford, Wooley (Van Veen 62), Roberts (Tierney 62)
Wednesday 9 February 2022