0 - 1
Barry Robson (78)
David van Zanten
Derek Stillie .1
David McCracken .3
Seán Dillon .16
Lee Wilkie .4
Christian Kalvenes .2
Morgaro Gomis .29
David Robertson .25
Barry Robson .11
Mark Kerr .7
Craig Conway .15
Noel Hunt .10
Euan McLean .21
Garry Kenneth .18
Keith Watson .36
Stuart Duff .12
Steven Robb .14
Jon Daly .9
Collin Samuel .20
Stewart Kean for Alan Reid (64)
Stephen McGinn for Stephen O'Donnell (77)
Alex Burke for Mark Corcoran (77)
Steven Robb for Craig Conway (62)
Collin Samuel for Morgaro Gomis (67)
Kirk Broadfoot (35)
David van Zanten (52)
Lee Wilkie (33)
Mike McCurry (Referee)
A strong second half showing from United earned three points at Love Street, with a brilliant strike from Barry Robson enough to see off St Mirren. And yet, just as at Inverness last week, United were slow to get started.
Following last week’s cup exit, Noel Hunt came back into the staring eleven and there was a first top team start for Morgaro Gomis. John Daly and Collin Samuel dropped onto the bench. Two weeks after Saints’ home defeat by Aberdeen, Gus McPherson made four changes to his side, the most noteworthy being the inclusion of ex-Tangerine Stephen O’Donnell who made his debut at right wing.
Love Street was bitterly cold and wet, and for the first thirty minutes there was little in the way of entertainment. Play was scrappy and punctuated by a serious of fouls, Lee Wilkie eventually collecting a yellow card for persistent fouling, and then Kirk Broadfoot for squaring up to the United stopper. St Mirren had the better of the possession but created few real chances – Corcoran and O’Donnell were off target with headers, and Broadfoot could only blaze over from the edge of the box.
Not until the approach of the half hour mark did United first threaten. Noel Hunt broke free of his markers in the box, but at full stretch could not quite connect with Robson’s early cross from the left. Moments later Hunt did get a proper connection on another Robson cross, but his header just evaded the far post. O’Donnell had the ball in the net at the other end with a fine volley– but the flag was already up for a tight off-side call. United had another narrow escape on 35 minutes with Wilkie clearing a Maxwell header away for a corner from underneath his own crossbar. But United finished the first half in the ascendancy. Robson headed over from close range then Conway tested Smith with a powerful shot which the keeper held well.
And United remained in charge at the start of the second half, though with clear cut chances still scarce there was no surprise that the substitutes were soon being called upon. For United, Stephen Robb replaced Conway and Collin Samuel came on for Gomis. With around 20 minutes left Robertson came close with a header from a Kalvenes cross, then the young midfielder’s first time shot from Samuel’s low cut back was comfortably saved. Noel Hunt prodded just past the post after Broadfoot failed to deal with a long clearance, and with St Mirren struggling manager McPherson went for a double substitution with around fifteen minutes left. But before the change could make any impact United went ahead in amazing fashion. Stephen Robb went on a mazy run in the St Mirren half then laid the ball inside for Robson. The shot did not look on – but Robson swiveled to send a fantastic left-foot drive high in to the top corner of the net from 25 yards.
United continued to dictate and Robson went close again with a similar effort. Perhaps the United skipper was getting a little bit overconfident and when he tried to pick out Kerr with a corner to the edge of the box, he unwittingly launched a dangerous St Mirren counterattack – but thankfully full-back Van Zanten lost control at the edge of the United box as defenders struggled to get back. United survived one final scare as substitute Kean somehow failed to finish when unmarked in the six yard box. Hunt could have added a second in stoppage time when gifted possession in the penalty box, but Smith saved with his legs.
|Derek Stillie (GK)||33||30||-||64||-|
|Steven Robb (sub)||24||11||-||11||-|
|Collin Samuel (sub)||25||31||5||122||15|
No league table has been added for this season.