0 - 4
Warren Feeney (5)
Warren Feeney (13)
Warren Feeney (54)
Lee Bryce for Joe Dunbar (71)
Trialist for Walker (50)
Trialist for Graham Weir (5)
David Robertson for Danny Swanson (71)
Kevin Smith for Warren Feeney (77)
Fran Sandaza for Noel Hunt (85)
Craig Levein selected a strong starting eleven for the trip to Kirkcaldy, and United proved too much for their SFL counterparts, running out comfortable 4-0 winners, with a hat-trick from loan signing Warren Feeney and a fourth from Noel Hunt.
United took the lead after just five minutes of action, when Hunt fed the ball through to Feeney, and the 27 year-old Northern Irishman stroked the ball past O’Connor with a low drive from inside the box.
And Feeney, who is on loan from Cardiff City, grabbed his second of the game just eight minutes later when the energetic Danny Swanson combined with Sean Dillon to send the ball into the path of Feeney, whose looping header evaded O’Connor, despite the 34 year-old former Berwick Rangers stopper getting a hand to it.
Craig Levein had said his side suffered from a lack of match fitness in their previous pre-season encounters, but United looked sharp throughout, closing down their division two opponents and affording them little time on ball, particularly in midfield. It took Raith 18 minutes to mount a challenge on Zaluska’s goal, but Joe Dunbar’s half-hearted effort lacked any real venom and posed no problem for the Polish keeper.
Swanson and Hunt were unrelenting for United, covering every blade of grass, and Swanson’s efforts almost paid off on the 25-minute mark when he intercepted Mark Campbell just inside the Rovers half and jinked his way past two defenders to make room for a shot from the edge of the box. But he fired wide of the right-hand post.
After a high-tempo opening half hour, the game petered out towards half-time, only for United to win a penalty nine minutes after the break and re-ignite the contest.
Warren Feeney elected to take the spot-kick and calmly completed his hat-trick by thumping the ball down the middle of the goal past O’Connor.
Having scored in the first two games of pre-season, it was little surprise when Noel Hunt rounded off the victory with a fourth goal and a fantastic solo effort.
Morgaro Gomis, who had played at a frantic pace throughout, won the ball inside the Raith half and found Hunt down the left wing. And the Irishman worked his way inside the box with ease and slotted the ball home from 12 yards.
Raith battled hard throughout, but were out-fought by a quick and dominant United midfield. Substitute Lee Bryce had two chances in the closing minutes to grab a consolation, but fired his first attempt wide after dispossessing Buaben, and he simply ran out of room after rounding Zaluska for his second effort, with his final touch running the ball out of play.
United’s latest signing, 23 year-old Spaniard Francesco Sadaza, made his debut with five minutes remaining, to rapturous applause from the sizable Arab contingent inside Starks Park. But the imposing striker had little time to make his mark on a game that was long over as a contest.
No league table has been added for this season.