The Sunday Post (Dundee)
United roll up their sleeves for first win
DUNDEE UNITED 3 Murray (13) Robson (37) Flood (76) AYR UNITED 0
DUNDEE UNITED finally recorded their first Championship victory at the third time of asking.
After dropping five points to Queen of the South and Dumbarton Ray McKinnon’s side demonstrated they do possess the right attitude to get out of this division as quickly as possible.
Whether it’s this season remains to be seen but at least United proved they are willing to roll up their sleeves and battle for victory.
Until this performance they stood accused of looking down their noses at perceived inferior opponents. Not here. Two first-half goals gave United some breathing space.
Then just as Ayr looked like they might get back into the game Willo Flood pounced to put the game beyond them.
Afterwards, McKinnon said: “That’s a good three points for us.
“We were great in the first half playing some fantastic football.
“We were not at our best after the break but you must give Ayr some credit for that.
“Everyone knows it’s difficult to dominate a game for the entire 90 minutes.
“Gary Harkins is a real talent so I’m delighted we kept a clean sheet.
“I’m still hoping to add another couple of players before the end of the month.
“We’re still building.
“I was especially delighted for young Jamie Robson. His goal was a real bonus.”
United started in a hurry and Greg Fleming produced a couple of smart saves from Scott Fraser and Col Donaldson before Jamie Adams brought down Cammy Smith in the box.
Even then Fleming dived full length to keep out Nick van der Velden’s penalty but Simon Murray beat him to the rebound to head home.
Then Robson appeared unexpectedly in the box to turn in a Flood cut-back for his first senior goal.
Suddenly it was a long way back for Ayr in their first league visit to Tannadice for 38 years.
The visitors started with an
ambitious 4-3-3 formation but quickly switched to 4-4-2 to try to contain United.
They also made two substitutions at the interval in an attempt to get back into the game.
Just as they were enjoying a decent spell of possession inspired by Gary Harkins, United ruthlessly rounded things off.
Sub Topi Obadeyi showed a clean pair of heels down the left and from his cut-back Flood made up acres of ground to fire the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
He was replaced soon afterwards to a thoroughly-deserved standing ovation.
With veteran skipper Sean Dillon recalled to central defence United looked far more secure. His calmness became infectious and United never looked like losing after taking the lead.
Ayr manager Ian McCall admitted afterwards: “We couldn’t begrudge United their two-goal lead at halftime. However we dominated the second-half without troubling United’s keeper.”