Queen of the South 1 - 2 Dundee United: Laszlo’s men pass pressure test

Dundee United's Pavol Safranko scores to make it 2-0 ' his first goal for the club. Photograph: Craig Foy/SNS
Dundee United's Pavol Safranko scores to make it 2-0 ' his first goal for the club. Photograph: Craig Foy/SNS
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Csaba Laszlo, the Dundee United manager, believes his players handled the pressure and expectation after registering their first league win of the season.

Goals in the first half from Sam Stanton and Pavol Safranko, a new signing from Danish side Aalborg, secured the men from Tayside all three points.

But they ended up doing it the hard way after Stephen Dobbie’s strike after the interval ensured a nerve-wracking final 25 minutes for the Tangerines.

United did just enough to keep Queens at bay, with Laszlo warning his squad they remain the Championship’s biggest scalp.

He said: “I think we deserved to win and I’m proud of the boys because they did a good job. It was a very good team performance.

“The second half was maybe a little bit unexpected after the first half when we could have been 3-0 or 4-0 and the game is over.

“The pressure is always there because if you take the jersey from Dundee United, if you are the manager, if you work for Dundee United, you are the biggest club in the division. Everybody wants to beat you.”

The first real chance fell to Safranko with his drive from a narrowing angle comfortably blocked by Doonhamers custodian Alan Martin.

But United took the lead in the 15th minute thanks to a piece of real quality from their captain Stanton. The midfielder had plenty to do when he picked up possession but he worked an opening and arrowed a low effort which eluded the diving Martin. Queens offered little in the first half and their best opportunity came as a result of a neat interchange involving Andy Stirling and Gary Harkins as they set up Dobbie whose shot was smothered by Matej Rakovan.

It was no surprise to see United extend their advantage in the 27th minute with Safranko right on cue to enjoy a debut moment to remember.

The 23-year-old striker latched on to a through ball from Frederic Frans and found the far corner of the net with an assured finish.

Queens reduced the deficit when Kyle Jacobs’ back-post cross was touched home by Dobbie.

However, that was to prove only a consolation as United defended resiliently to repel the advances of the home team and clinch a valuable victory.

Doonhamers boss Gary Naysmith said: “I thought we were poor in the first half and Dundee United were the better team but then the real Queen of the South turned up in the second half.”