St Mirren 1 United 1

Published: 21st January 2015

On a bitterly cold night in Paisley , United and St Mirren played out an enthralling 1-1 draw. By Stuart Norris St Mirren took the lead in 39 minutes with an excellent finish by McLean . This stung United into action and the Tangerines equalised four minutes later when a sweeping move was superbly finished by Armstrong. The second half swung from end to end with both sides having chances late on. Armstrong was a stand out for United throughout and as the end of the game approached set up Ciftci for what could have been the winner, but the big forward headed narrowly over. First Half With confidence gained from their weekend win, St Mirren started brightly and had a chance to take the lead after five minutes when a short Watson back pass let McLean in, but quick reactions from Cierzniak averted the danger. Four minutes later Mallan shot over as St Mirren enjoyed some early pressure. United s first goal attempt came in 10 minutes, when Armstrong spun on the penalty spot, but his shot was easily saved by Ridgers. Home debutant Arquin was then played through on goal but his angled shot was again well saved by Cierzniak. United had the ball in the net after 15 mins, when Ciftci brushed off Goodwin and stroked the ball past Ridgers. Unfortunately for United referee Beaton judged that Goodwin had been fouled. United had weathered the early St Mirren pressure and were soon back on the attack, forcing a series of corners. In 22 minutes an excellent move involving Armstrong and Mackay-Steven ended with Erskine shooting just wide. United were trying to play their usual passing game as the first half wore on, but finding too many passes going astray. Then in 39 minutes, following a United corner, St Mirren quickly broke from defence to take the lead. McLean, St Mirren’s best palyer on the night, flicked the ball over Townsend before guiding past Cierzniak. United tried to hit back immediately and had a golden chance to equalise two minutes later when Armstrong floated a perfect cross to Ciftci, but headed straight at Ridgers. The equaliser was delayed by only two more minutes however. As United pushed forward, Mackay-Steven fed Ciftci wide on the right, whose cross found Armstrong who superbly stroked home past Ridgers. The game had sprung to life in the closing 6 minutes but with no more goals the teams went in at the break all even at 1:1. Second Half The second half began with both teams playing with much endeavour, but finding too many passes missing their target. However, in the 62nd minute United started to up the tempo when Mackay-Steven played in Townsend, whose shot narrowly missed the far post. United made a double substitution on 65 minutes with Anier making his United debut for Erskine and Telfer replacing Rankin. With Armstrong pulling the strings in midfield United looked in control, but were unable to make any clear cut chances. A strong claim for a penalty was waved away by the referee when Goodwin appeared to handle an Armstrong cross. However, as the game entered its closing stages, St Mirren had two good opportunities to take the lead when, first McLean should have done better playing through on goal but shooting wide, then Naismith narrowly headed wide. St Mirren had a claim for handball as the ball struck Townsend, but was correctly waved away by referee Beaton. With time running out, United had a fantastic chance to win the game. On 90 minutes another pinpoint Armstrong cross found Ciftci who rose well to meet the cross but headed narrowly over. In a game that could have gone either way, both teams had to settle for a share of the points with United maintaining their unbeaten start to 2015. Man of the Match:- Stuart Armstrong was different class throughout. He controlled the midfield for United and capped a fine performance with United’s equalising goal. St Mirren: Ridgers, Naismith, Kelly, Tesselaar, Goodwin, McAusland, Osbourne (McLear) , Mallan, McLean, McGinn, Arquin Unused Subs: Kello, Ball, ,Reilly, Morgan, Baird, Wylde Dundee United: Cierzniak, Dillon, Watson, Fojut, Townsend, Paton, Rankin (Telfer), Erskine, (Anier), Ciftci, Mackay-Steven, Armstrong UNused subs: Szromnik, Spittal, Dow, Butcher, Connolly, Referee:John Beaton Attendance: 2,511