1 - 2
|Jordan White (30)||
Johnny Russell (20)
David Goodwillie (84)
Marc McCallum for Filip Mentel (46)
Willo Flood for Scott Robertson (46)
John Rankin for Scott Allan (57)
Dale Hilson for Gary Mackay-Steven (57)
David Goodwillie for Stuart Armstrong (66)
Seán Dillon for Ross Smith (66)
Jon Daly for Johnny Russell (78)
Paul Dixon for Barry Douglas (78)
United kicked off the 2011-12 season with victory over League of Ireland team Drogheda United FC at Hunky Dory Park in the first pre season game of the Irish trip. Goals from Johnny Russell and David Goodwillie were enough to give United a deserved victory.
Both teams started the game at a decent tempo and it was obvious that the young United team were slowly moving through the gears as the early stages passed. Their territorial advantage created quite a few chances and Garry Kenneth went close with a hooked shot from 18 yards from a corner in the tenth minute. Four minutes later, Russell was almost in following a deft pass from Ryan Dow that split the defence wide open.
As United continued to dominate, it was a goal of genuine quality which saw the Tangerines go ahead. Lovely control and great awareness from Scott Robertson saw Keith Watson released on the right wing and his cross into the area appeared to be slightly behind Johnny Russell but the striker met the ball on the rise with his right foot and unleashed an effort high into the top right hand corner of the Drogheda net. United almost increased their lead a few moments later when Ryan Dow’s pace took him beyond the defence however his drive from 18 yards slipped just past the right hand post.
United continued to dominate proceedings but a well worked move saw Drogheda level the score. A clever flick into the area saw Gavin Brennan given time to cross along the 6 yard line for Jordan White to head past the helpless Filip Mentel in the United goal.
United continued to make most of the running and a Kenneth header almost saw United go back in front but the Drogheda keeper Drumond clutched the ball and the chance was lost. A minute before half time, Adrian Harper almost gifted United the lead when his slack pass released Johnny Russell but the United man’s effort from 20 yard crept narrowly past the post.
The hosts kicked off the second half with a stronger team on the park and aided by the considerable head wind and it was evident as they came more into the game and determined proceedings for a short while. A mass of substitutions from both teams dictated the tempo of the game for a period of time and United took the opportunity to introduce a few of the more experienced players and give run outs to new signings John Rankin and Willo Flood.
Stuart Armstrong’s 20 yard drive almost put United ahead again but the Drogheda keeper clutched the effort at the second attempt. Ryan Dow was next to go close for United and his 20 yard curling effort had the goalkeeper reaching to his maximum to tip the ball over the bar.
As stated earlier the introduction of the more experienced players saw United grab a stranglehold on the game as it entered its final stages and it was one of those experienced players, David Goodwillie, who grasped victory for United with a goal fitting to win any football match.
With 83 minutes on the clock, a quick throw in from the right was collected by Goodwillie some 25 yards out and after initially looking for the run of strike partner Jon Daly, he checked back to his right and waltzed past two defenders before unleashing a powerful strike past the Goalkeeper from an acute angle 8 yards out.
United saw out the rest of the game without any scares and threatened to increase their lead with Goodwillie’s 25 yard drive the closest of a few near misses.
Peter Houston stated after the match that results are not important but it will have pleased the manager that both goals came from strikers and the all round performance and fitness levels must also have pleased him in what we must remember is the team’s first game of the season a mere six days after commencing pre season training.
No league table has been added for this season.