MICHAEL Higdon scored twice to earn Motherwell all three points on Friday and break Willie Pettigrew’s post-war league goals record for the club.
Henrik Ojamaa got in on the scoring action as ‘Well made it four wins out of four in the City of Discovery this season, two at Dens Park and now two at Tannadice.
HIGDON took just two minutes to get on the scoresheet as he collected a pass from James McFadden and thundered a shot in off the woodwork from 30 yards. It was his 23rd league strike of the season, equalling Pettigrew’s 35-year-old record.
United almost hit back immediately as Ryan Gauld played a neat one-two with John Rankin, but his chip from the edge of the area was just over.
There was plenty of early action and a wayward Nicky Law cross to the back post was collected by Chris Humphrey who cut in from the right, but was denied by Radosław Cierzniak.
On eight minutes the visitors doubled their advantage. Higdon used his thigh to knock a Stevie Hammell throw-in into the path of OJAMAA and he ran through the ever-widening United defence to prod the ball past Cierzniak.
The hosts had a shout for a penalty as Gary Mackay-Steven went down in the box under the challenge of Tom Hateley, but referee John Beaton wasn’t interested.
The fragile United defence then retreated from McFadden, but from the edge of the box he sent his shot through Sean Dillon’s legs and wide.
‘Well went in at the break on top, but any thoughts they could relax were dispelled at the start of the second half as Stuart Armstrong broke down the left and his low cross found John Daly.
The Irishman aimed a cheeky flick for the near post, but Darren Randolph showed sharp reactions to keep it out.
Ojamaa hadn’t scored in 2013 prior to this, but almost made it two in one night as he volleyed first time from a Hammell throw on to the top of the net.
The away support didn’t have to wait long for number three though, as on 55 minutes Humphrey fed the ball into the feet of HIGDON and one clever turn and snapshot later he was the new record holder.
United at last got into the match as Willo Flood crashed a free kick against the post and then on 69 minutes Mackay-Steven prodded into the path of DALY who fired under Randolph, but it was a consolation.
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Dillon, Douglas, McLean, Flood, Rankin (Dow 70), Daly, Mackay-Steven (Boulding 87), Armstrong, Gauld (Gardyne 82), Souttar. Subs not used: Anderson, Tornstrand, Johnston, Ryan.
Motherwell: Randolph, Hammell, Law, Hutchinson, Hateley, Humphrey (Kerr 87), Ojamaa, Higdon, Lasley, Ramsden, McFadden (Carswell 83). Subs not used: Hollis, Francis-Angol, Cummins, Higginbotham, McHugh.
Referee: John Beaton.