DUNDEE UNITED squandered an early lead to draw with St Mirren and passed up the chance to give their fight for survival a much-needed shot in the arm.

Steven Fletcher put the home side ahead with a brilliantly taken volley after just three minutes, but a Mark O’Hara penalty after the break gave the Saints a point they deserved on the balance of play.

Though, United will be gutted after passing up some glorious chances at the death, Kai Fotheringham hitting the post, Trevor Carson denying Mathew Cudjoe with a brilliant save and then Ilmari Niskanen blazing the loose ball over.

Here are three talking points from a tense affair at Tannadice…


A stick that has been used to beat Fletcher throughout his career is that he doesn’t score enough goals, and as much as he brings to this United side, that has been the case again this season.

When he does find the net though, it tends to be spectacular, and so it was here as he showcased his wonderful technical ability to hit the opener – and his seventh goal of the campaign - after just three minutes.

A long ball was floated into the Saints area and flicked on by Fletcher, one of many headers he won throughout the game. Richard Taylor’s attempted headed clearance only landed back at the United forward, who took one touch to set it up with his right and then struck a delicious volley with his left low past Carson.


There were two major second-half calls for Craig Napier and the VAR team back at Clydesdale House as St Mirren pressed for the equaliser their play merited.

The first of those two lengthy deliberations came when Saints centre-back Taylor got on the end of a Ryan Strain free-kick delivery to head home, with his celebrations curtailed by the offside flag. It looked a marginal call, reflected in the length of time it took to review it, but the on-field decision stood.

Then, as Curtis Main ghosted in on the blind side of home centre-half Loick Ayina and hit the deck, Napier pointed to the penalty spot, adjudging the defender to have clumsily taken out the Saints forward.

There may have been minimal contact, but after another seemingly interminable wait the referee’s call stood once more, and O’Hara lifted the ball up the middle to restore parity.


The United captain has had a season to forget for the most part, and manager Jim Goodwin had removed him from the firing line for the draw at Livingston after another error-strewn performance in the defeat to Aberdeen.

With Charlie Mulgrew out of the squad for this one though, Edwards was thrown back into the backline, and he showed great strength of character to put his recent troubles behind him with a more than decent display.

St Mirren had grasped the upper hand from around the midway point of the first half, and looked certain to draw level when Greg Kiltie’s cross found O’Hara arriving late into the area. His side-foot volley was destined for the net, but Edwards got his positioning spot-on to deny the visitors with the clearance.

Small acorns, perhaps, but here he looked much more like the Edwards of old, and that might be a crucial factor if United are to avoid the drop.