Motherwell see off Dundee 2-0 at Dens Park to reach Scottish Cup quarter-finals

Motherwell ace Craig Tanner fires home the opening goal in Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round tie at Dens Park (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Motherwell ace Craig Tanner fires home the opening goal in Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round tie at Dens Park (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

A confident Motherwell side comfortably saw off Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday to qualify for the quarter-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

The Steelmen - backed by a large and boisterous away following of 1447 visiting fans - prevailed thanks to goals in either half by Craig Tanner and Curtis Main.

Motherwell thought they had got off to an ideal start within three minutes when Tom Aldred headed the ball into the net after Cedric Kipre had nodded an inswinging Craig Tanner free-kick across. But offside was given against Kipre so the 'goal' was disallowed.

Dundee responded immediately with Sofien Moussa's headed attempt just off target in the fourth minute.

And the same player then balloned the ball well over after Kipre's error following a Paul McGowan cross from the right.

Prolific Main - who would go on to score his fifth goal in six games for the Steelmen - fizzed a left footed effort wide from outside the box as the visitors hit back.

And Motherwell then produced a brilliant move down the right flank on 15 minutes which culminated in Cadden's cross from the right being headed wide by Ciftci.

The Steelmen did hit the front on the half hour when Tanner volleyed the ball in from 18 yards, although Dundee keeper Elliott Parish looked a bit slow going down for the ball.

The hosts then wasted a good chance to equalise in the late winter sunshine when Kevin Holt skied his effort after Jon Aurtenetxe's free-kick to the back post.

And the Dark Blues soon wasted another opportunity from a setpiece when Aurtenetxe's corner found Genseric Kusunga but his attempt was well off target.

Motherwell had a penalty appeal for handball turned down when Carl McHugh's header hit Dundee defender Genseric Kusunga.

Play then raged to the other end where yet another Aurtenetxe setpiece found Darren O'Dea but his effort went awry.

And that was it for an action packed first half which was a throwback to days of yore in terms of the high number of meaty challenges going in.

'Well striker Ciftci - regularly barracked by the home fans due to his spell at Dundee United earlier in his career - was involved in many of these incidents and copped a booking for one of them.

It was Dundee who were in the ascendancy early in the second half and Mark O'Hara quickly tested Motherwell keeper Trevor Carson with a rasping drive from distance.

Carson again earned his crust with a sensational 57th minute save from Moussa, who had cut inside and sent a solid effort towards goal.

Dundee were camped in the Steelmen's half for a 10-minute period, but - wouldn't you know it - the Lanarkshire side broke away to go 2-0 up when a long ball forward was sent past Parish. Main claimed the goal after challenging for it with Dundee defender Kevin Holt.

Saturday's victory was Motherwell's second over Premiership opposition in this season's tournament after beating Hamilton Accies 2-0 in the previous round.

Dundee kept plugging away in the latter stages with O'Hara volleying over after a free-kick into the Motherwell box and Roarie Deacon having a shot blocked.

But the Dossers comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to book a safe passage into the last eight.

And the odds are that they will be paired with yet more top flight opposition when the quarter-final draw is made after tomorrow's Aberdeen-Dundee United tie at Pittodrie.

Motherwell: Carson, Tait, Cadden, McHugh (Turnbull 90), Main, Rose, Dunne, Aldred, Kipré, Çiftçi (Petravicius 85), Tanner (Bigirimana 73).

Referee: Bobby Madden

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