A brilliant strike from Dundee United captain Mark Reynolds – his first for the club – secured win number one of the Premiership season.
Withe 52 minutes on the clock, Reynolds smashed a left-foot strike into the roof of the Motherwell net to secure a 1-0 success at Fir Park.
Added to last week’s opening-day point against St Johnstone, four points is a fine start for Micky Mellon’s men.
The big pre-match shock for the United fans watching from home was the absence of star striker Lawrence Shankland.
He was left out as a precaution after suffering a leg injury so that left Louis Appere leading the line. There was a first start for on-loan Manchester City player Luke Bolton, while the new arrival from Blackpool, Ryan Edwards, was named as a sub.
The Tangerines, who were wearing their new purple away strip, started with four at the back and their first attack arrived on 14 minutes when Ian Harkes’ angled drive was deflected wide.
The hosts were enjoying the bulk of the possession but on 28 minutes great play from United saw Appere set up Bolton, who smacked his shot into the side-netting.
United keeper Benjamin Siegrist had to be alert to get down at his near post to save a David Turnbull freekick on 36 minutes before Logan Chalmers had a shot saved for the visitors.
Three minutes into the second half, Peter Pawlett sent a corner over from the left for United and it was met by Calum Butcher’s glancing header that just missed the far post.
The Tannadice men were looking lively and took a dramatic lead on 52 minutes.
Bolton swung the ball over from the right, it was missed by Well sub Tony Watt and it reached Reynolds at the far post. He was still upfield after a corner and finished brilliantly with a strike up and into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
On 84 minutes, it was close to being 2-0 to United when sub Dillon Powers hammered in a strike from outside the box that was superbly tipped on to the bar by Well goalie Trevor Carson.
Home sub Jordan White headed into the United net with three minutes to go but the “goal” was chalked off for a push on Reynolds.
Motherwell: Carson, Grimshaw, Lamie, Campbell (Hylton 80), O’Hara, Turnbull, Hastie (Watt 46), Mugabi, Seedorf (Robinson 80), Gallagher, Long (White 65). Subs not used: Fox, Maguire, Polworth, Hussain.
Dundee United: Siegrist, L. Smith, Connolly, Reynolds, Pawlett (Clark 77), Chalmers (Sporle 73), Robson, Butcher, Bolton (C. Smith 60), Harkes (Powers 77), Appere. Subs not used: Deniz, Edwards, Glass, Freeman, Neilson.
Referee: Steven McLean.