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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 December, 2003, 18:48 GMT
Improving United see off Killie
Billy Dodds celebrates his opening goal
Billy Dodds celebrates his opening goal
Kilmarnock 0-2 Dundee United

Dundee United continued their recent revival with an impressive victory at Rugby Park against an out-of-sorts Kilmarnock side.

Billy Dodds opened the scoring for United with a well-taken effort from inside the box.

Killie stepped up a gear after the interval and United keeper Paul Gallacher made one remarkable save from Colin Nish.

But Jim McIntyre made sure of the points with a contentious late penalty.

United had the better of the early exchanges and Killie centre back Freddie Dindeleux had to make a block in the box on Dodds as the former Scotland striker shaped to shoot.

Dindeleux fouled Jim McIntyre after 20 minutes and when Barry Robson fired the free kick into the box from the right, the Killie defender missed his attempted clearance, allowing the unmarked Dodds to fire a low drive past Francois Dubourdeau.

The home side felt they should have had a penalty in the 29th minute when a Colin Nish header hit David McCracken on the arm but referee Kevin Toner ruled the contact had not been deliberate.

Robson had the only other chance of the half, but he fired over from 10 yards after Killie had failed to deal with a high ball into the box.

Jim McIntyre scores from the penalty spot
Jim McIntyre scores from the penalty spot
Killie went looking for an equaliser early in the second half and Alan Archibald survived a handball shout, before Gordon Greer had a goal chopped off for a foul.

Gary McDonald then saw a shot hit a team-mate before James Fowler's fierce follow-up was deflected just wide.

There was controversy in the 57th minute when Canero was booked after referee Kevin Toner decided he had been trying to con him into awarding a penalty as McCracken challenged.

Paul Gallacher pulled off a remarkable save to keep out Nish's header with 25 minutes remaining.

Referee Toner was well behind play when he controversially ruled Steve Fulton had brought Jason Scotland down in the box on a rare United counter-attack.

McIntyre netted the spot-kick with a cheeky chipped effort to wrap up the points for United.

Kilmarnock: Dubourdeau, Shields, Dindeleux, Greer, Hay (Hardie 77), Canero, Fulton, McDonald, Murray (Fowler 45), Nish (Boyd 65), McSwegan.

Subs Not Used: Samson, McLaughlin.

Booked: Canero.

Dundee Utd: Gallacher, Wilson, McCracken, Archibald, Kerr (Griffin 80), McInnes, Robson, James Paterson (Duff 72), McLaren (Scotland 55), Dodds, McIntyre.

Subs Not Used: Jarvie, Miller.

Booked: James Paterson.

Att: 6,062

Ref: K Toner

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