10-man Motherwell battle to earn 1-1 home draw against Dundee at blustery Fir Park

Motherwell's Craig Tanner celebrates scoring penalty against Dundee (Pic by Angie Isaac)
Motherwell's Craig Tanner celebrates scoring penalty against Dundee (Pic by Angie Isaac)

Craig Tanner's second half penalty earned 10-man Motherwell a hard fought 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw against Dundee at a blustery Fir Park on Saturday.

It was a good point for the Steelmen in the circumstances, as they finished the match with just 10 players for the last 15 minutes as Elliott Frear came off injured with Motherwell having already made their three substitutions.

The hosts - boosted by the return from injury of goalkeeper Trevor Carson, centre back Peter Hartley and midfielder Chris Cadden to the starting 11 - had started the match looking to address a depressing recent run of six games without a victory.

It was the visitors' Sofien Moussa who headed over Carson's bar early on for Dundee, before 'Well hit back and forced a couple of fruitless corners, the second of which saw the returning Hartley nod over after Craig Tanner's driven delivery.

It was the Dark Blues' time to force a corner on eight minutes and they were close to breaking the deadlock as Jon Aurtenetxe's outswinger was met by a looping Moussa header which hit Carson's bar.

The away side then headed over an even better chance from another corner, before the Steelmen started to get back into it.

Tanner had a shot saved by Dee keeper Elliott Parish before Gael Bigirimana blocked an A-jay Leitch Smith effort at the other end.

Cedric Kipre had a headed effort blocked after brilliant set-up play by Tanner, with the final opportunity of the first half seeing Chris Cadden's driven cross just evading the back post.

If the first half was short on chances, the second half - appropriately enough given the lively weather conditions - was a whirlwind of countless talking points.

Dundee started it in storming fashion, going 1-0 up almost straight away with a fine strike by Paul McGowan after Faissal el-Bakhtaoui's pass.

And it was so nearly 2-0 for the visitors within three minutes as McGowan's delicate chip shot from outside the box came back off the bar.

The action was pulsating at this point, with Liam Grimshaw rampaging through and having a shot blocked by Parish.

'Well quickly made a double substitution by throwing on Frear and Newell for Grimshaw and Bowman, with Cadden then walking off the park injured just three minutes later and being replaced by Andy Rose.

The Steelmen looked much more effective after the draft of substitutions and got level from the penalty spot with an hour played.

The goal came after Kipre had been fouled in the box by Mark O'Hara - who has ironically been linked with a transfer to Motherwell in the national press - and Tanner then stepped up to blast past Parish from 12 yards.

The Fir Park outfit kept their attacking momentum going and a momentous, wind assisted throw by Carson then led to Newell being fouled just outside the Dundee box.

From the resultant free-kick, Tanner's powerful strike was stopped by Parish.

There was then disaster for Motherwell as Frear left the pitch - apparently still dogged by his hamstring problems - and the Steelmen had to play the last 15 minutes a man light.

Most of the attacking play in the remaining minutes was towards Carson's goal, with Cammy Kerr's driven 77th minute cross just missing the back post.

And the Dee came agonisingly close with nine minutes remaining when Josh Meekings header from an inswinging free-kick came back off the inside of Carson's right hand post.

Dundee substitute Scott Allan headed into the side netting from a Kerr cross on 87 minutes, with McGowan's flick wide of the post in injury time proving to be the final chance of the contest.

Motherwell: Carson, Tait, Grimshaw (Frear 51), Bigirimana, Hartley, Cadden (Rose 54), McHugh, Bowman (Newell 51), Dunne, Kipré, Tanner.

Referee: Don Robertson

Crowd: 4173