Tangerines suffer from the start
Tue 27th Nov 7.45pm
Dundee United were again caught cold at the start when visitors Motherwell scored twice inside the opening ten minutes of a 2-1 victory at Tannadice.
Michael Higdon controlled well inside the area to begin the scoring on seven minutes from a cross delivered by Chris Humphrey, who then crashed a superb 20-yard strike into the top corner just three minutes later.
Shaun Hutchinson had already headed wide for the visitors while Barry Douglas despatched a 20-yard free-kick straight at Darren Randolph in reply.
Motherwell continued to appear dangerous with Tom Hateley drilling over and Henrik Ojamaa only finding the side-netting until Randolph turned over a Gavin Gunning free-kick at the opposite end.
The Tangerines thought they should have had a penalty when Hateley appeared to catch Stuart Armstrong inside the area. But skipper Jon Daly converted Sean Dillon's cross to reduce the deficit before the interval - although it still took a great save from Radoslaw Cierzniak to prevent Higdon adding his second of the night.
Following the restart it was his opposite number Randolph being tested by John Rankin while both Daly and Rudi Skacel missed opportunities before Cierzniak produced a fine block from Jamie Murphy's reply.
More frustration followed for the hosts when Skacel forced in Daly's cross but was ruled offside as the visitors survived late pressure to move within a point of the leaders.
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Dillon, McLean, Gunning, Douglas, Flood (Ryan 84), Rankin (Gardyne 72), Armstrong, Skacel, Russell, Daly
subs (unused): Banks, Watson, Dow, Lacny, Hilson
Goals: Daly (37)
Motherwell: Randolph, Hutchinson, Francis-Angol, Cummins, Law, Hateley, Humphrey, Lasley, Ojamaa (Carswell 81), Higdon, Murphy
subs (unused): Hollis, Kerr, Daley, Hetherington, McHugh, Craig Moore
Goals: Higdon (7), Humphrey (10)