1 - 3
League (First Division)
|Barry McLaughlin (56)||
Robbie Winters (10)
Andy McLaren (13)
Brian Smith (o.g.) (36)
Brian Smith for Jamie Fullarton (32)
Chris Iwelumo for Brian Hetherston (46)
Stuart Taylor for John Boyd (46)
Christian Dailly for Andy McLaren (53)
Barry McLaughlin (28)
Barry Lavety (66)
Andy McLaren (50)
Brian Welsh (66)
Alistair Huett (Edinburgh) (Referee)
The club's decision to subsidise coach travel for United fans saw around 2,000 make the journey to Love Street and their vocal encouragement went well rewarded as United had three vital points in their pocket by the interval. The only change in the United line-up was Andy McLaren in for Gary McSwegan who was serving a one match ban. But it was Robbie Winters who filled the gap left in the centre of attack and how he revelled in his new role.
Within ten minutes he had given United the lead and within three minutes of that laid on the second. The first goal had its roots in a fine long pass out of defence from Mark Perry up the right hand touchline. The ball fell perfectly for Andy McLaren to run onto and after reaching the byeline, his cross was converted by Robbie Winters who dived to send a glancing header in at the near post.
Three minutes later the roles were reversed as United bagged a quick second. Robbie Winters robbed Hetherston out on the left and crossed to the far post where Andy McLaren headed the ball down into the far corner well out of Combe's reach. Saints refused to be subdued and had quite a lot of possession but never threatened Ally Maxwell.
Conversely, every time the Tangerines attacked a goal looked likely. A third goal almost came when Dave Bowman started and finished an intricately worked move with a volley which Alan Combe brilliantly parried to deny the Tannadice skipper. Barry McLaughlin then cleared a Craig Brewster header from an Owen Coyle free-kick off the line. But eight minutes from the break United got the third their play deserved. Owen Coyle flicked the ball into Craig Brewster's path and his first time effort was yet again subject of another great Combe save, only for Saints substitute Brian Smith to unwittingly run the ball into his own net.
Right on half-time United should have made it four when Craig Brewster met a precision cross from Andy McLaren cross only to knock the ball over from a good position. A complete mix up between Smith and Combe almost let Craig Brewster in for a fourth early in the second period, but when a goal did eventually arrive it was at the other end. Taylor headed the ball to Barry McLaughlin and the defender sent in a header which Grant Johnson could only divert into the roof of the net as he tried to clear.
United countered immediately, Alan Combe saving Craig Brewster's 20 yarder at the expense of a corner. From it, Mark Perry hit the post with a header and Christian Dailly's follow up show was blocked. Man of the Match Alan Combe completed another fine save, somehow holding a point-blank effort from Robbie Winters after he had met a Mark Perry cross from the right at the near post.
Apart from Jim Dick sliding the ball past after Ally Maxwell failed to hold on to a cross, United ran out comfortable winners to maintain the momentum towards the Premier Division.
"We have to be very pleased with this result, particularly as its a ground where the club has struggled in the past." - Billy Kirkwood
|Ally Maxwell (GK)||31||36||-||36||-|
|Christian Dailly (sub)||22||32||1||170||19|
|League results since United's last match|
|30th March 1996|
|St Mirren||1-3||Dundee Utd|