DON’T adjust your sets or ready the preacher but it turns out Charlie Mulgrew’s right foot is for more than just leaning on. With his weaker side the veteran produced a dull affair’s moment of magic to keep the good times rolling for Dundee United. 

It was the 35th minute and a game delayed by traffic was going nowhere fast when Mulgrew glided onto a loose ball, deftly flicked it beyond Callum Slattery, and, in one swift movement, scooped a perfect cross towards the back post. Ryan Edwards did the rest. 

Perhaps not quite the end of days but it will have had plenty of punters in the nearby watering holes rubbing their eyes in disbelief. When they found out Mulgrew later scored the winner, they'll have decided that's one too many and headed up the road. 

The National:

His goal and assist were enough to secure a third straight win for Tam Courts’ United over a stubborn Motherwell - who refused to go away and had hit back through a Tony Watt penalty - as they moved to joint-top in the cinch Premiership. 

"Charlie is a privilege to manage in the way he trains and he pushes himself every day,” said Courts. “It was really a sight to behold. 

“Charlie has been immense for us and he doesn’t train like a 35-year-old guy. It rubs off on the players. He is playing the best football of his life.

“We’re not really shifting targets. The key thing for us is to understand where we wanted to be.” 

While lacking the flair of last weekend’s demolition of Hibs on their own turf, this was no less important a three points for United. During a bitty, stop-start affair there were still flashes of what this team could be under Courts: sharp and incisive with a midfield pivot of Jeando Fuchs and Ian Harkes that increasingly has many in the league looking on in envy. It was their dynamism which dragged United into the contest after a sluggish start where Motherwell nearly opened the scoring. 

With Kevin van Veen, Tony Watt, Bevis Mugabi, and company bringing their considerable bulk to the pitch it would be easy to caricature the guests as a parody of the sacking of Rome. But they proved again they are more than just battering rams. 

Even in this, a third straight loss, they refused to go away and only some fine goalkeeping from Benjamin Siegrist denied them a point. The Swiss’ first telling contribution came in the opening minute when he reacted to push Kaiyne Woolery’s header round the post. That was just a taste of what was to come from Siegrist. 

Before that, though, United opened the scoring and for the avoidance of doubt: yes, Mulgrew used his right foot to beat his man and then cross in for Edwards. 

The National: Mulgrew has 44 caps for his country Mulgrew has 44 caps for his country

This was the least Courts’ team deserved at that point, midway through the half, having begun to grow with the influence of Fuchs and Harkes. They’d threatened moments before when Ilmari Niskanen pounced on slackness from Bevis Mugabi, only for the defender to recover, but when the opener finally arrived it was greeted with glee by the United fans. 

This didn’t put off Motherwell, however, who were unlucky not to instantly reply when Juhani Ojala’s header was harshly ruled out for a foul by Kevin Clancy. 

Graham Alexander’s men had shown enough fleeting signs to suggest they were still in the game but every time they produced an effort on target Siegrist was there. Woolery, Watt, and Kevin van Veen were all denied before the goalkeeper produced a stunning reflex save to claw Watt’s header off the line. Think David Seamen in the FA Cup and you’d be on the right track. 

The National: Tony Watt impressed once again Tony Watt impressed once again

It seemed ‘Well’s moment would never come when, out of nothing, Siegrist rushed off his line and punched Watt. Clancy pointed straight to the spot and the striker picked himself up to deservedly net. 

No one could have begrudged Motherwell the point. In fact, it was probably a fair result. But Mulgrew had other ideas and reacted quickest to prod home a late winner.

Maybe keep the preacher's number just in case. 

“I thought the best team lost,” said Motherwell boss Graham Alexander. “I thought we were excellent today. I think that is the best we have played since I came here in January.”