United 6 Dundee 2

Published: 1st January 2015

The Tangerines secured their highest ever home win over Dundee as they ran out emphatic winners after a memorable 90 minutes. By Ally Stewart After just 31 seconds Tannadice erupted when the hosts raced into the lead. Mackay-Steven linked up with Nadir Ciftci on the right flank before the ball was worked out to Conor Townsend on the left side of the box. The defender's low ball was met by Chris Erskine who swung in a volley which ricocheted off Stuart Armstrong’s back and into the net, completely wrong footing late inclusion Arvid Schenk in the Dundee goal. Despite the setback the visitors did most of the pressing during the opening quarter and equalised in the 24th minute after being awarded a free kick following a clash between Calum Butcher and Gary Harkins. Greg Stewart took the set piece at the edge of the area and his left foot shot curled into the top corner leaving Cierzniak with no chance. The response from United was lethal as they retook the lead just three minutes later. Mackay-Steven was given space on the right flank and he cut inside to curl a spectacular left foot shot into the top corner, outdoing the effort just witnessed at the other end. What was becoming an enthralling game then saw United move further ahead in 31 minutes with this time Erskine getting on the scoresheet. After Mackay-Steven played the ball to Townsend on the left he spotted the run of Erskine into acres of space on the opposite side of the area. After taking the ball under control the midfielder showed great composure before sliding the ball into the bottom corner past Schenk. Mackay-Steven then rounded off a brilliant first half showing near half time as he latched onto an Armstrong through ball before confidently finishing past Schenk. Early in the half Dundee had a great chance to start hopes of a comeback after an audacious long range shot by James McPake was spilled by Cierzniak. Sean Dillon wasn't aware of Stewart closing the ball down and in the end they were fortunate to see the ball rebound off David Clarkson and out for a goal kick. Just beyond the hour mark the Dark Blues hit the woodwork as a Stewart free kick was glanced onto the underside of the bar by Thomas Konrad before Mackay-Steven was denied a hat trick following a decent save by Schenk but from the resulting corner the hosts made it 5-1. Mackay-Steven swung in the delivery which was met by the powerful downward header of Jarek Fojut who again left Schenk helpless. The game understandably fell flat for spells in the second half but as the game neared a conclusion substitute Charlie Telfer also got his name on the scoresheet. Mackay-Steven was again involved as he raced into space down the right before his pass was diverted back to the youngster at the edge of the box. Telfer showed real class in the way he took a touch before slotting a fine shot into the bottom corner for what was his 2nd goal for the club. The final goal of a memorable afternoon came at the death for Dundee when Luka Tankulic prodded the ball over Cierzniak and into the net from close range. This couldn't take any of the shine off a memorable afternoon which ended with all associated with United celebrating. Full Time Summary: As was the case at Dens in the first derby the Terrors were absolutely devastating in the final third and in the end were worthy of securing their greatest ever Tannadice win over Dundee. What a way to start a year which United start off from a great position and have everything to play for in the coming months. Man of the Match: Back to his brilliant best and a constant threat throughout the award goes to Gary Mackay-Steven. The scorer of a double as well as an assist can count this as one of his better days in tangerine. United – Cierzniak, Dillon, Townsend, Fojut, Watson, Butcher (Telfer 74), Watson, Butcher, Rankin, Armstrong, Mackay-Steven, Erskine (Dow 61), Ciftci (Connolly 80). Subs not used – Szromnik, Wilson, Spittal, Spark. Dundee – Schenk, Irvine, Dyer, Konrad (Tankulic 63) , McPake, Davidson, McGowan, McAlister, Stewart, Clarkson (Carreiro 71), Harkins (Boyle 46). Subs not used – Black, McDonald, Roberts. Referee – Kevin Clancy Attendance - 12964