Motherwell’s comeback victory sealed Dundee United’s relegation from the Scottish Premiership.
Kevin van Veen scored for the record 11th time in a row to put the hosts ahead, but Jamie McGrath scored from the spot and Steven Fletcher pushed United ahead to keep their barely imaginable escape hopes alive.
Motherwell were level after Blair Spittal’s stunning low shot, but Max Johnston’s powerful header meant Stuart Kettlewell’s team finished the season with a win.
United finish bottom of the league, having conceded 70 league goals, while Motherwell finish in a comfortable seventh place.
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Motherwell had the better start, with Blair Spittal trying Jack Newman from distance before Van Veen rounded the United keeper to extend his incredible recent goal-scoring streak, surpassing the 10-game mark achieved by Marco Negri and Mark Viduka.
Motherwell, on the other hand, went into their shells after that, while United surged into the game. Glenn Middleton was stopped twice by Liam Kelly, and Fletcher had a shot cleared off the line.
After Bevis Mugabi failed to deal with a long ball over the top, Fletcher volleyed wide, but United’s disappointment quickly turned to delight when VAR Willie Collum advised referee Steven McLean to go to the monitor, and a quick check revealed the ball had struck Mugabi’s arm as he challenged for the ball.
Jamie McGrath converted the penalty, and Jim Goodwin’s team should have gone into the halftime break ahead, but Fletcher’s header sailed wide off the base of the post.
Fletcher scored three and a half minutes into the second half. After connecting up with McGrath, Peter Pawlett surged into the area and squared to the experienced striker, who swept home with ease.
The goal seemed to rekindle Motherwell’s spirit. Mugabi forced a wonderful close-range save from Newman, and Sean Goss’ deflected attempt came back against the post.
Motherwell piled bodies forward and were deservedly level when Spittal struck the bottom corner from the outside of the box following a superb layoff from Van Veen.
After Van Veen’s goal-bound attempt was blocked, Johnston pounced on the rebound, but the assistant’s flag went up, cutting short the home celebrations.
However, the pressure was too much. Johnston headed home James Furlong’s cross and thanked the far-side assistant for keeping his flag down this time.
Motherwell could have added to the score in the closing moments, as they repeatedly cut through United’s leaky defense.