Jim McIntyre saved Dundee UnitedÂ’s blushes against a woeful Kilmarnock side that contributed nothing to this game despite scoring with their only two strikes of the game - both goals coming as Christmas presents from Paul Gallacher.
After an opening period of continued home pressure, as has happened so often with United this season, against the run of play Kilmarnock went ahead in the 20th minute with a gift.
Craig Dargo took advantage of space on the left following an exquisite crossfield pass from Steve Fulton.
His inside pass to Pater Canero was met with a hopeful shot from the edge of the box which Gallacher contrived to dreadfully misjudge and let slip under his diving body.
The visitors lead lasted 11 minutes as a stunned United outfit responded through fansÂ’ favourite, Billy Dodds.
Following a Stephen OÂ’Donnell corner, substitute McIntyre picked up the loose ball, created space and fired the trigger from 12 yards.
Chris Innes reacted exceptionally well to stop the ball on the line but the prodigal son was on hand to flick the ball home.
UnitedÂ’s confidence visibly rose. A wonderful move from Dodds and OÂ’Donnell ended with Gordon Marshall producing a magnificent fingertip save from Jamie Paterson in the 41st minute with a goal a certainty.
Although more dour, the second half mirrored the first with United pushing forward at every opportunity but Killie, well drilled under the guidance of Jim Jefferies, ready to pounce on the break when the chance arose.
Unbelievably, as in the first half, more comical defending from United gifted the visitors their second goal in the 65th minute.
A slack back pass from David McCracken gave the ball to Kris Boyd. With four United defenders spectating, the striker cut the ball back for Andy McLaren.
Yet again keeper Gallacher allowed the midfielderÂ’s six-yard mis-hit effort to slide under his body and roll into the net.
With the clock ticking away in injury time, United were finally rewarded for all their pressure. Paterson delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left and super sub McIntyre ghosted in to head flick the ball past Marshall from six yards.