Dundee manager Jim McIntyre bemoaned a huge missed opportunity against 10-man Motherwell after David Turnbull’s stoppage-time winner delivered another hammer blow to the visitors’ survival chances.
Alex Gorrin received a second yellow card in the 58th minute with the score tied at 3-3 but Motherwell continued to push for a winner and Turnbull brought the curtain down on a thrilling encounter when he fired home with his left foot after his own right-footed strike had cannoned off the bar.
To exacerbate the impact of the 4-3 loss, Dundee’s ninth defeat on the spin, both St Mirren and Hamilton scored late equalisers to leave them further adrift at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Dundee fell seven points behind St Mirren with three games left and nine behind Accies, who visit Dens Park next Saturday.
“We have only got ourselves to blame,” McIntyre said. “They go down to 10 men in the last 30 minutes and we have got to realise what an opportunity we’ve got.
“I know it’s difficult against 10 men at times but we stopped doing what we were doing when they had 11 and we never moved the ball quick enough. And the game went a bit flat.
“We never got enough out our full-backs because we were content to sit as a four when they had only one up front.
“And the fourth goal, that’s where it comes from. We are sitting like a back four when we are attacking, the ball gets cleared and we’ve not got our full-backs up on play. And that’s criminal.
“That’s managing the game and we’ve got enough experience on the park to be able to manage the game better, and it’s come back to bite us.
“We had a couple of real opportunities to kill the game off from great positions and we don’t show a ruthlessness to do that. We have scored three goals and we’ve not scored for a number of weeks, and we still don’t win the game.
“That’s why we are where we are, because we make fundamental mistakes and basic mistakes, that always lead to goals. It’s ridiculous that we should have to score four goals to get a point.
“It was a desperate situation before. It’s even more desperate now. It’s going to take favours.”
Turnbull showed brilliant technique and composure to net his second goal of the game and 12th Premiership strike of the season.
Well boss Stephen Robinson believes the 19-year-old midfielder has been the best young player in Scotland this season.
“He’s a super, super footballer and a joy to watch,” Robinson said. “I actually thought he played about six out of 10 in terms of David’s ability. He scored twice and was the best player on the pitch and I still don’t think he was at his best.
“For me he’s the young player of the year by a long way. Yes, I’m biased but you have to recognise what kind of quality we have here. He just needs to keep his feet on the ground.”