2 - 1
2 - 1
League (First Division)
Gary McSwegan (7)
Gary McSwegan (24)
|Barry Lavety (75)|
Jamie McQuilken for Andy McLaren (79)
Grant Johnson for Gary McSwegan (84)
Owen Coyle for Robbie Winters (89)
Ricky Gillies for Brian McLaughlin (46)
Brian Hetherston for Bobby Law (51)
John McMillan for Stephen Watson (73)
Jim Bett (82)
Jim Dick (66)
Mark Yardley (74)
Martin Baker (77)
Alan Freeland (Aberdeen) (Referee)
A double from Gary McSwegan enabled United to grab all three points from a close encounter with the Paisley Saints. With assistant manager Maurice Malpas still suffering from his hamstring injury, Mark Perry was restored to the starting line-up for the first time since early October in place of the suspended Steven Pressley. Dave Bowman took over the captaincy.
There were just four minutes on the clock when Gary McSwegan served notice of things to come when he headed a loose ball narrowly over as United dominated the early play. Three minutes later United did go ahead through Gary McSwegan. Dave Bowman angled a ball into the right hand corner which Robbie winters ran on to. He didn't quite connect properly with his cross into the middle, but it evaded the Saints defenders and landed at the feet of Gary McSwegan who fired home with a shot on the turn from ten yards.
Yardley volleyed a Law free-kick over as Saints put the United goal under pressure for the first time. An untidy spell ensued, but Combe was at full stretch to tip over a header from Christian Dailly. But Saints weren't out of it and Dick hooked a shot just over However, midway through the half United increased their lead with a goal which was a near replica of the first form the same combination of Robbie Winters and Gary McSwegan. This time Gary McSwegan's task in netting was even simpler than the first one as he sidefooted into an empty net from six yards. Gary McSwegan was then denied his hat-trick in the 31st minute when Coombe and McWhirter combined to scramble the ball after he pounced on a through ball which had deceived the visitors defence.
With United now firmly in control, a third goal almost materialised when Craig Brewster saw his shot whistle inches past. Despite trailing by two goals, Saints started the second half in sprightly fashion with United too often falling foul of the visitor's offside trap. However, only a tremendous save by Ally Maxwell after 62 minutes from a Gillies drive to retain United's two goal advantage. And with 14 minutes remaining Saints loosened United's grip on the game when Barry Lavety took advantage of United's failure to clear their lines and blasted a shot from the edge of the box past Ally Maxwell. Apart from a Hetherston shot which Maxwell tipped over ten minutes from time, United survived the remaining minutes with relative comfort. But with Dunfermline also winning the gap remained three points in favour of the Fifers who also had three games in hand.
CLUB COMMENT - "I was delighted with the way we played in the first half, but we took our foot off the pedal in the second half." - BILLY KIRKWOOD, MANAGER.
|Ally Maxwell (GK)||30||26||-||26||-|
|Jamie McQuilken (sub)||21||7||-||7||-|
|Grant Johnson (sub)||23||21||5||77||10|
|Owen Coyle (sub)||29||16||3||16||3|
|League results since United's last match|
|13th January 1996|
|Dundee Utd||2-1||St Mirren|