Dundee are in the hat for tomorrow’s Premier Sports Cup quarter-final draw after edging past Motherwell at Dens Park.
Chances came for both sides with ‘Well passing up a gilt-edged chance in the first half and the Dark Blues doing the same in the second.
It took until 78 minutes, however, for the deadlock to be broken as Lee Ashcroft rose highest to head his side into the last eight.
The victory was Dundee’s first against Motherwell in 11 encounters.
Luke McCowan made his first start for the Dark Blues, replacing Paul McGowan on the flank while Liam Fontaine returned to central defence.
Missing was striker Cillian Sheridan with a groin injury picked up in training with top scorer Jason Cummings leading the line.
Former Dees Mark O’Hara and Scott Fox began on the bench for the visitors.
Shields let off
The home side started the match on the front foot, putting pressure on Motherwell with a succession of corner kicks.
The first half-chance of the contest came as ‘Well failed to clear one of these before Christie Elliott fizzed a low ball across goal. There were no takers, however.
On 18 minutes, dangerman Cummings got his first look at goal and brought a strong save from Liam Kelly with a firm effort from wide.
Elliott, too, would test Kelly in goal from the right flank but hit his effort straight at the goalie.
The Dark Blues had enjoyed the better of things but only just with Motherwell a real threat whenever they got forward.
And the visitors should have been ahead on 37 minutes when Lee Ashcroft was caught in possession.
Steven Lawless sprinted in behind before playing in Connor Shields. With just Adam Legzdins to beat, the winger smashed the ball off the crossbar.
Chances, chances, chances
After the break it was Dundee’s turn to pass up a gilt-edged chance as a fine flowing move saw Paul McMullan tee up Jordan McGhee. The midfielder saw his effort blocked by Kelly, however.
Legzdins would then deny Shields from close range before the home support were up and jubilant.
The offside flag, though, ended the joy as quickly as it arrived with Cummings having finished off excellent approach play from McCowan. The striker, though, was a yard offside.
On 78 minutes, however, there was no stopping the home fans cheering as Ashcroft opened the scoring.
A regular sight for Dark Blues last season – an assist from McMullan and the big centre-back powering in from a corner.
Substitute Tony Watt had the chance to level things up on 83 minutes but headed straight at Legzdins.
Dundee, though, held onto their lead to secure their first win over Motherwell since April 2017.
And their first cup quarter-final since September 2017.
Dundee: Legzdins, Elliott, Fontaine, Ashcroft, Marshall, Byrne (McGowan 82), McGhee, Adam, McCowan (Jakubiak 76), McMullan, Cummings (McDaid 88).
Subs not used: Lawlor, Sweeney, Robertson, Panter, Sharp.
Motherwell: Kelly, Grimshaw, Ojala, Lamie, Slattery, Maguire (Amaluzor 73), Carroll, Donnelly (O’Hara 65), Lawless, Woolery, Shields (Watt 66).
Subs not used: Fox, Johnston, Mugabi, O’Connor, Crawford, McGinley.
Referee: Kevin Clancy.