Killie undone by Conway display

The winger set up United’s first three goals before producing a

wonder strike to seal the victory. Scott Severin scored his first

goal for United after 25 minutes with a downward header before

David Goodwillie nodded home seven minutes before the break.

Goodwillie doubled his tally when he headed home two minutes after

the restart before Conway netted with a wonderful strike after 49

minutes. Substitute David Silva pulled a goal back for Killie with

a long-range strike before Manuel Pascali nodded home a second in

the dying stages, but United held on for a deserved win. The result

moves United eight points clear of fifth-placed Kilmarnock, who

have now gone four matches without a win under caretaker boss Kenny

Shiels. United were without Morgaro Gomis, Sean Dillon and Mihael

Kovacevic who were all shown red cards in their heavy midweek

defeat to Rangers. Keith Watson, Barry Douglas and Prince Buaben

came in to replace the suspended trio, while Johnny Russell made

way for Conway. Kilmarnock made two changes from the team that

conceded four at home to Celtic with goalkeeper Cameron Bell

replacing Anssi Jaakkola and Garry Hay starting ahead of Silva who

dropped to the bench. United had won seven of their previous nine

home matches in the SPL and started the game brightly with Buaben

flashing a shot over the bar from distance and Scott Robertson

curling an effort wide. The hosts went desperately close when

Goodwillie robbed Pascali of possession before crashing a

thunderous drive off the underside off the crossbar. Bell produced

a fine stop to deny Danny Swanson before Pascali picked up the

first booking of the match for a foul on United skipper Garry

Kenneth. United were thwarted by the woodwork for a second time

from the resulting set-piece with Douglas’ free-kick bouncing back

off the bar. And the inevitable opener for United came after 25

minutes when a Conway corner was headed home by the unmarked

Severin. The Terrors almost gifted Killie an equaliser when William

Gros raced onto Buaben’s careless pass, but the Frenchman’s shot

was well stopped by Dusan Pernis. However, United scored a deserved

second after 38 minutes with Conway again providing the ammunition

with an enticing delivery into the penalty area which was bravely

headed home at the near post by Goodwillie. Killie made a double

switch at the break with Silva and James Dayton introduced at the

expense of skipper Craig Bryson and Ryan O’Leary. However, it was

United who extended their lead within two minutes of the restart

when Conway produced another teasing cross for Goodwillie, who

headed past the despairing Bell for his 16th league goal of the

season. And the Kilmarnock goalkeeper was picking the ball out of

his net again after 49 minutes when Conway unleashed a magnificent

strike from 25 yards that flew into the top corner. The visitors

pulled a goal back after 70 minutes thanks to substitute Silva’s

equally stunning strike from distance. Conway rifled another effort

over the bar with his left foot as the hosts searched for a fifth.

But it was Kilmarnock who scored a second with three minutes

remaining when Pascali rose to head home Silva’s in-swinging

corner.