ROBBIE NEILSON, the Dundee United manager, hailed striker Lawrence Shankland for saving his side’s proud Tanandice record before thanking their supporters for sticking with them.

Morton had come within minutes of becoming the first team to win at Tanandice in the Championship this season after Kalvin Orsi’s first-half header had given them a precious lead.

But Shankland’s 26th goal of the season rescued a point for Neilson’s league leaders who stretched their advantage at the top of the table to 18 points over Inverness Caley Thistle. And Neilson saluted the United fans for not bailing out.

“It’s very easy for fans to get restless but they showed their togetherness and belief in the team,” said Neilson. “But we gave them something back in the 89th minute.”

The hosts thought they had taken the lead after just 25 seconds. Midfielder Ian Harkes’ shot was parried by Morton keeper Danny Rogers before being turned in by Osman Sow, but his effort was offside.

And it was the visitors who took the lead in spectacular style. Cadden’s in-swinging cross from deep was perfect for Orsi who surged past Liam Smith to bullet a header past Benjamin Siegrist from six yards.

United had plenty of possession after the break but with the exception of Shankland’s crisp shot over the bar, Morton were comfortable.

Then, though, in stepped

the talismanic striker, who found a yard of space at the far post to nod home Liam Smith’s hopeful cross.