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<-Page <-Team Sat 09 Feb 2013 Dundee United 3 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sun ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John McGlynn <-auth JIM BLACK auth-> William Collum
Stevenson Ryan [J Russell 2] ;[W Flood 62] ;[M Gardyne 89]
10 of 025 Michael Ngoo 76L SPL A

Dundee Utd 3-1 Hearts

Ryan's red ends home hurt

Published: 09th February 2013

DUNDEE UNITED ended a near seven-month wait to notch only their second home SPL win of the season.

New boss Jackie McNamara enjoyed the breaks on an afternoon when nothing went the way of ten-man Hearts.

The Jambos were unlucky to have midfielder Ryan Stevenson red-carded just minutes after skipper Marius Zaliukas had limped off with a crocked ankle.

And on-loan striker Michael Ngoo twice hit the bar before eventually finding the net to claim a consolation strike for John McGlynn’s shattered side.

Goals from Johnny Russell, Willo Flood and sub Michael Gardyne enabled United to gift wrap the points for McNamara in his first SPL match in charge.

But the new gaffer and his Tangerine band were made to sweat when Ngoo struck 14 minutes from time to give Hearts hope at 2-1.

However, United held out and then rubbed salt into the Jambos’ wounds by grabbing a third 90 seconds from the end.

The last time United won an SPL match on home soil it was in the Dundee derby in August, but it’s amazing the difference a new manager makes.

McNamara has clearly lifted the players’ spirits and it showed in their eagerness to hit their stride.

But they were helped to a large degree by referee Willie Collum’s decision to dismiss Stevenson.

His challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven was one-footed, but didn’t appear malicious, and the United man sympathised with his rival.

Mackay-Steven said: “I’ll need to see the incident again on TV, but I think it was harsh to give him a red even though he caught me.”

McNamara could not have scripted a more positive start to his reign when United heralded his arrival on Tayside with a three-goal demolition of Rangers to progress through to the last eight of the Scottish Cup.

Surely Hearts would be more adept at curtailing the partnership of Russell and Jon Daly, who’ve contributed more than half of United’s goal tally this season?

Not so. With two minutes played, Russell claimed his 17th of the campaign to move five clear of Daly in the charts.

Russell began the move himself down the left. After Mackay-Steven had contributed to the build-up, John Rankin delivered a low cross in the direction of the in-rushing Stuart Armstrong.

But like all greedy strikers, Russell took the ball off Armstrong’s toe and finished low into the corner of the net.

Hearts didn’t immediately hit the panic button. Instead, they tightened up at the back in an effort to contain Russell.

They were not helped, however, when Zaliukas limped off after 18 minutes following a challenge by the lightning-quick Russell.

The Hearts captain went down initially as if he had been hit by a double-decker bus and clutching various parts of his anatomy.

However, it appeared that most damage had been done to his left ankle which he seemed to twist.

Darren Barr was immediately drafted into service as Hearts set about reorganising their defence.

With United having lost some of their initial sparkle, the Jambos recovered their composure and very nearly levelled the match after 19 minutes.

Liverpool loanee Ngoo took a pass from Danny Wilson and let fly with a 25-yard shot that cannoned off the crossbar with Radoslaw Cierzniak well beaten.

But then it all went wrong for Hearts when Stevenson was sent packing in the 25th minute.

Hearts were then faced with the choice of throwing caution to the wind or damage limitation to try to save face.

In the end, they were caught down the flanks as United used their numerical advantage to reasonably good effect.

For all that they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, it wasn’t until the 56th minute that United posed a threat.

Daly just failed to connect with Russell’s low cross-cum-shot and Jamie MacDonald managed to scramble the ball clear.

But Hearts were unable to save themselves in the 62nd minute when Flood played a neat one-two with Russell before executing a clinical finish.

The same United player tested MacDonald with a shot soon after which the keeper beat down.

Flood was also involved in the build-up when Ngoo knocked on wood for a second time in the 69th minute after he almost took advantage of the midfielder’s slip.

But Ngoo was not to be denied a third time when Barr guided Fraser Mullen’s corner kick into his path and the tall, gangly striker pivoted before crashing a right-foot shot past Cierzniak.

However, it turned out to be too little, too late to save the 10 men from defeat as Gardyne, on in place of Mackay-Steven, tapped in United third from Daly’s cross


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