Dundee United 2 Dunfermline 1Saturday, 2nd Dec 2017
Ladbrokes Championship: four changes for trip to Tannadice. Scott Fraser (15) 1-0: Scott Fraser (42) 2-0. Declan McManus (75 pen) 2-1
The road and the miles to Dundee created problems for Dunfermline Athletic with two of their intended starting eleven being caught up in delays caused by an accident on the A9 between Dunblane and Perth. Two poor goals were conceded and although Declan McManus clawed them back into the match from the penalty spot, they could not find an equaliser in the final quarter of an hour.
For the visit to Tannadice Allan Johnston made four changes in his starting eleven. Lewis Martin, Joe Cardle, Michael Paton and Declan McManus started in place of Fraser Aird, Dean Shields, Nicky Clark and Callum Smith.
Dundee United were without Thomas Scobbie, suspended following his red card at Brechin the previous Saturday. Manager Csaba László brought in 32 year old Paul Quinn to replace him in the centre of the defence in an otherwise unchanged United team. Four points separated the Pars in fourth place from their second placed opponents.
It was Dunfermline who kicked off in what looked like a 4-1-4-1 shape, attacking the goal at the Eddie Thompson Stand End but United who got in the first attempt of the afternoon Scott Fraser blasting his fourth minute shot over the bar.
Nat Wedderburn drove the ball behind for a sixth minute corner for the home side but Billy King slipped as he took it on the right and McManus sprinted away with it. He made a tremendous run taking him inside the United box but failed to centre for Cardle and a deflection took the ball out for the first Pars corner of the game. Cardle` cross was low and cut out but there was quickly a chance for Kallum Higginbotham thanks to McManus dispossessing Fraser Fyvie. The Pars man sent his left footed shot outside the left goalpost.
Paton then made a strong run down the left channel but sent his shot from 20 yards wide. The 13th minute proved unlucky for Scott McDonald who failed to shoot after Jamie Robson had been allowed to get in a cross from the left and the ball landed at the striker`s feet only to be swept away by Cardle. Next the ball was fizzed through the six yard box after Higginbotham`s efforts to see the ball out failed.
Jason Talbot`s challenge on Fraser then crunched the United player to the ground and a free kick was awarded some 25 yards out. The 15th minute setpiece was swept over the Pars wall by FRASER to find the right side of the net. 1-0
The Pars tried to make their response immediate and in 17th minute Cardle slid the ball out left for McManus to cross from the left was turned over the bar off the foot of Higginbotham as he slid in at the back post.
Cardle was forward playing the ball off McManus on the top of the box and then taking the ball right before sending a pass into the six yard box that Harry Lewis got to ahead of the inrunning McManus.
There were 26 minutes on the clock when Referee Euan Anderson awarded the Fifers an indirect free kick 16 yards out after keeper Lewis held Quinn`s pass back. Talbot and Higginbotham stood over the ball. All ten outfield opponents were in their own box, there were six in the wall but as Higginbotham elected to tap the ball left for a Paton to shoot, the wall charged down his effort.
Cardle lofted in a free kick from the left side but the 20 year old keeper rose to grab the ball. At the other end Sam Stanton was able to get a shot in but Sean Murdoch held with ease. McManus had a blast but his effort was well off target and Martin drove a 30 header wide left.
Ten minutes from the interval Paton delivered a fine cross in from the left and Martin made ground to send a diving header on target but the keeper held albeit at his second attempt. A United corner looked to have been well enough defended until Stanton stabbed at a chance on the edge of the box and his shot slipped narrowly over the bar.
The Fifers then conceded a cheap goal in 42nd minute. A Robson throw in on the left side picked out FRASER who despatched the ball with a right footed shot at an angle into far side of the goal. 2-0
The first half stats showed 52% possession for the home side and eight Pars shots to United`s five but two goals down at the break left the visitors a lot to do in the second half if they were going to take anything from this game back down the M90.
Half time: Dundee United 2 Dunfermline 0
No changes to either side when play resumed and Murdoch was the first keeper in serious action diving at the feet of Fraser as Robson provided another cross from the left. Stanton then missed a good chance at the back post when King lofted in another useful ball from the left wing.
