ST MIRREN made an emphatic Championship statement as they dominated Dundee United in a 3-0 win at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

The Tangerines arrived in Paisley with nine points from nine in the league, and fancied by many to win promotion to the Premiership as champions, but no one gave St Mirren or Lewis Morgan that script.

The winger was sensational all afternoon as he scored with two fine finishes and set up Ian McShane’s third.

Jack Ross’ side were better all over the pitch and have sent out a stark warning that they are a force to be reckoned with in the battle for promotion this season.

The home side started well and were quickly on top of the Tangerines whenever they were in possession. Former Saint Paul McMullan drew boos from the home crowd and a yellow card from referee Kevin Clancy when he appeared to go down too easily under a challenge from Gregor Buchanan.

United had the first clear chance after 16 minutes, a McMullan corner was driven in low and Sam Stanton arrived to shoot at goal, the ball came only as far as Scott McDonald and the striker swivelled and shot from six yards but Saints goalkeeper Craig Samson was out quickly to save.

After a reasonably quiet opening in terms of chances for both teams, Morgan took matters into his own hands.

Stephen McGinn showed great vision to picked the winger out in midfield, with space and time he drove forward to the edge of the area and hit a low shot from 20 yards which found the bottom corner.

The Buddies put their foot of the accelerator after the goal and were running the Tannadice side ragged. After 35 minutes an Ian McShane free kick from the Saints left went all the way through to United goalkeeper Harry Lewis, but the goalkeeper spilled it at the feet of Gregor Buchanan, who with an empty goal but the angle against him shot against the post and the ball spun away from danger.

Gavin Reilly was next to threaten after a mix up in the United defence allowed him to latch onto a loose Mark Durnan header, with Lewis rushing out of his area the strike opted to take and early shot from 35 yards but he couldn’t direct it and the ball sailed wide.

Two minutes into the second half and the star of the show produced another moment of magic. Morgan dribbled from midfield to the right wing before feeding Liam Smith, the full-back’s cross was cleared only as far as Morgan and the winger took a touch and curled a brilliant left-footed strike into the top left corner to leave Lewis no chance.

Jamie Robson responded for United as he strode down the left before shooting close from 20 yards, but the ball flew over.

But most of the positive play was still coming from a vibrant Buddies side. McGinn’s ambitious looping volley from a ball dropping out the sky crept narrowly wide of target.

Morgan wasn’t finished getting the home fans out of their seat. On 70 minutes McGinn played him in down the left and he brilliantly evaded Stewart Murdoch despite the full back’s best attempts to foul him, then darted clear of Willo Flood and teed up Cammy Smith who shot from eight yards, but it was too close to Lewis who palmed it clear.

After 78 minutes it was Morgan’s chance to turn provider. He left Robson for dead on the right before darting down the wing and hitting the byline, he cut back to the edge of the area for McShane who took a touch and curled his shot into the corner to wrap things up for Saints.

St Mirren: Samson, Baird, Buchanan, Eckersley, L Smith (Kirkpatrick, 85), McShane, McGinn, Stelios, C Smith, Morgan (Whyte, 88), Reilly (Stewart, 89).