Queens were denied their first victory at Tannadice for 83 years after a Nick van der Velden goal on the hour mark cancelled out a Mark Millar first half strike. Queens scored their first Championship goal five minutes before the interval as Millar knocked home against his former employers. The hosts had a series of chances to level the game and were finally rewarded when van der Velden`s well-placed strike earned Dundee United a share of the spoils.
Queens made two changes to the team who defeated Stenhousemuir 1-0 last week, Dale Hilson and Kyle Jacobs replaced Jake Pickard and Aidan Smith- the latter joining League Two neighbours Annan Athletic on loan until January-sticking with a 4-4-2 formation. The returning Stephen Dobbie was placed on the substitute`s bench. Mark Durnan and goalkeeper Cammy Bell, who both played for Queens a few seasons ago, started for Ray MacKinnon`s side.
It was the first league fixture between the sides since 1963 when the points were shared in a 1-1 draw at Palmerston and the South`s first trip to Tannadice since 1992 where United battered Queens 6-0 in the League Cup. For many of the younger Doonhamers it would have been their first opportunity to visit Tannadice.
The visitors started the brighter in and won a succession of early free-kicks. Winger Grant Anderson was brought down by Tope Obedayi deep inside United`s half. Jamie Hamill swung in a dangerous free kick into the Terrier`s box but couldn`t find a Queens shirt and was cleared by Durnan. Two minutes later, Queens won another free kick in the home sides half. This time Hilson fouled on the right hand side by left-back Jamie Robson. It was Hamill again who delivered the free kick into the danger area but it was knocked to safety by the young United defence.
There was a lack of chances created by both teams in the opening 15 minutes as the majority of possession was played in the middle of the park. Gavin Skelton was forced into an early change as Captain Chris Higgins, who seemed to have pulled his hamstring, and was replaced by Darren Brownlie in the 24th minute. Andy Dowie was handed the captain`s armband for the remainder of the match.
Two minutes after the enforced change, Queens had their first shot on target. Anderson linked up well with former Tannadice striker Hilson on the right-hand side, played through to Kyle Jacobs who was in space just outside the penalty box but the South African`s tame effort was straight at Bell.
Queens were beginning to get a foothold into the match as the lively Lyndon Dykes danced past two Tangerine defenders, opening up enough space for a shot but his attempt was guided away by United captain Sean Dillon in the 28th minute.
Dykes is thwarted by Dillon
There was nothing much to shout about for the home support in the first half hour of play but their side could have went ahead on 32 minutes. Van der Velden swung in a delightful free-kick from the left and found the unmarked Durnan in the box but the former Palmerston favourite headed into the hands of Robinson.
The two chances sparked some life into the match and gaps were beginning to appear on the pitch with 34 minutes gone. A mix-up between Durnan and Dillon led to Lyle nipping in and winning a corner kick but the delivery Jordan Marshall was too long and went out for a goal kick.
Five minutes later, striker Simon Murray was cautioned by referee Andrew Dallas for a cynical foul on Dykes on the half-way line. The foul proved costly as Queens got their deserved lead. It was no surprise to the 7058 in Tannadice that Dykes would be involved in the goal, the Aussie waltzed past two Tangerines players on the left, cut inside and got a shot away which was parried by Bell only into the path of Anderson who unselfishly squared the ball to Mark Millar and the midfielder swept the ball into the back of the net from eight-yards out.
Dykes sends in his cross
Mark Millar blasts home the first goal
Millar celebrates scoring at Tannadice
Dykes had been terrorising the United defence throughout the first period and was at it again on 45 minutes. The make-shift left winger, used his strength and pace to get past centre-back Coll Donaldson but the Aussie took one touch too many and the ball fizzled out for a goal-kick.
Half Time Dundee United 0-1 QOS
Like the first-half, it was a scrappy opening to half but Queens still looked impressive on the left-hand side, Marshall and Dykes both bombed forward and if it wasn`t for Dillon`s late interception yards outside the box, the visitors could have had a chance to double their advantage.
Eight minutes into the second period and McKinnon`s outfit were starting to click, after nice work from Obedayi on the left, he sprayed the ball to Murray, and his ball into the box looked destined to find Robson but a slight deflection off Brownlie`s right foot was enough to get rid of the danger.
Two minutes later, a certain Stephen Dobbie was introduced to replace Derek Lyle. Dobbs received a tremendous reception from the travelling Queens support but didn`t have the instant impact we all desired as the hosts equalised with a sensational goal.
Murdoch delivered in a diagonal ball which van der Velden gathered on the right and the Dutch star flicked the ball over Marshall in a tight space and slammed a shot beyond Robinson and into the net.
Queens` heads were not down and immediately looked to go ahead once more. Jacobs found Dobbie 20-yards out and the striker`s left-footed shot looked goal bound but was blocked by Dillon and denied Dobs his second-debut goal.
Dobbie sends a shot goalwards
The Tangerines were beginning to pile on the pressure after our chance and it took two wonderful saves from Lee Robinson to keep the Doonhamers in the match. Obedayi got past Hamill and his shot was tipped onto the post by Robinson. Then within seconds on-loan striker Cammy Smith was denied by Robinson as he palmed away his shot from 12-yards.
With 20 minutes to go, most of the home support thought they had found the breakthrough as van der Velden near post cross found Smith but the youngster missed from four-yards which looked easier to score
Put your hands on your head if you think Smith should have scored!
Queens brought on midfielder Callum Tapping for Dale Hilson and was applauded by some sections of the United faithful as he went off. Queens could have had a winner five minutes from time and it was Dobbie who had a chance of a dream return. Hamill crossed in an inviting ball, which dropped to Dobbs and he his shot was deflected over for a corner.
FULL TIME DUNDEE UTD 1-1 QUEEN OF THE SOUTH
It was an enjoyable match at Tannadice with plenty of positive notes for both sides. Our next Championship fixture is at home to Ayr United next week but before all that Queens travel to Easter Road in the Betfred League Cup.