Motherwell striker Tony Watt scored the only goal of the game to secure a massive three points for the ten-man Steelmen over Dundee United and close the gap on the Tannadice side in the league to a single point.

The Fir Park side made two changes from the weekend’s 3-0 defeat by Dundee, Sean Goss returning in place of Liam Grimshaw and Kevin van Veen replacing Connor Shields – while Scotland defender Stephen O’Donnell remained on the bench for the hosts.

There was only one change for United after their 1-1 draw at Ross County on Saturday, Declan Glass replacing Nicky Clark for Thomas Courts’ side.

Watt scored a fantastic curling effort but it really could have been more for Graham Alexander’s side in a match they dominated for large spells on a sodden Fir Park pitch.

The former Celtic striker scored his ninth of the season before Barry Maguire was sent off late on as Courts could only watch as his players put in another disappointing performance; United have won just one of their last six games and now sit only a point clear in fourth place, with Hibs seven points back in fifth but having three games in hand.

Motherwell were dominant in the opening 45, moving the ball around with purpose and looking to create problems for the Dundee United defender and got the reward their play deserved when Watt curled home Woolery’s deflected pass after only eleven minutes.

 

The visitors did briefly rally and finally get out of their own area but it took well over half an hour before there was any meaningful threat to Liam Kelly in the Motherwell goal.

Sean Goss could have doubled the advantage just after the restart as Motherwell looked to kill the game off but their wastefulness in front of goal posed a threat to their win as conditions worsened.

Driving, constant rain left the Fir Park pitch saturated, holding the ball up at times, as both teams huffed and puffed to cope with the conditions and see the game out – although O’Donnell should really have made it 2-0 after coming off the bench but, instead, missed badly.

Eight minutes from the end, Maguire would get his marching orders after a second booking as Motherwell held on and picked up a massive three points in their pursuit of European football.

Motherwell: Kelly, Mugabi, Johansen, Lamie, McGinley, Maguire, Slattery, Goss, Woolery, Van Veen, Watt.
Substitutes: Fox, O’Donnell, Carroll, Cornelius, Grimshaw, Roberts, Shields.

Dundee Utd: Siegrist, Freeman, Edwards, Mulgrew, McMann, Glass, Harkes, Hoti, Pawlett, Niskanen, Appere.
Substitutes: Carson, Sporle, Chalmers, Clark, Smith, Watson, Meekison.

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