15 Jan Scottish Championship round up
Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon admits his men were not tuned in as they lost further ground to Ladbrokes Championship title rivals Hibernian.
The Tannadice men were looking to bounce back from successive defeats to Dumbarton and Neil Lennon’s table toppers when they faced Queen of the South on Saturday.
But a 3-3 home draw means they now trail the Leith side by six points.
Simon Murray gave the Tangerines an early lead by Queens hit back with goals from Stephen Dobbie, Joe Thomson and Dom Thomas. Scott Fraser netted for United before Murray’s late strike rescued a point but McKinnon admits his team lacked focus.
He told ArabZone: “To surrender a 1-0 lead and then find yourselves 3-1 down is frustrating for me.
“We need to recognise why that happened. For me personally, I think it was because the guys were not mentally tuned in.
“I’ll need to get to the bottom of what that was the case.
“The guys have been brilliant for me this season but for some reason, maybe confidence is low, we’re going through a wee rocky patch.
“We’ll do our best to figure it out because we need everybody firing. When you’ve got five or six guys not firing it makes it very difficult.
“But we’ve taken a point from the game when we didn’t look like we were going to get one, so that is the only pleasing thing I can take from it.”
Hibs capitalised on their nearest challengers’ struggles by claiming 1-0 win away to Dumbarton.
On-loan forward Kris Commons volleyed home 14 minutes in what is due to be his last game for the Easter Road side before he returns to Celtic.
But Lennon has not given up hope of striking a longer-term arrangement for the former Scotland internationalist.
He told HibsTV: “Kris was terrific again. I don’t think he’s ever been 100 per cent fit but he is a great player. His goal was a great finish. It just showed his intelligence and quality.
“That is what he can bring to a team.
“If there is something that we can do to keep here I’d absolutely love to have him here for the rest of the season.”
As well as falling further behind Hibs, United now have Morton creeping up behind them.
The Greenock side are now just five points back in third after Ross Forbes’s cross-cum-shot and Aberdeen loanee Lawrence Shankland’s second half-header handed them a 2-0 win over Raith Rovers.
But Falkirk find themselves three points behind Ton after being held at home to a 1-1 draw by second-bottom Ayr United. Gary Harkins smashed home from a tight angle to put the Honest Men in front but Bairns claimed a point when Peter Grant netted with a firm header, although John Baird’s penalty miss was a frustration for boss Peter Houston.
That result, combined with St Mirren’s 1-1 draw with Dunfermline at East End Park, also left Buddies manager Jack Ross disappointed.
Kallum Higginbotham’s penalty nudged the hosts ahead before the break but Gary McKenzie levelled for Saints within seconds of the second half kicking-off.
That was the Paisley side’s third draw in the last five games but they remain seven points adrift at the bottom of the table.