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Dundee strike late to sink Motherwell

A late Johnny Russell goal helped Dundee United keep the pace in the Scottish Premier League, with a 1-0 win at Motherwell.

Keith Watson's deep cross was met by Russell in the 84th minute and his powerful header left Motherwell goalkeeper Darren Randolph with no chance.

United manager Peter Houston praised Russell, who was a clear standout for the away side in tricky conditions.

"On a difficult night I thought both teams tried to serve up a lot of football," Houston said. "One wee bit of quality has won us the game.

"It's not the first time Johnny Russell has scored a goal like that, he scored one at McDiarmid Park last season that was the exact same.

"I don't think it was a header across goal, he was trying to score. It deceived the goalkeeper and went over the top of his head but for me that shows great quality.

"It was a good ball in from Keith Watson, perfect delivery and a perfect header. Johnny Russell is capable of that, he is very good in the air."

United now sit in seventh place, equal on points with sixth-placed Motherwell and just four points behind leaders Celtic.

Only two teams have conceded fewer goals than United this season and Houston believes that defence has been critical for his side.

"That's our sixth clean sheet of the season, credit to the defenders," he said. "Brian McLean had to come in for Barry Douglas, who failed a fitness test. Brian McLean came in and defended well."

Despite the home side missing a chance to distance themselves from Dundee United, Motherwell boss Stuart McCall took positives from the match.

"We'll play a lot worse than that and lose," McCall said. "I found it very difficult to say anything negative other than the result. It was two good teams out there. How we have failed to score I don't know."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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