Dundee Utd 3 Falkirk 0: Tannadice torment for Bairns

Paul Hartley's side were well beaten at Tannadice
Paul Hartley's side were well beaten at Tannadice

Falkirk remain four points inside the bottom two after a humbling 3-0 defeat at Tannadice against Dundee United.

First half goals from Scott McDonald, Jamie Robson and Willo Flood were enough to seal the three points for the hosts.

United were on the front foot from the off and after a well-hit long ball forward from Mark Durnan, Billy King cut inside and rattled a right footed shot against the underside of the bar inside three minutes.

Barely five minutes on the clock and United went close again. Fraser Fyvie's 30 yard effort this time tipped over well by Thomson.

United's pressure eventually told on 21 minutes when Scott McDonald flicked a deflected Jamie Robson effort up, over Robbie Thomson and in for 1-0.

A sorry sight for the Bairns on 25 minutes as Tony Gallagher was taken off injured and replaced by James Craigen, meaning Aaron Muirhead moved to left back and Cameron Blues to right back.

29 minutes and the hosts went close yet again. Billy King's ball in caused problems, Thomson parried initially and then reacted well to deny Stewart Murdoch, before the right back's overhead kick sailed wide.

Traffic was only going one way in the first period and Billy King was United's main man. His ball in on 33 minutes was flicked towards goal by McDonald but Thomson got down well to save.

Five minutes before the break and United doubled their advantage. Stewart Murdoch got in behind down the right and his low cross found Jamie Robson, who tucked into the bottom corner.

And it was game over before half-time Sam Stanton's ball through found Willo Flood in acres of space down Falkirk's left and he drilled home to make it 3-0.

A feisty end to the first half seen three bookings in a matter of moments. Tam Scobbie was lucky not to see red for raising his hands to Lee Miller - with the pair picking up a yellow card a piece.

Miller was then subbed at the break, and replaced by Nathan Austin.

Three minutes into the second half and Falkirk had their first and best effort of the match. James Craigen volleyed comfortably wide from just inside the box.

65 minutes played and Csaba László's side went close to making it four. Tidy play on the edge of the box from substitute Paul McMullan found Scott Fraser but he was denied by Falkirk man of the match Thomson.

Into the latter stages and United were still in full control. The home side hit the outside of the post on 72 minutes through sub McMullan, and then the bar on 75 minutes through Scott Fraser.

Three minutes left on the clock and the United pressure never relented. Fraser Fyvie took the ball through the midfield and curled against the woodwork for the fourth time.

The final whistle was a relief for Paul Hartley's side, who failed to have a shot on target during the 90 minutes.