Substitute Conor Wilkinson’s stoppage-time strike snatched 10-man Motherwell a 3-3 draw at home to Dundee.

Stuart Kettlewell’s side went in front through Mika Biereth only for the visitors to hit back through first-half goals from Lyall Cameron and Owen Beck.

Bevis Mugabi drew Motherwell level midway through the second half before Harry Paton was shown a straight red card for serious foul play.

Dundee took advantage of the extra man when Zach Robinson scored with two minutes remaining, only for Well to hit back in time added on to claim a point.

The result stretches Motherwell’s winless sequence to 11 matches, while Dundee still move back into the top half of the table despite the concession of that late equaliser.

The home side went in front with the first real chance of the game after seven minutes. Blair Spittal’s effort was blocked but fell to Biereth and the Arsenal loanee’s driven effort hit both posts before landing in the net. It was the first time Kettlewell’s side had taken the lead for three months.

Motherwell were then suckered when Dundee equalised with their first chance of the match.

The home side had two attempts to clear a corner but could not, with the ball eventually looping through to Cameron who headed past Liam Kelly.

Just four minutes later and Dundee were ahead. It was a moment of magic from Beck, the on-loan Liverpool full-back showing great composure after taking a pass from Zak Rudden then finishing neatly.

Motherwell had the first real chance of the second half. Paton found Jon Obika and his left-foot shot slid beyond the far post when a pass to Biereth might have been the better option.

Mugabi then tried his luck from distance, with the defender’s 30-yard effort touched over by Trevor Carson.

But the same player would not be denied just moments later as Motherwell drew level, getting the final touch on Spittal’s cross to glance a header past Carson.

This was referee Iain Snedden’s first Premiership match and he was called to the screen shortly after that goal by VAR Nick Walsh. The official had a look at the footage and showed a red card to Paton for a high tackle on Luke McCowan.

Wilkinson then had a great chance to put the home side back in front but blazed his shot high over the crossbar.

That looked to be costly when Robinson, just minutes after coming off the bench, finished low into the corner but Wilkinson made amends by firing past Carson.

Motherwell battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 and deny Craig Levein a winning start with St Johnstone in the cinch Premiership.

First-half goals from Nicky Clark and Andrew Considine at McDiarmid Park had the hosts on course for a second straight league success, but two goals in the space of six minutes levelled matters.

Shane Blaney headed in with 22 minutes left and then Mika Biereth turned home to complete the comeback.

Both teams sides would spurn opportunities in the final minutes, meaning they both remain in a struggle at the foot of the league table.

St Johnstone stay bottom, though have reduced the gap between themselves and Livingston in 11th to two points, while Motherwell have jumped one place to eighth – one point ahead of Hibernian having played a game more.

Levein made one change for his first game in charge, Daniel Phillips replacing the suspended Dara Costelloe.

Well, who had lost six of their last seven Premiership encounters, started Stephen O’Donnell and Callum Slattery with Paul McGinn missing out due to a facial injury and Theo Bair dropping to the bench. Despite both sustaining suspected broken noses at the weekend, both Calum Butcher and Brodie Spencer were deemed fit to start.

Motherwell had the ball in the net with the first opportunity of the match, Conor Wilkinson taking advantage of confusion between Considine and Dimitar Mitov, although the striker’s joy would be short-lived after he was adjudged to have handled before flicking the ball past the home keeper.

Graham Carey had a strike from distance deflected wide before the hosts took the lead from from the resulting corner.

Matt Smith picked out Clark, who made no mistake in heading beyond Liam Kelly from close range with 17 minutes on the clock.

A crucial intervention from Spencer spared the blushes of Blaney, the Irish defender caught in possession and Chris Kane looked likely to take full advantage until denied by a last-ditch tackle.

It would not be long before the second goal arrived as Carey’s 27th-minute corner eventually dropped at the feet of Considine who blasted home.

