Daly hat-trick sinks Motherwell

Jon Daly struck a hat-trick in little over 13 minutes as Dundee United kept alive their hopes of pipping Hearts to third place with a 4-0 win.

Last Updated: 07/05/11 at 17:37

Daly: Struck a hat-trick to sink the Steelmen

Daly: Struck a hat-trick to sink the Steelmen

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Daly headed home in the 36th minute and soon fired home to give United a well-deserved and comfortable half-time lead against an under-strength Motherwell.

The Irishman took advantage of more slack Motherwell defending to put the game out of the reach four minutes into the second half and substitute Andis Shala claimed a late fourth.

The victory put United five points behind Hearts with both sides now facing the Old Firm before meeting at Tannadice on the final day.

Peter Houston's men, who will be looking to repeat last month's Ibrox win on Tuesday, also closed their goal-difference deficit to six after being earlier boosted by Hearts' 4-0 defeat by Rangers.

Motherwell had beaten United four times already this season but manager Stuart McCall rested Stevie Hammell, Keith Lasley and John Sutton with the Scottish Cup final against Celtic in mind and captain Stephen Craigan started on the bench.

Tom Hateley, Shaun Hutchinson, Ross Forbes and Stuart Carswell were drafted in while Chris Humphrey returned from a dead leg, but Well have now conceded 12 goals in three games since reaching the final.

Motherwell started with five in midfield and struggled to support Francis Jeffers in the first half. United had the edge from the start and Johnny Russell came close to a glorious goal in the 16th minute when he met Daly's cross on the volley from 18 yards out, but the shot whistled a yard over the top corner.

Darren Randolph was comfortably behind headers from Keith Watson and Daly before Gavin Gunning got back to block well from David Goodwillie after the Motherwell defence had been caught square.

Randolph then parried Morgaro Gomis' curling effort after good work from Russell and United winger Craig Conway shot over after being afforded yards of space on the right.

Motherwell appeared to have weathered the storm but Randolph soon made a rare error.

Dixon was given the chance to flight the ball in after Forbes had been booked for a foul on Gomis in midfield and Daly aimed a header which was far from emphatic but squeezed in between Randolph and his post.

Daly grabbed his second in the 43rd minute. Garry Kenneth's measured pass found the Irishman in space just inside the box and he turned away from Hutchinson before firing into the bottom corner.

Centre-backs Hutchinson and Gunning were then involved in a heated discussion over how Daly was afforded such room, but Gunning was unquestionably to blame when Daly completed his hat-trick. The on-loan Blackburn defender misjudged Dixon's cross and saw it float over his head straight to Daly, who chested down and fired into the corner from 12 yards.

Motherwell soon brought on striker Gary Smith for midfielder Forbes and both he and Carswell threatened from Hateley corners without forcing Dusan Pernis into action.

But Daly was still getting chances. The former Stockport striker was too high with a chip from 25 yards after Hutchinson had misjudged a long ball, and then headed against the outside of the post from a tight angle following Conway's deep cross.

Pernis made his first save in the 61st minute, holding Humphrey's low drive at the second attempt. Motherwell brought on Craigan for Maurice Ross and they improved considerably in possession, with Jeffers curling just wide from the edge of the box.

But United regained control and Randolph tipped over Goodwillie's header before being beaten again in the 88th minute.

Watson scuffed a shot towards goal following Dixon's corner and the ball rolled into the corner as sub Andis Shala claimed the final touch from close range, although it was not clear whether he made contact.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Saturday, 18 October 2014
15:00
Dundee U 1-0 Partick Report
Motherwell 1-3 Dundee Report
St J'stone 1-2 Kilmarnck Report
St Mirren 0-1 Inverness Report
12:45
Ross Co 0-5 Celtic Report
Friday, 17 October 2014
19:45
Hamilton 3-0 Aberdeen Report
Sunday, 05 October 2014
13:00
Celtic 0-1 Hamilton Report
12:45
Inverness 1-1 Ross Co Report
Saturday, 04 October 2014
15:00
Dundee 2-3 Aberdeen Report
Partick 3-1 Motherwell Report

Scottish Premiership

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Hamilton 10 14 23
2 Dundee U 10 7 22
3 Inverness 10 6 20
4 Kilmarnck 10 6 20
5 Celtic 9 13 17
6 Aberdeen 10 1 16
7 Dundee 10 -1 13
8 Partick 9 0 10
9 St J'stone 10 -7 9
10 St Mirren 10 -8 7
11 Motherwell 10 -12 7
12 Ross Co 10 -19 4

Updated Sat, 18 Oct 2014

Footer 365

Government reveal plans aimed at making it easier for fans to run football clubs

The Government has revealed plans to establish a group of experts aimed at making it easier for fans to run football clubs.

Premier League: Louis van Gaal reflects on individual errors in Manchester United's draw at West Brom

Louis van Gaal felt that Manchester United produced their 'best match of the season', despite the 2-2 draw at West Brom.

Adel Taarabt criticises QPR boss Harry Redknapp over claims he is unfit

QPR forward Adel Taarabt has hit back at manager Harry Redknapp over claims that he is overweight and unfit to play.

Mail Box

Is Van Gaal Just A Dutch Pardew?

A Mailbox of comparisons. Van Gaal is similar to Pardew, Wenger to Moyes, Van Persie to a spent force, and Pelle to a bloody gent. There's also plenty from last night...

Reimbursing Fans? How Patronising...

It's something of a return to form for the mailbox with mails on Southampton (Liverpool fans are cynical), the gorgeous Graziano Pelle, Arsenal, Spurs and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property