Buddies hold on to deny Terrors

Steven Thompson netted his first competitive goal for the Buddies

after 11 minutes with a neat finish from close range to give them a

half-time lead over his former club. However the visitors were

reduced to 10 men in first half injury-time when Nigel Hasselbaink

was dismissed for catching United defender Paul Dixon with his arm.

Jon Daly levelled after 67 minutes after turning home a Scott Allan

cross but, despite their second half dominance, the Terrors were

unable to find a winner. United, who were without Danny Swanson

through a virus and departed striker David Goodwillie, stuck with

the same side that defeated Hearts 1-0 last weekend. St Mirren, who

received plenty of plaudits for their attacking displays against

Dunfermline and Aberdeen, also named an unchanged starting XI from

the side that ran out 1-0 winners over the Dons. United suffered an

early setback when defensive midfielder Scott Severin was carried

off on a stretcher after coming off second best in a robust

challenge with Buddies skipper Jim Goodwin only a couple of minutes

into the match – he was replaced by Scott Robertson. And things

went from bad to worse for the hosts when the Buddies took the lead

after 11 minutes. Hasselbaink showed great trickery down the left

wing to evade the challenges of two United defenders before finding

Thompson at the near post, who prodded the ball home from close

range. The lively Hasselbaink showed great skill once again to jink

past Garry Kenneth after 15 minutes but this time his left-footed

shot at goal was gathered by United stopper Dusan Pernis. United

should have squared things after 27 minutes when St Mirren’s Craig

Samson could only parry Kenneth’s powerful free-kick into the path

of Keith Watson – but the full-back completely missed the ball with

the goal at his mercy. St Mirren continued to impress with former

Celtic youngster Paul McGowan seeing his dipping long-range effort

tipped over by Pernis for a fruitless corner just before the break.

The half ended in controversy when Hasselbaink was given a straight

red card in the fifth minute of injury-time after catching Paul

Dixon with his arm when running in on goal. United came out for the

second half determined to get an equaliser with Willo Flood’s deep

corner dropping kindly to John Rankin – but Darren McGregor made a

desperate block to thwart the former Hibernian midfielder. Johnny

Russell was the next player to try his luck, with Samson equal to

his diving header, before the striker drilled a left-footed strike

inches past the upright. The home side went even closer on the hour

mark when Watson’s cross into the area was met by United skipper

Daly – but the Irishman’s header just brushed the wrong side of the

post. But the inevitable equaliser arrived after 67 minutes when

the impressive Scott Allan darted down the wing and rounded Goodwin

before picking out Daly, who turned the ball home at the near post.

United looked the more likely to go on and win the match but Samson

pulled off a tremendous stop to claw away an Allan drive through a

ruck of players. However the Buddies bravely held on for a point to

continue their unbeaten start to the season.