Fraser Aird replaced Kallum Higginbotham after just ten second half minutes and the sub tried to make an immediate impact running strongly at the United defence before trying to slip the ball to Martin on the edge of the box but that was intercepted.
On the hour Williamson displayed great close control to beat his man and send a fine cross in from the right but the keeper got to it just ahead of Martin. A minute later the right back provided yet another cross but this time it was easier for Lewis to hold. Pressure on the right side of the United box earned a 62nd minute corner but although Cardle`s delivery picked out Morris he could not get his header on target.
Murdoch then denied Fraser his hattrick with a great save but there was a glimmer of hope as Dunfermline appeared to enjoy a short spell of territorial advantage. Play switched to the other end with King forcing a 70th minute corner off Morris. Paton headed that away and after another Pars attack Morris was shown yellow as Fyvie broke on the counter.
Aird broke down the right and into the box where Robson`s challenge earned the Fifers a 75th minute penalty. Robson and then Quinn were shown yellow cards before McMANUS fired the spot kick right footed into the right side of the United net. 2-1
In 83rd minute Martin headed on a Murdoch clearance and a swift move from Aird to Paton to Aird forced a corner on the left but unfortunately that changed nothing. Next movement Aird crashed a 25 harder wide left and there were signs that the home side were getting rattled but the clock was certainly running away from the Pars.
A surging run from Ashcroft earned a free kick on half way and there was one final fright for United as Aird`s last chance cross dipped in but Lewis held under the crossbar and there was to be no late equaliser.
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Allardyce, Matty Smith, Logan Chalmers, Deniz Mehmet (GK).
SCORERS: Fraser (15, 42)
YELLOW CARD: Stanton (55), Robson (74), Quinn (75)
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Nat Wedderburn, Lewis Martin. Kallum Higginbotham (Fraser Aird 55), Michael Paton, Joe Cardle: Declan McManus.
SUBS NOT USED: Callum Smith, Dean Shiels, Jean-Yves M`Voto, Cammy Gill (GK).
YELLOW CARD: Higginbotham (51), Morris (73), Cardle (79), Paton (88)
REFEREE: Euan Anderson
WEATHER: Fine 6⁰C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship: (home) v Queen of the South, Saturday 9th December 2017, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park
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Dundee United 2-1 Dunfermline
Sat, 2nd Dec 2017
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Preview Dundee UnitedSaturday, 2nd Dec 2017
Ladbrokes Championship: (away) v Dundee United, Saturday 2nd December 2017, kick off 3.00pm at Tannadice
As Dundee United could only draw at Brechin last Saturday, St Mirren`s 3-1 win over Livingston in midweek took them back to the top of the league. St Mirren have 29 points, United 27 and Dunfermline 23.
The Pars would really love to take three points away from Tannadice but recent form and recent history would suggest that might be a tough ask. United were the first opponents, and as yet only opponents, to win at East End Park this season when they won 3-1 on the last day of September.
League v Dundee Utd
Pld 133 W 48 D36 L49
Milestones Dundee United (Away)
Last League Victory:
20/08/11: 1-0: SPL
Last League Defeat:
08/11/16: 0-1: Championship
Best League Victories:
29/01/66: 4-0: Div 1*
22/08/62: 4-0: Div 1*
28/02/48: 4-0: Div B*
Worst League Defeat
29/04/61: 0-5: Div 1*
*Pre league reconstruction
Of the last twelve league matches between Dunfermline and United, the Pars have won three lost six with three games ending all square. United have won six of the last seven league matches. It is six visits back in all competitions since the Fifers left Tannadice with a win.
Last Twelve League Matches v Dundee United
Date H/A F-A Scorers
28/01/17 H 1-3 [0-1] Fyvie, [0-2] Fyvie, [0-3] McDonald, [1-3] Smith
11/04/17 A 0-1 [0-1] Mikkleson
28/01/17 H 1-1 [0-1] Andreu, [1-1] Herron
08/11/16 A 0-1 [0-1] Murray
10/09/16 H 1-3 [0-1] Murray. [0-2] Andreu, [1-2] Paton, [1-3] Andreu
31/03/12 A 0-3 [0-1] Daly, [0-2] Robertson, [0-3] Daly.
