2 - 3
Jordan Roberts (56)
Liam Polworth (69)
Simon Murray (6)
Simon Murray (45)
Edward Ofere (55)
Owain Fon Williams
Eiji Kawashima .1
Kyle Knoyle .12
Seán Dillon .2
Paul Dixon .3
Callum Morris .5
Mark Durnan .17
Scott Fraser .22
John Rankin .8
Simon Murray .15
Edward Ofere .9
Billy Mckay .7
Luis Zwick .51
Jamie Robson .40
Coll Donaldson .28
Ali Coote .27
Justin Johnson .33
Matty Smith .43
Richie Foran for Liam Polworth (76)
Danny Williams for Jordan Roberts (83)
Ryan Williams for Danny Devine (86)
Coll Donaldson for Mark Durnan (74)
Ali Coote for Simon Murray (77)
|Miles Storey (74)||
Callum Morris (75)
Callum Morris (78)
Don Robertson (Referee)
With relegation already confirmed, stand-in first team coach Gordon Young resisted the temptation to make too many changes for the trip to the Caledonian Stadium. Morris and Mckay were the only two to come into the team, while Paton and Spittal dropped out. United elected to go with youth on the bench, with a number of this season’s development squad included.
United set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and were quick out of the blocks in Inverness. In the opening seconds, Ofere cut in from the left and tested Fon Williams with a left foot drive. The Caley ‘keeper was up to the task and parried away. However, he was unable to stop the next effort coming his way. Simon Murray picked up the loose ball in a central position and strode forward before lashing a 30-yard effort beyond him. Having just watched Murray’s effort sail in, Andrea Mutombo tried to replicate it at the other end. However, Kawashima was able to save comfortably. The pace of the game dropped somewhat following what was a bright start. Midway through the half, Morris was called upon twice in quick succession to cut out dangerous through balls to Miles Storey. The big Inverness striker did get free soon after and found himself clean through on goal. However, Kawashima was equal to the task with a brilliant double save. The same player struck the post on the half hour mark but the flag had gone up on the far side just prior to him shooting. There was a freak accident as the game approached half time. Dillon and Mckay ran into one another when chasing a high ball and the captain required treatment for a head injury. Then with just seconds remaining in the first half, United doubled their lead. Fon Williams saved Billy Mckay’s powerful shot but Simon Murray was on hand to squeeze the ball home from a narrow angle via the unfortunate Josh Meekings.
The second half started quietly with little to get the fans off their seats in the opening 10 minutes. Then the game sprang to life when Mckay burst down the left on the counter attack. His low drilled cross found Edward Ofere at the back post and the striker made no mistake, slamming the ball home in front of the travelling fans. United’s three goal advantage lasted on 13 seconds as straight from the re-start Jordan Roberts was able to find space at the edge of the box and drill the ball with his left foot into the net. This gave Caley some hope and they went forward in search of another goal. It wasn’t long in coming, as in the 70th minute the troublesome Roberts fired in another effort that Kawshima could on parry to Liam Polworth. The midfielder was on hand to reduce the deficit further. Youngster Ali Coote was given some first team action when he replaced Simon Murray soon after the second Inverness goal. With United rocking now, there was a further blow as Callum Morris was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in just a few minutes. The visitors suppressed their hosts for the remainder of the second half but could have snatched a fourth late on when an in swinging Dixon cross was headed just wide by Ofere. However, the score remained 3-2 to United and the team walked off to a great reception from the 100 or so travelling fans.
“There is nothing I have done that is revolutionary or different. Football is strange. The amount of preparation I have seen going into matches over the years and you lose a game and you think 'what could I have done different?' Tonight we didn't change anything and we got a result. We played like that against Dundee on Monday. I just kept things the way they have been. But tonight I felt we got the breaks we haven't had in certain games."
“A decent performance in the Highlands. Clinical when we needed to be, something lacking in recent matches. However, we almost threw away a 3 goal lead which tells you everything about the side this season.”
Captain: John Rankin
Arab Archive 'Man of the Match': Simon Murray
Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:
Dundee United Official Flickr Page
Footnote - United were to be stripped of the three points after fielding Ali Coote as he was unregistered.
Match report written by Graeme Webster
|Eiji Kawashima (GK)||33||18||-||18||-|
|Coll Donaldson (sub)||21||21||-||21||-|
|Ali Coote (sub)||17||1||-||4||-|
* - Table split into two divisions of six.