Fletcher on target for Dundee United but St Mirren hit back for a point
Dundee United and St Mirren had to settle for share of the spoils after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Tannadice.
The hosts took an early lead through striker Steven Fletcher but St Mirren equalised after the break thanks to Mark O’Hara penalty.
United hit the woodwork in stoppage time but could not find a winner.
The result leaves the Tangerines rooted to the bottom of the table but they are now just two points behind Ross County while St Mirren have dropped to seventh.
United made a dream start, opening the scoring in just the third minute when Fletcher latched onto a headed clearance from St Mirren defender Richard Taylor, before flicking the ball up to volley home from the edge of the box past Buddies keeper Trevor Carson.
The hosts’ tails were up and Aziz Behich then tried his luck with an audacious 25-yard shot that flew just past Carson’s left-hand post.
St Mirren were struggling to recover from going a goal behind so early, failing to put any pressure on the home goal.
That finally changed in the 24th minute when Curtis Main found space for himself in the United box but his shot flew straight at keeper Mark Birighitti who easily gathered.
That sparked a sustained period of pressure for the Buddies but they could not create any clear-cut opportunities.
Instead, it was the hosts who were presented with an opening when Jamie McGrath swung a corner in from the right with the ball falling for Fletcher, but the former Scotland striker could only send his close-range shot over the bar.
The Buddies were the first to threaten after the break in the 56th minute when Greg Kiltie hit a cross from the right to the onrushing O’Hara but the St Mirren skipper’s goalbound shot was blocked by Ryan Edwards.
The Buddies did have the ball in the back of the net shortly after but Taylor’s headed effort was ruled out for offside, a decision confirmed by VAR.
However, St Mirren equalised in the 74th minute. Main went down in the United box under a challenge from Loick Ayina with referee Craig Napier pointing to the spot and O’Hara stepping up to hit the penalty straight down the middle past the diving Birighitti.
The hosts had a great opportunity to take the lead once more immediately after but Behich blasted over at the back post.
Deep in stoppage time, home sub Kai Fotheringham had a chance for glory but his effort hit the post with United then having another great opportunity when Carson palmed away a Mathew Cudjoe shot and Ilmari Niskanen smashed the rebound into the stand.