The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Dundee United moved to within three points of the top of the Championship table with a hard fought win over a spirited St Mirren side galvanised by the appointment of Jack Ross as their new manager. United made several changes from the Irn Bru Cup win over Stranraer, with Tope Obadeyi, Willo Flood and Cammy Bell all returning earlier than expected from their respective injuries.The game started at a tremendous pace, with United forcing a corner within the first two minutes. Not to be outdone, the home side created a few early half chances of their own with John Sutton’s physical presence causing problems and a Ryan Hardie shot from just outside the area going a foot wide. Cammy Bell was also forced to save from a powerful drive from Lewis Morgan in the game’s early stages. United had the better of a frantic and end to end first half, and got the goal their play deserved after 37 minutes. Tope Obadeyi turned Gary Irvine and scampered down the right wing. He played the ball across to Tony Andreu on the edge of the box. He in turn slipped a clever pass to put Scott Fraser through on goal, and the midfielder calmly slotted the ball past Jamie Langfield in the St Mirren goal. United wasted an excellent chance to double their lead two minutes before half time after hitting St Mirren on the break. Nick Van der Velden ran down the left wing. He cut the ball back to Tony Andreu, who had less time than he realised and hit shot was blocked. Tope Obadeyi rather wastefully blasted the rebound over the bar. Andreu then backheeled an attempt just wide after a cross from Paul Dixon.The first action of the second half came after 49 minutes. Again, United hit St Mirren on the break with a powerful run from Fraser. He passed the ball to Tony Andreu, who from an impossibly narrow angle almost managed to squeeze the ball home, only to the thwarted by a goal line clearance from Gary Irvine. St Mirren wasted perhaps their best chance of the game on the hour mark when Frank Van der Struijk was dispossessed on the halfway line, but the resultant shot from Lewis Morgan was rather weak and Cammy Bell saved easily. On 72 minutes a volley from Lawrence Shankland was brilliantly saved by Cammy Bell. United got the second goal almost immediately. A long clearance from Bell was not dealt with by Gary McKenzie in the St Mirren defence which allowed Simon Murray to nick the ball from him. Langfield blocked the striker’s shot but the ball broke to Tony Andreu who sent an exquisite chip over Langfield’s head and into the net from 20 yards out for his seventh goal in seven games for United. St Mirren made a couple of positive substitutions and threw the kitchen sink at United. Soon after the second goal, . Tom Walsh sent a shot just wide on 78 minutes, and then Lewis Morgan forced Cammy Bell into another save with a testing 30 yard attempt. David Clarkson was then played through, but he also sent his shot wide from a narrow angle. Walsh had yet another attempt, with Van der Struijk clearing his latest effort off the line. In the last few minutes, Mark Durnan was sent off for two bookings in quick succession. With a minute of normal time left both he and Rocco Quinn were booked after an altercation while waiting for a long throw to be taken. His second booking came in stoppage time for a foul on Lawrence Shankland as the St Mirren striker threatened to break away. The sending off came too late to affect the result, and indeed United could have won by more, with a superb Fraser run from inside his own half was only ended by a slightly crude challenge in the penalty box from Jason Naismith. No penalty was forthcoming and United held on for the 2-0 win.Captain: Cammy BellMan of the Match: Tony AndreuManager view: “I thought we were excellent in the first half and once Scott Fraser gave us the lead with a very well-worked goal, I thought we should have put the game to bed by half-time. We had a couple of chances before the break and Tony Andreu had one where I thought he was going to score because he usually does in those situations. He’s a quality player, though, and he showed that with his finish in the second half. We know we are lucky to have him and he is going a great job for us. There were four or five Premiership clubs (interested in Andreu) but we told him how we wanted to play and that he'd be hugely important to us. It's so important to have someone in your team that's got that little bit of quality.”Fan view: “Given that this was St Mirren’s first game under a new manager, this was an excellent win, especially as results elsewhere largely went in our favour. The defence was solid despite being placed under some severe pressure at times, and United capitalised on the chances when they came. The highlight was a stunning finish from Tony Andreu to seal the win. The players are showing signs of finally getting to grips with Championship football, and although the win was ground out to a certain extent it was no less impressive for that. Mark Durnan being sent off late on after an excellent performance was a minor disappointment, but could not take the gloss off the victory.”Match report written by Derek Keilloh