Record-breaking win for Exeter
Sat, 09 Feb 2013 18:12:00
Dundee United's resurgence under new manager Jackie McNamara continued as they saw off 10-man Hearts 3-1 at Tannadice to make it back-to-back victories.
The Tangerines got off to a flying start through Johnny Russell's second-minute opener before John McGlynn's visitors had Ryan Stevenson sent off for a foul on Gary Mackay-Steven midway through the first half.
Willo Flood made it 2-0 for McNamara's side on 62 minutes only for Michael Ngoo to pull one back for the Jambos in the 76th.
Despite their best efforts to force a late equaliser it was the revitalised hosts who ran out winners, with substitute Michael Gardyne sealing matters in the final minute.
United did not have long to wait on their return SPL action before breaking the deadlock against a stunned Hearts side, with John Rankin's cross being met by Russell, who took the ball off the toe of team-mate Stuart Armstrong before swivelling and finishing with his right foot low into Jamie MacDonald's right-hand corner from eight yards.
Hearts suffered a blow in the 19th minute when skipper Marius Zaliukas was forced to go off injured after clashing with Russell and then appearing to land awkwardly on his ankle.
A minute later, though, they brought out a fine save from United keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak in their first real attack of the game. Defender Danny Wilson fed fellow on-loan Liverpool player Ngoo, who wasted no time in firing in a 22-yard shot which Cierzniak did well to fist to safety.
But on 25 minutes Stevenson was sent off for a challenge on Mackay-Steven. The Hearts midfielder appeared to go in on high on the United winger and referee Willie Collum showed no hesitation in producing a straight red card despite Heart's bitter protests.
The second half was a flat affair until the 56th minute, when visiting keeper MacDonald dived smartly to deny Daly a goal.
But in the 62nd minute the hosts extended their lead to 2-0. A slick one-two involving Russell and Flood saw former Celtic midfielder Flood steady himself before slotting a perfect left-foot finish past the helpless MacDonald.
A few minutes later, Hearts came close at the other end when Gavin Gunning's mistake allowed Ngoo to gain possession and his raking 20-yard drive came crashing back off Cierzniak's bar.
In the 76th minute, Hearts gave themselves some hope when United failed to clear Fraser Mullen's corner and Ngoo pounce to drive a shot home from 12 yards.
But any hopes they had of a comeback ended in the 89th minute when Rankin released Daly, who cut the ball back for substitute Gardyne to finish from point-blank range.
Top scorer Jamie Cureton struck twice either side of an Arron Davies strike to gave Paul Tisdale's side an important three points over a Morecambe side unbeaten at the Globe Arena since September.
Cureton sparked the victory with a fine goal in the 62nd minute when he beat Will Haining to Tommy Doherty's superb through ball and slid an effort past Shrimps' keeper Barry Roche from just inside the box.
The second goal came four minutes from time when Jimmy Keohane found space down the right and crossed to the far post for Davies to slide the ball past Roche from 12 yards out.
Cureton put the gloss on a historic result two minutes into injury time with another top quality finish, hammering the ball past Roche from an acute angle after being found by Mark Molesley.
Morecambe striker Lewis Alessandra missed an huge chance to open the scoring just before Cureton's first when he rounded keeper Artur Krysiak but then failed to find the target from six yards out.
The closest Morecambe came to a goal was when Ryan Williams saw a long-range free kick superbly tipped away by Krysiak.