Motherwell could count themselves unfortunate not to return from Dundee on Saturday with at least their first point of 2015.
The 3-1 scoreline flattered Dundee United who looked a shadow of the side who twice ran ’Well ragged at Fir Park in November.
The visitors could easily have had two penalties to send them on their way, but challenges by Callum Morris on Lee Erwin and later Stephen Pearson were both deemed fair by referee Craig Thomson.
Dan Twardzik proved more than a match for United’s strikers in the autumn and he showed his quality again, palming away a Blair Spittal volley.
Stuart Armstrong then robed Josh Law at the edge of the box, but shot straight at Twardzik.
Three minutes from the break ’Well thought they were ahead as John Sutton bundled a Pearson cutback towards goal.
Morris cleared it off the line, but a communication error with his assistant David McGeachie saw Thomson give the goal before changing his mind.
At the start of the second half Erwin scuffed wide after Jaroslaw Folut miscontrolled a Pearson cross.
Then Pearson himself should have done much better than shoot straight at Radoslaw Cierzniak when the ball ran kindly at the edge of the box.
But for all ’Well’s good play the game was still all to play for and on 61 minutes CHARLIE TELFER rifled home a low shot from 20 yards to put Dundee United 1-0 up.
Seven minutes later they doubled their lead as FOJUT was completely unmarked at the back post to head in an Aidan Connelly corner.
Another kindly run of the ball at the edge of the area put Person in, but this time he couldn’t find the top corner with a powerful shot.
On 78 minutes ’Well pulled one back as SIMON RAMSDEN smashed in his first goal for the club from a Lionel Ainsworth cross.
However, they couldn’t find an equaliser and two minutes from time Ryan Dow cut the ball back to TELFER and he found the bottom corner.
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Spittal, Morris, Fojut, Dillon, Butcher, Armstrong (Paton 80), Telfer, Connolly (Mackay-Steven 70), Dow, Anier (Ciftci 56). Subs not used: Szromnik, Rankin, Townsend, Erskine.
Motherwell: Twardzik, Reid, Carswell (Ainsworth 73), Ramsden, McManus, Sutton, Kerr, Law (Moore 67), Erwin, Watt, Pearson. Subs not used: Nielsen, Thomas, Cadden, MacLean, Ferguson.
Referee: Craig Thomson.