Robbie Neilson’s new-look Dundee United got off to a winning start against Morton at Tannadice with a 2-1 victory.
No fewer than 11 players were signed last month with four of them handed debuts – Calum Butcher, returning for his second spell at the club, Peter Pawlett, Mark Connolly and Mark Reynolds who captained the side.
United cruised into a 2-0 lead in the first half with Pawlett a stand-out figure but Morton netted after the break to ensure there was a nervous finish before all three points were secured for the home side.
United made a dream start, taking the lead in just the eighth minute. Pawlett played in Butcher inside the Morton box with the midfielder hitting a shot which Pavol Safranko bundled home from close range.
Pawlett then came close to scoring himself with a header but Morton keeper Robby McCrorie pulled off a spectacular acrobatic save with the goalie again coming to Morton’s rescue denying the same United player shortly after.
However, McCrorie was helpless to prevent Pawlett adding the second of the afternoon in the 29th minute when he was found with a telling pass from Nicky Clark inside the box and calmly finished low into the back of the net.
Just before the break, United could have made it three when Clark again turned provider for Safranko but his low shot was saved by the diving McCrorie.
The home side had a big scare when Morton mounted a rare attack in the 50th minute with Dylan Dykes scooping a shot over the bar.
However, United were stunned when Morton pulled one back in the 73rd minute.
Sub Fraser Fyvie made a hash of a clearance with the ball going straight to Greg Kiltie on the right and he fired a low cross into the box with Bob McHugh stabbing home past home keeper Benjamin Siegrist.