The visitors were in desperate need of a response and they almost got a goal back when Slattery connected with Blair Spittal’s corner but Luke Robinson cleared off the line.

Bair replaced Spencer at half-time and was involved in a neat passing move that almost led to Biereth turning in Spittal’s cross at the back post shortly after the restart.

The substitute was the architect again with 23 minutes remaining, almost picking out Wilkinson after a bursting run forward.

Motherwell reduced the deficit a minute later after Blaney found the net following a good header across the face of goal by Wilkinson.

The goal appeared to inject renewed life into Kettlewell’s side and Casey’s header from Spittal’s corner drifted agonisingly past the post, just before they grabbed an equaliser on 74 minutes.

A sweeping attack ended with an excellent cross from Georgie Gent that was steered beyond Mitov by Biereth.

Kelly had to be alert to tip over Smith’s acrobatic effort with minutes left on the clock, while at the other end Spittal worked the Saints keeper with a low drive.

Stevie May really should have grabbed a dramatic winner in the first minute of added time, but his front-post header sailed off target.

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell admits he faces a major challenge to alleviate the lengthy absence of strikers Mika Biereth and Jon Obika.

Kettlewell has ruled Obika out until December with a hamstring injury and on-loan Arsenal striker Biereth will likely be missing until mid-November after suffering a knee injury against St Mirren.

Kettlewell – who has not changed his opinion on the tackle that injured Biereth – is limited in what he can do in the transfer market given the club’s spending increases in previous seasons.

He said: “I have always spoken about trying to run with four strikers minimum so that is a huge blow with the news on Mika and Jon Obika, it puts us down to two senior strikers in Theo (Bair) and Conor (Wilkinson).

“Jon Obika, we are probably looking at December. It’s a difficult one but it doesn’t change the situation for me. For us to do any more business, we are in a situation where we are one in, one out.

“It’s been a real tough week and a tough week without a blank canvas just to be able to pick up the reins and go and bring players in.

“But we will continue to work away and see if we can make the situation slightly better.”

Kettlewell declared 17-year-old Mark Ferrie was now “striker number three” while wide player Joe Efford can also play up front but has only had about 15 minutes of action since returning from a long-term thigh injury.

Barry Maguire’s loan move to Kidderminster last week opened a door for a potential new arrival.

“It might help us try and get one across the line,” Kettlewell said. “But the mindset wasn’t that it was in the striker situation at the time. We had been working away on something else trying to get a balance to our squad.

“The fact that (midfielder) Harry Paton has been out and (left-back) Pape Souare is out, it’s a little bit of spinning plates to make sure we have a balance to our squad. We feel Pape will miss several games.

“When I was looking at the start of the week, we had 14 fit senior players.”

Immediately after Saturday’s Viaplay Cup defeat, Kettlewell accused Charles Dunne of making an “absolutely horrendous tackle, two-footed and straight-legged” on Biereth.

In response, the former Motherwell defender claimed he won the ball but “unfortunately slipped” and caught the Denmark Under-21 international. Dunne has contacted Biereth to apologise.

When asked if he had a different opinion on studying the footage, Kettlewell said: “My opinion hasn’t changed.

“One of the things I heard was that he won the ball. What everyone needs to understand – and I need to stress, these aren’t my rules, anyone that watched me play football will realise I picked up more red cards than anybody else and was involved in more crazy challenges than anybody else – but the rules have changed.

“I have lost count of the times I have been told by officials that it doesn’t matter if you win the ball. If you are off the ground, coming in at pace, putting an opponent at risk of injury, coming off the ground, all of those aspects, I was led to believe that was a red card.

“I hear some ridiculous arguments of ‘ah, but he took the ball’… If you have to come through the player and both your legs are wrapped around the standing leg…

“I understand that Charles Dunne has reached out and apologised for the outcome of the challenge so I tip my cap to him and say fair play in that sense. But it doesn’t change the situation that it leaves us short at the top end of the park.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.