Championship

Scottish Championship
Lawrence Shankland has scored 24 goals in 26 games for Dundee United this season. Picture: Bruce White / SNS

Lawrence Shankland was no Aberdeen flop but he needed to leave Pittodrie to flourish

There is a desire to present Lawrence Shankland as a striker who simply couldn’t put it together at Aberdeen, only to be transformed into a predator who has rarely put a foot wrong subsequent to being freed by the club. To the extent that, nine weeks ahead of the country’s most important fixture for more than a decade, the free-scoring Dundee United forward is arguably Scotland’s foremost contender to lead the line in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel. It is a role the 24-year-old finds himself vying for just two-and-a-half years on from when Ian McCall, at Ayr United in the lowly ranks of Scotland’s third tier, began to rebuild a career that had seemed shattered as the result of Derek McInnes losing faith.

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Aaron Doran fires through a crowd of bodies for 1-0.  Photograph: Gary Hutchison/SNS

Dundee 0 - 2 Inverness: More despair for Dark Blues

So much for Dundee’s “pinnacle year”. Managing director John Nelms delivered a state of the nation address in the match programme and gave an update on the new stadium plans. He promised 2020 will see the application being submitted for the long-planned complex near Camperdown Park.

Football
Mark Connolly scored the game's only goal with a thumping header. Picture: SNS.

Queen of the South 0 - 1 Dundee United: Painful to watch but points taken

This was a victory for Dundee United that was just about as painful on the eye as the Championship table makes joyful viewing for their supporters right now. They ground out a win thanks to a lively opening to the second half which saw Mark Connolly head in the only goal of the game and then had enough nous to see themselves over the line to make it 10 wins in 11 games. If as expected Robbie Neilson’s men go on to clinch promotion they’ll look back on games like this and say this was where all the hard graft counted.

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