United’s Championship journey continued with a deserved win against a spirited Dumbarton side seeing the Tangerines move up to second place in the Ladbrokes Championship table.
By Tommy McKay
The first half burst into life on seven minutes with a chance that could have given the home team take the lead. A brilliant ball over the top from Flood was taken down with ease by Van der Velden whose square ball was met by Fraser from ten yards however his goal bound effort was touched onto the post by Martin in the Dumbarton goal. With rebound also falling to the goalkeeper, United couldn’t take advantage.
Dumbarton’s first chance of the match came on 17 minutes. A long throw from the left by Harvie eventually feel to Garry Fleming three yards out however Bell got down brilliantly to save with Dixon thumping the ball clear to ensure the rebound was also dealt with.
On 23 minutes Bell was at it again, this time he somehow managed to tip Thomson’s header round the post for a corner.
On 27 minutes it was Martin’s turn to take the plaudits. After Van der Velden was brought down 25 yards from goal Scott Fraser up stepped to try his luck however Martin’s agility was up to the test with the keeper tipping the goal bound effort over the bar for a corner. From the resulting corner Docherty was alert enough to block Donaldson’s header on the line.
Less than three minutes later Martin was at it again this time getting down brilliantly to block a fizzing volley from Van der Velden.
With the last chance of the first half Fraser showed excellent skill and close control to burst into the box and beat the Dumbarton defence however his pull back was cleared just as Tony Andreu shaped to shoot.
United continued to dominate possession and remained patient in their attempts to break down a stubborn Dumbarton defence. Their patience was rewarded on the 53rd minute. Fraser whipped in a wicked corner kick in from the right and the unfortunate Mark Docherty bulleted a header past the unfortunate Martin.
On 66 minutes United made it 2-0 with the goal again coming from a Fraser Corner. After finding Flood in space the Irishman’s header was initially saved by Martin however Edjenguele was on hand to smash the ball into the net from point blank range for his second goal since joining the Club.
On 73 minutes Dumbarton were given a lifeline in strange circumstances with Thomson bundling the ball under Bell from close range. Everyone in Tannadice was expecting the offside flag to go up however Assistant referee Simon MacLean, who had dropped his flag, simply picked it up and ran to the half way line and the goal stood.
Although the goal gave Dumbarton a foothold in the game the result was never in doubt and despite dominating possession United could not find a killer third goal.
Man of The Match: William Edjenguele – In truth the award could have gone to any number of players today; Bell, Fraser, Telfer are strong contenders however the big Frenchman gets more commanding each game. He won every header at the back and smashed home his second goal for the Club in what turned out to be the winner.
Dundee United: Bell, Dixon, Fraser, Obadeyi, Telfer, Edjenguele, Flood (c), Andreu, Van Der Struijk, Van Der Velden Subs: Zwick, Dillon, Murray, Smith,Coote, B Smith, Allardice
Dumbarton: Martin, Docherty, Thomson, Buchanan, Todd, Fleming, R Thomson, Stanton, Harvie, Barr (c) Smith Subs: Ewings, Pettigrew, Stevenson, McCallum, Wright, Stirling