DUNDEE UNITED striker Nicky Clark says he doesn’t feel the slightest bit of sympathy for Partick Thistle’s Mouhamed ‘Sena’ Niang after two errors from the young defender cost the Jags a place in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

Ian McCall’s side were 1-0 up at the break thanks to Scott Tiffoney’s close-range header and could have had the game out of sight by then, had Brian Graham or Shea Gordon showed a bit more ruthlessness in front of goal, before two goals in the last 10 minutes swung the tie in United’s favour.

The first arrived when Sena, who had been excellent up until that point, lost his balance with the ball at his feet in the area, allowing Lawrence Shankland to nip in and prod the ball home from close range.

The second was a little more controversial, however. A hopeful punt forward from Mark Reynolds landed awkwardly between Sena and Thistle goalkeeper Kieran Wright, as Clark followed in behind them. Replays on television appeared to show the striker nudge Sena into Wright, giving the 29-year-old all the time in the world to roll the ball into the unguarded net and seal United’s passage to the next round.

According to McCall, Sena was “very, very emotional” after the final whistle as he came to terms with the result, with the Thistle boss adding that he comforted the defender with a short walk around the stadium at full-time.

But Clark insists that his opponent’s plight didn’t tug on his heartstrings – and that there was no foul in the build-up to that all-important goal.

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“No! I'm delighted. As long as he's not injured, then that's the main thing, but I don't feel sorry for him, nah,” he said.

“I saw the two of them coming and the pitch was really dry, so I knew it was going to slow up for me.

“I've seen the goalie sprinting out and the big man's looking at the ball so I knew there was a chance they'd collide.”

And as for the nudge?

“Nah. There was no need to! You can tell me later when you see it!

“They're a good team, Ian McCall's a good manager and I've played against his teams numerous times in the Championship over the years.

“His teams are always set up well and are tough to beat, it's always tight. They've got a lot of experience, guys like Richard Foster, big Brian Graham has been about for years - they're a tough side to beat so it's a great result for us and we're delighted to be through.”

Clark admits that the result could have been very different, however, had Graham managed to convert a gilt-edged opportunity towards the end of the first half. Shea Gordon had sprung past the United defence with a well-timed run and squared the ball to his team-mate, only for Graham’s lunging leg to prod the ball past the post.

“I didn't see that properly, I don't know if it was maybe offside or not - the boys were certainly claiming for it - but it's one we got away with and luck was on our side there,” he said.

“It's the same with most cup games, you just want to get through no matter how you do it. It was the same against Thistle, the game wasn't the prettiest but we're through and we're delighted.

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“It was a good cup tie, there was a quick tempo and as a sub going on it was trying to get up to the pace of the game.

“There was a wee bit of dig about it too, so it was good and those are the sort of games you want to play in.”

For Thistle’s Tiffoney, however, the match marked another impressive display since his arrival on loan from Livingston barely two weeks ago. The 22-year-old forward has injected some pace and verve into the Jags’ frontline since his arrival and a haul of three goals in as many games would suggest he is settling into life at Firhill well.

He showed good instincts to react quickly in the box and nod the ball home from a few yards out in the first half at Tannadice and while he admits the late goals were a real sucker punch, Tiffoney insisted that the Jags deserved to win the tie.

“We’re absolutely gutted,” he said. “Especially in the first half, I thought we played really, really well.

“We can’t defend like that against better teams or they’ll punish us. But first half, second half, we’ve had the most chances in the game. We needed to score at least one more. We had a few big chances and that’s really the story of the game. They were gifted two chances and took them and we only took one of ours.

“All the boys are gutted. For 80 minutes we dominated the game. We’ve come up against a Premiership side and as you could see, we definitely deserved to win overall. But you can’t defend like that against better teams and not take your chances. It will come back to haunt you.”