The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
The hosts welcomed Ayr United to Tannadice in what was their first visit on League business since 1978. Another healthy crowd of just under 6500 was in attendance as the Tangerines looked to secure their first win of the season at the third attempt, following a much criticised performance during their 1-0 defeat at Dumbarton the previous week. They certainly opened the game looking intent on making up for that display with Scott Fraser, Cammy Smith and Jamie Robson all prominent as they probed the Ayr defence. They came close to the breakthrough inside 10 minutes when Fraser forced Greg Fleming into a good save after a purposeful run into the box. From one of several corners during this spell Coll Donaldson then got a header on target which Fleming was again equal to. The opener wasn’t far away however and it came for United in 13 minutes. Fraser had claimed a handball earlier in the move which was waved on before Smith was then tripped in the box by Paddy Boyle leaving referee Greg Aitken with an easy decision to award the penalty. After a battle for the ball with Simon Murray, Nick van der Velden won the right to take the spot kick but his weak effort was parried out by Fleming. It was somewhat ironic therefore that Murray was first to react as he nodded the rebound into the corner of the net for his 5th goal of the season in all competitions. There were further opportunities for United which were all passed up with the visitors offering little in return in terms of attacking threat. The closest they came was shortly after the opener when Gary Harkins hit a decent shot from 20 yards which was comfortably turned away by Cammy Bell. United deservedly doubled their lead in 37 minutes with Willo Flood heavily involved in the move. A clever exchange of passes with van der Velden set the midfield man free in the area and his cut back was cleared to Robson around 8 yards out. The youngster struck first time into the net underneath Fleming to notch his first goal for the club in just his sixth appearance. As a reflection of the opening 45 minutes it was a more than deserved lead for the Tangerines with the only concern being that they weren't completely out of sight already. While the opening period had seen plenty of chances and Ayr keeper Fleming keeping the score down, it was a far more subdued affair after the teams returned from the interval. As the half wore on Ayr starting to gain confidence but despite earning several corners their main hope of scoring seemed to be if one of their efforts from distance were to find the postage stamp. Ex Dundee man Harkins was a more noticeable figure by now and was doing his best to get his side back into the game with his team mates at times not quite on his wavelength. In 63 minutes a more scarce foray into the visiting box provided another good shout for a penalty as Murray appeared to be tripped after being played in by Smith but Aitken waved play on. Any danger however of a nervy finish for the home side evaporated with 14 minutes to go when they made it 3-0. Moments after coming on Tope Obedayi made short work of his marker before firing in a cross which Flood stabbed home from inside the 6 yard box. That first league win was secured and the hope for all connected with United was that this would now spark the kind of winning run required to see them mount a challenge for promotion.Match report written by Ally Stewart
Photography by DUFC Official