Scottish Championship
Dundee UtdDundee United2St MirrenSt Mirren1

Dundee United 2-1 St Mirren

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Tannadice
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

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 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

Formation 4-5-1

  • 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

  1. Post update

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

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by William Edjenguele.

  5. Booking

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

  6. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by William Edjenguele.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Cameron Smith replaces Simon Murray.

  8. Substitution

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Tony Andreu (Dundee United).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Coll Donaldson.

  16. Substitution

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

  17. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by William Edjenguele.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Booking

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

  20. Post update

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