Dundee United lifted the IRN BRU Scottish Challenge Cup for the first time in their history after defeating St Mirren 2-1 at Fir Park.
By Stewart Buick
United secured the victory, thanks to goals from Tony Andreu with a sensational volley, which was cancelled out just forty seconds with Rory Loy’s low strike. United then got what proved to be the winnerl after an inch perfect cross into the box from Simon Murray was met by a rising Thomas Mikkelsen whose header was unstoppable and flew past Billy O’Brien in the Saints goal. United then saw out the rest of the game with a superb defensive display.
United started the game brightly but there wasn’t a clear-cut chance in the game until the ninetieth minute falling to Lov whose shot hit the outside of the post. Saints continued to press United and had the next goal scoring opportunity of the game through Magennis.
St Mirren were made to rue those missed chances when Tony Andreu gave United the lead which sent the travelling Tangerine Army into wild celebration. The goal came after Andreu’s initial shot was blocked and when out of nowhere he produced a sublime volley from 20 yards with the outside of his boot. The goal itself was worthy of winning any cup final.
United’s lead did not last long however and it took only forty seconds for the Buddies to get their equaliser after a run down the left by Gary Irvine whose cross was met by Loy in the middle of the box from where he prodded home from seven yards out.
Half time Dundee United 1 – St Mirren 1
United started the second half brightly and had a corner straight away after a good run down the right-hand side by Stuart Murdoch and Ali Coote’s shot was blocked well by the Saints defence. United continued to press the Buddies and next it was Charlie Telfer who made a mazy run from the way halfway line in to the St Mirren box but his shot went over the bar.
McKinnon then brought on Mikkelsen for Nick van der Velden just before the hour mark and put Murray out wide on the left-hand side which stopped Irvine from being able to go forward and meant United were then more of a threat.
In the seventy-fifth minute super sub Mikkelsen bulleted a header past O’Brien from seven yards out giving the keeper no chance at all after an inch perfect cross from Murray out from the left-hand side.
United continued to hit the Buddies on the counter attack and had another chance a when Mikkelsen inch perfect chip found Andreu but he couldn’t quite squeeze the ball in at the back post.
United’s defence was solid at the back mopping up everything that was thrown at them in the final part of the game.
United will now be looking to take confidence from the game and get back to winning ways in the league against Ayr on Tuesday night at Tannadice and continue their push for promotion this season.
Man of the Match: His quality shone from the first minute of the game right through to the last, not least with his sublime volley that gave United the lead from twenty yards out.
Dundee United: Bell, Murdoch, Durnan, Edjenguele, Robson, van der Velden (Mikkelsen 57), Flood, Telfer, Coote (Donaldson 89), Andreu, Murray (Nicholls 76)
Un-used Subs: Zwick, Dixon, Toshney, Van der Struijk
St Mirren: O’Brien, Irvine, Baird, Mackenzie, Eckersley, Magennis (O’Keefe 863), Mallan, McGinn, Morgan, Sutton Loy,
Un-used Subs: Langfield, Demetriou, Webster, Fjelde, Whyte, Watters.
Attendance – 8089