Dundee Utd 3
Partick Th 0
League (Championship)

Dundee Utd
3 - 0
Partick Th 

League (Championship)
Friday, December 29th, 2023
Tannadice Park. Att. 8,110
7:45 PM Kick-off

Tony Watt (7)
Tony Watt (86)
Tony Watt (89)

Team Managers
Jim Goodwin
Kris Doolan

Starting Eleven
1. Jack Walton
31. Declan Gallagher
8. Liam Grimshaw
4. Kevin Holt
33. Scott McMann
18. Kai Fotheringham
15. Glenn Middleton
16. Jordan Tillson
14. Craig Sibbald
9. Louis Moult
32. Tony Watt
Jamie Sneddon .1
Jack McMillan .2
Harry Milne .3
Aaron Muirhead .5
Lewis Neilson .6
Kerr McInroy .7
Stuart Bannigan .8
Steven Lawless .11
Aidan Fitzpatrick .21
Ben Stanway .26
Brian Graham .9

13. Jack Newman
5. Ollie Denham
25. Flynn Duffy
22. Kieran Freeman
6. Ross Graham
28. Mathew Cudjoe-Anim
21. Declan Glass
26. Chris Mochrie
53. Owen Stirton
Ola Williams .4
Scott Robinson .17
Blair Alston .23
Mason McCready .24
James Lyon .27
Zander Mackenzie .29
Ricco Diack .34
Tomi Adeloye .99

Ross Graham for Declan Gallagher (66)
Chris Mochrie for Louis Moult (79)
Blair Alston for Ben Stanway (68)
Ricco Diack for Kerr McInroy (77)

Louis Moult (78)
Ben Stanway (33‎)
Lewis Neilson (67‎)
Aaron Muirhead (78)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Matthew MacDermid (Referee)
Craig Ferguson & Elliott Husband Powton (Assistants)
Stewart Luke (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Sub-zero temperatures did not deter a crowd of over 8,000 from making their way into Tannadice for United's final game of the calendar year against Partick Thistle – and the hosts did not disappoint, as birthday boy Tony Watt sent everyone home happy with a memorable hat-trick.

Ahead of kick-off, supporters offered Scottish Cup winner Morgaro Gomis a warm reception as he walked on to the park to deliver the match ball.

Manager Jim Goodwin made just one change to the team on the back of a goalless draw at Hampden, with Kai Fotheringham coming back in to replace Matthew Cudjoe.

Having failed to score in over 200 minutes of play, and having dropped four points in their last two games in the Championship, United had a point to prove, and it took them just seven minutes to end their barren spell.

A dangerous ball into the box from Liam Grimshaw was blocked initially by Aaron Muirhead, but Watt was clinical in his reaction, first to the ball, firing high into the net from five yards out. The striker wheeled away in the first of three 'chicken' celebrations, as an ode to his recent investment in a chicken coup.

Partick's Ben Stanway almost doubled United's lead moments later when he sent a calamitous ball across the face of his own goal to avoid a certain interception from Sibbald, but the ball rolled just wide of the far post.

United were steady in defence, but the threat of a Partick counter-attack always loomed, with Steven Lawless looking the most likely threat. The winger came close for Thistle midway through the half with a shot send wide, and Aidan Fitzpatrick also showed signs of danger with a shot just over the bar.

The home side's best chance to extend their lead came when Watt teed up Craig Sibbald for a shot on goal, but his chance was blocked by Stuart Bannigan.

United started the second half very brightly and were unlucky with chances for Declan Gallagher and Kai Fotheringham both missing the target.

United were forced into a change just after the hour mark when Gallagher withdrew due to a suspected groin injury. It was the second time the defender had gone down for treatment in the game, prompting the introduction of Ross Graham at centre back.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Louis Moult should have been the man to put the game beyond Partick after he sprung the offside trap and collected a ball over the top from Kevin Holt, but the striker, despite seemingly having all the time in the world to pick his shot, sent the ball high over the bar.

The finale belonged to Watt as he turned Tannadice on its head on 86 minutes with a clever piece of footwork and an expert shot fired low beyond the goalkeeper. The striker found the net from just inside the eighteen yard box after receiving the ball from Chris Mochrie.

Watt, celebrating the big 3-0, made it 3-0, with his third of the evening nodding home a cross from Glenn Middleton on 89 minutes.

In injury time, Sibbald was unlucky not to make it four with a stunning shot from the edge of the box that Sneddon had to tip round the post.

United deserved the win, closing the gap on Raith Rovers to just two points ahead of Saturday's fixtures - but the day unreservedly belonged to Tony Watt, who also picked up the sponsors' and BBC Scotland awards for man of the match.

Written by Niall Harkiss

Squad Statistics (as at December 29th, 2023)

2023-24 All Time
Jack Walton (GK)25 25 - 25 -
Declan Gallagher32 19 - 19 -
Liam Grimshaw28 23 - 23 -
Kevin Holt30 248248
Scott McMann27 252902
Kai Fotheringham20 22103610
Glenn Middleton23 252607
Jordan Tillson30 16 - 16 -
Craig Sibbald28 213624
Louis Moult31 218218
Tony Watt30 2486413
Ross Graham (sub)22 11 - 472
Chris Mochrie (sub)20 182383

League Table (as at December 29th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Raith Rovers 17 12 4 1 +11 40
2. DUNDEE UTD 17 11 5 1 +30 38
3. Partick Th 18 8 5 5 +4 29
4. Dunfermline 16 6 4 6 +2 22
5. Morton 16 5 3 8 -7 18
6. Ayr Utd 16 5 3 8 -8 18
7. Airdrie 17 5 3 9 -8 18
8. Inverness CT 17 4 5 8 -1 17
9. Arbroath 16 5 1 10 -10 16
10. Queen's Park 16 3 5 8 -13 14

League results since United's last match
23rd December 2023
Partick Th1-1Inverness CT
29th December 2023
Dundee Utd3-0Partick Th