Ayr Utd 1
Dundee Utd 2
League (Championship)

Ayr Utd 

1 - 2

Dundee Utd

League (Championship)
Saturday, February 3rd, 2024
Somerset Park. Att. 2,943
3:00 PM Kick-off

Jamie Murphy (2) Tony Watt (67)
Ross Docherty (82)

Team Managers
Scott Brown Jim Goodwin

Starting Eleven
1. Charlie Albinson
2. Nicholas McAllister
3. Patrick Reading
5. Sean McGinty
14. George Stanger
8. Ben Dempsey
15. Jamie Murphy
20. Roy Syla
30. Fraser Bryden
16. Anton Dowds
22. Mark McKenzie
Jack Walton .1
Ross Graham .6
Liam Grimshaw .8
Kevin Holt .4
Scott McMann .33
Ross Docherty .23
Glenn Middleton .15
Craig Sibbald .14
David Wotherspoon .10
Alex Greive .7
Louis Moult .9

31. Robbie Mutch
4. Frankie Musonda
9. Kurt Willoughby
10. Aiden McGeady
17. Francis Amartey
18. Paul Smith
21. Harry McHugh
23. Jack Sanders
24. Scott Tomlinson
Jack Newman .13
Greg Petrie .42
Miller Thomson .29
Mathew Cudjoe-Anim .28
Kai Fotheringham .18
Archie Meekison .17
Chris Mochrie .26
Jordan Tillson .16
Tony Watt .32

Jack Sanders for Nicholas McAllister (59)
Harry McHugh for Fraser Bryden (70)
Kurt Willoughby for Mark McKenzie (77)
Aiden McGeady for Jamie Murphy (77)
Tony Watt for David Wotherspoon (58)
Kai Fotheringham for Alex Greive (58)
Jordan Tillson for Ross Docherty (83)
Chris Mochrie for Louis Moult (83)

Anton Dowds (31)
George Stanger (55)
Ben Dempsey (56)
Liam Grimshaw (1)
Kevin Holt (29)
Glenn Middleton (55)

Red Cards
George Stanger (90) None.

Match Officials

Gavin Duncan (Referee)
Dougie Potter & Scott Anderson (Assistants)

Match Report

United staged a heroic second half turnaround after an unfortunate start to the match at Somerset Park to move four points clear at the top of the SPFL Championship.

Jim Goodwin made two changes to his side after their dreary 0-0 draw with Dunfermline at Tannadice. In an attempt to reinvigorate his attack, Tony Watt and Kai Fotheringham both dropped to the bench with Alex Grieve and Louis Moult coming in to replace them.

The match got off to a nightmare start when Liam Grimshaw’s clumsy tackle gave the Honest Men an early freekick which Jamie Murphy curled into the top right corner. United looked flustered and Anton Dowds almost doubled Ayr’s lead but Jack Walton’s fearless save with his face kept his side in the game.

United grew into the game and had a good opportunity just before the break when Glenn Middleton danced his way to the edge of the box and fired a low cross to the back post, but Moult just failed to connect.

The second half got off to a nasty start when Middleton’s high challenge forced Nick McAllister off injured. A scuffle ensued and Ben Dempsey, George Stanger and Middleton all picked up yellows in the process.

In search of a much-needed spark Goodwin subbed off January signings Greive and David Wotherspoon and replaced them with attacking duo Watt and Fotheringham.

United almost took the lead seconds after the switch when Middleton’s corner was swung into the box, as Kevin Holt rose above the Ayr defence and connected well with the ball, but his header bounced just wide of the target.

Goodwin’s second half changes paid off 67 minutes in when Watt latched onto Grimshaw’s long ball before chopping inside and squeezing the ball into the bottom right corner from a tight angle.

Ben Dempsey almost restored the home side’s lead soon after but a tremendous last ditch sliding tackle from Scott McMann thankfully kept the score level.

United snatched the win on 82 minutes when Watt’s cross found Ross Docherty at the back post. It looked as if the ball may have dropped just too far back, but the midfielder’s unconventional acrobatic effort snuck past Albinson at his near post sparking wild scenes both on and off the pitch.

Things went from bad to worse for the Honest men when Stanger picked up his second yellow in stoppage time for a crunching challenge on Middleton.

With Raith Rovers out of action due to a weather postponement, the win sent United four points clear at the top of the Championship having moved on to the same games played as their closest rivals.

Written by Sam Connor

Squad Statistics (as at February 3rd, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
Jack Walton (GK)25 30 - 30 -
Ross Graham22 16 - 522
Liam Grimshaw29 28 - 28 -
Kevin Holt31 298298
Scott McMann27 302952
Ross Docherty31 172172
Glenn Middleton24 303658
Craig Sibbald28 253664
David Wotherspoon34 2 - 2 -
Alex Greive24 3 - 3 -
Louis Moult31 25112511
Jordan Tillson (sub)30 21 - 21 -
Chris Mochrie (sub)20 222423
Kai Fotheringham (sub)20 27114111
Tony Watt (sub)30 29106915

League Table (as at February 3rd, 2024)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 22 14 6 2 +34 48
2. Raith Rovers 22 13 5 4 +9 44
3. Partick Th 22 10 7 5 +9 37
4. Morton 22 9 5 8 +5 32
5. Airdrie 21 8 4 9 -4 28
6. Ayr Utd 23 7 5 11 -11 26
7. Inverness CT 23 6 6 11 -2 24
8. Dunfermline 21 6 6 9 -5 24
9. Queen's Park 22 6 5 11 -13 23
10. Arbroath 22 5 3 14 -22 18

League results since United's last match
3rd February 2024
Ayr Utd1-2Dundee Utd
Inverness CT0-1Queen's Park