’Well held by SPL basement dwellers

Michael Higdon slides the ball past a helpless Rab Douglas.
Michael Higdon slides the ball past a helpless Rab Douglas.

MICHAEL Higdon scored his eighth goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough for Motherwell to take all three points against bottom of the table Dundee on Saturday.

After the frustration of losing a late goal to Dundee United in midweek, the Fir Parkers were looking to get back to winning ways against the other side from the City of Discovery.

Stuart McCall named the same side for the third game in a row with Shaun Hutchinson still out with a hamstring injury and long-term casualty Steven Saunders just getting the nod to resume training.

Dundee goalkeeper Rab Douglas was called into action early on, but although Henrik Ojamaa and Higdon both got shots on target neither seriously concerned the former Scotland number one.

At the other end Steven Milne appealed for a penalty after claiming to be nudged by Simon Ramsden as he pulled the trigger, but referee John Beaton wasn’t interested.

Douglas may be 40 now, but still showed enough agility to get down low to deny Keith Lasley and then reacted quickly to push a Nicky Law effort over the top.

However, only an acrobatic clearance by Gary Irvine kept the a scores level as he prevented Higdon from heading in a Tom Hateley corner.

Douglas then denied Law for a second time with a diving catch, before on 29 minutes Dundee took the lead against the run of play as Hately slid in to block Iain Davidson’s shot at the edge of the box, but the ball ran kindly for NICKY RILEY to beat Darren Randolph.

’Well were determined to regain parity and Hateley’s found Jamie Murphy unmarkled in the box, but he couldn’t set himself properly and knocked the ball wide.

However, in stoppage time at the end of the first half the equaliser came as Douglas parried Ojamaa’s shot but HIGDON was on hand to knock the ball into the empty net.

On the hours mark Hateley almost gave the home side the lead in bizarre fashion of he badly overhit a free kick, but lookign to be curlign into the top corner until Douglas scrambled back to tip the ball over the bar.

Hesitation by Randolph allowed Colin Nish to nip on to Milne’s header, but the former Hibs striker could only smack the ball against the Irish ’keeper.

Randolph was then called into action against as Milne’s overhead kick deflected off Law’s head, but quick reactions turned the ball oevr the top.

Muprhy then had a great chance as he struck the ball 10 yards out, but Douglas was equal to it and even when he was involved in a mix-up with his own defender Declan Gallagher at a Hately corner the ball flicked off the centre-half’s head and dropped agonisingly wide of the vacant goal.

Three minutes from the end Higdon had the ball in the net after volleying in at the back post following Lasley’s shot being deflected high into the air by Kyle Benedictus, but was rightly flagged offside.

So honours remained even and ’Well will have wait until the visit of Hearts on November 24 to try to claim their first home win since the 4-1 victory over Inverness CT on November 1.

Motherwell: Randolph, Hammell (Francis-Angol 57), Law, Hateley, Humphrey (Daley 80), Ojamaa, Higdon, Murphy (McHugh 80), Lasley, Ramsden, Cummins. Subs not used: Hollis, Carswell, Kerr, Hetherington.

Dundee: Douglas, Irvine, Lockwood, Davidson, Riley (Conroy 71), McBride, Milne (J Baird 86), Benedictus, Gallagher, McAlister, Nish. Subs not used: A Baird, McGregor, Webster, Boyle, Toshney.

Referee: John Beaton.

Attendance: 4,318.