Dundee United 2, Dunfermline Athletic 0.

It was the ghost of Dunfermline past which came back to haunt the Pars as they left Dundee pointless.

Former loanee Lawrence Shankland and Nicky Clark made appearances on the scoresheet to send the 569 away fans home disappointed.

After being treated to an enthralling victory last weekend, there were just ghoulish tricks left after an unimpressive first half showing proved their downfall.

Dunfermline made one change to the team which took three points from Ayr last weekend. Andy Ryan was rewarded for his goalscoring efforts and Kevin Nesbit dropped down to the bench.

With the Pars only getting one victory at Tannadice Park in the last 10 and United starting the game unbeaten at home all season, this was always going to be a tough ask for Stevie Crawford’s men.

Despite enjoying some positive, early possession, Dunfermline were dealt an early blow when Gill fumbled a cross which was put straight back in the danger area by Clark only for Laurence Shankland to tap in from close range.

Andy Ryan could have grabbed a quick equaliser a minute later when he got on the end of a Paton free kick but his header was tipped over the bar for a corner.

Greg Kiltie tried to find Andy Ryan just before the 25 minute mark. Dow then tried to tee up Turner however his shot went well over when he should possibly have done better.

A minute later, the home side doubled their lead after winning a free kick on the edge of the box. Former Par Clark curled in what looked like an unconvincing effort however it sailed straight into the back of the net to make it 2-0.

A corner for the Pars in the 37th minute could have brought a goal when it found the foot of Andy Ryan however his first time effort was skied into the top tier of the stand.

Lee Ashcroft came to the rescue just before half time when he got in the way of a dangerous United attack.

There was another chance a minute later which was frantically cleared by the Athletic defence which resulted in Lewis Martin requiring treatment as his teammates made their way into the dressing room.

Dunfermline came out looking a little brighter and did produce several half chances with Andy Ryan and Paton having fruitless efforts on goal.

Lee Ashcroft was strong throughout the match and was vital in cutting out a ball from McMullan just after 50 minutes.

Pars came close ten minutes later when Edwards put in a lovely, delicate ball to Andy Ryan whose shot was well saved by keeper Siegrist.

Substitute Nesbit tried a half volley soon later but didn’t connect well and went wide. He continued to cause problems and later put through Andy Ryan who chipped the keeper but could only find the crossbar before the ball went out to safety.

Dunfermline finished on the attack and had a couple of free kicks in the closing minutes which could have caused problems but were cleared well by the Tangerines.

Dundee United

Siegrist, Smith, Reynolds, McMullan, Pawlett (Appere 69), Clark (King 79), Robson, Butcher (Smith 91), Brown, Hawkes, Shankland

Subs: Deniz, Sporle, Stainton, Watson.

Goals: Shankland (8), Clark (26)

Bookings: Smith (15)

Dunfermline Athletic

Gill, Comrie, Martin (Devine 45), Ashcroft, Ryan, Dow, Turner, Paton, Cochrane (Nesbit 61), Edwards, Kiltie.

Subs: Scully, Beadling, McGill, Morrison, Coley.

Bookings: Ashcroft (56)

Referee: Steven Reid

Attendance: 7682