Hopes that the international break might let Motherwell regroup and start to climb up the table were dashed as Dundee ran out 3-1 winners.
’Well had Dundee old boys Dan Twardzik and John Sutton in their line-up, but it was one of their own old boys, David Clarkson, who made an immediate impact.
Clarkson was on trial at Fir Park over the summer, but after not being offered a contract headed to Dens Park and he opened the scoring after just two minutes as Gary Harkins nodded the ball into the box and CLARKSON lashed the ball past Twardzik on the half volley.
The home side looked to get back into the match and Sutton sent Henrik Ojamaa heading towards the box, he held off Thomas Konrad, but lacked power in the shot to beat Scott Bain who was only in goal for Dundee after Kyle Letheren injured himself in the warm up.
Simon Ramsden then had a volley cleared off the line by Kevin McBride from a Lionel Ainsworth corner before Dundee doubled their lead on 29 minutes.
A slip by Stephen McManus allowed in Greg Stewart, his attempted flick past Twardzik was saved by the ’keeper, but HARKINS was following up to drill the ball into the net.
’Well had Twardzik to thank for not allowing Dundee to gallop out of sight as he saved from a Clarkson free header and Paul McGinn’s effort.
At half-time Stuart McCall sent on Fraser Kerr and Stuart Carswell for Stephen McManus and Jack Leitch, but on 59 minutes it was 3-0 as Clarkson found STEWART all alone in the box and he had time to beat Twardzik.
Bain tipped a powerful shot by Ojamaa over the bar before the Estonian grabbed a consolation on 62 minutes.
Ainsworth’s corner was headed goalwards by Kerr and OJAMAA was sharp to stab the ball into the net.
’Well tried to drag themselves back into the match, but Ainsworth’s shot was deflected inches wide and Iain Vigurs’s effort from the edge of the box allowed Bain to pull off a flashy, but relatively comfortable save.
The defeat leaves ’Well still in 11th place in the table and now a relegation battle is becoming a real possibility.
Motherwell: Twardzik, Ramsden, McManus (F Kerr 46), Ainsworth, Sutton, Vigurs, Lasley, O’Brien, Francis-Angol (Law 74), Leitch (Carswell 46), Ojamaa. Subs not used: Nielsen, McHugh, Thomas, Cadden.
Dundee: Bain, Irvine, Konrad, Davidson, McBride, Stewart (Thomson 68), Clarkson, McGowan, McGinn (C Kerr 41), McAlister, Harkins (Boyle 79). Subs not used: Roberts, Wighton, Allan.
Referee: Brian Colvin.