Gold Coast substitute James Brown scored a second-half brace of goals to help his team to a 3-0 win over Perth Glory - United's first win in the A-League since Boxing Day.
The home side put in a mature and polished performance on Sunday night in front of an estimated crowd of only 2000 at Skilled Park.
Zachary Anderson opened the scoring in the sixth minute, finishing off a curving Jake Barker-Daish free kick with an impressive header to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Perth looked uncomfortable from set pieces early and almost let in another goal 10 minutes later, but Steven McGarry was able to deflect a perfectly-placed header from United captain Michael Thwaite.
While the Glory were able to slowly play their way back into the contest, their aggressive defensive style resulted in more pressure for the away team.
In the 23rd minute, Steve Pantelidis was given a yellow card for a tackle on Chris Harold who limped from the field.
Then in the 36th, referee Kris Griffith-Jones had no hesitation in giving Perth defender Dean Heffernan a straight red card for leading with the elbow in what at first appeared to be a fairly rudimentary aerial challenge on Daniel Bowles.
Fired up by the controversial dismissal of their teammate, Perth created several attacking opportunities but had two shots on goal thwarted by Gold Coast keeper Jerrad Tyson in the space of five minutes.
Tyson was influential between the posts in the second half as well, managing to deny two Glory opportunities on goal in the 60th and 81st minutes.
The home side showed far more composure than their more-experienced opponents over the course of the game, with Brown taking full advantage of their one-man advantage to put away two goals in the final 10 minutes of the match.