29/10/11 H 1-4 [0-1] Dixon, [0-2] Dalla Valle, [1-2] Kirk, [1-3] Russell, [1-4] MacKay-Steven
20/08/11 A 1-0 [1-0] Burns
21/04/07 H 1-0 [1-0] McManus
27/01/07 A 0-0 ..
18/11/06 H 2-1 [0-1] Robson, [1-1] Shields, [2-1] Mason
19/08/06 A 0-0 ..
Last League Meeting at Tannadice
Tuesday 11th April 2017
Dundee United 1 Dunfermline 0
The only goal of the match came after half an hour. The Pars passed off a great chance and then paid the penalty as United immediately hit back. Great play from Rhys McCabe breaking down the right set up Michael Moffat but from eight yards his indecision led to a spectacular miss with only the keeper to beat.
United went down the park and scored the opener. Murray sent the ball in from the right and MIKKELSEN swept the ball past Murdoch. Half an hour played 1-0.
Allan Johnston would claim there was not much between the two teams. "It was a pretty even game. We had a couple of half chances, they tried to catch us on the break a couple of times. We cannot complain about the boys attitude and effort. I thought they gave everything but sometimes we need to pick the right pass and get that bit of quality in the final third."
DUNDEE UNITED: Cammy Bell (c): Mark Durnan, Stewart Murdoch, William Edjenguelle, Jamie Robson: Blair Spittal (Nick van der Velden 79), Willo Flood, Tony Andreu, Simon Murray, Scott Allardyce (Lewis Toshney 69), Thomas Mikkelson (Ali Coote 87)
SUBS NOT USED: Charlie Telfer, Paul Dixon, Wato Kuate, Luis Maria Zwick (GK)
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Andy Geggan (c)(Ryan Williamson 65), Callum Morris, Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Kallum Higginbotham, Nat Wedderburn, Rhys McCabe, Paul McMullan (Joe Cardle 77): Michael Moffat (Gavin Reilly 65), Nicky Clark.
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Paton, Lewis Martin, Lewis Spence, David Hutton (GK)
Form last six matches
Dumbarton (H) D 2-2
Morton (H) D 1-1
Queens Park (A) W 4-1
Falkirk (A) D 1-1
Inverness Caley (A) L 0-1
Livingston (H) W 3-1
Brechin City (A) D 1-1
Falkirk (H) W 3-0
Crusaders (H) L 1-2
St Mirren (H) W 2-1
Dumbarton (A) W 2-0
Inverness Caley Thistle (H) L 0-2
League Position: 4th
League Points: 22
League Record: P13 W6 D4 L3
Goal Difference: +14
Last Six League Match Form: DWLDDD
League Position: 2nd
League Points: 27
League Record: P14 W8 D3 L3 GF18 GA13
Goal Difference: +5
Last Six League Match Form: LLWWWD
The Pars have won only one of their last seven league games. They won their last away match at Brechin on 30th September.
Dundee United lost at home to Crusaders in the Irn Bru Cup before getting back on track with a 3-0 win over Falkirk the last time at Tannadice.
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Dumbarton): Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Callum Morris (c), Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Kallum Higginbotham (Joe Cardle 55), Nat Wedderburn, Dean Shiels (Michael Paton 55), Fraser Aird (Declan McManus 71): Callum Smith, Nicky Clark.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis Martin, Jean-Yves M`Voto, Cammy Gill (GK).
DUNDEE UNITED (v Brechin City) Harry Lewis, Tam Scobbie, Mark Durnan, Jamie Robson: Stewart Murdoch, Scott Fraser, Billy King (Paul McMullan 85), Sam Stanton (James Keatings 72), Willo Flood, Fraser Fyvie, Scott McDonald
SUBS NOT USED: Paul Quinn, William Edjenguele, Matthew Smith, Logan Chalmers, Deniz Mehmet.
Referee will be Euan Anderson.
Other Championship Fixtures on Saturday
Livingston v Falkirk
Morton v Brechin City
Queen of the South v Inverness Caley Thistle
St Mirren v Dumbarton