Ray McKinnon made three changes to the United starting eleven for the visit of Partick Thistle in the BetFred League Cup. Scoring hero from Saturday, Nick Van der Velden, missed out through suspension whilst Sean Dillon and Simon Murray dropped to the bench. Lewis Toshney returned from injury with Blair Spittal and Scott Fraser also starting for the Terrors. Former United man Chris Erskine was included in the team for the in form Jags.
United looked lively from the kick off and with just five minutes gone a dangerous low cross from Robson was fortunately hooked over his own bar by Gordon. Fraser then collected a pass from Toshney and his shot deflected just wide of target. With nine minutes on the clock United took a deserved lead. Fraser intercepted a pass from Doolan and after a surging run he set up Cammy Smith who slotted the ball past Scully. United then went close again when a corner from Smith was headed over by the unmarked Durnan. With a quarter of an hour gone Obadeyi stung the hands of Scully and Partick broke up the pitch. Amoo collected the ball on the right and set up Erskine who blasted over with the goal gaping. Willo Flood was next to go close for United when Fraser set him up but his shot was saved low down by Scully. Scott Fraser was in great form and once again a shot from the edge of the area deflected just off target. Just after the 20 minute mark Welsh crossed into the United box and the unchallenged Devine headed just over. Fraser then combined with Obadeyi who lashed in a shot that was deflected wide of target by Devine. With 26 minutes gone United doubled their lead. An excellent flick on from Obadeyi was collected by Smith and he ran into the box and expertly finished past the advancing Scully. Two minutes later United were in dream land. Firstly Smith tested the keeper with a shot and from the rebound Spittal’s effort was blocked by the arm of Gordon. Cammy Smith stepped up and netted from the spot to give United a three nil advantage and a hat trick for good measure. Alan Archibald at that point made a change for the visitors with Azeez coming on to replace David Amoo. United were now in complete control and almost made it four but a great double save from Scully denied both Obadeyi and then Spittal. Twice before the break the impressive Obadeyi went close. First of all a shot from a cut back from Spittal was saved by Scully and from the resulting corner his overhead kick came back off the post. In the final seconds of the half substitute Azeez almost pulled one back but he was denied from close range by Bell.
Shortly after the break Steven McLean issued his first yellow card of the night to Jags skipper Abdul Osman. Nine minutes after the restart Obadeyi was again involved, winning the ball and laying it to Spittal who made space and curled a shot that was tipped round the post by Scully. Thistle then made a further change when Edwards replaced Syme in the visitors midfield. Almost immediately Flood was booked for United following a foul on Edwards. Fraser then tried his luck from distance but his shot was easily held by the Thistle keeper. Just after the hour mark the visitors were handed an unlikely lifeline. A hopeful ball from Lawless was lifted into the United box and when Erskine went down after a challenge from Toshney the referee had no hesitation in awarding a spot kick. Sean Welsh made no mistake to bring the score back to 3-1. As a result of the penalty being awarded, Coll Donaldson was booked for protesting and then Devine followed him into the book for a bad challenge on Fraser. United were slightly on the back foot and Thistle went close when Doolan broke through but Bell saved well low to his right. The game was getting feisty and Booth was next to be cautioned and once again Scott Fraser was on the receiving end of a foul. With 15 minutes remaining United had a great chance to restore their three goal lead. Obadeyi took advantage of a poor pass from Osman and with only the keeper to beat he tried to round Scully but the keeper took the ball from the feet of the United man. United were again looking the more threatening side and Smith had another chance but was prevented by a last ditch challenge from Gordon. At that point Pogba replaced Doolan for Thistle and man of the match Cammy Smith made way for Simon Murray for the hosts. Scott Fraser had a great night for United and he slipped in substitute Simon Murray who was denied by Scully. Edwards was booked for a late challenge in the dying minutes and then right at the end Murray was again involved when he turned a Spittal shot just wide.
Summing Up – an absolutely brilliant result for United. The first half was fantastic viewing for the watching Arabs with the team playing some brilliant stuff. Despite Thistle pulling a goal back the outcome was never in doubt and United march on to another cup quarter final.
Man of the match – the award has to go to Cammy Smith for his excellent first half hat trick but a mention must go to Fraser and Obadeyi who were superb on the night.
United: Bell, Durnan, Donaldson, Toshney (Dillon 73), Spittal, Murdoch, Fraser (Telfer 84), Obadeyi, Smith (Murray 78), Flood, Robson
Subs: Zwick, Johnson, Coote, Sukarno
Partick: Scully, Booth, Welsh, Osman, Amoo (Azeez 38), Doolan (Pogba), Erskine, Lawless, Devine, Syme (Edwards 56) Gordon
Subs: Crawford, Wilson,p, McDaid
Referee: Steven McLean