Date: 27th August 2011 at 10:30pm
Written by: Vital Arabs

Dundee United fought back with two goals in the final ten minutes to claim a 3-3 draw at St Johnstone in the Tayside derby.

The visitors had the perfect start with Barry Douglas giving them a second-minute lead before former striker Francisco Sandaza struck twice either side of a Liam Craig effort.

But recent signings Gary Mackay-Steven and Gavin Gunning were both on target late on to rescue a valuable point.

Neat work between John Rankin and Johnny Russell during the opening exchanges ended when Douglas drilled the visitors in front from inside the area.

Newcomer Lauri Dalla Valle then hoisted an opportunity over after Dusan Pernis had already saved from Cillian Sheridan at the opposite end.

Tangerines midfielder Willo Flood also had to clear off the line from Jamie Adams before Sandaza converted a 34th minute penalty after Russell was adjudged to have made a dangerous challenge on former colleague David Robertson.

Three minutes later Craig drilled through the defensive wall as Jody Morris touched on a free-kick, while Sandaza made it three from a missed challenge by Garry Kenneth deep into first-half added time.

Saints continued to appear dangerous after the break with their recent match-winner at Celtic, Dave McKay, Adams and Sheridan each going close before Russell headed an excellent Paul Dixon cross wide at the other end.

But it was Russell setting-up substitute Mackay-Steven for his first goal for the club that launched the comeback with ten minutes remaining.

And that was completed just three minutes later with Gunning heading in from a corner before Dalla Valle twice tested home keeper Peter Enckelman as the contest drew towards its conclusion.

St Johnstone: Enckelman, MacKay, Davidson (Gibson 30, Maybury 86), Wright, McCracken, Morris, Craig, Robertson, Adams, Sheridan (Higgins 90), Sandaza

subs (unused): Mannus, Caddis, May, McIntosh

Goals: Sandaza (pen 34, 45), Craig (37)

Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Dixon, Kenneth, Gunning, Flood (Mackay-Steven 76), Rankin, Douglas (Swanson 51), Armstrong (Robertson 64), Russell, Dalla Valle

subs (unused): Banks, Watson, Allan, Dow

Goals: Douglas (2), Mackay-Steven (80), Gunning (83)

Ref: Richmond

Att: 4,480

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