Dundee Utd 5
Kilmarnock 1
League (Premiership)

Dundee Utd
5 - 1

League (Premiership)
Saturday, January 23rd, 2016
Tannadice Park. Att. 7,729
3:00 PM Kick-off

Blair Spittal (8)
Mark Durnan (32)
Blair Spittal (39)
John Rankin (44)
Seán Dillon (78)
Josh Magennis (82)

Team Managers
Mixu Paatelainen
Gary Locke

Starting Eleven
1. Eiji Kawashima
2. Seán Dillon
28. Coll Donaldson
19. Gavin Gunning
55. Guy Demel
6. Paul Paton
8. John Rankin
20. Blair Spittal
14. Ryan Dow
7. Billy Mckay
15. Simon Murray
Jamie MacDonald
Steven Smith
Jamie Hamill
Stuart Findlay
Lee Ashcroft
Craig Slater
Greg Kiltie
David Syme
Conrad Balatoni
Josh Magennis
Kallum Higginbotham

51. Luis Zwick
17. Mark Durnan
4. John Souttar
24. Euan Spark
22. Scott Fraser
10. Robbie Muirhead
25. Riku Riski
Connor Brennan
Scott Robinson
Kris Boyd
Tope Obadeyi
Dale Carrick
Kevin McHattie
Adam Frizzel

Mark Durnan for Coll Donaldson (14)
John Souttar for Guy Demel (34)
Riku Riski for Ryan Dow (79)
Adam Frizzel for Steven Smith (13)
Kevin McHattie for Lee Ashcroft (46)
Tope Obadeyi for Kallum Higginbotham (61)

None. David Syme (45)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Euan Anderson (Referee)

Match Report

A healthy crowd of almost eight thousand saw United’s best performance of the season as they scored four first half goals, without reply, to blow Kilmarnock away.

The game kicked off at a rapid pace, Murray testing McDonald inside the first minute, but the men from Tannadice were fortunate not to be a goal down in the following minute as Higginbotham found space to pick out the onrushing Josh MaGennis. His effort though did nothing more than direct the ball into the arms of Kawashima in the United goal. Blair Spittal gave United the lead in the eight minute; firstly he won the ball from the Kilmarnock midfield before setting Dow off down the right wing. The returning forward fired a great pass in to the area which was well controlled by Murray. With nowhere to turn the United front man rolled the ball into the path of Spittal who picked his spot in the far corner with a fine, angled drive. Col Donaldson was stretchered off after a clash of heads with Higginbotham in the eleventh minute, at the same time Steven Smith, who had picked up a knock earlier, was also substituted. Durnan and Frizzel were the respective players brought into the action. Simon Murray, was by now worrying the Kilmarnock defence whenever they attempted to control the ball and he appeared to cover every blade of grass in the opening half hour. The former Arbroath player did have the ball in the net in the 16th minute, showing great speed and strength to get to the ball before Balatoni, then showing composure to give McDonald no chance from six yards. Euan Anderson however ruled the goal out for a push on the Killie defender, much to the bemusement of the Tannadice crowd. United’s second goal arrived on thirty one minutes and it was substitute Durnan who scored his first goal of the season, rising to meet a Spittal corner at the near post and flashing a header which could only be palmed into the roof of the net by the goalkeeper. Guy Demel, after appearing to stretch his thigh, was replaced on thirty-two minutes by John Souttar. United were looking more confident and their desire to add the goals their dominance deserved was clear. Murray was trying his luck from 20 yards, then Paton, who was winning tackle after tackle, tried from even farther out, although neither attempt troubled the Killie goal. Five minutes before the break it was 3 – 0, again the scorer was Spittal, who took out two Kilmarnock defenders before whipping in a cross which was missed by everyone include Jamie McDonald and the ball nestled into the same spot as his first goal. Seconds before the half time whistle John Rankin rifled in a fine fourth, meeting the ball on the volley perfectly from six yards out. It must have been United’s day as it was his right foot too.

The second half did not begin at the same frenetic pace as the first, United were keen to sit on their lead and try to pick Kilmarnock off on the break, Murray and Mckay were quick to offer runs which stretched the Killie defence all over the park. The first chance of the half fell to the hard working Murray, Rankin and McKay combining to cross to the back post, only for the strikers header to loop high over the bar. Craig Slater had an attempt which was well saved before United broke with lightning speed, Mckay though will be unhappy that he did not really test the keeper as he showed strength and skill to keep the ball in play. Spittal then set up Gunning whose effort in front of goal was deflected away. By now United were again in complete control, attacking at will and winning the ball back at their leisure. Kilmarnock’s last attempt to change the flow of the game was to bring on Obadeyi, for the ineffective Higginbotham. The only real contribution made by the substitute was to give the opportunity for a penalty claim to United, as the ball struck his hand, but the referee ignored the protests of both players and the vocal supporters. The Terrors’ fifth and final goal was scored by club captain Sean Dillon, who played a great one two with Murray, got the break of the ball off a Killie defender, then played another one two with Mckay, before poking the ball past a stranded Jamie McDonald. Dow who had lasted well, given his long absence, was replaced by Finnish winger Riski in the eightieth minute. Kilmarnock did get a consolation back; after a series of corners and a great save by Kawashima, Josh Magennis rose at the front post to fish well from a Slater cross. United controlled the remainder of the match and the United fans saved the loudest cheer for the final whistle as the Tangerines had ran out easy winners.

Formation: 3-2-3-2
Captain: Seán Dillon
Arab Archive 'Man of the Match': Simon Murray

Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:
Dundee United Official Flickr Page

Squad Statistics (as at January 23rd, 2016)

2015-16 All Time
Eiji Kawashima (GK)32 4 - 4 -
Seán Dillon32 2023147
Coll Donaldson20 9 - 9 -
Gavin Gunning24 9 - 10810
Guy Demel34 6 - 6 -
Paul Paton28 3 - 804
John Rankin32 23218913
Blair Spittal20 257549
Ryan Dow24 8 - 9911
Billy Mckay27 199199
Simon Murray23 142142
Mark Durnan (sub)23 232232
John Souttar (sub)19 21 - 732
Riku Riski (sub)26 3 - 3 -

Team Sheet (Scanned Photo)

League Table (as at January 23rd, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 23 17 4 2 +44 55
2. Aberdeen 23 15 4 4 +16 49
3. Hearts 22 11 7 4 +18 40
4. Ross County 24 10 3 11 +3 33
5. St Johnstone 22 9 5 8 +2 32
6. Inverness CT 23 7 8 8 -2 29
7. Dundee 23 7 8 8 -4 29
8. Partick Th 22 6 7 9 -7 25
9. Motherwell 22 7 4 11 -12 25
10. Hamilton 23 6 6 11 -16 24
11. Kilmarnock 24 6 6 12 -20 24
12. DUNDEE UTD 23 3 4 16 -22 10

League results since United's last match
16th January 2016
Kilmarnock2-1Inverness CT
Partick Th2-4Dundee
St Johnstone0-0Hamilton
17th January 2016
Ross County2-3Aberdeen
19th January 2016
22nd January 2016
23rd January 2016
Celtic3-1St Johnstone
Dundee Utd5-1Kilmarnock
Inverness CT0-0Partick Th
Motherwell1-2Ross County