Scottish Championship
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Dundee Utd 6-2 Dundee: Robbie Neilson's side romp to derby win

Ian Harkes lashed in United's fourth just after the break to effectively kill to contest
Ian Harkes lashed in United's fifth just after the break to effectively kill to contest

Dundee United stamped their authority on the Scottish Championship by thrashing Dundee in the derby to move five points clear after four games.

Four goals in the space of 13 minutes by Louis Appere, Lawrence Shankland, Calum Butcher and Ian Harkes put United in command of this contest after Butcher and Kane Hemmings traded efforts in the opening quarter.

Andrew Nelson did pull one back for a chastened Dundee, but Cammy Smith scored the sixth to repeat the outcome of the New Year's Day derby of 2015.

It was a first league defeat for James McPake's Dundee, with the club relegated from Premiership last season already seven points behind their purported promotion rivals.

Robbie Neilson's United, though, have maintained their 100% league record as they attempt to end a four-year exile from the top flight.

Devastating United run away with it

"It's a Dundee derby. It'll be 100 miles per hour for the first 95 minutes, then it'll settle down."

That is what Neilson said half an hour before his side kicked-off a contest in which they would equal the record win in a Dundee derby. He was right, to a certain extent. United played at 100 miles per hour, certainly until the 47th minute. But unfortunately for McPake, Dundee never really got close to that speed.

The opening five minutes set the tone. The direct and diminutive Paul McMullan repeatedly forced the issue for the hosts, but it was the visitors who could have easily taken the lead.

Jamie Ness broke from midfield and attempted to slip in Danny Johnson. At the moment of the pass, Johnson was clearly onside, but the assistant spotted a touch from Hemmings on the way through, prompting him to raise his flag with the Dundee players already celebrating. Replays indicated that Johnson may have still been just onside.

That scare sparked United into life, taking the lead moments later through their captain. Mark Connolly headed the ball up in the air in the box and Butcher cleverly directed a looping header over Jordan Marshall on the line and in the corner of the net.

United's joy was short-lived, though. Ness' free-kick was knocked back across goal by Jordan McGhee towards Hemmings, who swivelled before powering a shot past Benjamin Siegrist to level things up.

At that point, it looked like we had a real game on our hands. That was until United decided to flash through the gears.

Just after the half-hour, Peter Pawlett's free-kick bounced towards Appere in the box. The 20-year-old chested the ball upwards, before catching the ball on the drop and roaring a strike through the grasp of Jack Hamilton and in off the underside of the bar.

Calum Butcher's head put United 4-1 up before the break
Calum Butcher, left, headed in to put United 4-1 up before the break

United didn't look back. Their third came three minutes late, Declan McDaid rugby tackling McMullan in the box and giving Shankland the chance to score his 10th goal of the season from the spot, and their fourth would soon follow, Butcher meeting McMullan's cross to head in his second off an upright post.

It was a devastating seven-minute spell from Neilson's side, in which 100 miles per hour was probably a bit on the slow side.

As the teams went in for the break, the question was whether McPake's side could rescue something from the game. Sixty seconds later and the answer was delivered. Harkes, who replaced the injured Connolly, found the top corner from 25 yards out, albeit with the help of a deflection off Jordon Forster.

Though Dundee improved, and pulled one back through Andrew Nelson's back-post volley, they never looked like getting back into the game.

And, with the contest drawing to a close - and the tempo considerably lower than Neilson's earlier prediction - Cammy Smith sneaked in a low shot to ensure a historic outcome for United.

"We've been down here for a number of years now and tonight is a night where we can prove that we can get out," said Neilson as his pre-match interview drew to a close.

On the basis of this showing, there will be very few who would argue that his side look well-capable of returning to the Premiership this term.

Man of the match - Paul McMullan

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at Tannadice

There were a number of candidates in tangerine shirts, but McMullan gets the nod. He might not have got among the goals, but he was at the centre of everything good about United.

His direct play, pace and trickery on the right caused Dundee problems all night, with the visitors just unable to contain him, particularly in the first half. And it wasn't just his attacking play that impressed - he tracked back and did the dirty work, too, in a great all-round display.

Paul McMullan
Paul McMullan won a penalty amid a fine performance

'We all let a lot of people down' - reaction

Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I'm delighted for the players but also for the fans. We're a Championship team and we've sold this place out and we've given them something to enjoy.

"They enjoyed the night and they were unbelievably supportive to the team. They've backed the club in what has been a difficult period here. So first and foremost thanks to them."

Dundee manager James McPake: "I'm disappointed, the team let a lot of people down. That's not me shirking the blame, I picked the team so I let a lot of people down.

"If you can't go and stick your head on crosses in a derby and defend your own box then there's a lot wrong. It doesn't matter how well or how badly you played."

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 1Siegrist
  • 2Smith
  • 5ConnollySubstituted forHarkesat 25'minutes
  • 6Reynolds
  • 17Robson
  • 7McMullan
  • 18ButcherBooked at 68mins
  • 12Stanton
  • 8PawlettSubstituted forSmithat 66'minutes
  • 24ShanklandSubstituted forClarkat 78'minutes
  • 27Appere

Substitutes

  • 9Sow
  • 10Clark
  • 11Smith
  • 13Mehmet
  • 23Harkes
  • 25King
  • 44Watson

Dundee

  • 1Hamilton
  • 2KerrBooked at 13mins
  • 5Forster
  • 3McGheeSubstituted forMeekingsat 68'minutes
  • 23Marshall
  • 8Byrne
  • 4Ness
  • 7ToddSubstituted forNelsonat 60'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 11McDaid
  • 28Hemmings
  • 18JohnsonSubstituted forMcGowanat 49'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Meekings
  • 9Nelson
  • 10McGowan
  • 12Ferrie
  • 15Curran
  • 17McPake
  • 19Robertson
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
14,108

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamDundee
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home11
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home25
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 6, Dundee 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 6, Dundee 2.

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

Foul by Andrew Nelson (Dundee).

Ian Harkes (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kane Hemmings (Dundee).

Ian Harkes (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Josh Meekings (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

Booking

Andrew Nelson (Dundee) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Andrew Nelson (Dundee).

Jamie Robson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jordon Forster (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Appere (Dundee United).

Josh Meekings (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nicky Clark (Dundee United).

Jamie Ness (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cameron Smith (Dundee United).

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 6, Dundee 2. Cameron Smith (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Louis Appere.

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

Foul by Jordon Forster (Dundee).

Louis Appere (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Declan McDaid (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Samuel Stanton (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Nicky Clark replaces Lawrence Shankland.

Foul by Andrew Nelson (Dundee).

Louis Appere (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Samuel Stanton.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Liam Smith.

Cammy Kerr (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United).

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 5, Dundee 2. Andrew Nelson (Dundee) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul McGowan with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Kane Hemmings (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Calum Butcher (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee. Josh Meekings replaces Jordan McGhee.

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Paul McMullan.

Cammy Kerr (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee Utd44001441012
2Inverness CT42118537
3Ayr32015326
4Morton4202912-36
5Dundee412158-35
6Arbroath31112204
7Queen of Sth302112-12
8Dunfermline302135-22
9Partick Thistle301246-21
10Alloa301226-41
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