Scottish Premiership
Dundee UtdDundee United1Ross CountyRoss County0

Dundee United 1-0 Ross County

By Martin ConaghanBBC Scotland

Dundee United climbed up to second place in the Scottish Premiership with a battling victory against Ross County at Tannadice.

Gary Mackay-Steven completed a well-worked move to net the second half strike that separated the sides.

The visitors were pinned back for long spells, although Melvin De Leeuw came close with a low drive.

Brian Graham twice headed straight at County 'keeper Michael Fraser as United remained dominant throughout.

The win extends United's winning streak to six matches and pushes Jackie McNamara's men into second place in the league due to Inverness Caledonian Thistle playing Aberdeen in Saturday's late kick-off.

However, it also brings to an end their impressive sequence of five wins in which they have scored four goals or more, although the home fans will remain content with the club's fine run of form.

County, meanwhile, continue to languish at the foot of the table on 11 points, having not won a match since October, with Hearts 14 points further adrift at the bottom.

Inside the opening five minutes, Ryan Gauld's header from a corner was edged over the bar by Ross County's Michael Kovacevic.

Brian McLean slid in to take the ball from the feet of Gauld with the Dundee United player bearing down on goal, then Graham sent the ball over the County crossbar from barely eight yards out.

Graham Carey's glancing header edged wide of Radoslaw Cierzniak's left-hand post as Ross County pressed forward with a positive attacking spell.

Moments later, Carey almost caught out Cierzniak with a free-kick that bounced high over the 'keeper's head and struck the crossbar.

Stuart Armstrong delivered a curling ball from the wide on the right and Graham leapt above the County defence, but sent his header straight into the arms of 'keeper Fraser.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, Ross County's De Leeuw fired a low, right-footed shot from the edge of the United box that inched past Cierzniak's left-hand post.

A superb run by United's Mark Wilson down the right-hand side produced a delightful cross for Graham, who leapt above the County defence and yet again aimed a header straight into the hands of Fraser.

The second half started more sedately, although John Rankin was unlucky to see a 25-yard shot edge over the County crossbar, then Armstrong's long-range effort whistled wide of the mark.

Fraser pulled off a terrific save when Nadir Ciftci nodded a corner goalwards, the County 'keeper demonstrating cat-like reflexes to tip the ball over the bar.

It quickly became one-way traffic, with County pinned back in their own half as United sought the opener.

The goal deservedly arrived after 69 minutes when a well-worked counter-attack involving substitute David Goodwillie and Armstrong ended with Mackay-Steven slotting the ball past Fraser from close-range.

Ciftci tested his luck with a long-range effort 10 minutes from full-time, then Rankin followed suit with a similarly hopeful effort that failed to hit the target.

But Mackay-Steven's fine strike was enough for United to continue their impressive unbeaten run and keep up the pressure at the top end of Scotland's top-flight.

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 16Wilson
  • 26Robertson
  • 8Rankin
  • 20Souttar
  • 5Gunning
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 6Paton
  • 9GrahamSubstituted forGoodwillieat 64'minutes
  • 19GauldSubstituted forCiftciat 64'minutes
  • 10Armstrong

Substitutes

  • 2Dillon
  • 7Goodwillie
  • 17Erskine
  • 18Dow
  • 21Ciftci
  • 25McCallum
  • 27Gomis

Ross County

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 20Fraser
  • 2Kovacevic
  • 3Gordon
  • 19LuckassenBooked at 39minsSubstituted forRossat 81'minutes
  • 5Boyd
  • 21McLean
  • 10QuinnSubstituted forMaatsenat 81'minutes
  • 4Kettlewell
  • 11De LeeuwSubstituted forGlenat 67'minutes
  • 8Brittain
  • 23Carey

Substitutes

  • 1Brown
  • 6Micic
  • 9Mustafi
  • 14Maatsen
  • 15Glen
  • 16Cooper
  • 17Ross
Referee:
Iain Brines
Attendance:
8,029

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home21
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dundee United 1, Ross County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dundee United 1, Ross County 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mihael Kovacevic.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mihael Kovacevic.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

  6. Post update

    Ben Gordon (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Darren Maatsen (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  9. Post update

    John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Darren Maatsen replaces Rocco Quinn.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Steven Ross replaces Kevin Luckassen.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Rankin (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

  16. Post update

    Kevin Luckassen (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by David Goodwillie (Dundee United).

  18. Post update

    Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mihael Kovacevic.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Dundee United 1, Ross County 0. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong.