Lionel strikes to deny United win

Lionel Ainsworth
Lionel Ainsworth
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A wonder strike by Lionel Ainsworth opened his Motherwell account and rescued a point for his side at Tannadice on Sunday.

Following the previous week’s victory over St Mirren there was just one change to the side with Simon Ramsden returning after suspension and, perhaps surprisingly, James McFadden being the one to drop to the bench.

The visitors opened the scoring on the half hour mark as Zaine Francis-Angol showed the value of his inclusion as he skinned Keith Watson to get into the left hand side on the box.

His chip across goal was a bit fierce, but HENRI ANIER was able to control the ball on his chest and sweep it past Radoslaw Cierzniak.

Two minutes from the break Stuart Armstrong had a great chance to equalise as he jinked into the box, but dragged his left foot shot wide.

However, on 53 minutes things were levelled up as Keith Lasley’s pass was cut out, and although Shaun Hutchinson was able to half clear John Rankin sent NADIR CITCFI clear to score.

Four minutes later things got worse as United left-back ANDREW ROBERTSON was allowed to run unchallenged for fully 60 yards, before curling the ball beyond Lee Hollis.

This was the queue for Ainsworth to take over from Iain Vigurs in a bid to provide some spark to the Fir Parker’s attack.

’Well captain Lasley has never been known as a free-kick expert, but came really close with one from the edge of the box, with only the inside of the post denying him his first goal of the season.

At the other end Citfci showed his undoubted skill to step away from Stephen McManus, but Armstrong could only make weak contact with the low cross.

On 75 minutes McFadden replaced Anier and as the ’Well faithful anticipated how their hero might influence the game, it as fellow sub Ainsworth who decided to stamp his authority on proceedings lashing the ball into the net from all of 35 yards.

John Sutton had a great chance to win it as Ainsworth’s cross was deflected high into the air, but battling two United defenders he completely missed his header and the ball bounced harmlessly wide.

Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Souttar, Dillon, Robertson, Paton, Rankin, Dow (Goodwillie 81), Gauld (Graham 81), Armstrong, Citfci (Oyenuga 88). Subs not used: McCallum, Butcher, Wilson, Petrie.

Motherwell: Hollis, Hammell, Ramsden, Hutchinson, McManus, Sutton, Vigurs (Ainsworth 63), Lasley, Francis-Angol, Carswell, Anier (McFadden 75). Subs not used: Nielsen, Lawson, Cummins, McHugh, Kerr.

Referee: Kevin Clancy.

Attendance: 5,808.