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St Mirren 0-2 Dundee United

Jon Daly celebrates his opener at Love Street
Jon Daly gave United a first-half lead at St Mirren Park

Jon Daly's double secured maximum points for Dundee United in a hard-fought encounter at St Mirren Park.

The hosts almost broke the deadlock of a low-key first half when Andy Dorman was sent free in the box.

But Michael Kovacevic's perfectly-timed challenge stole the ball from his feet as he was about to pull the trigger.

Daly headed home Willo Flood's cross in the 37th minute, and he scored his second from the spot in injury-time after Jack Ross fouled Craig Conway.

The visitors made an excellent start and Saints goalkeeper Mark Howard made a great save in the opening minute, when he palmed away Daly's volley.

Daly headed over from a Morgaro Gomis cross moments later as Craig Levein's side looked for an early goal.

Saints hit back and Andy Dorman met Craig Dargo's headed pass following a great break by Stephen McGinn but his 20-yard volley was too high.

Dorman had St Mirren's best chance of the half in the 35th minute when he ran on to Wyness' brilliant lofted through ball.

The midfielder sprinted in on goal but Kovacevic's well-timed tackle denied St Mirren the opening goal.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

United made the hosts pay moments later when Flood sent a beautiful cross into the box and Daly rose to head home powerfully.

St Mirren's Denis Wyness spurned a great chance after the break when he blazed over from eight yards.

Scott Robertson lit up an otherwise poor second half when he beat two men inside the box and chipped the ball over Howard but it drifted wide.

The hosts' hopes of rescuing a point were dashed in the final minute when United were awarded a penalty.

Ross was adjudged to have fouled Conway in the box and Daly took the spot-kick to net his and United's second goal of the game.


St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson:

"We're disappointed with aspects of today's performance. There were too many loose balls in the first half and we didn't win enough individual battles.

"I asked for a reaction in the second half and we clearly got that. We created some chances but it's about putting the ball in the net.

"Last season, Andy Dorman would've scored that chance. But it changes so quickly. United win possession in the middle of the park and we soon find ourselves one down.

"That's the fine line in football at this level. When the chances come along, you have to take them."

Dundee Utd manager Craig Levein:

"That was a big game for us. After taking just one point from two matches it was really important we got back on track.

"It's always a tough place to play and get points. I think we maybe just edged it in terms of chances.

"We started the game exceptionally well. As the game wears on you try to protect your lead and we got deeper and deeper.

"St Mirren had a couple of chances, and to be fair, the one that Denis Wyness missed, the ball did bobble.

"It was a really competitive match and I'm happy we got the points."


St Mirren: Howard, Ross, Potter, Cuthbert, Miranda, Murray, McGinn, Dorman (Mehmet 70), Brady (Robb 62), Wyness (Hamilton 62), Dargo. Subs Not Used: Smith, Barron, McAusland, Burns.

Booked: Hamilton.

Dundee Utd: Zaluska, Dixon, Wilkie, Kenneth, Kovacevic, Flood, Scott Robertson, Gomis, Swanson (David Robertson 86), Sandaza (Conway 70), Daly. Subs Not Used: McGovern, Dillon, Feeney, O'Donovan, McCord.

Goals: Daly 37, 89 pen.

Att: 4,013

Ref: C Murray


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Dundee United's Jon Daly 8.44 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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