Scottish Championship
Dundee Utd2St Mirren1

Dundee United 2-1 St Mirren

Scott Fraser slots home the equaliser for Dundee United
Scott Fraser slots home the equaliser for Dundee United

Dundee United moved above Hibs at the top of the Championship as victory over St Mirren extended their unbeaten run to 14 games in all competitions.

Saints went in front when John Sutton pounced on Coll Donaldson's slip, denying United keeper Cammy Bell a new club clean sheet record.

But Scott Fraser smashed home a swift equaliser before his free-kick was glanced home by Simon Murray.

United missed more chances but went top after Hibs could only draw with Raith.

The Tangerines prevailed despite conceding their first goal in 612 minutes, leaving goalkeeper Bell an agonising four minutes short of beating club legend Hamish McAlpine's record of 615 set in September 1977.

But more importantly it was a 12th game unbeaten in the Championship, and they now lead rivals Hibs, who they once trailed by seven points.

John Sutton scores for St Mirren
John Sutton's goal left Cammy Bell four minutes short of Hamish McAlpine's club record of 615 minutes without conceding, ase he missed out on a seventh straight clean sheet

Donaldson was on early after Mark Durnan and Saints' Gary MacKenzie were injured and forced off after a sickening clash of heads.

St Mirren full-back Jason Naismith turned Kyle McAllister's cross against the post after 32 minutes before United levelled through Fraser, and Murray's ninth goal of the season put them in front in the final minute of the first half.

The Buddies certainly didn't look like a team stranded at the foot of the table and their new manager Jack Ross is certainly having a positive influence.

Lewis Morgan forced Bell into a brilliant save after 63 minutes and the impressive young midfielder was denied a certain goal by an outstanding William Edjenguele recovery tackle.

Blair Spittal shot over when he should have eased the pressure on United late on, but they will now travel to Dumbarton on Hogmanay in buoyant mood before a summit meeting with Hibs at Easter Road on Friday, 6 January.

Post-match reaction:

Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon: "I'm absolutely delighted with the win even though we made it harder for ourselves than we needed to.

"It was unfortunate for Cammy Bell that he didn't get that club record but I was delighted the way the team responded to going behind to get the win.

"The run we have been on and their attitude to win from my players has been tremendous and it is always good to be sitting top of the league.

"We are still looking to strengthen up front though. It is important that we bring one more player in but it is going to be an enjoyable Christmas for us now."

St Mirren manager Jack Ross: "I'm incredibly frustrated and disappointed by what happened as our performance levels were good and we matched Dundee United, but it's wins we need in the position we are in.

"I don't want them to be happy with losing football matches but we played very well against the team that is at the top of the league and gave them as tough a game as anyone this season.

"We don't look like a bottom-of-the-league team but that is the reality and we still lose too many soft goals.

"Overall I think there is a team there now that reflects how I coach and how I manage, and I am pleased for the players because I see how things are improving by the week."

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 1Bell
  • 2Dillon
  • 4DurnanSubstituted forDonaldsonat 25'minutes
  • 14Edjenguele
  • 3DixonBooked at 88mins
  • 16Flood
  • 12TelferSubstituted forvan der Veldenat 70'minutes
  • 7Spittal
  • 10Fraser
  • 19Andreu
  • 9MurraySubstituted forSmithat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Donaldson
  • 8Murdoch
  • 11Obadeyi
  • 15Smith
  • 21Zwick
  • 23van der Velden
  • 24Robson

St Mirren

  • 12Gallacher
  • 2Naismith
  • 6MackenzieSubstituted forBairdat 19'minutes
  • 4WebsterBooked at 65mins
  • 3Irvine
  • 29McAllisterSubstituted forShanklandat 79'minutes
  • 42Magennis
  • 8QuinnSubstituted forClarksonat 60'minutesBooked at 64mins
  • 10Mallan
  • 17Morgan
  • 9Sutton

Substitutes

  • 1Langfield
  • 7Clarkson
  • 11Gallagher
  • 15Baird
  • 18Mclear
  • 20Hardie
  • 25Shankland
Referee:
John McKendrick
Attendance:
7,247

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home10
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 2, St. Mirren 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 2, St. Mirren 1.

Attempt missed. Blair Spittal (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by William Edjenguele.

Booking

Paul Dixon (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by William Edjenguele.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Cameron Smith replaces Simon Murray.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Lawrence Shankland replaces Kyle McAllister.

Attempt missed. Coll Donaldson (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Tony Andreu (Dundee United).

Kyle Magennis (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Sean Dillon (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

John Sutton (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Coll Donaldson.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Nick van der Velden replaces Charlie Telfer.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by William Edjenguele.

Attempt missed. Simon Murray (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Booking

Andy Webster (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Blair Spittal (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Andy Webster (St. Mirren).

Booking

David Clarkson (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by David Clarkson (St. Mirren).

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Cammy Bell.

Attempt saved. Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. David Clarkson replaces Rocco Quinn.

Paul Dixon (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kyle McAllister (St. Mirren).

Attempt saved. Simon Murray (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

William Edjenguele (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by John Sutton (St. Mirren).

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Andy Webster.

Foul by William Edjenguele (Dundee United).

John Sutton (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Tony Andreu (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rocco Quinn (St. Mirren).

Second Half

Second Half begins Dundee United 2, St. Mirren 1.

Half Time

First Half ends, Dundee United 2, St. Mirren 1.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee Utd18115227131438
2Hibernian18106230102036
3Morton177642418627
4Falkirk177552420426
5Raith Rovers176742016425
6Queen of Sth185582229-720
7Dumbarton184682028-818
8Ayr184681828-1018
9Dunfermline174582128-717
10St Mirren1825111733-1611
View full Scottish Championship table

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