0 - 4
0 - 4
Kevin McCann (34)
Adam Rooney (51)
Russell Duncan (53)
Adam Rooney (pen.) (82)
1. Dušan Perniš
3. Paul Dixon
18. Garry Kenneth
2. Seán Dillon
23. Keith Watson
15. Prince Buaben
8. Scott Robertson
6. Craig Conway
16. Morgaro Gomis
25. David Goodwillie
9. Jon Daly
13. Steve Banks
17. Barry Douglas
5. Darren Dods
12. David Robertson
21. Damián Casalinuovo
10. Danny Cadamarteri
20. Andis Shala
Barry Douglas for Craig Conway (57)
Danny Cadamarteri for Paul Dixon (57)
Shane Sutherland for Jonathan Hayes (85)
Dani Sánchez for Eric Odhiambo (88)
Alan Muir (Referee)
Peter Houston decided to stick by his men that lost narrowly to AEK Athens on Thursday and named an unchanged side to face Inverness. The only change in the personnel was Barry Douglas replacing Johnny Russell on the bench. Afer losing out to Celtic last weekend Terry Butcher only made one change to his side with former United man David Proctor replacing Ross Tokely in defence.
United looked shaky from the kick off and it was the visitors who looked the more confident and with six minutes on the clock a slack pass intercepted by Rooney and the Inverness frontman shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area. Four minutes later United made their first chance of the afternoon when Goodwillie found space in the box but his left foot shot failed to trouble Esson. Prince Buaben then tried his luck from distance but his effort deflected off Munro and was cleared. Gomis then played a fine pass in to the path of Robertson who was well tackled by Munro this time resulting in a United corner. Conway’s resulting corner kick was then headed off the goalline by McCann. Just before the half hour mark the visitors had the best chance of the afternoon so far. Rooney collected the ball on the left and beat Dixon and with only the goalkeeper to beat he was undone by a fine stop from Pernis. A minute later it was United who went close when a long throw from Dixon found the head of Daly and United’s skipper powered in a header that just went by the left hand post. With 32 minutes gone the visitors broke the deadlock. Firstly Hayes broke down the right and he laid off a pass to Duncan who had his shot blocked by Robertson however play continued and the vistors won a corner kick. Hayes this time took the kick and despite Watson clearing, the ball landed at the feet of Kevin McCann and from 25 yards he smashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. United were now on the back foot and shortly after the opener they almost fell two behind when Odhiambo beat Kenneth for pace but with only the keeper to beat United’s Scottish international defender managed to back track and make a fine saving tackle.
Within three minutes of the restart Caley should really have doubled their lead. McCann spotted Rooney make a fine run into the United box and an inch perfect pass was then flicked over Pernis only for the ball to narrowly miss the far corner of the net. Two minutes later though they did double their lead. Odhiambo raced through and should probably have shot himself however with the United defence in a complete mess he unselfishly squared the ball to Adam Rooney who calmly slotted the ball past Pernis. Three minutes later the match was all but over. McCann won a throw on the right hand side and he quickly found Russell Duncan who sent a high, looping shot over the head of Pernis to make it 3-0. Not surprisingly United then made two changes with Danny Cadamarteri and debutant Barry Douglas replacing Conway and Dixon. Douglas was quickly involved when after Daly was fouled he slammed a free kick off the visitors defensive wall, the ball fell to Sean Dillon but the Irishman sent his effort wide of target. Former United man Odhiambo caused the home defence problems all afternoon and with twenty minutes left he again took advantage of a defensive mix up but this time he fired into the side netting. With time against them United had efforts from Goodwillie and Buaben but it was no surprise when the visitors grabbed a fourth. The ball once again broke to Rooney in the United penalty area and before he could shoot he was pulled back by Kenneth and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a spot kick. Adam Rooney himself stood up and notched his second and Caley’s fourth of the afternnon. With four minutes left United’s afternoon was summed up when Cadamarteri crossed to Buaben who hit a right foot shot that came back off the post.
|Dušan Perniš (GK)||25||3||-||28||-|
|Barry Douglas (sub)||20||1||-||1||-|
|Danny Cadamarteri (sub)||30||3||-||27||4|
No league table has been added for this season.
We begin our home league programme this afternoon, and I would like to extend a warm welcome to Inverness Caley Thistle. The match is being played on a Sunday because of our Europa League qualifier against AEK Athens in which we disappointingly lost to the only goal of the game. Indeed, Thursday evening proved to be a real learning curve for the lads. Hardly any of them had played any European football before, so it was good experience and they will have learned so much from it. They learned, as we had anticipated, what a good side AEK are. Though I cannot fault my players' effort, I can't recall us giving the ball away quite so often, especially in the first half and I put that down to nerves of the big occasion. Prince Buaben, Morgaro Gomis and Scott Robertson are, in my opinion, three of the best midfielders in Scotland, but on Thursday they kept giving the ball away in the middle of the park. And ball retention is a big thing in Europe, especially when you are up against a side of AEK's undoubted class. I was happy with many aspects of their commitment, but the players know, and I know, that they can play a lot better.
To be fair the players are disappointed, particularly Prince and Morgan. Having said that you have to give credit to Athens. They are a strong, physical team and technically very, very good. And the loss of an early sucker punch goal was a real blow. After that we didn't create as many openings as we would have liked, but there again it was a night of few chances at either end. On a more positive note, it's only 1-0 and half-time - who knows what can happen? - but I admit it's a tail order. However, before even contemplating the second leg in Athens. we have to focus fully on today's game against Inverness Caley Thistle. Getting a good result this afternoon is absolutely vital. Firstly as a boost for the trip to Greece next Thursday, but also to bank our first three points after being held by St M'irren last week. It was frustrating not to have taken all three points, because we had wave after wave of attacks in the second half. Fair do to Saints who came out of the traps running but we were on top for most of the game. Their goal was a great shot from their lad, but it was poor defending from us at a corner and all of a sudden we're a goal down. And that came after I thought we should have had a penalty when Jon Daly was pushed in the box. But when I asked the ref about it, he said there was nothing to it. After that it looked as though it was going to be one of those days. So in the end we had to be grateful that Jon Daly's late equaliser earned us a point, which was the least we deserved. Having seen the first half of Caley Thistle's game against Celtic on television, it is obvious that their mix of youth and experience makes them a force to be reckoned with. Terry Butcher and Maurice Malpas did a tremendous job in guiding their club back to the SPL at the first time of asking and they'll be equally determined to consolidate their position. So that means we will have to work as hard as we did on Thursday, but improve on the quality of our play if we are to get the desired victory.