Dundee travelled to Lanarkshire to face Motherwell on matchday 4 of the Ladbrokes Premiership looking to secure their second away win of the season having won in Dingwall on the opening day.
Dundee made three changes from the side which drew with Hamilton at Dens nine days ago with Loy, Etxabeguren and the injured James Vincent dropping out to be replaced by Duffy, McGowan and Kevin Gomis who was coming in for his debut.
Dundee kicked the match off but it was Motherwell who were on the front foot and Darren O’Dea had to slide in to block a Craig Clay shot from the edge of the box before Nick Ross headed back to the yellow clad Bain in the Dundee goal.
A great run by Clay through the middle of the park set up Marvin Johnson who cut in from the right but his shot didn’t bother Scott Bain and sailed high into the Dundee support in the South Stand behind the goal.
Chris Cadden then fired in a dangerous looking cross into the Dundee six yard box which Cammy Kerr headed behind for a corner before Joe Chalmers hooked the ball over the bar from close range when the ball came back into the Dundee box.
Motherwell continued to press and on the quarter hour Clay moved the ball onto his right foot to shoot from 25 yards but it hit O’Dea in the face and play was stopped for the Dark Blues’ stand-in skipper to receive treatment.
Lionel Ainsworth then won a corner when Cammy Kerr deflected his cross behind when when the ball came into the six yard box the referee blew for a foul to Dundee with Clay jostling with O’Dea, having been warmed second earlier.
On 20 minutes Dundee created their first real chance of the match when El Bakhtaoui found space in the right hand side of Motherwell’s box but his shot was saved by the feet off Samson. The ball rebounded straight back to Dundee’s number 20 who looked a shoe-in to score but McManus dived in to brilliantly block his effort.
Motherwell continued to pepper the Dundee goal with long range shots, the nearest being McDonald’s which just flew over the crossbar on the half hour.
Paul McGowan became the second Dundee player to yellow carded, following O’Hara into the book, when he brought down Ainsworth about 25 yards out but Joe Chalmers bent the free kick over the wall and over the bar.
Motherwell kept the pressure on with a series of corners but ten minutes before the break Dundee showed they could get in behind the Motherwell defence when Ross threaded a neat through ball to Williams on the right but but cut back was cleared out the Motherwell box by Heneghan.
Motherwell continued to look dangerous with Holt blocking a goal bound Ainsworth shot while a Clay cutback took a grateful deflection into Bain’s arms in the six yard box and Gomis had to look lively to slide in and put a Cadden cross behind for a corner.
El Bahktaoui tried his luck from distance just before the break but his shot was blocked by McManus but the teams went into the dressing room still goal less with Motherwell perhaps feeling unfortunate not to be ahead.
Dundee started the second half much more positively with Duffy winning a corner when his shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide within seconds of the restart and they won a further two corners to keep the pressure on.
Michael Duffy then tried his luck from distance again but his shot from the edge of the D whistled past Samson’s right hand post.
Dundee continued to probe with Duffy making some great runs but it was Motherwell with the game’s next chance when Bain had to punch away a McDonald shot from 25 yards and when Ainsworth hit the rebound towards goal it hit a Dundee defender and bounced into the arms of Bain.
Dundee were next to try from distance when first El Bahktaoui fired wide from 18 yards before Mark O’Hara tried his luck from “Bobby Glennie territory” but Samson wasn’t bothered by either effort.
Michael Duffy then hit a rasping shot from 25 yards and while Samson this time looked on ominously, it flew inches past the post.
A neat ball behind the Dundee defence found Ainsworth in space in the Dundee box 20 minutes into the second period but O’Dea gamely slid in to clear the danger from the advancing McDonald.
Duffy was causing the Motherwell defence all sorts of problems with his running and he won a corner when Heneghan had to stop his run into the box. From the corner the ball landed to McGowan inside the D but he fired high into the Dundee fans behind the goal.
El Bahktaoui was next to threaten when he turned on the edge of the box and shot for goal but Samson punched away his effort from under the junction.
The game was now flowing from end to end and Lionel Ainsworth bent an effort from the edge of the box which Bain had to dive to his left to save. Dundee then went up the park and had El Bahktaoui cut into the box and shoot but Samson saved his grounded shot easily.
It was Bain’s turn to save a low effort when Ainsworth was fed into the Dundee box but his angled shot from 12 yards was saved by the Dark Blues’ keeper.
El Bahktaoui and Tait clashed when the Motherwell defender fell over the advertising boards as they chased a long ball into the box and referee Andrew Dallas had to step in to calm them down.
Both sides brought on attacking substitutes as they looked to win the game with Rory Loy coming on for Williams and Motherwell assistant manager James McFadden replacing Ainsworth.
Motherwell threw a few crosses into the box before Lasley tried a shot from the edge of the box but O’Hara through his body on the line to block.
In the end however both sides had to settle for a point as an entertaining game finished goal less and the Dark Blues might be slightly the happier after a much improved second half.
Motherwell: Samson, Tait, Heneghan, McManus, Ainsworth (McFadden 79’), Johnson, Cadden, Lasley, Chalmers, Clay, McDonald
Subs: Brill, Hammell, Lucas, Thomas, Ferguson, MacLean
Booked – Heneghan (foul on O’Hara)
Dundee: Bain, Holt, O’Dea, Duffy, Williams (Loy 65’), O’Hara, Ross, McGowan, El Bakhtaoui, Kerr, Gomis
Subs: Mitchell, Extabeguren, Gadzhalov, Curran, Quigley, Smyth
Booked – O’Hara (foul on Johnson), McGowan (foul on Ainsworth)
Referee – Andrew Dallas
Assistant Referees – Alasdair Ross and StephenMitchell
Crowd: 4708 (599 Dundee fans)