0 - 0
0 - 0
League (Premier Division)
Jerren Nixon for Gordan Petrić (46)
Andy Moule for Dragutin Ristić (65)
Joe Tortolano for Gordon Hunter (46)
Willie Findlay for Micky Weir (88)
Grant Johnson (17)
Brian Welsh (51)
Dave Bowman (57)
Alex Cleland (70)
Graeme Love (53)
Michael O'Neill (63)
Bobby Tait (East Kilbride) (Referee)
The Tannadice line up showed two changes from the one which had been robbed by Partick Thistle the previous week with Christian Dailly and Grant Johnson coming in for Andy McLaren. Whilst Jerren Nixon was on the bench, Andy Moule was included in the 13 stripped for duty for the first time in place of Andy McLaren. Thick mist rolled in around Tannadice immediately before the start of this match and when it lifted, it revealed a match which took a long time to come to life.
Apart from early pot shots on goal by Billy McKinlay and Kevin Harper, neither side threatened in the opening stages. Undoubtedly the best chance of the opening half fell to Billy McKinlay. The United midfielder fed Maurice Malpas on the left and the United skipper got to the bye-line to cut the ball back into the middle. The ball was dummied, allowing Billy McKinlay an opening, but despite taking deliberate aim and with Leighton stranded, his controlled shot went inches wide of the target. Tweed then headed past from a corner, but until the interval, it was United who dominated play without creating too many openings. By the time the teams started the second half in brilliant sunshine, both had been forced into defensive changes. Gordan Petric was suffering from a hamstring injury and Gordon Hunter had a leg strain and were replaced by Nixon and Tortolano respectively.
Neither side was able to capitalise on the recast defensive formations, but the last twenty minutes provided more excitement than the previous seventy. The exception to that was a run by Jerren Nixon whose shot was easily saved by Leighton after he found himself in a good position. Seventeen year old Andy Moule came on for Dragutin Ristic to make his first team debut, but it was Hibs who passed up the first of several chances in the closing stages. Micky Weir couldn't have sent a free header further off target if he had tried and with quarter of an hour remaining Michael O'Neill brought out the first of two great saves by Kelham O'Hanlon, as the United keeper touched the ball past.
United countered that with a Christian Dailly run and shot from which Billy McKinlay was only inches away from diverting into the net as it slid past the post. Andy Moule then sent in a looping header which Leighton just managed to tip over the bar to deny the youngster a dream start. Five minutes from the end Kelham O'Hanlon made a brilliant save from a curling shot from Michael O'Neill and both Andy Moule and Jerren Nixon had shots blocked in the closing stages of a game that the greatest comfort came from the keeping of a clean sheet!
Golac commented, "Keeping a clean sheet was the most important thing to come out of the game"
|Kelham O'Hanlon (GK)||32||3||-||3||-|
|Jerren Nixon (sub)||21||15||4||37||5|
|Andy Moule (sub)||17||1||-||1||-|
No league table has been added for this season.
Football can be a cruel game and never has that been better exemplified than in our meeting with Partick Thistle last Saturday. There is no doubt we should have won the game, but if you don't take your chances then you end up empty handed as we did! Goalkeeper Kelham O'Hanlon had just one task all afternoon and that was to pick the ball out of the net in the dying minutes. Even then we might have snatched a point because Billy McKinlay hit the bar and their keeper made a great save from Christian Dailly's header from the rebound. It does seem that Partick Thistle have an unnerving effect on us at Tannadice these days. We didn't do well in either game against them last season which both ended in draws and so it proved again! None of this detracts from the fact that we have to put several things right. Defensively, we are losing too many goals, but more critically our lack of a true finisher is the most urgent problem and hence my trip to Denmark last weekend to watch Brondby play Aarhus.
Apart from checking on their striker Strudel, one or two others in the Brondby side caught my eye, but before there are any further moves to bring them to Tannadice, I will have another check on the players concerned in the near future. The plain fact is that we don't have sufficient quality in the side to do better than we are at the moment, though obviously with Craig Brewster, Paddy Connolly and Scott Crabbe all out through injury at the moment, we are particularly short up front. However, with this trio all not too far away from comebacks, the situation should improve very soon. Our minds have been concentrated on the visit of Hibs since the beginning of this week. As was proved last week. there are no easy games in this league, but it is annoying and frustrating that we put so much work and effort in during the week, to see it go to waste because of a late lapse. GOOD TEAMS KEEP THEIR SHAPE AND DISCIPLINE ALL THE WAY THROUGH A MATCH AND THAT WILL BE
OUR FIRST PRIORITY THIS AFTERNOON!