5 - 1
5 - 1
League Cup (Group Stage - Section 4)
Dave Narey (9)
Graeme Payne (12)
Ian Britton (52)
Ralph Milne (65)
Dave Narey (77)
|Colin Harris (43)|
Ralph Milne for Maurice Malpas (55)
Billy Kirkwood for Ian Britton (77)
|Bobby Russell for Willie Gibson (72)|
Kenny Hope (Clarkston) (Referee)
Dundee United started the game with the same team as faced Falkirk in midweek. Milne who came on as a sub last week, retained his place on the bench. Raith Rovers attack was spearheaded by former Tannadice player Ian Ballantyne who is currently their top goal scorer.
Dundee United were first to go close when Dave Narey struck a copy of his world cup goal but his luck was out this time around. Sturrock then started a move by setting free Payne on the right. The winger got the cross in after beating his man but Sturrock couldn't connect correctly and the chance was spurned. United did finally open the scoring in the ninth minute when Dave Narey crashed in a fantastic effort from 30 yards. Walker should have stopped it but the wet conditions meant he could only help it in. There was only three minutes to wait for the second. This time Graeme Payne blasted home after catching on to a Sturrock's pass. Raith were to find a way back into the game just a few minutes before half-time. A robinson free kick was floated into the box and McAlpine misjudged it allowing Colin Harris to knock home.
Five minutes into the second half and Payne found Hegarty with a lob into the box. The tall defender rose above the defence and nodded it back to Narey who fired just wide. Two minutes later and United ragained their two goal advantage. Sturrock and Payne made progress up the field with a neat series of one-two's. Payne fired in a cross and it was hammered home by Ian Britton from close range. Substitute Ralph Milne got United's fourth when he latched onto a head on from Dodds before blasting into the net. The man who opened the scoring, Dave Narey, took the home side's tally to five with another good effort from just outside the box.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||34||3||-||528||3|
|Ralph Milne (sub)||21||2||2||111||29|
|Billy Kirkwood (sub)||23||3||1||224||48|
No games played.
Naturally I am extremely pleased at the good start to the season, nobody could complain with a goal tally of seven for and none against from our two outings. What does concern me, however, is the injury situation. As I write Paul Sturrock is again doubtful after picking up another knock at Brockville. The frequent injuries such as Paul has sustained are definitely hampering his sharpness, Paul's situation is not an isolated incident. No less than 12 of the first team squad have been affected in a similar way and no one will be more pleased than I when the queue outside Andy Dickson's treatment room has disappeared. One decision I have made is never again to attempt to ask the players to attain pre-season fitness by playing matches, as we did this year in Denmark. That exercise may have produced good harmany amongst the squad but only training on the track against the clock produces the necessary fitness to open an arduous season. In matches it is possible for players to cheat a wee bit and despite having played a total of 14 games at all levels as part of our preseason training programme, there is still room for improvement in that area in the staff as a whole. Mind you, the numerous injuries suffered by so many has not exactly helped, the situation.
As you will have read in the press, our last ditch efforts to sign an additional striker before the UEFA Cup deadline were thwarted. I am still not totally satisfied that there is enough competition for places here at Tannadice.
Last season I bemoaned this fact and was particularly disappointed about the lack of competition coming from the younger members of the staff. After viewing last Tuesday's Reserve League Cup tie with Dundee, I again feel bound to make the same criticism, though this time my comments are directed more at those who are considered potential first teamers. In an earlier programme I commented that only players can pressure other players and in the acquisition of lan Britton I feel that we have the perfect example. His whole attitude has been highly commendable and I would be more than happy to pick up another couple of players of his calibre, particularly a striker and a left winger, on a free transfer. In conclusion it is good to be able to welcome back Gordon Wallace, Allan Forsyth, lan Ballantyne, Bobby Robinson and lan Steen, all of whom are no strangers to these parts.