DUNDEE UNITED midfielder Dillon Powers was in a somewhat melancholic mood after his side's 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle at Tannadice on Saturday afternoon.

The American opened the scoring with a superb drive from distance that gave the hosts a first-half advantage, but Robbie Neilson's men failed to see it out as Stuart Bannigan levelled the scores from the penalty spot early in the second period.

Both teams fought admirably in search of a winning goal that would never arrive, and the two clubs had to settle for s share of the spoils on Tayside.

United have now recorded just one win in their last seven outings in the Championship, but Neilson saw his side's advantage stretch to 17 points at the table's summit after Inverness lost 2-0 to Alloa at the Indodrill Stadium. The Highlanders have two games in hand over the league leaders but it is surely only a matter of when – and not if – the Tannadice club seal their return to the Premiership.

Dropping points from a winning position left Powers with a bitter taste after Saturday's well-contested stalemate but the former Orlando City player chose to see the positives after the match.

“It’s a mixed feeling," he said. "At the end of the day the goal is to win this league and if we’re gaining a point in the league, then on paper that’s great. We always want to win the game, especially at home, and I think we probably could have. We’ll take the point and look forward to next week as it’s another game down.

“I think you have to look at the stage of the league. Everyone’s battling for points and teams recognise the importance of each match with nine games left. Everyone is digging in and whether that’s in the offensive side of the ball or in the defensive side of it, these games have definitely increased in intensity."

Powers' raking shot from distance was his first goal for the club since moving to Dundee United in the January transfer window and while he accepts that he is still acclimatising to life in Scotland's second tier, he had a sneaking suspicion that his first goal for Neilson's side could prove spectacular.

“I tend to do that with my first goal for a new team! My first professional goal was quite similar so I guess I like the long-range ones," he said. “Each game is different and intense. I’m still learning the style of the league and the play. I think I’m picking up little bits here and there in each game."

Groans of frustration from the home support could be heard at Tannadice as United put pressure on Thistle with little success in the final third. The away side, to their credit, defended with a sense of resolve that has been sorely lacking at Firhill this season and fully deserved their point.

Powers admitted that he understands his fans' concerns as United's title bid limps over the line and insisted that he and his team-mates accept that this was a case of two points dropped, as opposed to one gained.

“Especially at home, against a team that’s bottom, they [the supporters] expect us to win and score goals," he said. "That’s fair from them. We’re not content with not winning at home but that’s what the result gave us today."