Dundee Utd 1
Falkirk 0
League (Championship)

Dundee Utd
1 - 0

League (Championship)
Saturday, October 29th, 2016
Tannadice Park. Att. 7,046
3:00 PM Kick-off

Mark Durnan (82)

Team Managers
Ray McKinnon
Peter Houston

Starting Eleven
1. Cammy Bell
20. Frank van der Struijk
14. William Edjenguélé
3. Paul Dixon
4. Mark Durnan
23. Nick van der Velden
16. Willo Flood
19. Tony Andreu
10. Scott Fraser
12. Charlie Telfer
11. Tope Obadeyi
Danny Rodgers
Luke Leahy
Aaron Muirhead
David McCracken
Luca Gasparotto
John Rankin
Tom Taiwo
Mark Kerr
Craig Sibbald
John Baird
Lee Miller

21. Luis Zwick
2. Seán Dillon
5. Coll Donaldson
24. Jamie Robson
7. Blair Spittal
9. Simon Murray
15. Cammy Smith
Peter Grant
Myles Hippolyte
Bob McHugh
Scott Shepherd
James Craigen
Paul Watson
Deniz Mehmet

Simon Murray for Tope Obadeyi (61)
Cammy Smith for Nick van der Velden (61)
Coll Donaldson for Scott Fraser (87)
Myles Hippolyte for Craig Sibbald (73)
Bob McHugh for John Baird (80)
James Craigen for John Rankin (86)

None. Craig Sibbald (64)
Aaron Muirhead (79)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Euan Anderson (Referee)

Match Report

After a well deserved victory over Dumbarton the previous week Ray McKinnon made just the one change to the starting line-up, with Mark Durnan returning from suspension to replace Coll Donaldson in central defence. There was a large contingent of ex United players in the visiting line up with David McCracken, John Rankin, Mark Kerr and Lee Miller all starting. It was also a first return to Tannadice for former Scottish Cup winning manager Peter Houston, now at the Falkirk helm. With both sides neck and neck, seperated by just a point, a win for either could go on to prove hugely significant come the end of the season.

The game started with the hosts more on the front foot with both Scott Fraser and Tony Andreu causing the Falkirk defence some early concerns. Nick Van der Velden and then Paul Dixon both screwed long range shots a similar distance wide inside the opening 10 minutes as they looked to test the goalkeeper. In the 13th minute former United captain Rankin sent a dipping shot from the edge of the box just wide of Cammy Bell’s left hand post in the visitors first real threat on goal. Immediately afterwards Falkirk keeper Danny Rogers then did well to parry away a strong angled drive from Andreu who had been teed up by Van der Velden. Despite both sides having their moments in an attack there was a developing nature of scrappiness to play with both defences on top. A sublime through ball in 28 minutes from Charlie Telfer almost broke this pattern however Rogers was able to slide out and chest the ball away just ahead of Andreu who would’ve been well placed to score. 7 minutes from half time the Bairns won a free kick in a dangerous area which Kerr floated into the area. The ball was cleared to Craig Sibbald who made some space before firing well over from a decent position 12 yards out. In the last effort of the first half Sibbald again found himself well placed in the box but after steering a lofted ball in on the volley Bell was able to gather comfortably to ensure the half ended goalless.

The Tangerines made a positive start to the second half with Fraser going close with a left foot shot from distance which cleared the bar. A minute later Fraser swung a dangerous ball into the box which was glanced wide from 6 yards by Frank Van der Struijk who'd made his way upfield. Fraser then showed great strength to win the ball back in midfield and played in Tope Obadeyi who made a poor connection and sent his left foot shot several feet wide. Dixon was next to fire off target however this time there appeared to be a clear deflection off a Falkirk defender which was not seen by referee Euan Anderson. Close to the hour mark there was a real moment of panic for the hosts as a quickly taken Falkirk free kick was headed towards the goalkeeper by Van der Velden unaware of the incoming Luke Leahy who prodded the ball goal ward. Thankfully Bell was alive to the danger and his good reactions ensured he could to gather the ball safely. McKinnon then sent on Simon Murray and Cammy Smith for Obadeyi and Van der Velden on the hour mark in a positive move to intensify the attack. Bairns midfielder Sibbald earnt the first booking of the game in the 64th minute after bringing down Telfer resulting in William Edjenguele heading Fraser’s free kick over from around 7 yards out. Rogers then made another good save diving low to his left to turn away a strong effort from Fraser. Murray raced onto the loose ball to send back towards goal but the visitors had defenders well placed to make the clearance. With 20 minutes left Murray found some space on the right edge of the Falkirk box and drilled in a powerful shot which was rising all the time and sailed over. Just as the momentum looked like it was building for United the pace of the game died down again and similar to the first half was played out mostly in midfield. In the 80th minute a fierce strike from Leahy was deflected out for a corner however the crucial opener for United was only a matter of minutes away. Mark Durnan started the move bringing the ball out from defence and playing an upfield ball to Smith who then flicked out to Fraser who was in space down Falkirk's left flank. The youngster raced forward and played the ball back inside to Smith who managed to guide it on into the middle of the danger area. After taking a touch off a defender the ball fell kindly to the man who started the move, Durnan, who smashed the ball home past Rogers from 8 yards. Tannadice erupted to acknowledge what looked like being the decisive moment in the match. The visitors mounted a late rally to try and salvage a point, with Edjenguele having to make a match saving tackle to prevent sub Bob McHugh from getting a shot in deep in injury time. Then right at the death amidst a scramble in the United box a Myles Hippolyte shot cannoned off the post before Durnan made a superb block from the rebound however the offside flag had already been raised and a massive three points were secured for United.

Written by Ally Stewart

Squad Statistics (as at October 29th, 2016)

2016-17 All Time
Cammy Bell (GK)30 17 - 17 -
Mark Durnan23 111444
William Edjenguélé29 102102
Paul Dixon29 12 - 2075
Frank van der Struijk31 9 - 9 -
Scott Fraser21 162534
Tony Andreu28 9797
Nick van der Velden34 163163
Charlie Telfer21 131465
Willo Flood31 1421667
Tope Obadeyi27 171171
Coll Donaldson (sub)21 14 - 36 -
Simon Murray (sub)24 1864313
Cammy Smith (sub)21 155155

League Table (as at October 29th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Hibernian 11 7 3 1 +12 24
2. DUNDEE UTD 11 6 3 2 +7 21
3. Raith Rovers 11 6 2 3 +5 20
4. QOS 11 5 3 3 +3 18
5. Falkirk 11 5 2 4 +2 17
6. Morton 10 4 3 3 +2 15
7. Ayr Utd 11 4 2 5 -5 14
8. Dunfermline 11 2 2 7 -8 8
9. Dumbarton 11 1 4 6 -7 7
10. St Mirren 10 0 4 6 -11 4

League results since United's last match
29th October 2016
Dundee Utd1-0Falkirk
Hibernian2-0St Mirren
Morton2-1Ayr Utd
Raith Rovers1-0QOS