0 - 2
League (First Division)
Grant Johnson (64)
Christian Dailly (88)
|José Quitongo for Martin Tighe (68)||
Christian Dailly for Gary McSwegan (60)
David Craig (70)
Steve Renicks (87)
Brian Welsh (55)
John Fleming (Glasgow) (Referee)
Two second half goals gave United a hard earned victory which took them back to the top of the First Division and relegated luckless Accies. Both Gary McSwegan and Brian Welsh returned to the side after missing the defeat against St Johnstone on the sandy wastes of Firhill. And the condition of the the pitch produced few threatening moments by the Tangerines against an Accies side fighting for their First Division lives.
An error by Ferguson almost gave United an 18th minute lead when the Accies keeper missed his attempted punched clearance of Dave Bowman's freekick, but Baptie got back to clear the ball off the line. Ten minutes from the break the pitch almost contributed to United going in front. Gary McSwegan first timed a shot on the turn from a Robbie winters cross and the ball bounced off the uneven surface, forcing Ferguson to scramble the ball away. Two minutes from the interval as United last began to exert some authority, Craig Brewster flicked on a Grant Johnson pass to Owen Coyle but Ferguson held his shot.
After a few words of encouragement from Billy Kirkwood, United dictated play in the second half, but worryingly passed up good chances when Grant Johnson shot weakly at Ferguson after Gary McSwegan had put him in the clear. Then Gary McSwegan chipped over the 'keeper and the bar from Owen Coyle's perfect opening.
However, the nerves of the 2,364 United supporters who made up the bulk of the crowd were soothed at little under 20 minutes into the second period. Owen Coyle out on the left headed a cross from Robbie winters back into the danger area and when the ball was knocked out to Grant Johnson he hit a blistering first timer which raged through a forest of legs and the joy amongst the United fans was matched by the relief as the ball bulged the back of the net.
Eighteen minutes from the end, United fans had their hearts in their mouths when José Quitongo blasted a shot narrowly past. Although Craig Brewster had a chance to wrap up the points when he scooped the ball over from close range, all doubt about the result was removed when United's top scorer laid on a great ball for Christian Dailly who stylishly curled the ball just inside Ferguson's near post for 16 yards to seal three priceless points.
"The players needed a good rollicking at half-time and I gave them it and they improved in the second half. We have backed the players all season and even although we have gone down, I don't think that we could have asked any more of them than they gave tonight." - Billy Kirkwood
|Ally Maxwell (GK)||31||39||-||39||-|
|Christian Dailly (sub)||22||35||2||173||20|