Dundee United 3 Kilmarnock 1

Published: 22nd November 2014

United secured another hard fought, well deserved three points at Tannadice today. By Gareth Scott Ciftci had United ahead early on which was cancelled out by Pascali but a goal shortly after by Armstrong had United ahead at the break. United had numerous chances in the second half but it took until the dying moments when Aidan Connolly scored to put the result beyond doubt. After a two week break for international matches it was back to league duty for United with Kilmarnock visiting Tannadice. Jackie McNamara made five changes to the line up that started the defeat to Motherwell at Fir Park. Sean Dillon, Callum Morris, Charlie Telfer, Gary Mackay-Steven and Nadir Ciftci all returned to the starting eleven. John Rankin missed out through injury with Dow, Spittal, Souttar and Connolly all listed as substitutes. The visitors had former United keeper Craig Samson in goal and ex-United striker Lee Miller on their bench. First Half: United took just five minutes to open the scoring. A great interception from Erskine started the move. He passed to Armstrong who in turn found Ciftci who fired an unstoppable right foot shot beyond the helpless Samson. Ten minutes later Pacali did well to header clear a clever floated pass from Ciftci and then shortly after Ciftci went down in the box but the referee waved play on. With 24 minutes on the clock United created another good chance. Armstrong was again the instigator, this time feeding Mackay-Steven who surged into the box and laid the ball into the path of Telfer who was unlucky to see his curling shot blocked. Mackay-Steven was next to go close for United this time directly from a 30 yard free kick which Samson did well to tip over. United were continuing to look dangerous going forward with Mackay-Steven twice being denied and then Cifcti bent one round the post with Erskine in a threatening position. Despite their dominance United were made to pay for not taking their chances when Killie equalised eight minutes before the break. Eremenko superbly set up McKenzie who smashed the ball off the post but Pascali was first to the rebound and he shot home. United didn't let their heads go down and we're back in front four minutes later. Erskine gathered the ball and picked out Armstrong who swivelled in the box and sent a left foot shot into the corner of the net. Before the break United had a penalty appeal when Mackay-Steven appeared to be held back and then Cierzniak produced a superb save from a long range effort from Robbie Muirhead. ┬áSecond Half: Within a minute of the restart United almost went further ahead. Armstrong made a fine run to the by-line and he cut the ball to Ciftci who was denied at close range by an excellent stop from Samson. United were pressing to further their advantage and again went close when Telfer shot just wide and then again when Samson saved from Armstrong following a run from inside his own half. Ciftci was next to threaten, brilliantly losing his marker on the half way line and then with no one supporting him he tried a side foot shot that Samson easily gathered. With 15 minutes remaining Cifcti again found himself in space but he hesitated and the ball was cleared. With two minutes remaining the visitors went very close to levelling matters. The ball broke to defender Mark Connolly in the United box and his low shot deflected inches wide of the target. With the clock running down and the visitors looking for an equaliser they were caught by a classic sucker punch. United cleared from defence to Armstrong and a pass to Spittal was then squared to Aidan Connolly who fired in from close range to secure the three points for United. Summing Up - A much deserved win for United which in truth should have been by a bigger margin. Towards the end things began to get nervous but Connolly's goal at the end secured the win and sent the watching Arabs home happy. Man of the match - It was great to see Stuart Armstrong back to his best, scoring one and setting up two in an impressive display in midfield. He looks to have put his recent injuries behind him and put in a man of the match performance today. ┬áTeams: United: Cierzniak, Dillon, Morris, Fojut, Townsend, Paton, Armstrong, Telfer, Mackay-Steven (Dow 69), Erskine (Spittal 69), Ciftci (Connolly 83) Subs: Szromnik, Watson, Butcher, Souttar Kilmarnock: Samson, Barbour, Hamill, Connolly, McKenzie, Clingan, Eremenko (Johnston 66), Chantler, Magennis (Miller 66), Pascali, Muirhead (Cairney 72) Subs: Brennan, Ashcroft, Slater, O'Hara Referee : John Beaton Attendance : 6664