Dundee United 2 - 1 Dumbarton

League - Championship
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, 3:00 PM at Tannadice Park
Attendance: 5,979
Referee: Craig Charleston
Dundee United v Dumbarton, Oct 22nd 2016, Tannadice Park
Dundee United Dumbarton 

Mark Docherty o.g. (53)
William Edjenguele (66)
Robert Thomson  (73)

Team Managers
Ray McKinnon Stevie Aitken

Starting Eleven
Campy Bell
Paul Dixon
Coll Donaldson
Frank Van Der Struijk
William Edjenguele
Scott Fraser
Charlie Telfer
Nick Van Der Velden
Willo Flood
Tony Andreu
Tope Obadeyi
Alan Martin
Mark Docherty
Daniel Harvie
Darren Barr
Gregor Buchanan
Sam Stanton
Joe Thomson
Garry Fleming
Josh Todd
David Smith
Robert Thomson

Luis Zwick
Sean Dillon
Scott Allardice
Brad Smith
Ali Coote
Simon Murray
Cammy Smith
Jamie Ewings
Craig Pettigrew
Frazer Wright
Ryan Stevenson
Andy Stirling
Donald McCallum

Ali Coote for Tope Obadeyi (88) Andy Stirling for Josh Todd (66)
Ryan Stevenson for Garry Fleming (80)
Donald McCallum for Joe Thomson (85)

Willo Flood (32)
William Edjenguele (56)
Nick Van Der Velden (82)
Darren Barr (27)
Garry Fleming (37)

Red Cards
None. None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Alan Martin (GK) 11 apps -
Darren Barr 44 apps3 goals
Gregor Buchanan 50 apps2 goals
Mark Docherty 52 apps5 goals
Daniel Harvie 10 apps -
David Smith 15 apps1 goal
Sam Stanton 6 apps -
Joe Thomson 10 apps -
Garry Fleming 155 apps28 goals
Josh Todd 15 apps -
Robert Thomson 15 apps4 goals
Andy Stirling (sub) 14 apps1 goal
Ryan Stevenson (sub) 14 apps2 goals
Donald McCallum (sub) 27 apps4 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Daniel Harvie (18 years 105 days)
Oldest Player:Darren Barr (31 years 227 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 332 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Daniel Harvie (18 years 105 days)
Oldest Player:Frazer Wright (36 years 313 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 213 days
Domestic Players:16 (94.12 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Gregor Buchanan played his 50th major competitive game for the Club.

SOME said it all before the game.

About what happened after the last time Dumbarton beat Dundee United. Eight goals, Peter Dennison, Craig Brewster and all that.

In the end, United did exact revenge on Sons at Tannadice, just as they did 21 years ago.

But on another day, they wouldn't have. Had Dumbarton got one of those things they call a break, it could have been very different.

Seven days after the morale sapping defeat to Ayr United, a lack of luck could definitely be bemoaned here.

For the second consecutive meeting of the sides, Mark Docherty opened the scoring. Unfortunately this time his own team-mate, Alan Martin was the beaten keeper from a header which took the unluckiest spin off the midfielder.

When William Edjenguélé scored United's second shortly afterwards, that seemed to be that. The hosts had laboured, but had control of the game.

But Sons' fighting spirit was rediscovered and after Robert Thomson scrambled home a goal back, they threatened to level and perhaps even win the game.

Unfortunately, while pride had long been secured, points couldn't. Dundee United's early second half performance had done just enough for them.

In terms of battling qualities, spirit and steel, this was just about all manager Stevie Aitken could have asked for after the Ayr game. A response to that forgettable afternoon it certainly was.

The one area where they went wrong? Not scoring when they were on top.

For long spells, Dumbarton were dominating against the side relegated from last season's top flight. They just couldn't get in front where it mattered.

Now they know what they need to add in four huge games to come. That sequence starts with games against the two teams who, for now, are isolated with them in the bottom three - Dunfermline and St Mirren.

Those are followed by a home double header against Morton and Raith Rovers. All of those games are tough, but Sons will feel points are possible.

To gain them, there is only one thing they need to add to this performance.

A measure of luck, and a bigger quantity of fine goalkeeping, was certainly with them after six minutes. After Tope Obadeyi squared for Scott Fraser 12 yards out, the United man couldn't miss.

Only he did. Martin got a hand to his effort at close range and that was enough to turn it on to the post, with the loose ball scrambled clear.

After 17 minutes came another near miss, this time for Dumbarton when the ball dropped to Garry Fleming in a crowded goal area. The goalkeeper was equal to his effort.

Soon after, a Thomson header was pushed away, before Martin again brilliantly denied Fraser, this time from a 25 yard free kick.

After Martin also saved from Nick Van Der Velden, the resulting corner saw Gregor Buchanan head Coll Donaldson's header off the line. He then had a shot inside the opposite penalty area, but the keeper saved again.

But seven minutes into the second half, fortune deserted Sons. Docherty's header from Fraser's corner would have gone clear 999 times out of 1,000.

This was the 1,000th occasion, as a wicked spin on the ball took it out of Martin's reach.

Sam Stanton came closest to levelling with a 20 yard shot which was saved, but on 66 minutes United looked to have sealed it.

It came from another Fraser corner, with Martin initially saving Willo Flood's effort but unable to deny Edjenguélé from the loose ball.

However, six minutes later the game was back on again, as it deserved to be.

Andy Stirling's ball into the area could have been a cross or a shot at goal. Whatever he was looking to do, the ball fell to Thomson, who forced it home.

Shortly afterwards appeals for a foul on Stanton by Donaldson, approaching the edge of the area, went unheard by the officials.

Apart from a narrow angled Van Der Velden shot which rolled past the far post, Sons rarely looked like conceding again.

But they couldn't score either.

In terms of performance, this was pride restored.

Now, with four vital games coming up, it's all about points.

Match report by Andy Galloway

Photography by Donald Fullarton

Programme cover / Team sheet

Ticket stub / Admission info