OPINION: Motherwell 4-3 Dundee was among the best games I've seen in 35 years

Motherwell Times sports reporter Craig Goldthorp
Motherwell Times sports reporter Craig Goldthorp

Mental, nuts, astonishing, thrill a minute, dramatic, naive, cruel, fantastic – Saturday's seven-goal extravaganza at Fir Park on Saturday had it all, writes Craig Goldthorp.

I’ve been following Motherwell since the mid 1980s and this game was almost as zany as the outrageous gear and makeup worn by Culture Club singer Boy George when he was chart topping three and a half decades ago.

In addition to the seven goals scored – the final one being the outstanding David Turnbull’s ferocious winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time – the match also featured a red card for Motherwell’s Alex Gorrin and the officials infuriating the home support by initially awarding Motherwell a late penalty for handball before changing their minds after wrongly adjudging that the ball had gone out of play.

To say the Motherwell Times’ live matchday blog on the frenzy was a bit lively is an understatement a bit like saying Turnbull is a reasonably good player. The same goes for our Twitter views.

It was end to end stuff, reminiscent of a basketball contest, from early in the first half when Dundee went ahead through Martin Woods’ penalty after a clumsy challenge in the box by Gboly Ariyibi on Cammy Kerr.

After Turnbull had levelled within two minutes with a deflected shot, Dundee soon broke away again to go 2-1 up with Ethan Robson’s stunning shot.

But the bottom of the table side conceded again very quickly when Ariyibi’s low cross from the right found James Scott whose shot squirmed past Dundee keeper Seny Dieng who looked at fault.

Numerous more chances followed at either end – the best of which seeing home keeper Mark Gillespie brilliantly turning Jesse Curran’s close range shot onto the post – before the Steelmen went 3-2 up when Ariyibi shot home superbly after an Allan Campbell assist.

But the Steelmen’s lead lasted barely two minutes as Woods’ corner was headed in comfortably by an unmarked Nathan Ralph.

Motherwell were reduced to 10 men on 58 minutes when Gorrin received a second yellow card for a lunging foul in midfield.

After Genseric Kusunga had headed against the inside of the post for Dundee, ’Well almost netted again when Turnbull’s powerful low free-kick was brilliantly turned round the post by Dieng.

There was then major controversy on 83 minutes as referee Kevin Clancy initially awarded Motherwell a penalty for handball and then changed his mind after speaking to Phil O’Donnell Stand linesman Jordan Stokoe.

The officials had thought the ball had gone out of play in the build-up to the strike, but TV replays later proved this WASN’T the case.

Turnbull scored a sensational winner in the fifth minute of injury time when he rattled the rebound high into the net after his initial rocket shot had come back off the bar!

Fir Park quite simply went crazy as Player of the Year Turnbull earned a crucial three points which moves eighth placed Motherwell just one point behind St Johnstone – held to a 1-1 draw by St Mirren – in the battle to finish seventh and the extra £60,000 in prizemoney that comes with it.

It would be very welcome and, on this evidence, if Motherwell can continue with such devastating attacking flair – and tighten up a bit at the back – there’s no reason why they can’t take maximum points from their last three games of the season.