The race for second place in the SPFL Championship will go to the last game of the season however United’s fate is no longer in their own hands after a disappointing draw with Dumbarton left them trailing Falkirk by a solitary point. Ironically the Tangerines will now look to opponents Dumbarton to take something off Falkirk in the forthcoming final round of fixtures.
By Tommy Mckay
After witnessing Falkirk drop points to Queen of the South earlier in the day United flew out of the traps and could have and probably should have taken the lead in the first minute. The ball broke to Simon Murray in the Dumbarton box however he couldn’t keep his effort down.
The United faithful didn’t have to wait long for their team fashion another chance as a mere 60 seconds later another gilt edged chance was created. After great work between Robson and Spittal, the latter sent an excellent cross into the six yard box which just eluded Murray and was turned around for a corner by the Dumbarton defence just as Mikkelsen was ready to pounce at the back post.
Spittal again was at the centre of another Murray chance on six minutes. Another delightful ball into the six yard box found Murray this time however he couldn’t finish from close range.
Dumbarton threatened for the first time on 15th minutes with Christian Nade flashing a shot inches past Cammy Bell’s goal.
United’s pressure and possession finally paid off when Tony Andreu opened the scoring on 22 minutes. After winning the corner himself, he converted Spittal’s corner with a bullet header into the roof of the net at the near post; 1-0 United.
Murray nearly extended the Tangerines lead on 34 minutes but was foiled by a fantastic save by Alan Martin in the Dumbarton goal. Mikkelsen’s cross was met by Murray’s head however Martin produced a fantastic save to turn his effort wide.
That save proved to be crucial just a minute later when Dumbarton equalised. The United defence could only half clear the corner and the ball was played back into the box by Carsewell, Robert Thompson was unmarked and finished with a point blank header past Cammy Bell; 1-1.
Dumbarton started the brighter in the second half however a series of half chances failed to trouble Cammy Bell’s goal. They did however take the lead on 67 minutes. A misplaced United pass was collected by Sam Stanton who drove at the United defence and found Lewis Vaughan with a delightful through ball and Vaughan’s dicked finish over Bell was a moment of true quality.
Knowing a point was enough to secure their Championship status Dumbarton’s defending was proving effective until the 79th minute when United equalised through Thomas Mikkelsen. Substitute Ali Coote collected Andreu’s pass and unleashed a shot from 22 yards which Martin could only parry into the path of Mikkelsen who finished to continue his goal scoring at Tannadice.
Despite having constant possession and delivering numerous balls into the Dumbarton box United could not break down a stubborn Dumbarton defence which ensured their Championship safety with this result.
All in all a disappointing day for the tangerine faithful however we go into next week’s game against Morton believing Ray McKinnon’s men will secure the victory required.
Man of the Match
Thomas Mikkelsen – Time and time again the frontman showed his fighting Viking nature, battling for every ball and throwing his head in where others wouldn’t put their feet. His goal added to his impressive goal scoring tally since joining in January and he will be a very important player for the team if they are to achieve their goal of promotion via the play-offs.
Dundee United: Bell, Durnan, Donaldson, Spittal, Murdoch, Murray, Flood, Kuate (Coote), Mikkelsen, Andreu, Robson
Unused Subs: Zwick (GK), Dillon, Dixon, Nicholls, Telfer, Allardice
Booked: Spittal, Donaldson
Dumbarton: Martin, McCrorie, Buchanan, Carswell, Thomson, Stanton (Smith), Harvie, Barr, Stirling, Vaughan (Docherty), Nade (Fleming)
Unused Subs: Ewings (GK), Docherty, Lang, Gallagher, Smith, Nuttell