Raith Rovers 1 - 2 Dundee United: United warm up for Europe with late win
DUNDEE United stepped up preparations for their Europa League meeting with Dynamo Moscow by snatching a late victory against Raith Rovers.
The Tannadice side have less than a fortnight to get up to speed for their third-qualifying-round encounter with the Russians and it appears they still have work to do.
Manager Peter Houston named a mixed line-up of youngsters and expected first-team starters and watched his charges struggle to assert the authority expected of European hopefuls until late on.
Raith opened brightly and will have been comforted by matching United for most of the 90 minutes.
The conditions were warm, but the football was tepid and it was 20 minutes before the SPL side troubled David McGurn, who pulled off a superb diving save to his left from a Barry Douglas free-kick.
Seven minutes later, the Tannadice outfit almost shot themselves in the foot as Sean Dillon was slack with a ball out from defence, but Joe Hamill pulled his shot across goal and wide with only goalkeeper Radowslaw Cierzniak to beat.
Brian Graham proved more adept after the interval when he brushed Brian McLean aside to steer Jason Thomson’s through-ball past the Polish keeper from a tight angle.
Pat Clarke fired over for Rovers moments later as they match finally burst to life, with McGurn brilliantly tipping over a Jon Daly header on the hour mark.
United finally afforded themselves some much-needed succour as the time wore on. Just five minutes from time, Keith Watson volleyed in John Rankin’s deep cross and then McLean headed in Ryan Gauld’s 90th-minute corner.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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