Motherwell beat Dunfermline to go back to the top of the SPL

Motherwell beat Dunfermline to go back to the top of the SPLThe Motherwell manager Stuart McCall felt his side made unnecessarily hard work of their 4-2 victory at Dunfermline which sent his team back to the top of the Scottish Premier League, with Motherwell's Michael Higdon scoring in each half of the match.

"I was delighted with the first-half performance. We have got players in the team, especially on a big pitch, that can stretch the game," McCall said.

"I said at half-time 'don't be complacent, obviously Dunfermline are going to come out and have a good go at you. We got the third goal and just got a bit sloppy, taking too many touches and dribbling in areas we should have been passing.

"But we killed it off. There's no doubt we deserved to win the game but it should have been more comfortable than it was, but you have got to give credit to Dunfermline for getting themselves back in it."

The visitors completely outplayed Dunfermline during a first half in which Higdon and Jamie Murphy, via a deflection, both scored and Chris Humphrey added a third shortly after the break.

The Pars finally made a game of it in the final quarter with Joe Cardle scoring twice, both of them deflected, but Higdon grabbed another in the last minute.

Darren Randolph made his first save of the game when he held Andy Kirk's header following a cross from Jason Thomson, who soon blazed over from 20 yards after another decent attack from the hosts.

Motherwell looked to have killed the game off but they were caught on the break in the 88th minute after Lasley lost the ball inside the Dunfermline half.

The visiting defence was exposed and Cardle ran to the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a low drive that took a major deflection off Stephen Craigan and beat Randolph.

However, Motherwell quickly extended their lead to give a more accurate portrayal of the balance of play as, in the last minute, Higdon netted his third in two games.

Motherwell played the ball out from the back and Humphrey found Nicky Law inside the box. The English midfielder sent in a low cross that Higdon stabbed in from close range.

The Dunfermline manager Jim McIntyre admitted "We were too far off the game. Motherwell showed what a good side they are when you give them time and space on the ball, and they punished us."

Graeme Shinnie's late winner helped Inverness Caledonian Thistle beat Kilmarnock 2-1 and lifted them off the bottom of the SPL.

The full-back's low strike in the 89th minute secured victory at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, giving Inverness their first win of the campaign.

The home side took the lead in the 25th minute through Gregory Tade's powerful close-range header before Dean Shiels equalised with a 25-yard curling shot nine minutes later.

Richie Foran squandered a great chance to put Caley back in front, sending a diving header wide when he was found unmarked by Aaron Doran eight yards out.

An under-strength Inverness suffered a double injury blow in the closing stages with Foran and Doran both going off for treatment. However, with two minutes remaining, Shinnie lifted the gloom with the winner. The full-back was picked out by Nick Ross's pass and he sent a low angled shot from 10 yards into the bottom corner to secure victory.

Powered by article was written by Nial Briggs, for The Observer on Saturday 27th August 2011 19.48 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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