An injury-time strike from Rory Boulding fired Dundee United into the Scottish Premier League's top six.

With Kilmarnock suffering defeat, victory for either side at Tannadice would guarantee a top-half finish.

And, after a pulsating match that looked like ending goalless, former Killie player Boulding tucked home a decisive winner.

Craig Brown signs off as Aberdeen manager with defeat with Derek McInnes taking over for the post-split games.

The tempo was high as both sides hoped for the combined effect of a win and a slip-up by Killie against Dundee.

Dons captain Russell Anderson rose highest to head just wide, but was almost the villain at the other end seconds later as a mix-up between himself and goalkeeper Jamie Langfield allowed Ryan Gauld to race through and lob wide.

Josh Magennis pick-pocketed John Souttar to allow Aberdeen to race forward in numbers, but Jonny Hayes fired the eventual shot over.

At the other end, Willo Flood's cute through ball fed Michael Gardyne only for the forward to drag his shot across goal.

The action continued to rage from end to end as half-time approached but neither side managed to force a meaningful save from the keepers.

Jon Daly really should have tested Langfield when he peeled away from his marker and scooped his shot over from short range.

It was the visitors who were first to threaten in the second half. Hayes crossed from the right and on-form Niall McGinn flicked a header straight at Radoslaw Cierzniak.

After that though it was United who were well in control.

Anderson and Joe Shaughnessy got in each other's way allowing substitute Gary Mackay-Steven to stroll through one-on-one with Langfield, but Mark Reynolds raced back to get a foot in to save Aberdeen.

From the corner, Keith Watson headed just over.

Gauld then cut inside Shaughnessy and fired a stinging shot at Langfield. The stopper could not hold it and the ball ricocheted off Willo Flood onto the bar and then into the path of Mackay-Steven, who could not convert.

Langfield was keeping Aberdeen in the game and he clawed off the line from Watson's header and made a superb stop from Gauld.

Peter Pawlett, Niall McGinn and Rory Fallon all went close for the Dons as time ticked away, while Watson and Daly both threatened at the other end.

And it was United who had the final say. Scott Vernon dithered on the ball and his poor clearance gifted Boulding the chance to finally break Langfield's resistance.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 02 Dillon
  • 03 Douglas
  • 12 Watson Booked
  • 44 Souttar Booked
  • 06 Flood
  • 08 Rankin (Boulding - 72' )
  • 14 Millar
  • 38 Gauld
  • 09 Daly
  • 15 Gardyne (Mackay-Steven - 53' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Anderson
  • 17 Tornstrand
  • 33 Johnston
  • 10 Ryan
  • 11 Mackay-Steven
  • 18 Dow
  • 19 Boulding

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 02 Jack
  • 04 Anderson Booked
  • 17 Naysmith
  • 22 Reynolds
  • 23 Shaughnessy (Pawlett - 85' )
  • 05 Rae Booked
  • 10 McGinn
  • 11 Hayes (Low - 70' )
  • 09 Vernon
  • 21 Magennis (Fallon - 78' )

Substitutes

  • 20 Twardzik
  • 13 Low
  • 08 Milsom
  • 15 Pawlett
  • 18 Hughes
  • 14 Fallon
  • 38 Smith
Ref: Craig Thomson
Att: 8,577

Match Stats

Shots

6 6

On target

3 4

Corners

4 7

Fouls

6 5

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:48 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +2:28

Assist (pass) by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd) from left channel.

90:00 +2:28 Goal scored

Goal! - Rory Boulding - Dundee U 1 - 0 Aberdeen Goal by Rory Boulding (Dundee Utd) right-footed (bottom-left of goal) from left side of penalty area (12 yards).Dundee Utd 1-0 Aberdeen.

90:00 +1:24

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) on Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee Utd). Free kick taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) from left channel, resulting in open play.

90:00 +1:10

Attacking throw-in by Ryan Gauld (Dundee Utd).

89:27

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Nicky Low (Aberdeen) to centre, clearance by Sean Dillon (Dundee Utd).

89:12

Attacking throw-in by Nicky Low (Aberdeen).

89:01 Booking

Booking Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) booked for unsporting behaviour.

88:18

Shot by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) left-footed from right channel (25 yards), save (punched) by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

88:03

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee Utd) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen) from own half, resulting in open play.

86:08

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) to centre, resulting in open play.

86:08 Booking

Booking Gavin Rae (Aberdeen) booked for unsporting behaviour.

85:04 Booking

Booking John Souttar (Dundee Utd) booked for unsporting behaviour.

84:12 Substitution

Substitution Aberdeen substitution: Joe Shaughnessy replaced by Peter Pawlett (tactical).

80:10

Corner from left by-line taken short right-footed by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen). Clearance by Jon Daly (Dundee Utd).

78:43

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) to far post, save (punched) by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen).

77:48

Foul by Willo Flood (Dundee Utd) on Nicky Low (Aberdeen). Free kick taken left-footed by Nicky Low (Aberdeen) from right wing, passed.

77:48 Substitution

Substitution Aberdeen substitution: Josh Magennis replaced by Rory Fallon (tactical).

77:11

Defending throw-in by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

76:04

Foul by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd) on Josh Magennis (Aberdeen).

75:48

Free kick taken left-footed by Nicky Low (Aberdeen) from left wing, resulting in open play.

75:48 Booking

Booking Keith Watson (Dundee Utd) booked for unsporting behaviour.

73:39

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Nicky Low (Aberdeen) to far post, clearance by John Souttar (Dundee Utd).

71:48 Substitution

Substitution Dundee Utd substitution: John Rankin replaced by Rory Boulding (tactical).

71:38

Goal kick taken long by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

71:21

Attacking throw-in by Josh Magennis (Aberdeen).

70:11

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

69:08 Substitution

Substitution Aberdeen substitution: Johnny Hayes replaced by Nicky Low (tactical).

67:53

Header by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd) from right side of penalty area (6 yards), save (punched) by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen).

67:08

Attacking throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

66:13

Goal kick taken long by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen).

65:42

Shot by Ryan Gauld (Dundee Utd) right-footed from left channel (20 yards),

64:19

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) to centre, clearance by Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen).

63:45

Defending throw-in by Gary Naysmith (Aberdeen).

62:57

Handball by Willo Flood (Dundee Utd). Free kick taken left-footed by Gary Naysmith (Aberdeen) from left channel, resulting in open play.

62:42

Defending throw-in by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd).

60:55

Defending throw-in by Gary Naysmith (Aberdeen).

60:05

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) to centre, clearance by Gavin Rae (Aberdeen).

58:27

Header by Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) from right side of penalty area (12 yards), save (caught) by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

58:09

Attacking throw-in by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

57:13

Defending throw-in by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

56:15

Attacking throw-in by Willo Flood (Dundee Utd).

56:11

Goal kick taken long by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen).

55:46

Header by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd) from left channel (6 yards), over the bar.

55:04

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) to centre, resulting in open play.

54:14

Defending throw-in by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd).

53:41

Defending throw-in by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd).

52:42

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) to far post, save (caught) by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

52:42 Substitution

Substitution Dundee Utd substitution: Michael Gardyne replaced by Gary Mackay-Steven (tactical).

50:00

Goal kick taken long by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen).

47:54

Shot by John Rankin (Dundee Utd) left-footed from right channel (30 yards), save (caught) by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen).

46:52

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) on Ryan Gauld (Dundee Utd). Free kick taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) from right channel, passed.

46:40

Attacking throw-in by Willo Flood (Dundee Utd).

46:11

Attacking throw-in by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd).

45:45

Header by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) from right side of penalty area (12 yards), save (punched) by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +0:16 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

44:42

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

43:14

Attacking throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

41:50

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

41:34

Attacking throw-in by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

40:54

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

40:04

Foul by Willo Flood (Dundee Utd) on Niall McGinn (Aberdeen). Free kick taken left-footed by Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen) from left wing, resulting in open play.

38:31

Goal kick taken long by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

37:30

Attacking throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

35:21

Defending throw-in by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd).

34:45

Attacking throw-in by Willo Flood (Dundee Utd).

32:58

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

31:40

Header by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) from left side of penalty area (6 yards), missed left.

31:05

Foul by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) on Scott Vernon (Aberdeen). Free kick taken left-footed by Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen) from right wing, resulting in open play.

30:34

Goal kick taken long by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

29:40

Defending throw-in by Keith Watson (Dundee Utd).

26:55

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) on Michael Gardyne (Dundee Utd). Free kick taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) from left channel, resulting in open play.

26:19

Defending throw-in by Gary Naysmith (Aberdeen).

25:30

Foul by Gavin Rae (Aberdeen) on Willo Flood (Dundee Utd). Free kick taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) from right wing, resulting in open play.

23:45

Attacking throw-in by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

23:28

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

22:12

Foul by Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen) on Sean Dillon (Dundee Utd). Free kick taken left-footed by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd) from left channel, resulting in open play.

20:39

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee Utd) on Gary Naysmith (Aberdeen). Free kick taken left-footed by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) from left channel, resulting in open play.

18:24

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

16:19

Handball by Josh Magennis (Aberdeen). Free kick taken left-footed by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd) from left channel, resulting in open play.

15:43

Goal kick taken long by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

14:40

Foul by Mark Millar (Dundee Utd) on Scott Vernon (Aberdeen). Free kick taken right-footed by Josh Magennis (Aberdeen) from left channel (30 yards), missed left.

13:51

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen) to centre, clearance by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

11:45

Attacking throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

10:46

Michael Gardyne (Dundee Utd) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen) from own half, resulting in open play.

9:54

Attacking throw-in by Gary Naysmith (Aberdeen).

8:56

Defending throw-in by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

8:26

Header by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) from right side of penalty area (12 yards), save (caught) by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

7:26

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen) to far post, resulting in open play.

7:05

Shot by Mark Millar (Dundee Utd) right-footed from left channel (30 yards), missed left.

6:19

Attacking throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

5:23

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

5:15

Defending throw-in by Johnny Hayes (Aberdeen).

4:07

Goal kick taken long by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

2:59

Goal kick taken long by Radoslaw Cierzniak (Dundee Utd).

0:04

Defending throw-in by Barry Douglas (Dundee Utd).

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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