The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United kicked off at Rugby Park with recently appointed manager Ray McKinnon sitting in the stands, and caretaker boss Gordon Young taking charge for one last time for the final League game of a very difficult season. The stand-in coach made four changes from the midweek draw with Partick Thistle, with Luis Zwick, Mark Durnan, Coll Donaldson and Justin Johnson coming in for Kawashima, Harry Souttar, Sean Dillon and Billy Mckay.Kilmarnock threatened first, when Tope Obadeyi headed over Alex Hensall’s cross in the fifth minute, but three minutes later United broke forward and Justin Johnson saw his shot from a tight angle well saved by home goalie Jamie MacDonald. United took the lead in the 12th minute, when Mark Durnan nodded down and into the net with a free header from a Scott Fraser corner. Johnson came close again moments later, only to see MacDonald save again after good play by the Tannadice forward, and from the resultant corner both Durnan and Coll Donaldson went close. However, Killie were level on 27 minutes when a 20 yard shot from Craig Slater was parried by Luis Zwick in goal, and with John Rankin’s header back to the keeper falling well short, Karl Higginbotham nipped in to touch the ball past the keeper. After doing so well, in the opening spell, United fell behind in the 34th minute after losing possession in midfield. Higginbotham robbed Rankin just over the half way line, and passed through for Tope Obadeyi to slot past Zwick.There were plenty chances for both teams after the restart, with Matt Smith, Simon Murray and Johnson all gaining room inside the box but couldn’t find the finish required. Higginbotham should have put the game beyond the visitors on the hour mark but pulled his shot wide, and then Henshall broke through only to see his shot rebound off Zwick’s post. In the 63rd minute, a Fraser cross was met by the head of Smith, but his effort went over the bar, and Donaldson stabbed the ball past the near post from a Fraser corner. However United did pull level in the 73rd minute, when Simon Murray showed great feet to make room in the box, before clipping the ball past MacDonald after being played in by Fraser. The already relegated Tangerines were not finished there though, and Murray had a shot saved by the keeper and Fraser saw his strike blocked as they looked for a winner. At the other end Zwick pulled off a point blank save to prevent Julien Faubert scoring, but it was United that took the lead. Simon Murray won the ball out on the left, raced towards the box and let fly from the edge of the area to see his shot beat MacDonald low to his left. United went 4-2 up with four minutes to go, when substitutes Cammy Ballantyne and Harry Souttar combined, with the former playing the ball back in for the young defender to bravely head in for his first goal for the club.Manager's Comment:“Simon Murray has plenty of heart, plenty of effort, he's a joy to work with. And the young boys coming through should not just accept they have made their debut, not just accept they have had one or two games. The gauntlet I threw down to them when I was leaving was go and make yourself a first-team regular, and hopefully that's what they do."Fan's Comment:“Good to see the youngsters showing up so well. Why we never gave Justin Johnson a chance earlier in the season when we were crying out for width and pace is beyond me. Simon Murray looks like being our main player next season.”Formation: 4-2-3-1 Captain: John RankinArchive 'Man of the Match': Simon MurrayMatch Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:Dundee United Official Flickr Page