By Tommy McKay
United Manager Ray McKinnon made two changes to the side which beat Dunfermline last time out. Captain Sean Dillon replaced the injured Lewis Toshney on the right side of defence and Cammy Smith came in for the suspended Scott Fraser in midfield.
QOS Manager Gavin Skelton named new signing Stephen Dobbie on the bench and made two changes to the team which beat Stenhousemuir with former United youngster Dale Hilson and Kyle Jacobs replacing Jake Pickard, who drops to the bench, and Aidan Smith who falls out the match day squad.
After a cagey start in which both teams struggled to create chances, QOS had the first shot on target when Jacobs shot straight at Bell on 26 minutes.
With few chances being created and both teams continuing to battle in the middle of the park Simon Murray saw yellow for a foul on on Dykes. QOS took the lead on 40 minutes. Lyndon Dykes drove at the United defence and unleashed a shot which Bell did well to save however the ball fell to Grant Anderson who showed composure and unselfishness to find former United man Mark Millar who finished low into the corner from eight yards.
Into the second half and United began to dominate possession all over the park. After a few half chances and corners which came to nothing United equalised in the 57th minute. Murdoch sends a long diagonal ball into the right hand corner of the box which was collected by Nick van der Velden who proceeded to tie the QOS defender in knots and then drove a venomous drive low into the net.
United thought they had scored again shortly after. With Topi Obedayi having the beating of his marker on near every occasion, his run and low cross into the box was deflected but QOS keeper Robinson got down to get the faintest of touches onto the ball and tip it onto the post. A minute later Smith found himself with room 25 yards from goal and brought out a good save from Robinson.
McKinnon made his first change on 69 minutes when Anier replaced Murray. On 74 minutes Smith had a great chance to give United the lead. After a great counter attack, Smith fed van der Velden who crossed for Smith however he was unable to provide a finish the move merited. This was the last involvement for van der Velden who was replaced by Justin Johnson on 75 minutes.
Despite constant possession and endless balls from Obadeyi and Johnson into the QOS box United were unable to find the winner and had to settle for a point on the opening day however Cammy Bell had to come up with a great block to deny Dobbie on 84 minutes.
As the Manager stated in his programme notes, every point gained in the Championship is earned and United certainly earned their point today and, after their dominance of the second half, can feel aggrieved it wasn’t more.
Man of the Match
Nick van der Velden – Never put a foot wrong all day, finding the correct pass time and time again. The superb goal only enhanced his already growing reputation and he proved he will be a key man for United this season.
The first half proved to the players and supporters that no quarter will be given by any team coming to Tannadice this season however the second half performance demonstrates just the level of quality and pace this new look united has and we look to the future with renewed optimism.
Dundee United: Bell, Dillon, Durnan, Donaldson, Murdoch, Murray (Anier), Obadeyi, Smith, Flood, van der Velden (Johnson), Robson
Unused subs: Zwick, Spittal, Telfer, Sukar, Souttar
Queen of the South: Robinson, Hamill, Marshall, Dowie, Higgins (Brownlie), Anderson, Millar, Lyle (Dobbie), Hilson (Tapping), Jacobs, Dykes
Unused subs: Thomson, Rigg, Pickard, Tapping,
Booked: Hilson, Hamill