3 - 1
3 - 1
Jon Daly (3)
Mark Howard (o.g.) (6)
David Goodwillie (pen.) (9)
|Scott Vernon (26)|
1. Dušan Perniš
18. Garry Kenneth
17. Barry Douglas
4. Scott Severin
2. Seán Dillon
6. Craig Conway
16. Morgaro Gomis
15. Prince Buaben
12. David Robertson
9. Jon Daly
25. David Goodwillie
13. Steve Banks
5. Darren Dods
3. Paul Dixon
8. Scott Robertson
20. Andis Shala
10. Danny Cadamarteri
27. Johnny Russell
Scott Robertson for Craig Conway (79)
Paul Dixon for David Robertson (89)
Nikola Vujadinovi? for Jerel Ifil (50)
Josh Magennis for Mitch Megginson (61)
Darren Mackie for Peter Pawlett (61)
Paul Hartley (8)
Andrew Considine (17)
Zander Diamond (53)
Nikola Vujadinovi? (80)
Mike Tumilty (Referee)
For the first ‘New Firm’ derby of the season, manager Peter Houston made three changes from the side that had been so close to registering the first elusive win of the season at Tynecastle. Transfer deadline signing Scott Severin made his debut on the left-hand side of central defence partnering Garry Kenneth, while Sean Dillon switched to right-back to the exclusion of Keith Watson. In midfield, David Robertson was a straight swap for namesake Scott and Morgaro Gomis started in place of the injured Danny Swanson. Matches against Aberdeen are always eagerly anticipated and with their supporters having travelled in good numbers, there was a real derby atmosphere come kick-off.
In what was to be a truly explosive start, only a an instinctive reflex save by Dusan Pernis denied Chris Maguire inside the first 60 seconds. However, it was to be first blood to United with less than three minutes on the clock as both teams went at it hammer and tongs. Craig Conway was pivotal to the opener, as he was to be in all three goals. David Goodwillie started the move. Passing the ball out wide, he found Conway on the left. The winger played a one-two with Gomis before slipping the ball into Goodwillie’s path. His shot was blocked, but the ball broke to Jon Daly who chested it down to steer the ball home from just outside the six-yard box. On six minutes United’s lead was doubled and in bizarre fashion. Goodwillie’s looping chip was touched over by Mark Howard in the Dons goal for a corner. Conway took the corner and his in-swing kick was punched into his own net by Mark Howard as he tangled with Jerel Ifil and though Dons boss Mark McGhee felt there was a push on the defender by Goodwillie, it didn’t even rate a protest by the Dons defender. Three minutes later and United, incredibly, were three up! Paul Hartley brought down the rampant Conway in the box, and despite the Aberdeen skipper’s strong protestations that he had got a touch on the ball, all they earned him was a yellow card! Once the dust had settled, David Goodwillie drove the spot-kick low to the keeper’s right and although Howard got his hand to it, he could only divert the ball up into the roof of the net. Aberdeen gradually got a foothold in the game and were looking very lively with former Colchester striker Scott Vernon giving the Tannadice central defence a lot of work. But, it was at the other end that the best chance came, Jon Daly finding himself right in front of goal only to shoot straight at the keeper. The action continued thick and fast and on 26 minutes gone, the Dons pulled one back. Zander Diamond’s claims that he was fouled as he went up Ifil’s long ball were silenced by Scott Vernon as he took the ball on his chest and wheeled to fire a spectacular first-time volley high into the net from 15-yards. The Dons were denied a penalty six minutes before the break when Diamond claimed Kenneth had held him. And when the ball went out of play shortly afterwards in the region of Mark McGhee, the Dons boss kicked it away, for which he was sent to the stand by referee Mike Tumilty. Even that wasn’t the end of the action in a frenetic first half. Goodwillie forced Howard into a smart save from an acute angle before Scott Severin first time screamer from 40-yards had Howard at full stretch to save. Indeed, Garry Kenneth headed home what looked like a legitimate fourth, but the ref ruled it out for a foul. And on the stroke of half-time, a close range effort from Peter Pawlett was clawed away by Pernis at the end of a breathtaking opening 45 minutes.
