Delighted Dundee United boss Micky Mellon hailed Lawrence Shankland as he struck his first top-flight goal to help sink 10-man St Mirren.

Fit-again Shankland marked his first start of the new season following injury with a classy 33rd minute opener as Mellon ’s men notched their first home victory since the league campaign got underway.

The 25-year-old striker carried on from where he left off last season in the Championship before Adrian Sporle doubled the Tangerines advantage in 52 minutes.

Richard Tait was sent for an early bath for the visitors in 60 minutes but substitute Dylan Connolly threw Saints a lifeline four minutes later with a well-taken effort as he pounced on Mark Reynolds' complacency, which made for a nervy ending for the hosts.

Gaffer Mellon said: “You didn’t hear me bleating about not having Scotland ’s number nine available because I think that’s an easy out for managers at times.

“I believed I had a lot of quality here and we could get results - but you saw today how those players get you goals.

“They score you goals like that and put in performances like that - and it’s the difference.

“It wasn’t all about Lawrence, though, because we did a lot of pleasing things in the game.

“We gave away a soft goal but we saw our jobs through, we won the headers, cleared our lines and did all we needed to do.

“I thought Logan Chalmers was outstanding also.

“You show me a better performance from a young Scottish player and I’ll be delighted because it means we have two of them.”