• STV
  • MySTV

Dun Utd 2-2 Falkirk: Honours even in play-off semi final

Falkirk were denied a late winner by the offside flag.

Simon Murray celebrates Dundee United's lead with his team mates.
Simon Murray celebrates Dundee United's lead with his team mates. SNS

Dundee United's hopes of claiming an instant Premiership return hang in the balance after being held to a 2-2 draw by play-off rivals Falkirk.

Ray McKinnon's Tangerines were twice ahead in their semi-final first-leg clash at Tannadice as Simon Murray and Blair Spittal both struck.

But equalisers from James Craigen and Joe McKee will give Falkirk belief ahead of Friday's Westfield return that they can finally escape the second tier after their two previous play-off attempts ended in failure.

While United were battling past quarter-final opponents Morton, the Bairns had the luxury of an extra week's rest after pipping the Tannadice outfit to second place.

But it was the hosts who came out looking refreshed as they took the game to Peter Houston's men.

Murray turned Luca Gasparotto inside out but fizzed his strike a couple of yards wide while Tony Andreu failed to get enough power behind the ball after another Murray effort broke to him 12 yards out.

However, United's perseverance paid off after 16 minutes as Murray put them in front.

There was little subtlety to the goal as Cammy Bell launched a punt forward. Thomas Mikkelsen did brilliantly to climb above Peter Grant and nudge the ball into Murray's path, with the flame-haired frontman firing first-time into the bottom corner

But instead of trampling on Falkirk further, the Tangerines allowed their opponents to grab a foothold as they found themselves pegged back after 27 minutes.

With the players struggling to keep their feet on the slippery Tannadice surface, Craig Sibbald took advantage as Wato Kuate slipped on half-way, spraying the ball forward to Nathan Austin. The striker did well to hold it up before finding support runner Joe McKee, whose cross was turned into the net by Craigen's acrobatic effort.

Bell then had to scramble to push away another Craigen effort as Falkirk finished the half on top.

But United landed a beauty of a sucker punch on 59 minutes.

Mark Durnan found Murray with an early ball forward but, when the former Arbroath man was crowded out on the edge of the Falkirk box, he did not panic as he instead sprayed the ball wide to Spittal.

The youngster set himself with a touch then drilled past Robbie Thomson as he found the far corner of the net.

The lead, though, lasted just six minutes as the Bairns were awarded a free-kick chance 25 yards out after Willo Flood's trip on Austin. McKee got plenty of bend on his strike but Bell will have to accept a share of the blame after allowing it to fly over his head into the net.

Former Dundee frontman John Baird thought he had given Falkirk a precious lead with 11 minutes left but saw his header chalked out for offside, while Thomson denied United at the death as he clawed away Mikkelsen's late effort.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.