Scottish Championship
Dundee Utd1Dunfermline0

Dundee United 1-0 Dunfermline Athletic

Simon Murray celebrates his winner
Simon Murray's winner was his eighth goal of the season

Dundee United moved level on points with Hibernian at the top of the Championship after eventually overcoming 10-man Dunfermline.

The visitors had to alter their game plan after Nate Wedderburn was shown a straight red card in the first half.

United missed with a series of long-range efforts before finally making a late breakthrough.

With 11 minutes left, striker Simon Murray turned the ball in from a corner to secure a vital win.

It was the Tangerines' sixth in a row in all competitions, and extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

The game was initially a test of United's patience. They had faced Dunfermline twice this season already, winning on both occasions, and the visitors sought to be organised, industrious and difficult to break down.

The approach was practical, given United's recent form and the fact they were playing with a certainty that their play would eventually deliver a goal.

They needed that faith, though, since they were restricted in the first half to a Scott Fraser shot skipping wide and a Murray effort bouncing off the legs of Dunfermline goalkeeper Sean Murdoch.

The visitors, second bottom of the Championship, were content to build a sense of reassurance. Industry was the priority, although they did carry a threat when Nicky Clark broke away on a counter-attack and struck a left-foot effort straight at United keeper Cammy Bell.

Dunfermline's Nate Wedderburn is shown a red card
Nate Wedderburn's red card left the Pars facing the whole of the second half with 10 men

The game was finely balanced when Wedderburn suffered a moment of rashness. He launched himself, two-footed and off the ground, at Tony Andreu, with referee Don Robertson immediately issuing a red card.

Dunfermline looked to dig in after the interval, stiffening their midfield with substitute Rhys McCabe, whilst United were reliant on the shrewd promptings of Andreu, Willo Flood and Fraser. The latter pulled a shot wide after a sustained period of pressure.

With Murdoch being booked for time-wasting, it was evident how Dunfermline were looking to see out the game. They occasionally broke upfield, though, and Kallum Higginbotham almost opened the scoring as he shot across the face of goal.

The Pars thought they had engineered an opportunity to break the deadlock when United defender Mark Durnan barged Clark out the way of the ball as he ran into the box, but the referee was unmoved by the penalty claims.

Dunfermline's resistance was eventually broken though when a corner dropped to Murray at the back post and he clipped it high into the net.

Post-match reaction:

Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon: "It was a scrappy game, there wasn't any fluency and we had to be very patient. The guys are learning that patience is the key, they kept going about their business well and squandered a few half chances, but ultimately they got their reward."

"We were just about to take Simon [Murray] off and bring Blair Spittal on. He's got himself back in the team and he tends to pop up with a goal here and there, so I'm delighted for him."

On the red card: "I was only 20 yards away and I thought it was a really bad tackle [by Wedderburn]. Tony Andreu's really fortunate to not have a serious injury, so the referee got it spot on."

Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston: "You can see why the referee's given [the red card]. [Wedderburn]'s slipped and his foot's come up. But it's not meant if you know Nat, he's not that type of payer

"It was an excellent performance and even when we went down to 10 men, I thought the boys battled really well, they gave everything. If they keep playing that, we'll not be far away.

"We had a couple of chances and we don't get the penalty. It's a clear barge by Durnan on Nicky Clark and you can't get away with doing that in the box. I don't know how the referee's missed it because he's only five yards way."

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 1BellBooked at 83mins
  • 20van der Struijk
  • 4Durnan
  • 14Edjenguele
  • 24Robson
  • 16Flood
  • 12TelferSubstituted forvan der Veldenat 62'minutes
  • 10Fraser
  • 19Andreu
  • 11ObadeyiBooked at 40minsSubstituted forSmithat 62'minutes
  • 9MurrayBooked at 43minsSubstituted forSpittalat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Dillon
  • 5Donaldson
  • 6Toshney
  • 7Spittal
  • 15Smith
  • 21Zwick
  • 23van der Velden

Dunfermline

  • 1MurdochBooked at 70mins
  • 6Geggan
  • 12Ashcroft
  • 4Martin
  • 3Talbot
  • 20HigginbothamBooked at 34minsSubstituted forMcMullanat 84'minutes
  • 21Herron
  • 8WedderburnBooked at 39mins
  • 11CardleSubstituted forMcCabeat 45'minutes
  • 37Clark
  • 48El AlaguiBooked at 41mins

Substitutes

  • 5Fordyce
  • 7Paton
  • 9Moffat
  • 16McCabe
  • 18McMullan
  • 22Smith
  • 43Hutton
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
5,996

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamDunfermline
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home18
Away4
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 1, Dunfermline Athletic 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 1, Dunfermline Athletic 0.

Attempt saved. Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Nick van der Velden (Dundee United).

Jason Talbot (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Paul McMullan replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

Booking

Cammy Bell (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Scott Fraser (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Andrew Geggan (Dunfermline Athletic).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Blair Spittal replaces Simon Murray.

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 1, Dunfermline Athletic 0. Simon Murray (Dundee United) right footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

Attempt blocked. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Tony Andreu (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt saved. Tony Andreu (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

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

Attempt missed. Kallum Higginbotham (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Nick van der Velden (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nicky Clark (Dunfermline Athletic).

Foul by Mark Durnan (Dundee United).

Farid El Alagui (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Simon Murray (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Cameron Smith (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Booking

Sean Murdoch (Dunfermline Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

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

Foul by Farid El Alagui (Dunfermline Athletic).

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

Attempt missed. Willo Flood (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Frank van der Struijk.

Substitution

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

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Cameron Smith replaces Tope Obadeyi.

Attempt saved. Charlie Telfer (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Willo Flood (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

John Herron (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jamie Robson (Dundee United).

Jason Talbot (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Fraser (Dundee United).

Foul by Charlie Telfer (Dundee United).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian128312161527
2Dundee Utd1383223121127
3Raith Rovers126331813521
4Morton125431915419
5Falkirk125341614218
6Queen of Sth125341515018
7Ayr124261119-814
8Dumbarton122461218-610
9Dunfermline132381524-99
10St Mirren120481024-144
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