TANNER CONTINUES ONE-MAN MISSION AGAINST DUNDEE
By Simon Lovell
Craig Tanner scored his fourth goal in as many games against Dundee this season with the winner as Motherwell won 1-0 in the Ladbrokes Premiership contest at Dens Park.
Stephen Robinson’s side chalked up their third win at their favoured venue this season courtesy of Tanner’s decisive 33rd minute strike.
It sets the Steelmen up perfectly for a week which sees them face Aberdeen in league action on Wednesday, before taking on Hearts in their William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final next Sunday.
Meanwhile, Neil McCann’s Dundee must lift themselves for the game at Celtic in midweek, after showing plenty of effort in this encounter but lacking a killer touch in front of goal. They drop to ninth in the table.
Motherwell had won 2-0 here in the Scottish Cup a fortnight earlier, following a 1-0 league win at the same venue back in late October, so they arrived on Tayside in good fettle.
But they faced a Dundee side buoyed by their last-gasp 2-1 victory away to Partick Thistle the previous weekend thanks to Simon Murray’s double.
The hosts threatened first when Josh Meekings’ long throw-in was met by fellow defender Steven Caulker, whose header from close-range was comfortably held by visiting keeper Trevor Carson.
Motherwell gradually began to find their feet and, midway through the first half, Chris Cadden’s cross picked out Curtis Main at the far post but his looping header did not seriously trouble Elliott Parish in the hosts goal.
At the other end, Dundee midfielder Roarie Deacon’s corner was met by Sofien Moussa, only for the Tunisian striker to side-foot past the post from a matter of just a few yards.
However, in the 33rd minuts Motherwell raced up the pitch and scored what proved to be the only goal of the game in simple fashion.
Main’s low cross was perfect for Tanner, who arrived at the back post to calmly tap home from just a few yards.
Dundee attempted to raise the pace after the break and within five minutes of the restart, Moussa knocked down Glen Kamara’s cross but centre-back Genseric Kusunga blasted high over the bar from 10 yards.
There followed a period of pressure from McCann’s side which saw captain Cammy Kerr and Kamara both have shots blocked as the Motherwell defence fought hard to hold on to their narrow lead.
With five minutes left, visiting skipper Carl McHugh came to the rescue by heading Deacon’s cross wide for a corner, with former England international Caulker breathing down his neck at the far post.