4 - 0
League (Premier Division)
Ian Scanlon (pen.) (20)
Frank McAvennie (42)
Frank McAvennie (62)
Frank McAvennie (70)
Hamish McAlpine .1
Billy Kirkwood .2
Derek Stark .3
Richard Gough .4
Paul Hegarty .5
Dave Narey .6
Eamonn Bannon .7
Ralph Milne .8
Maurice Malpas .9
Tommy Coyne .10
Davie Dodds .11
Bobby Flavell .12
John Reilly .14
|Rowan Alexander for Ian Scanlon (76)||
Bobby Flavell for Ralph Milne (66)
E Brolls (Bishopbriggs) (Referee)
United travelled to Love Street for their re-arranged fixture knowing a win would take them to within a point of league leaders Aberdeen. Jim McLean stuck with the same eleven that started the 0-0 draw with Rangers on Saturday with Bobby Flavell and John Reilly on the bench. The hosts poor early season form has been transformed with the arrival of new manager Alex Miller, claiming seven points from their last four games including an impressive 4-2 win against Celtic on Saturday.
United did start brightly and Davie Dodds arguably should have given them the lead in the opening minutes when he was put through, but failed to trouble St Mirren’s ‘keeper by shooting wide of Billy Thomson’s right hand post. In the 13th minute St Mirren created their first clear chance of the game when Tony Fitzpatrick glided his way to the by-line to pull it back for Ian Scanlon only for Dave Narey to block the opportunity. This would very quickly become the theme of the evening’s match with St Mirren dominating United as an attacking force. Seven minutes later they took the lead when Frank McDougall turned Maurice Malpas inside the box and the United left back hauled the striker down as he prepared to shoot. Ian Scanlon converted the penalty and arguably the Buddies could have had another penalty on the half hour mark when Paul Hegarty struggled to contain the other half of the St Mirren front two, and appeared to have cleaned out Frank McAvennie in the box, but the referee was unmoved. Frank McAvennie did not have long to wait before making a more permanent impression on the match when in the 42nd minute he evaded Hegarty to glance home a Scanlon cross. Half time should have been even more comprehensive when full back Steve Clarke drilled home a 25 yard strike, but the referee ruled it our for an offside in the box.
Jim McLean was concerned enough by United’s inability to marshal the McAvennie-McDougall front line and moved Richard Gough into central defence, pushing Narey into the midfield to try and reduce some of the ammunition being fed to the St Mirren forwards, but it did nothing to change the game’s direction. McDougall set-up his partner just after the hour mark laying the ball off for Frank McAvennie who converted and then eight minutes later the youngster claimed his hat-trick again thanks to the endeavour of McDougall who was able to find him in space in the box for the game’s fourth and final goal.
St Mirren were exhilarating and their forward duo of Franks McDougall and McAvennie gave the United back four a torrid evening. United drop to third on goal difference, three points back from league leaders Aberdeen who visit Tannadice on Saturday afternoon. This fixture is starting to assume some considerable importance for United’s title challenge, as attempting to overhaul a five point gap to Aberdeen before we have reached December cannot be what McLean had in mind when he committed his future to Tannadice.
Match report written by Stewart Todd
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||35||24||-||603||3|
|Bobby Flavell (sub)||27||1||-||1||-|
No league table has been added for this season.