Inevitably things quietened down in the second half as United proceeded to take the sting out of proceedings, shutting down the threat of Hartley which in turn, for the most part, snuffed out the Dons as an attacking force. Nikola Vujadinovic made his Dons debut after 50 minutes, replacing the injured Ifil. And goalkeeper Howard had to be alert to push a curling Conway free-kick over the crossbar in United’s opening attack of the second half. Chances continued to come United’s way. Aberdeen then made a double substitution after 62 minutes with Darren Mackie and Josh Magennis replacing the tiring Peter Pawlett and Mitchel Megginson as they sought a goal to get them back in the game. However, it was United who looked the likelier side to score, full-back Barry Douglas firing a free-kick fractionally wide. Then on 64 minutes, David Robertson came in at the back post to meet Sean Dillon’s low cross from the right, but blazed over. About Aberdeen’s only meaningful effort of the second period came 12 minutes from the end. Hartleys’s powerful curling free-kick from just outside the box was heading for the top right-hand corner, but Pernis produced a brilliant one-handed save to keep it out. Immediately, Scott Robertson came on for Conway. Shortly before the end, Paul Dixon came on for the hard-working David Robertson, and there was nearly a fourth goal for United, Goodwillie clipping the outside of the post with an angled low drive from the right as United ended the game well in control.
|Dušan Perniš (GK)||25||6||-||31||-|
|Paul Dixon (sub)||23||5||-||68||1|
|Scott Robertson (sub)||25||6||-||48||5|
No league table has been added for this season.
After our last home game against Inverness Caley Thistle I said the 4-0 defeat was the poorest I'd seen the lads mperform since I took over - yes even worse than the 7-1 defeat to Rangers it Ibrox last season. On the day. Inverness were sharper, quicker and hungrier than us and I can't take anything away from them, but we were so bad I could have made 10 substitutions! awful lot of saves, but I certainly saw the Hearts goalkeeper make a couple of I hoped that it would serve as a timely boot up the backside, because it blatantly showed that there was no way they could afford to rest on their laurels because last season is over and done with. And that was something I'd been trying to get across to them. Fortunately they responded brilliantly in the two very difficult away games that followed away to AEK Athens and Hearts. Indeed, they demonstrated great character after a difficult couple of weeks in both these games. I was delighted the way the players performed in the surreal atmosphere of the Olympiakos Stadium in Athens. We were fantastic in the second half and outplayed AEK who are an experienced side and the players learnt a great deal from the expereince. Danny Swanson was gutted that he didn't score late on because it would have won us the match. I think had the game lasted another five or 10 minutes, we would have won it because, despite the hot humid conditions, we had much energy and they were tired. I think it was their players who were desperate to hear the final whistle. Initially, we probably showed them too much respect and the goal we gave away was very cheap. After that we stepped it up a bit and our young legs showed. I am so proud of the players and they will keep progressing because they are a young team. Unfortunately it was the first leg in which we didn't reaUy turn up where we lost the tie. Finally on the Europa League front, I cannot praise our fans who made the long trip to Athens highly enough. You were fantastic, cheering us from the first minute to the last. The players were desperately disappointed not to have won, but the important thing was that they gave them a much better performance than the Sunday I was pleased we gave something to cheer.
If we came dose to beating AEK, then it ras ditto against Hearts two weeks ago, because at the end, they too were hanging on for a draw as we kept a league run away from home going, having lost only two games on the road in a year away - and they were to and Celtic. Having dominated against St Mirren in the opening day of the should've won that game. Similarly at Tynecastle, we should've also taken all three points. I can't recall Dusan Pemis making a save. The one thing that did disappoint me was that we lost a goal on a counter attack from our corner. Having nearly scored at one end, they counter-attacked and it was poor defending that let them score. But as in Athens, there was no way I could fault the players. I thought they were magnificent, particularly after all the travelling in midweek. The attitude was spot on and we'll win more games than we lose if we keep playing like that. And I can't fail to make mention of Morgaro Gomis strike that earned us a point. It was a real collectors item and I have to admit that I was expecting it to go into the Dundee United fans behind the goals! Morgaro has got a good strike, but he sometimes snatches at them and hopefully scoring one like that should give him confidence, because I think that's what's lacking in his game. After all their exertions, last week's international break came at just the right time and a chance for the players to recharge their batteries. Since we came back at the end of June, they've been at it full-tilt, and involved in a lot of travelling so it was good that they had a couple of days off which after the effort, commitment, desire and some good play in the last two games they fully deserved.
But as we welcome Aberdeen this afternoon, I have stressed to the players that they start as they've been finishing the last two games. Our problem in them, and in other games, has been losing the first goal and stop giving ourselves that mountain to climb. On Saturday, we have to be looking to start in the same manner we've been finishing games and try to go head. Provided we can do that I'll be happy to see where it takes us, but, obviously, the way we have been finishing games is encouraging — if we can get our noses in front. Although Danny Swanson will miss out, new signing Scott Severin could be fit enough to start despite not having had a lot of game time recently. And Danny Cadamarteri looks as though he'll have recovered from the grain injury that he picked up in Athens, to give me almost a full squad and that means plenty of competition for places, which can never be bad.