0 - 2
Sam Stanton (2)
Sam Stanton (15)
Greg Morrison for Tom Walsh (46)
Alistair Roy for David Wilson (81)
Calum Gallagher for Mark Stewart (87)
James Keatings for Scott Fraser (72)
Paul McMullan for Matty Smith (82)
Declan Glass for Billy King (90)
|Craig Barr (53)||
James Keatings (87)
|Craig Barr (63)||None.|
Craig Charleston (Referee)
Following the sacking of Ray McKinnon, his assistant Laurie Ellis took charge of Dundee United for the trip to face Dumbarton. Ellis took the opportunity to ring the changes after the defeat to Inverness, with five changes made to the starting 11. Fraser Fyvie and Lewis Toshney dropped out due to injury, with Paul McMullan, William Edjenguele and James Keatings being dropped to the bench. Into the side came Stewart Murdoch, Tam Scobbie, Billy King, Matty Smith and Scott Fraser.
Ellis’s tenure started as well as anyone could have dreamed, as United took the lead after a mere 74 seconds. Some great play on the right from Matty Smith saw him feed the ball to Billy King on the edge of the box. King laid the ball off to former Dumbarton playerSam Stanton, who brilliantly curled the ball into the net from around 20 yards out.
The goal settled United, and the confidence visibly began to return to the players after what had been a torrid few weeks. They were dominating possession and after 15 minutes a free kick from Scott Fraser nearly led to another goal, with the ball just missing the head of Mark Durnan before home defender Andy Dowie almost deflected the ball into his own net.
However, the second goal was not long in coming. From the resultant corner, Fraser played the ball to Sam Stanton around 12 yards out, and his first time effort squirmed through the hands of Dumbarton goalkeeper Scott Gallacher and into the net.
In truth, United saw out the rest of the game under very little threat, although five minutes after the second goal Dumbarton did have a penalty claim when Scobbie looked to handle the ball in the penalty box in the act of stopping a cross, but referee Craig Charleston waved away the protests of the home players, awarding simply a corner when he might have given a penalty. From that corner Craig Barr had a chance at the back post, but he could only side foot his effort wide.
After half an hour of play, United came close to adding a third goal. Billy King received a pass from Fraser and cut in from the left, but from 18 yards he blasted his shot just over the bar. Soon after, at the other end Harry Lewis, who had had a rather quiet time of it until that point, had to look lively to smother a low free kick from Dimitrios Froxylias. Willo Flood then cut out a dangerous cross at the near post after Dumbarton had been gifted possession by an error from Durnan as Dumbarton sought a way back into the game.
United fashioned two more good chances before half time. On 38 minutes, King picked out Stewart Murdoch, however after having a headed effort blocked, when the ball rebounded to him the right back could only poke the ball past the post. Five minutes later, Scott McDonald tried a shot from 20 yards after being set up by Fraser but his effort went just wide.
The second half started rather as the first half had ended, with United creating most of the opportunities. Flood had a shot blocked before, on 54 minutes, a corner from the impressive Scott Fraser was headed just past by Mark Durnan. The midfielder created yet another chance on the hour mark by playing Scott McDonald through on goal, and only a desperate fingertip save from Gallacher prevented a third goal from the Australian striker’s angled drive.
Dumbarton were reduced to ten men on 63 minutes when Craig Barr, who had been booked ten minutes earlier for a foul on Fraser, picked up a second booking for simulation, and any faint hopes the home side may have had of getting anything from this match evaporated. There was something of a drop in intensity from the United players after the red card, and United made a couple of personnel changes as they saw out the game. Fraser and Matty Smith were withdrawn for James Keatings and Paul McMullan, although it did not affect their dominance of the match. It was the end of any real opportunities for either side, although Stanton came close to a hat trick against the club with which he spent last season on loan by forcing a good save out of Gallacher, before with only a couple of minutes left McMullan beat Gallacher with a teasing low cross which no United player was able to get on the end of.
Although they did not manage to get the third goal their play deserved, United were able to see the game out and get the three points, which was particularly pleasing given the difficulties Dumbarton had caused them in previous meetings across the course of the last two seasons. Results elsewhere ensured that United finished the day only three points away from the top of the league. Although Laurie Ellis had publicly declared he did not want the manager’s job on a full time basis, with this victory he had created a solid base for the new manager to work with.
Match report written by Derek Keilloh
|Harry Lewis (GK)||19||15||-||15||-|
|Declan Glass (sub)||17||1||-||1||-|
|Paul McMullan (sub)||21||16||5||16||5|
|James Keatings (sub)||25||14||3||14||3|