1 - 0
1 - 0
David Goodwillie (87)
1. Dušan Perniš
23. Keith Watson
18. Garry Kenneth
2. Seán Dillon
17. Barry Douglas
16. Morgaro Gomis
12. David Robertson
15. Prince Buaben
8. Scott Robertson
25. David Goodwillie
9. Jon Daly
Edwin de Graaf
13. Steve Banks
3. Paul Dixon
14. Danny Swanson
10. Danny Cadamarteri
27. Johnny Russell
30. Ryan Dow
20. Andis Shala
Danny Swanson for Prince Buaben (72)
Danny Cadamarteri for Jon Daly (74)
Paul Dixon for Danny Swanson (90)
|Valdas Trakys for Danny Galbraith (86)|
Barry Douglas (50)
||Danny Galbraith (52)|
Stephen Finnie (Referee)
United and Hibs went into today’s game with both sides in sore need of a victory. United welcomed Danny Swanson back into his squad after a frustrating period out injured for the midfielder. Paul Dixon was replaced to Barry Douglas.
The game kicked off in bright autumn sunshine – United were first to threaten when David Goodwillie went through inside the first minute but the ball was cleared. The first real chance fell to Hibs’ Lewis Stevenson who shot wide when a Hart cross wasn’t cleared. He really should have at least brought a save from the goalkeeper. Good work by Gomis led to Goodwillie being played in but he was again thwarted before he could shoot or return the favour for Gomis. Unfortunatey, the game fell in to a lull, with both sides trading long balls and little in the form of goal chances or entertainment coming from this. Ian Rankin shot over from distance after United gave the ball away cheaply in midfield but he was to save his team moments later when United’s first corner was taken by Douglas, headed towards goal by Daly only to find the Hibs player on the line to clear with Brown well beaten. Neither team was dominating, Riordan had a speculative shot from distance that Pernis saved easily. A Barry Douglas free kick from wide caused confusion in the Hibs defence but again the danger was cleared. Jon Daly headed over from 12 yards, Morgaro Gomis shot over as United looked to take a hold on the game. Riordan had a great chance after United lost possession in midfield but the striker’s shot was lacking any real conviction. As the half drew to a close, Barry Douglas was fortunate not to be booked for an ‘enthusiastic’ challenge on Miller as he attempted to retain control of the ball. Riordan again showed willingness to shoot at every opportunity at goal but his efforts did little to trouble United keeper Pernis. Good play by Gomis saw Barry Douglas fire a shot goalwards that warmed Brown’s gloves with a shot and then Goodwillie was thwarted by the Hibs keeper who blocked his shot before he held on to a downward header by Daly. Garry Kenneth was next to try his luck as he headed over as chances came thick and fast at the Hibs goalmouth.
The first minute of the second half saw Goodwillie involved again, the striker being clattered on the head by Hanlon. Barry Douglas was the first player to have his name taken after a foul on Galbraith and the full back tested the referee’s patience minutes later with another clumsy challenge on the striker. Galbraith took matters into his own hands and he soon added his name to the referee’s collection for getting his own back. Goodwillie had a great chance to put United ahead when he ran on to a Daly flick but the in-form striker blasted his shot into the side netting. The game flowed from end to end and Hibs’ Stevenson had a chance with a header but failed to make proper connection with the cross. As the game bounced from end to end, Galbraith went down in the box looking for a penalty when perhaps a better option would have been to get his shot away. Prince Buaben was clattered and needed treatment after a heavy challenge and the resulting free kick saw Brown saving comfortably from Douglas. The game was stretched and flowing from end to end. Tenacity from Goodwillie saw him win the ball but Buaben’s attempt to play Daly in went astray. Then Hibs passed up a great chance to take the lead. Buaben was penalised for a clumsy challenge on Gailbraith as he went clear in the box. There was little doubt that the referee’s decision to award a penalty was correct. Midfielder John Rankin stepped to take the penalty but Dusan Pernis was equal to his initial effort - brilliantly diving to his left - but the ball rebounded out into the path of Rankin who then embarrassingly got tangled up with his own player with the goal at his mercy: a massive let-off for United. A loud cheer went up when Danny Swanson was called back to the dug out and soon he replaced Prince Buaben in the midfield. The midfielder was making his first appearance in tangerine since late August. Jon Daly was replaced by Danny Cadamarteri as Peter Houston showed willingness to push on and grab the victory, however both sides continued to probe each other without any real conviction – not losing seemed to be more important than securing victory. Enter The Swan – he showed how much he’s been missed – with five minutes to go he clipped an exquisite ball through to David Goodwillie and there was no way he was going to miss. He poked the ball past the advancing goalkeeper and fired it in to the empty net. The two United stars had lit up the Shed end like they did on the day they brought the cup back to Tannadice. His work done – Swanson was replaced by Dixon as time ran out – hopefully as a precaution to prevent further injury to the player.
|Dušan Perniš (GK)||25||14||-||39||-|
|Paul Dixon (sub)||23||13||-||76||1|
|Danny Swanson (sub)||23||3||-||90||7|
|Danny Cadamarteri (sub)||31||9||-||33||4|
No league table has been added for this season.
After three consecutive defeats, today's game against Hibs assumes even greater importance, particularly as the Easter Road side can go above us if they win. Looldng back on those defeats, it is fair to say that we haven't exactly got the breaks. For example in the last home game against Celtic, we only lost out to a late goal when the ball fell kindly for Hooper to score. Prior to that we were holding on quite comfortably and looked dangerous on the counter-attack, so it was a real blow not to take something from a game in which the players had given their all. Then last Saturday, Lady Luck hardly smiled on us as we conceded two own goals when going down to an odd goal in three defeat to Motherwell. And it was the same again on our return to Fir Park when we got another bad break when the ball struck Morgaro Gomis in the face and dropped perfectly for Alan Gow to score their winner with just four minutes left. That said, I have to acknowledge the we didn't play well in the game last Saturday and got what we deserved, but as against Celtic, I couldn't fault the players for their approach in midweek. We definitely didn't deserve to lose the Co-op Cup tie and the only criticism I could level at the performance was that we didn't score. And that is something we must start addressing this afternoon. All season, we have had to rely on our two strikers that can't continue. Others must start chipping in and I'm talking about from every department of the side. So as you imagine that is what we have been working hard on in preparation for today's game.
Injuries too have hampered us of late and Craig Conway remains doubtful because of a knee knock while Scott Severin is battling against an ankle injury that he picked up at Fir Park last Saturday. At the time of writing, it was too early to make a proper assessment of their chances of facing Hibs. Unfortunately, Danny Swanson has had another set back in solving the back problem that has sidelined him for most of the season. It might be that he'll need another scan, but we'll decided that after I have a chat with physio Jeff Clarke and we'll take things from there, but, obviously, it's a blow. particularly for Danny. Whilst we have a few missing just now, it's not my way to make a big thing of it because it is part and parcel of football and you just have to get on with it. For example, Scott Robertson and Keith Watson came back into the starting eleven on Tuesday after being on the bench for the last few games and showed up very well. That's a major plus for me and they've given me something to think about for today's game, even if the others are available.