Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon has praised Cammy Bell and Simon Murray for securing the win that has taken his team joint-top of the Championship with Hibs
Bell came to the rescue for the Tangerines with yet another penalty save and then Murray won United a spot-kick of their own, before Tony Andreu showed Hibs’ Martin Boyle how they should be taken.
McKinnon is making a habit of praising his goalkeeper this season and he is starting to take Bell’s penalty saves for granted.
He joked: “I knew he was saving it!
“Cammy’s a great goalkeeper. I’ve said that before. You never expect him to keep doing it and keep doing it. The law of averages says he’s got to have one scored past him but he’s produced again tonight.
“You know, I was standing there thinking ‘there’s every chance he’s saving this’. He’s that good.
“Him and Simon have won the game for us. They were the two key moments in the game.”
McKinnon was thrilled with his team’s performance and the 1-0 result.
“It’s a good three points against a very good side,” he said.
“I can’t fault the players for their effort. We were resilient and if we were a wee bit more clinical we could have been ahead in the first half.
“We had to do a lot more defending in the second half but the guys did that when they had to.”
McKinnon didn’t view this game as a season-defining moment before it was played and he was still keen to put it in perspective after it.
“Listen, we’re joint-top of the league but that means nothing in December,” he pointed out.
“I’m delighted that we’re there. We’d rather be there than mid-table but we’re not getting carried away.”
Hibs boss Neil Lennon said: “I didn’t think we were at our best in the first half, but in the second half we were in the ascendancy and the game hinged on two penalties.
“If we had scored at that time, we were well on top in the game and we had a few chances after that. At 0-0 anything can happen. I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game so it’s a sore one.
“We are still top but it’s a game we felt we could have extended our lead. When we missed the penalty, it gave United a lift, but our response was good.
“It was disappointing not to score when we had decent chances. We’ll come again.”
Grant Holt had been keen to take their penalty but Lennon was content that Boyle stepped up.
“Boyle was designated last week so he was on them,” he said. “Grant missed the last one. Whether it put Martin off, I don’t know, but he has been hitting them alright in the week. But he didn’t hit it well enough tonight. That one got away.”