“Where has the spirit gone?” asked Terry Butcher after the team gave themselves a mountain to climb by conceding two “easy” goals to United.

The start of a 'Well attack
Those unfortunates who arrived in their seats a minute after the kick off would have been as stunned as the eleven Motherwell players on the park when they leaned that the visitors had scored in thirty seconds.

The visitors pushed a speculative ball down the main stand touchline straight from the kick off and Dougie Ramsay elected to clear the ball into touch when there was a pass on for the ‘keeper to clear. He would be regretting the decision within seconds as Miller’s cross from the shy connected with Hamilton’s head on the six yard line (despite the attention of two defenders) and beat DuBordeau.

United had another attempt on goal in twenty-four minutes. Again poor Dougie was involved. On this occasion he failed to cut out a cross and Hamilton managed to send the ball through the goalie’s legs after a jammy knock on at the near post.

We huffed and puffed in an attempt to get back into the game and had a few decent shots, notably from Ferguson and Kemas. Shortly before the break we were on our feet cheering a Lehmann goal from close in after a Hammell free kick. But the standside linesman contrived to see someone in an offside position and the goal was disallowed.

Terry B switched formations and brought on Fagan for Kemas in the first half as he tried to give our midfield some chance of controlling the game (we started with Ferguson, Lehmann and Kemas up front) and we adopted a 4-4-2 shape.

For long periods in the second half the play was uninspired and full of unforced errors. With ten minutes left Dirk got his head to a corner and set up an exciting finish to the game.

We stepped up the pace and had a real go at recovering the equaliser. If only the same commitment had been there from the start. We had a few half chances but little real chance of a second goal.

So, where does that leave us? Three points below Thistle at the bottom of the league, three away games out of the next four, captain Leitch still suspended, Lasley out for the next few weeks and McFadden just returning to light training is the stark reality.

‘Well fans would be well advised to mention our plight when they write their letters to Santa!