Published: 3rd October 2014

United went down to a disappointing defeat at Rugby Park against an impressive Kilmarnock. By Joe James United made just the one change to the team who beat St Johnstone last weekend, with Stuart Armstrong starting and Mario Bilate missing out through injury. Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnstone also made one change from last week’s victory against Partick Thistle, as Darryl Westlake came in for Chris Chantler. First half It was Kilmarnock who dominated the early stages of the match, centre forward Josh Magennis’s aerial power causing the United defence problems. The first chance of the game was at six minutes. Alexei Eremenko’s corner was headed down by Mark Connolly, before falling to Tope Obadeyi whose shot rose well over the bar. With Kilmarnock largely dominant in terms of possession and chances, it wasn’t until the 26th minute that United had their first real effort at goal. Chris Erskine brilliantly spread the ball into Sean Dillon on the left flank. The full back floated an inviting cross but the resulting header by Ciftci was placed into the side netting. Shortly after United’s opening chance, the Terrors looked to have gained confidence, with Stuart Armstrong going close. Erskine’s acute through ball found its way to the feet of Armstrong whose shot was brilliantly saved by Craig Samson, breaking his toe in the process. As the first half drew to a close, Josh Magennis continued to cause havoc in the United defence. The striker outmuscled Callum Morris, before chipping the ball over Radoslaw Cierzniak and much to United’s luck, bouncing over the goal via the crossbar. Both teams came in at the break level. Having struggled to deal with Kilmarnock defensively throughout the first half, United were perhaps fortunate to go in at the break with the score lines even. Second half Five minutes into the second half, Paul Paton dragged a speculative 25 yard strike well wide of substitute Conor Brennan’s goal. As the second period continued, again, Killie started controlling the match. On the hour, Killie’s pressure finally proved too much for United as the Ayrshire team took the lead. The composed Eremenko played a decisive ball into the feet of Obadeyi, who jinked past Paton, before poking the ball past Cierzniak and into the goal. Kilmarnock’s first goal had given the team great confidence and their tails were certainly up. Just three minutes later, Killie doubled their lead, Eremenko again the creator. The midfielder’s looping corner smacked against the head of Mark Connolly, and into the back of the net. A poor goal to concede, giving United a lot to do to get back into the match. It wasn’t until the 73rd minute that United again properly tested the Kilmarnock keeper. Substitute Gary Mackay-Steven cleverly stepped past Ross Barbour, before hitting a wild shot over Brennan’s crossbar from a tight angle. At 78 minutes, a perfect Manuel Pascali tackle denied debutant Ola Adeyemo his first goal for the club. After a poor back pass from Jamie Hamill, Erskine’s thunderous shot stung the palms of Brennan before falling to Adeyemo. Just as the young striker was shaping to shoot, Pascali expertly knocked the ball clear from danger. In the closing minutes of the match, the impressive Chris Johnstone curled an effort just wide after a dangerous run of the right. After three comfortable minutes of added time, Killie deservedly left with the three points, thanks to a solid home performance. A disappointing result for United, however, the Terrors displayed glimpses of nice football throughout the match, but not often enough to win. Man of the match- Again, Chris Erskine had a good performance and influenced United going forward. United- Cierzniak, Dillon, Fojut, Morris, Watson, Paton, Rankin, Armstrong (Mackay-Steven 64), Erskine, Ciftci (Adeyemo 76). Unused subs- Szromnik, Telfer, Smith, Spittal, Spark. Kilmarnock- Samson (Brennan 45), Barbour, Connolly, Pascali, Chantler, Hamill, Clingan, Johnston, Eremenko (Muirhead 80), Obadeyi, Magennis. Unused subs- McKenzie, Ashcroft, Slater, Ngoo, Westlake. Attendance- 3953 Referee- Crawford Allan.