Scott McDonald’s double in Motherwell’s 3-0 win against Dundee United on Tuesday took him into double figures for the current campaign, writes Craig Cairns.
It was also a key contribution to a vital victory for his side, lifting them from 11th to eighth in the Ladbrokes Premiership. Not only did it move them further clear of the bottom, it put them back in contention for a top-six finish – admittedly they are one of eight sides fighting for three places as it stands.
The veteran striker is in his second spell with the club, his first notable for another vital brace, this time in deciding the eventual destination of the league championship on ‘Helicopter Sunday’ in 2005.
He scored 15 goals that season and has since spent time at Celtic, Middlesbrough and Millwall – though not before achieving the milestone of netting the 5,000th SPL goal versus Falkirk in 2006.
After a fruitful spell behind the main striker at the end of last season, most notably in the play-off victory over Rangers, McDonald began this campaign in the same role. He struggled for goals but has returned to form since Mark McGhee took over and restored him to his more natural striking position.
In partnership with top scorer Louis Moult, or more recently as the lone striker, the Aussie has now scored six goals in his last nine games.
Eight of his goals this season have come after half-time and, as the map shows, he has scored the same number in and around the six-yard box. This does not mean, however, that he isn’t doing his bit away from the danger area. For example, for three of his goals he has played the pass before the assist.