0 - 0
0 - 0
League (Premier Division)
Guido van de Kamp
Andy McLaren for Jerren Nixon (66)
||Gunni Torfason for Billy Dodds (90)|
Billy McKinlay (18)
Jim McInally (78)
|Paul Cherry (73)|
|None.||Paul Cherry (78)|
Martin Clark (Edinburgh) (Referee)
Paul Sturrock returned to Tannadice for the first time since leaving to manage Saints and on a day of double sentiment with the Shed accommodating standing fans for the last time. The United line-up showed several changes from the one which lost to Kilmarnock in midweek. Back came Jim Mclnally and Craig Brewster from injury, whilst Brian Welsh dropped out because of a knee injury. Christian Dailly stepped back into defence with Gary Bollan and Paddy Connolly being omitted.
With both sides desperate for points, tension was high and it showed. United, as they did throughout the match, had the greater share of possession. It was, however, quarter of an hour before Rhodes was tested, bringing off the first of several vital saves when he dived full length to hold a speculative 35 yarder from Gordan Petric who shortly afterwards sent in a header which skimmed over the bar.
Ten minutes from the interval Rhodes made the first of two vital saves. Alex Cleland burst through to send in a low drive which rebounded off the diving Rhodes. The climax to United's best spell of the game came two minutes later as Billy McKinlay drove in from the right, evaded one tackle only to be brought down by Turner close to the bye-line.
The Scottish internationalist midfielder took the kick himself, but his hard-hit spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Rhodes diving to his right at full stretch. Saints drew confidence from this let-off and Guido van de Kamp had to be alert to hold a grounder from Gary McGinnis.
Paul Cherry made a determined surge upfield before firing in a shot which provided Guide van de Kamp with his most anxious moment of the second half.
Eleven minutes from the end the Saints midfielder was involved in an altercation with Jim Mclnally which led to the United player being booked and Cherry being shown a red card. However, United couldn't make their numerical superiority pay, although Jim Mclnally might have tied up the points in the very last minute when he sliced a volley past when well placed.
|Guido van de Kamp (GK)||30||29||-||60||-|
|Andy McLaren (sub)||20||34||4||56||4|
No league table has been added for this season.
The defeat at the hands of Kilmarnock on Tuesday evening was extremely disappointing. Two things contributed to one of the worst performances of the season - our attitude and a defence which turned in its worst performance of the season. Frankly, to even have to question the players attitude at this, or any other stage of the season is disgraceful. Players earn their living from the game, but on the evidence of our performance against Kilmarnock, it looks as though some of our players have got too much money already! Kilmarnock came for two points and claimed them because they were the hungrier side and that in my view is diabolical. I cannot accept that and it may not have dawned on some of the players that it isn't just cup final places up for grabs, but their futures! As professional footballers they should have a pride in their performances and be self motivating, but that simply wasn't the case last Tuesday.
Inevitably, that means changes will be made this afternoon and hopefully Jim Mclnally, who leads by example will be fit enough to return, whilst David Hannah who did well when he came on during the match with Killie should also retain his place. Whilst you must nurture players, if they perform as David did, then they must be given a chance. Make no mistake, St Johnstone will come here with the same attitude as Kilmarnock did as the relegation battle intensifies, but again, there are no easy games in this league and if you let your commitment slip below 100%, then you'll always be in trouble as events on evening proved. This afternoon, therefore, is the time for the players to stand up and be counted. They are playing for the futures in next season's first team pool and with a couple of new faces hopefully coming this summer, there are more candidates than vacancies.