Scottish Premiership
Ross County2Dundee Utd1

Ross County 2-1 Dundee United

Andrew Davies roars after scoring Ross County's second
Staggies skipper Andrew Davies roars after scoring Ross County's second

Two first-half goals helped Ross County to three Premiership points as Dundee United's troubles continue.

Liam Boyce's penalty put County in charge in Dingwall before Staggies captain Andrew Davies added another from Jonathan Franks' pass.

Dundee United fought back after the interval through Sean Dillon's drive from outside the box and Blair Spittal hit the crossbar.

But County held on and Jackson Irvine and Franks both had efforts blocked.

The victory for Jim McIntyre's side makes it three league wins in the first month of the season, the first time the Highlanders have hit that mark prior to Christmas in their four seasons in the top flight.

The Dundee United management team appear to be suffering as they watch their team trail
Dundee United coaches Darren Jackson and Simon Donnelly and manager Jackie McNamara appear to be suffering as they watch their team trail

In contrast, the struggling Taysiders have made their worst start to a season in 12 years, with four points from six matches.

Billy McKay went straight into the Dundee United starting line-up after completing his season-long loan from English League One side Wigan Athletic.

The hope was the striker could reproduce the form that saw him score 62 goal in 141 games for Inverness Caley Thistle and compensate for the loss of Nadir Ciftci to Celtic.

That, and the other players who have been sold by the Tannadice club in recent times, clearly still annoys their supporters who let chairman Stephen Thompson know what they thought of him early on.

The travelling fans were unhappy when referee Craig Thomson awarded County a controversial penalty after 17 minutes for handball against Mark Durnan.

It looked as though the former Queen of the South defender was pushed onto the ball by one of the Staggies players, but Thomson thought otherwise.

Dundee United midfielder John Rankin celebrates Sean Dillon's 30-yard goal
Dundee United midfielder John Rankin celebrates Sean Dillon's 30-yard goal

Boyce celebrated his return to the Northern Ireland squad for next week's Euro 2016 qualifiers by ramming in the spot kick for his fifth goal in the last four matches.

Ryan Dow twice raced clear but the visitors' slack finishing was nothing compared to their poor defending as the Dingwall side moved two goals clear.

Ryan McGowan got back to make a goal-line clearance to deny Franks but from the winger's resulting corner Davies was allowed the space to clip in the Staggies' second after 28 minutes.

United were much more aggressive after the break and Dillon brought them right back into the game with a goal that was as spectacular as it was rare from their captain.

There seemed little threat when he picked up possession 30 yards from goal but the Irishman lashed home a stunning shot for only his sixth strike in eight years at Tannadice.

Spittal then went within the width of the crossbar of levelling the match with a curling free-kick from 25 yards that beat Scott Fox but not the frame of the goal.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1FoxBooked at 85mins
  • 2FraserBooked at 74mins
  • 6Robertson
  • 15Davies
  • 3Reckord
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forMurdochat 79'minutes
  • 36IrvineBooked at 59mins
  • 17FranksSubstituted forFosterat 70'minutes
  • 4Quinn
  • 10Boyce
  • 11CurranSubstituted forMcShaneat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Boyd
  • 8McShane
  • 9Graham
  • 12Foster
  • 18Murdoch
  • 21Bachmann
  • 24De Vita

Dundee Utd

  • 51Zwick
  • 12McGowan
  • 2Dillon
  • 17Durnan
  • 3DixonBooked at 48minsSubstituted forDonaldsonat 60'minutesBooked at 66mins
  • 14Dow
  • 4SouttarSubstituted forFraserat 59'minutes
  • 8Rankin
  • 11ErskineSubstituted forBodulat 74'minutes
  • 7Mckay
  • 20Spittal

Substitutes

  • 10Muirhead
  • 13McCallum
  • 16Telfer
  • 18Connolly
  • 22Fraser
  • 28Donaldson
  • 30Bodul
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
4,014

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home14
Away14
Shots on Target
Home6
Away7
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home17
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 2, Dundee United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 2, Dundee United 1.

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ian McShane (Ross County).

Hand ball by Stewart Murdoch (Ross County).

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Coll Donaldson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Ryan Dow (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Sean Dillon (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Richard Foster (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Booking

Scott Fox (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Blair Spittal (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Chris Robertson.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Stewart Murdoch replaces Michael Gardyne.

Attempt missed. John Rankin (Dundee United) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the left.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Andrew Davies.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Chris Robertson.

Booking

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Darko Bodul (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Darko Bodul replaces Chris Erskine.

Attempt saved. Jackson Irvine (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Jackson Irvine (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Billy McKay (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Richard Foster replaces Jonathan Franks.

Attempt saved. Jackson Irvine (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Jonathan Franks (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Ian McShane replaces Craig Curran.

Booking

Coll Donaldson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Coll Donaldson (Dundee United).

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Ross County).

Scott Fraser (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Blair Spittal (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

Billy McKay (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Blair Spittal (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, Dundee United 1. Sean Dillon (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Blair Spittal with a cross.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic65101661016
2Aberdeen550091815
3Hearts6501158715
4Hamilton531194510
5Ross County6312106410
6Dundee622210828
7Motherwell620448-46
8St Johnstone6123912-35
9Dundee Utd6114612-64
10Inverness CT603349-53
11Partick Thistle603329-73
12Kilmarnock6024415-112
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