DUNDEE United fought out an entertaining Tayside derby with St Johnstone as they drew 1-1 at Tannadice.
Dundee United: Gavin Gunning (2)
St Johnstone: Brian McLean (47 og)
Peter Houston’s men looked likely to win their first home SPL clash since August when defender Gavin Gunning headed them into the lead inside two minutes but an own goal from Brian McLean put paid to that as Steve Lomas’ Saints side fought back to ensure a deserved share of the spoils.
United wasted no time in making their mark when, in the second minute, Gunning made it 1-0 with a free header from Barry Douglas’ inswinging free-kick.
Patrick Cregg’s foul on Johnny Russell left the United forward nursing a head knock but presented the hosts with a perfect scoring opportunity. And Irishman Gunning could hardly believe his luck when the Saints defence stood still and allowed him to rise unchallenged at the free kick and direct a header past visiting keeper Alan Mannus.
Saints seemed to be caught on the hop by the midday start, which came on the back of defeat away to Aberdeen the previous weekend. But, in the 16th minute, striker Steven Maclean turned neatly on the edge of the penalty area and his smart shot was well saved by Radoslaw Cierzniak in the home goal.
Saints started the second half much the livelier side and were back on level terms in the 46th minute. Gregory Tade released Pawlett and his jinking run left a couple of United defenders in his wake before squaring the ball across the face of goal.
McLean was tracking back but, in an attempt to clear his lines, he had the misfortune to turn the ball into his own net
beyond the helpless Cierzniak.
Saints went in search of a winner and almost got it when Craig swivelled eight yards out before driving a shot on target which Cierzniak did well to beat away.
At the other end Gunning’s header from Douglas’ corner with 10 minutes left was cleared off the line by Cregg.
“It was game where we were hoping to start a run of home wins but it wasn’t to be and we’re disappointed to get just one point,” said United manager Peter Houston.
Opposite number Lomas said: “If we were a bit more clinical we would have gone down the road with three points.”
03 Douglas Booked
12 Watson (Gardyne - 65’ )
16 Armstrong (Millar - 73’ )
51 Skacel Booked (Ryan - 73’ )
04 Cregg Booked
22 Pawlett Booked (Vine - 76’ )