Dundee United eased aside 10-man Kilmarnock at Rugby Park to record a fifth straight win in a run that has now generated 21 goals.

The match turned on the 22nd-minute dismissal of Gabriel Reuben for a second yellow card.

Keith Watson finally broke Kilmarnock's resistance after 60 minutes and that was followed by two in two minutes from Stuart Armstrong and Ryan Gauld.

Kris Boyd headed a late reply, but David Goodwillie fired United's fourth.

For Boyd, the goal broke Henrik Larsson's goalscoring record in Scotland's top flight, but there were few Kilmarnock fans left to celebrate that at Rugby Park as more discontent was aimed at manager Allan Johnston.

United had gone into the game having scored 17 goals in four games - the first time they had scored four or more in four consecutive games since 1936, when their run lasted for six.

They did so against a side they had swept aside 5-2 at Tannadice two weeks earlier in the Scottish Cup.

However, Kilmarnock looked buoyed by last weekend's victory away to Ross County, a result that ended their own run of four straight defeats.

A powerful Reuben drive was deflected wide, a Jackson Irvine overhead kick was held on the line by goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak and Chris Johnston appealed for handball after his drive from just inside the United area was blocked by Watson at close range.

United's neat midfield work had done nothing but draw a couple of yellow cards from the opposition until Reuben's third rash challenge of the game ensured the balance of play swung in the visitors' direction along with numbers on the park.

Brian Graham headed wide, goalkeeper Craig Samson flew fish-like to push wide a Gauld free-kick and Gavin Gunning fired powerfully over from the resulting corner.

Kilmarnock regrouped during the break and it was the 10 men who looked the more threatening in the early stages of the second half.

Sean Clohessy had a close-range effort blocked in front of goal and a Boyd shot on the turn was well gathered by Cierzniak.

Just when it looked like Kilmarnock might overcome the odds, United's clever, persistent probing finally paid off when Graham sent Armstrong clear inside the penalty box and the midfielder's low ball across the face of goal was thumped into the roof of the net by Watson.

Kilmarnock threatened an equaliser immediately, with Cierzniak saving well from Craig Slater at the end of a move in which they also claimed for a penalty.

However, hopes of a comeback were extinguished when Armstrong weaved past Lee Ashcroft before firing low past Samson from eight yards.

United extended their lead two minutes later, when Armstrong dispossessed Clohessy as the defender messed up his attempted clearance and, although Samson beat away the midfielder's shot, Gauld was on hand to calmly kill the game as a contest.

There was still time for Boyd to head in from a Jeroen Tesselaar cross, but United restored the three-goal advantage when substitute Goodwillie fired in from close range.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 16 Clohessy Booked
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 10 Johnston (Nicholson - 81' )
  • 30 Ashcroft
  • 05 Irvine Booked
  • 13 Gabriel Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 29 Pascali Booked
  • 09 Boyd
  • 18 McKenzie (McKeown - 83' )
  • 28 Slater

Substitutes

  • 07 Nicholson
  • 08 Clingan
  • 12 Reguero
  • 19 Ibrahim
  • 21 Winchester
  • 23 McKeown
  • 33 Muirhead

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 12 Watson
  • 26 Robertson
  • 08 Rankin
  • 20 Souttar
  • 05 Gunning
  • 19 Gauld (Gomis - 77' )
  • 06 Paton
  • 09 Graham (Ciftci - 73' )
  • 10 Armstrong
  • 11 Mackay-Steven (Goodwillie - 78' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Dillon
  • 07 Goodwillie
  • 17 Erskine
  • 18 Dow
  • 21 Ciftci
  • 25 McCallum
  • 27 Gomis
Ref: Euan Norris
Att: 3,452

Match Stats

Shots

3 11

On target

1 8

Corners

2 3

Fouls

6 1

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Dundee United 4.

90:00 +2:22 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Dundee United 4.

90:00 +0:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Dundee United 4. David Goodwillie (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner.

88:04 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Dundee United 3. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Rory McKeown.

82:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Rory McKeown replaces Rory McKenzie.

80:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Barry Nicholson replaces Chris Johnston.

77:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. David Goodwillie replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

76:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Morgaro Gomis replaces Ryan Gauld.

76:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 0, Dundee United 3. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

75:36

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

74:02 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 0, Dundee United 2. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner.

72:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Nadir Ciftci replaces Brian Graham.

65:16

Attempt missed. Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

59:46 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 0, Dundee United 1. Keith Watson (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Gary Mackay-Steven.

57:56

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

57:06

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

57:06

Keith Watson (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

54:43

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by John Souttar.

52:01

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

50:42

Attempt missed. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) header from a difficult angle on the left is just a bit too high.

49:57

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

45:00

Second Half begins Kilmarnock 0, Dundee United 0.

45:00 +1:03 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Kilmarnock 0, Dundee United 0.

41:00

Attempt saved. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

38:32 Booking

Booking Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

38:19

Foul by Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock).

38:19

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:37

Attempt missed. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is too high.

35:20

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Craig Samson.

34:50

Attempt saved. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

34:38 Booking

Booking Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

34:20

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

34:20

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:08

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

27:04

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:04

Foul by Ryan Gauld (Dundee United).

23:47

Attempt saved. Brian Graham (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

22:27 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock).

22:21

Foul by Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock).

22:21

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:36 Booking

Booking Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

17:22

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

17:22

Foul by Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock).

11:43 Booking

Booking Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

4:24

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

3:16

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

3:16

Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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