Share of the spoils as Dundee United draw 2-2 with Hearts

The result leaves Hearts third, while United have slipped out of the top six down to seventh on goal difference.

Hearts draw 2-2 with Dundee United at Tannadice to remain in third place in Premiership SNS Group

Dundee United and Hearts fought out a pulsating 2-2 cinch Premiership draw at Tannadice.

The visitors stormed into the lead with less than a minute on the clock with Liam Boyce putting the finishing touch to a well-worked counter-attack.

Just seconds after the half-time break, the home side equalised with a stunning strike by Liam Smith with Nicky Clark then giving United the lead from the penalty spot before the hour mark.

However, Hearts salvaged a dramatic draw late on thanks to a Craig Halkett header, nine minutes from time.

The result leaves Hearts third, while United have slipped out of the top six down to seventh on goal difference.

There was a quickfire beginning to the game with United on the attack with Smith bursting down the right before cutting the ball back to Clark, whose shot was blocked and then gathered by Craig Gordon.

The goalkeeper immediately launched a counter-attack, throwing the ball out to Barrie McKay who passed to Gary Mackay-Steven, with the winger then finding Boyce who produced a great finish off the inside of the post with barely 52 seconds on the clock.

However, Mackay-Steven’s day ended just seven minutes later when he had to go off injured to be replaced by Alex Cochrane.

There was a let-off for United after 26 minutes when goalkeeper Benji Siegrist had to make an instinctive stop to prevent an own goal by Ilmari Niskanen, then immediately after, Hearts’ Ellis Simms had a chance but blasted over.

The Jam Tarts had to make another substitution with Cammy Devlin limping off to be replaced by Peter Haring.

The Tangerines then produced an opening of their own but John Souttar made a superb block as Ian Harkes tried to pull the trigger.

Incredibly, Hearts had to make their third replacement of the half with substitute Cochrane having to be led off looking groggy to be replaced by Andy Halliday.

United were forced to make an early change of their own just before the break with injured skipper Ryan Edwards going off and youngster Lewis Neilson coming on.

Just seconds after the second half began, United scored a superb equaliser with Smith unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard shot past Gordon and into the top corner of the net.

United then took the lead in the 57th minute when Souttar tripped Clark on the edge of the Hearts box and referee Willie Collum pointed to the penalty spot.

Clark dusted himself down and kept his composure to fire the ball past Gordon.

However, there was to be another twist in the 81st minute when McKay swung a corner in from the right with Halkett rising highest to head past Siegrist and ensure the contest ended all square.

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