Scottish Championship
Dundee UtdDundee United2DunfermlineDunfermline1

Dundee United 2-1 Dunfermline Athletic

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland at Tannadice
Scott Fraser scores a free-kick for Dundee United against Dunfermline
Two goals from Scott Fraser - the first via this free-kick - sent Dundee United to the top of the Scottish Championship

Scott Fraser's double propelled Dundee United to the top of the Scottish Championship, beating promotion rivals Dunfermline Athletic.

Fraser's opened the scoring with a 15th-minute free-kick, and netted again on the stroke of half-time.

Declan McManus got one back for the Pars from the penalty spot with 25 minutes to play.

But United prevailed, and St Mirren's home loss to Dumbarton means they usurp the Buddies in top spot.

Both sides harbour aspirations of promotion to the top flight, and early chances for the Terrors' Sam Stanton then Kallum Higginbotham of the visitors set the tone for an entertaining affair.

United though slowly began to gain control in the midfield area with Fraser and Billy King in particular beginning to threaten.

The hugely experienced Scott McDonald spurned a golden opportunity from six yards out when he delayed his shot with the goal gaping.

But United finally made the breakthrough after a terrific piece of skill by Fraser.

The attacker curled a 22-yard free-kick around the Dunfermline wall and into the top corner for a lead the hosts deserved.

Scott Fraser scores for Dundee United against Dunfermline Athletic
Scott Fraser doubled his - and United's - tally before half-time

Two minutes later the Pars were almost level, McManus bursting down the left flank, with his cross to the back post turned just over the crossbar by the arriving Higginbotham.

Lee Ashcroft then tested Harry Lewis in the home goal, who held the defender's effort at the second attempt.

As the clock ticked towards half-time United scored a crucial second. Fraser collected a throw-in on the left and ghosted through the Dunfermline defence before sliding the ball in at the far post. A clinical finish by the best player on show.

And only a terrific safe by Dunfermline goalkeeper Sean Murdoch denied the 22-year-old a first-half a hat-trick. A terrific run and shot looked net-bound before Murdoch dived high to his left to parry the ball away.

Pars boss Allan Johnston replaced Higginbotham with Fraser Aird and the former Rangers midfielder played a major part in reducing the deficit.

Aird waltzed past four defenders in a mazy 30-yard run before he was pulled back by Jamie Robson. Referee Euan Anderson pointed to the spot and McManus fired home to give the large group of travelling fans hope.

As hard as they tried, there was to be no way through the United rearguard, as the Tannadice side head to the Championship summit.

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 25Lewis
  • 2Murdoch
  • 4Durnan
  • 5QuinnBooked at 75mins
  • 17RobsonBooked at 75mins
  • 16FloodSubstituted forEdjengueleat 90+3'minutes
  • 23Fyvie
  • 12StantonBooked at 55minsSubstituted forKeatingsat 70'minutes
  • 10FraserSubstituted forMcMullanat 90'minutes
  • 11King
  • 8McDonald

Substitutes

  • 7McMullan
  • 14Edjenguele
  • 18Allardice
  • 19Keatings
  • 21Mehmet
  • 28Smith
  • 38Chalmers

Dunfermline

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Murdoch
  • 2Williamson
  • 5MorrisBooked at 73mins
  • 6Ashcroft
  • 14Talbot
  • 8Wedderburn
  • 3Martin
  • 7HigginbothamBooked at 51minsSubstituted forAirdat 55'minutes
  • 11CardleBooked at 79mins
  • 15PatonBooked at 88mins
  • 9McManus

Substitutes

  • 4Mvoto
  • 17Aird
  • 20Gill
  • 23Smith
  • 27Shiels
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
5,790

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamDunfermline
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home11
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away19

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dundee United 2, Dunfermline Athletic 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dundee United 2, Dunfermline Athletic 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. William Edjenguele replaces Willo Flood because of an injury.

  4. Post update

    Willo Flood (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Paul McMullan replaces Scott Fraser.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Scott Fraser (Dundee United).

  8. Post update

    Lee Ashcroft (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Booking

    Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Fraser Fyvie (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic).

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. James Keatings (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Post update

    Scott Fraser (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jason Talbot (Dunfermline Athletic).

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fraser Aird (Dunfermline Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  16. Post update

    Foul by James Keatings (Dundee United).

  17. Post update

    Michael Paton (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

  19. Post update

    James Keatings (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Callum Morris (Dunfermline Athletic).

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