Dundee United 2 Raith Rovers 0: United get off to a flying start

Dundee United's Paul McMullan celebrates his opener.

The Dundee United new boys made an instant impact as the Tannadice side got their season off to a flying start in the Betfred Cup.

Second half goals from Paul McMullan and James Keatings settled this Group C tie – the first a lovely finish from near the 18-yard line and the second a penalty.

Ray McKinnon gave starts to six of his summer signings – Deniz Mehmet, Tam Scobbie, McMullan, Billy King, Keatings and Jordie Briels. The last man in the door – Saturday loan signing from Hibs, Sam Stanton – was on the bench.

In the first minute, McMullan came close to making a dream start.

The former Dunfermline man’s shot on the angle was saved low at the second attempt by Raith keeper Aaron Lennox.

There was a close shave for debut United goalie Deniz Mehmet, who gave the ball straight to Greig Spence on 27 minutes. With Mehmet in no man’s land, Spence squared to Liam Buchanan and it took a fine headed clearance from Mark Durnan to prevent the opening goal being scored.

United had dominated possession but the visitors were getting the better chances and just before the break Buchanan again came close when his header from a Bobby Barr cross went narrowly wide.

United started the second half brightly and a direct run from McMullan ended up with Keatings forcing a decent save out of Lennox. Then seconds later McMullan got his head to a Scobbie cross at the near post but the Stark’s Park keeper wasn’t troubled on this occasion.

On 59 minutes the Tangerines made the breakthrough.

Scott Fraser got by Kyle Benedictus on the United right and cut the ball back for Scott Allardice. He didn’t get a clear shooting opportunity himself but found McMullan in space, and he curled a shot home.

Stanton was brought on after 70 minutes and less than two minutes later he had won a penalty when he was brought down by Iain Davidson.

Keatings took the spot-kick and gave Lennox no chance.

McMullan looks to be a United fans’ favourite in the making and he nearly got a second when his low drive from outside the box was superbly saved by Lennox with 10 minutes left.

Buchanan should have pulled a goal back on 85 minutes when he was one on one with Mehmet but the keeper won that battle and got a hand to his shot to tip it wide.