Swanson and Goodwillie scored United's goals late on in Paisley
By Clive Lindsay
David Goodwillie's stoppage-time volley gave lacklustre Dundee United a fortunate victory over St Mirren.
Billy Mehmet and Andy Dorman went close for the Buddies during a first-half when they had the edge.
Michael Higdon headed Saints ahead after 66 minutes when he rose to send a looping header home from a corner.
Danny Swanson sent in a low drive from 22 yards to square the scores after 83 minutes before substitute Goodwillie pounced on a Jon Daly cross.
United, looking to narrow the gap on third-top Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League, thus avoided a second successive defeat after their surprise midweek reverse at home to Hamilton Accies.
Higdon had put the Buddies in the lead
And manager Peter Houston tightened up in midfield by bringing in David Robertson in place of striker Goodwillie, who dropped to the bench.
The Buddies made two changes, Steven Thomson and Steven Robb returning, with Chris Innes injured and Stephen O'Donnell among the substitutes as they sought to go one better than their draw at home to St Johnstone.
It took 13 minutes for either side to seriously threaten, United midfielder Prince Buaben firing a few yards wide from 20 yards.
The home side responded immediately when Garry Kenneth, making a surprise appearance in the United defence having been expected to be missing with a knee injury, stepped on the ball inside his own penalty box.
It sat up perfectly for Dorman, but the midfielder's low shot from 10 yards was straight at goalkeeper Dusan Pernis.
St Mirren full-back Jack Ross headed off the goal-line after Daly rose to head from a corner.
Recent United signing Pavels Mihadjuks, normally a centre half, was having a torrid time at right-back and Robb waltzed past the Latvian before setting up Mehmet for a low drive into the side netting.
Visiting manager Houston had seen enough and immediately replaced Mihadjuks with young Ross Smith after 33 minutes.
The change did little to restore the fluency that United have lost in recent matches and Dorman sent a glancing header over the crossbar from a Robb free-kick.
United switched to a two-man strike-force after the break and initially were looking the more dangerous side.
However, St Mirren began to exert some pressure and Pernis made a foot-first clearance to deny Craig Dargo as the striker darted clear into the six-yard box and Ross fired just over from 20 yards.
The Buddies took the lead when Robb's free-kick found the head of Higdon, whose looping header flew into the far corner of the net from 16 yards.
United thought they had drawn level with 11 minutes remaining when Daly rose at the back post to head home from a Swanson cross, but the goal was ruled out for a shove by the visiting striker.
But the visitors did equalise, somewhat against the run of play, when Swanson collected the ball and swept home.
It looked like United would be satisfied with the point until Daly's cross to the far post was volleyed in by Goodwillie from eight yards.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 13 February 2010
08 Dorman (Dargo 58)
15 Robb (Carey 84)
05 Dods yellow card
17 Mihadjuks yellow card (Smith 46)
18 Kenneth yellow card
06 Conway (Goodwillie 58)
12 Robertson yellow card (Damian Casalinuovo 76)
21 Damian Casalinuovo,
Ref: NorrisAtt: 3,944
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+4:17 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
90:00+3:11 GOAL - David Goodwillie:St Mirren 1 - 2 Dundee Utd David Goodwillie scores a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. St Mirren 1-2 Dundee Utd.
90:00+2:30 Foul by Lee Mair on Damian Casalinuovo, free kick awarded. Morgaro Gomis crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance
by Jack Ross.
90:00+0:22 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Daniel Swanson, Garry Kenneth takes a shot. Jack Ross manages to make a
90:00+0:05 Jon Daly takes a shot. Graham Carey gets a block in.
88:21 Shot from just outside the box by Steven Thomson misses to the left of the target.
88:15 Centre by Jack Ross, Morgaro Gomis makes a clearance.
87:18 Foul by Craig Dargo on Daniel Swanson, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Garry Kenneth.
86:18 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Graham Carey, clearance made by Darren Dods.
Correction - 85:41 Graham Carey takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Darren Dods.
85:41 Corner taken left-footed by Graham Carey from the left by-line, clearance made by Darren Dods.
85:22 Centre by Steven Thomson, Garry Kenneth manages to make a clearance.
83:46 Substitution (St Mirren) makes a substitution, with Graham Carey coming on for Steven Robb.
82:58 GOAL - Daniel Swanson:St Mirren 1 - 1 Dundee Utd Goal scored by Daniel Swanson from just outside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. St Mirren 1-1 Dundee
81:07 Unfair challenge on Steven Robb by David Goodwillie results in a free kick. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
77:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugh Murray on David Goodwillie. Free kick crossed by Daniel Swanson, free kick awarded for
an unfair challenge on John Potter by Darren Dods. Paul Gallacher takes the direct free kick.
76:45 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Garry Kenneth by John Potter. Prince Buaben takes the direct free kick.
75:37 Lee Mair takes the direct free kick.
75:37 Substitution Damian Casalinuovo comes on in place of David Robertson.
75:37 Darren Dods gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Dargo.
72:17 Steven Thomson produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
72:17 Booking Garry Kenneth receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
71:36 Garry Kenneth challenges Craig Dargo unfairly and gives away a free kick.
68:47 David Goodwillie has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses left.
67:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Mair on David Goodwillie. Daniel Swanson takes the free kick.
65:57 Assist on the goal came from Steven Thomson.
65:57 GOAL - Michael Higdon:St Mirren 1 - 0 Dundee Utd Michael Higdon finds the net with a headed goal from close range. St Mirren 1-0 Dundee Utd.
64:50 Centre by Steven Thomson,
64:50 Booking The referee cautions Darren Dods for unsporting behaviour.
64:28 Craig Dargo fouled by Darren Dods, the ref awards a free kick.
63:22 Jack Ross produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
62:49 Outswinging corner taken by Steven Robb, Daniel Swanson manages to make a clearance.
62:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Robb by Ross Smith. Free kick taken by Steven Robb.
61:32 Daniel Swanson produces a cross, David Robertson has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the goal.
60:36 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Daniel Swanson misses to the left of the target.
58:49 Shot by David Robertson. Paul Gallacher makes a save.
57:40 Substitution Craig Dargo is brought on as a substitute for Andy Dorman.
57:08 Substitution David Goodwillie on for Craig Conway.
55:25 Direct free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
55:25 Booking David Robertson receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
55:20 Foul by David Robertson on David Barron, free kick awarded.
54:08 Shot on goal by Jon Daly from just inside the area goes over the target.
54:00 The ball is delivered by David Robertson, Andy Dorman manages to make a clearance.
53:01 Steven Thomson has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
49:22 Steven Robb produces a cross, Michael Higdon produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
48:04 Jack Ross fouled by David Robertson, the ref awards a free kick. David Barron crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed
from right wing, Morgaro Gomis manages to make a clearance.
47:26 The ball is delivered by Steven Robb.
Correction - 45:03 Substitution (Dundee Utd) makes a substitution, with Ross Smith coming on for Pavels Mihadjuks.
45:03 Substitution Ross Smith is brought on as a substitute for Pavels Mihadjuks.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:09 The match has reached half-time.
42:31 Sean Dillon challenges Steven Thomson unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is sent over by Steven Robb, Header from
close range by Andy Dorman clears the bar.
41:18 Darren Dods gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Billy Mehmet. David Barron produces a strike on goal direct
from the free kick.
39:23 David Robertson delivers the ball, David Barron manages to make a clearance.
34:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Thomson on Craig Conway. Direct free kick taken by Sean Dillon.
33:40 Jon Daly has an effort at goal from long range that goes wide left.
32:34 Shot by Billy Mehmet from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
31:47 David Robertson delivers the ball.
29:47 Centre by Jack Ross, save by Dusan Pernis.
29:31 David Robertson produces a cross, save by Paul Gallacher.
28:50 Craig Conway takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by John Potter.
27:59 Corner taken by Craig Conway from the right by-line, Jon Daly takes a shot. John Potter manages to make a clearance.
27:22 David Robertson challenges Hugh Murray unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Potter takes the direct free kick.
26:23 John Potter delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save made by Dusan Pernis.
26:23 Booking The referee cautions Pavels Mihadjuks for unsporting behaviour.
26:15 Pavels Mihadjuks gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Dorman.
25:19 The ball is swung over by Andy Dorman, Sean Dillon makes a clearance.
24:55 Billy Mehmet fouled by Pavels Mihadjuks, the ref awards a free kick. Lee Mair takes the direct free kick.
22:58 Jon Daly concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Ross. David Barron takes the free kick.
21:47 Pavels Mihadjuks challenges Billy Mehmet unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is delivered by Steven Robb, Lee Mair
has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
19:23 Steven Robb delivers the ball.
18:38 Morgaro Gomis sends in a cross, Prince Buaben takes a shot. Save made by Paul Gallacher.
17:40 Corner taken left-footed by John Potter from the left by-line, Craig Conway manages to make a clearance.
17:19 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Andy Dorman from the right by-line, John Potter takes a shot. Save made by Dusan
16:37 Andy Dorman takes a shot. Save by Dusan Pernis.
15:59 Prince Buaben has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
15:28 Jon Daly is ruled offside. Paul Gallacher takes the indirect free kick.
12:42 Jack Ross delivers the ball, clearance made by Prince Buaben.
11:42 Sean Dillon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Higdon. Jack Ross crosses the ball from the free kick
right-footed from right wing, Darren Dods makes a clearance.
10:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Billy Mehmet by Garry Kenneth. Andy Dorman delivers the ball from the free kick
left-footed from left channel.
8:56 Hugh Murray gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Swanson. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Craig
Conway, clearance made by Billy Mehmet.
8:20 The ball is swung over by Jack Ross, Darren Dods manages to make a clearance.
5:50 Corner taken by Andy Dorman, Darren Dods makes a clearance.
5:32 The ball is delivered by Jack Ross, clearance by Prince Buaben.
4:47 Shot from just outside the area by Morgaro Gomis goes over the bar.
4:18 Michael Higdon challenges Pavels Mihadjuks unfairly and gives away a free kick. Daniel Swanson takes the free kick.
3:16 Hugh Murray challenges Craig Conway unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Prince
Buaben from left channel, clearance by John Potter.
3:05 Steven Robb crosses the ball, clearance made by Darren Dods.
0:00 The game begins.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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