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St Mirren 0-0 Dundee United: Jamie Robson shown red in Paisley as curtain comes down with Tangerines in ninth

St Mirren's Ryan Flynn closes down Dundee United midfielder Ian Harkes.
St Mirren's Ryan Flynn closes down Dundee United midfielder Ian Harkes.

Dundee United finished their first season back in the Premiership since 2016 in ninth spot following a goalless draw at St Mirren.

Jamie Robson was sent off with 20 minutes remaining for a heavy tackle on Kyle McAllister in the game’s biggest flashpoint.

The two sides couldn’t be separated in Paisley, with both holding aspirations of ending the campaign in seventh.

Motherwell, who were in the box seat prior to kick off, were also in the running for that prize but it was the Buddies who finished top of the bottom six after the Steelmen’s 2-1 loss to Ross County.

Nothing separating the sides after entertaining first half

United showed three changes from Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with ‘Well as Ryan Edwards, Robson and Ian Harkes came in for Adrian Sporle, Peter Pawlett and the injured Mark Connolly.

Notably, talisman Lawrence Shankland captained the side for the first time.

The Buddies started the brighter in that quest, with Ryan Flynn pulling the strings in the middle of the park and Dylan Connolly’s pace in behind causing the Tangerines problems.

Marcus Fraser was overlapping at will down the right flank as the visitors struggled to get out of their own half.

The Terrors grew into it, though, and had the game’s first real chance as wing king Logan Chalmers linked with Shankland on the edge of the box.

The skipper laid the youngster in with a cute back heel, before Chalmers released a strike that deflected narrowly wide off Flynn on 13 minutes.

Lee Erwin fired a half-volley past the post after being fed by Ethan Erhahon as the game approached the quarter-way mark.

Lawrence Shankland missed a first-half headed chance for Dundee United.

Shankland and then Chalmers had gilt-edged opportunities blocked by the Paisley side’s backline shortly after as United looked to assert their dominance in the game.

The hosts resisted, though, and were unlucky not to have a penalty on 27 minutes as Eamonn Brophy went down in the area under the challenge of Tangerines keeper Ross Doohan.

Erwin’s flick-on was collected by the former Kilmarnock hitman who hesitated and tried to round the on-loan Celtic goalie before tumbling inside the six-yard box. Referee Euan Anderson was unmoved.

The Terrors were slick down the left flank on 36 minutes as Chalmers’ flick released Robson to whip a terrific delivery into the box but Jak Alnwick gratefully grasped Shankland’s header.

Headed into half-time, Jamie McGrath nodded wayward from youngster Jay Henderson’s left-foot cross before Brophy flashed a raking drive past the post.

There was no separating the two sides as they went into the interval after an entertaining but goalless opening period.

Both sides ring the changes as Robson is sent off

Two minutes into the second half, Richard Tait looped a header over Doohan’s crossbar from a deep McGrath free-kick as St Mirren sought to break the deadlock.

Moments later, Jeando Fuchs drove forward with purpose and laid the ball off to Shankland who inventively flicked it into the path of Chalmers.

Encroaching on the home box, the kid winger unleashed a fierce strike Alnwick had to get behind.

Doohan had to look alive on 54 minutes to turn Connolly’s cross round the post after it took a wicked deflection off Fuchs.

Saints half-time substitute Cammy MacPherson saw his low blast charged down before Brophy saw a 25-yard thunderbolt turned over the top by Doohan.

Released by Louis Appere, Robson burst forward down the left and fired an enticing ball across the box for Shankland to attack but the pass just evaded the Scotland forward.

Trying to catch United on the counter, St Mirren sub Jon Obika led the break for the hosts, picking out Henderson on the left who cut inside and fired wide.

Neat link-up play on the edge of the box between Obika and McAllister allowed MacPherson the opportunity to curl home from 12 yards out but the midfielder skewed his effort wide.

Robson was given his marching orders by whistler Anderson on 71 minutes as he adjudged the full-back’s tackle on McAllister as a straight red.

It was maybe harsh on the 23-year-old, who’d been superb all day at left-back, but the reality was United were left playing the final moments of the season with 10 men.

As is often the case, though, being a man down seemed to give the Tangerines extra impetus as Marc McNulty’s dangerous ball across the six-yard box had to be turned away by Tait with 15 minutes to go.

Adrian Sporle spurned a couple of great opportunities with time winding down as the Terrors looked the more likely to grab a late winner.

However, as it transpired, neither could find the back of the net as United’s final game of the 2020/21 Premiership season ended nothing’s up.

St Mirren (3-4-1-2): Alnwick (GK) (C); Fraser, Tait, McCarthy; Connolly (McAllister 61), Flynn (MacPherson 45), Erhahon, Henderson; McGrath; Erwin (Obika 56), Brophy (Dennis 56).

Subs not used: Lyness (GK), Finlayson, Reid and Quaner.

Dundee United (4-2-3-1): Doohan (GK); L Smith, K Smith (Reynolds 83), Edwards, Robson; Harkes (McNulty 56), Fuchs, Chalmers (Sporle 67), Meekison (Hoti 56), Appere; Shankland (C).

Subs not used: Deniz (GK), Clark, Butcher, Davidson and Watson.

Referee: Euan Anderson.

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