Despite the closeness of the scoreline, the Tannadice second string fully merited their win at Almondvale this afternoon.
They dominated most of the match, though Livingston always looked dangerous on the break in a match played at a very high tempo.
The end product was ninety minutes of hugely entertaining football, but more importantly from a Tannadice perspective, it produced three points.
In addition, there were a lot of good individual performances with the old heads of Billy Dodds helping the younger ones in the side to shine.
In fact, all round it was an excellent afternoon’s work.
Having started well, United took the lead after only eight minutes.
Lee Miller took a touch, after Billy Dodds had played him in, before firing into the far corner from fifteen yards.
However, a minute later that lead was only preserved by Euan McLean brilliantly tipping over a dipping 20-yarder from Dubi Tesvic.
As United continued to make most of the running, Lee Miller had a shot tipped past after 26 minutes and headed Willie Easton’s cross just over five minutes later.
Three minutes later Collin Samuel set off on a dramatic run from halfway inside his half to the other end leaving everyone in his wake, but wasted the opportunity he had created by blasting high and wide.
Two minutes into the second half, Samuel did hit the back of the net for the side’s second in stunning fashion.
Garry Kenneth nodded a corner that had been cleared back into the penalty area and Collin Samuel controlled with his chest before sending a volley crashing into the top right-hand corner with a brilliant bicycle-kick finish.
Again Livingston threatened straight after conceding and this time, James McPake shrugged off the challenge of Billy Dodds to steer the ball home.
Despite protestations from the United skipper that he had been pushed, the goal stood.
Twenty minutes from the end, Euan McLean made a terrific reaction save as the ball deflected off Martin Scott at close quarters.
United should have killed off home hopes completely thirteen minutes from the end following a surging Stuart Duff run slipping the ball into the path of sub David Robertson, but he scooped the ball up and over.
Livi put in a late rally with three efforts in quick succession, none of which were on target, but at the other end with the last kick of the game, home keeper Thomas McGuigan had to scramble away a Lee Miller free-kick destined for the bottom corner.
Livingston: McGuigan, G Miller, Tierney, Boyd, Pinxten, Lambert, Barrett, Tesvic (Adam 55), McPake, Snodgrass, Scott. Subs not used: Montieth, Davidson, Mitchell, Hamilton.
Dundee United: McLean, Callaghan (Cameron 87), Easton, Dodds, Kenneth, Gardiner, Samuel, Duff, Miller, McInnes, Goodwillie (Cameron 66). Subs not used: Samson, Abbot, Burnett.