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Ilmari Niskanen nets winner as Dundee United keep Ross County winless

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Dundee United secured a narrow 1-0 victory over winless Ross County at Tannadice to move into the cinch Premiership’s top five.

The home side struck in the 31st minute through Ilmari Niskanen, who registered his first goal for the club.

The result left the second-bottom Staggies still searching for their opening league win of the season after eight games.

United had an early chance when Scott McMann sent a cross in from the left with the ball being deflected across the face of County keeper Ash Maynard-Brewer’s goal but no-one in a Tangerine jersey was able to take advantage.

Home keeper Benji Siegrist then had to dive to palm away a Harry Paton cross.

United had the best opening of the match so far in the 14th minute when Ian Harkes played a great ball to Niskanen. The Finnish winger hit a low diagonal shot with Maynard-Brewer pulling off a vital save diving to his left.

Siegrist then denied the Staggies when he gathered a Blair Spittal 25-yard free-kick at the second attempt.

However, United finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with Niskanen finding himself in a similar position to his previous opportunity on the left of the Staggies box but on this occasion he made no mistake, hitting a fierce shot that Maynard-Brewer could not keep out.

The Tangerines could have doubled their advantage when Nicky Clark manufactured space for himself in front of goal but Maynard-Brewer gathered with Peter Pawlett subsequently booked for his follow-up challenge on the keeper.

The Staggies keeper came to the rescue once more in the 39th minute, turning away a long-range Jeando Fuchs drive for a corner.

Just before half-time, County had a chance of their own with Spittal sending a 25-yard curling shot just wide.

United should have doubled their advantage in the 58th minute when Fuchs swung a cross in from the right but Clark sent his glancing header wide of the post.

County came close themselves just seconds later with Joseph Hungbo hitting an angled shot off the outside of Siegrist’s post.

The Staggies should have equalised in the 65th minute when Spittal delivered a corner in from the left but Clarke sent his powerful header over the bar with substitute Jordan White having a similar opportunity shortly after but he headed straight at Siegrist.

County did finally have the ball in the back of the net in the 81st minute but substitute Dominic Samuel’s effort was ruled out for offside.