0 - 2
0 - 2
League Cup (Group A)
Aaron Dunsmore (38)
Liam Watt (51)
Jamie Robson for Adrián Sporle (54)
Louis Appéré for Scott Banks (58)
Chris Mochrie for Nicky Clark (71)
Chris Duggan for Ryan Wallace (65)
Danny Denholm for Liam Watt (72)
Lewis Hunter for Anton Dowds (80)
Graham Beaton (Referee)
Robbie Neilson showed his intention by fielding a very strong line up for the final Betfred Cup Group Stage match against East Fife. With the exception of youngster Scott Banks it was a largely experienced team with Clark partnering Shankland up top. Former United man Stewart Murdoch started for the visitors after leaving Tannadice earlier in the summer.
The visitors had an early sight of goal when Dowds latched on to a short backpass but, fortunately for United, Watson made a strong saving tackle. With eight minutes on the clock, Watson was involved at the other end of the park. Following a foul on McMullan, Banks swung in a free kick which the United defender headed just over. East Fife then had a couple of chances with both falling to Dowds. Firstly, he won the ball from Butcher at the edge of the United box and then fired a shot over and then seconds later Butcher made amends by blocking his effort from 20 yards out. With 20 minutes on the clock United produced a flowing move. McMullan broke from the half way line and set up Liam Smith who crossed to Shankland but the East Fife keeper did extremely well to punch the ball clear. With 38 minutes gone, the visitors arguably took a deserved lead. Dowds was again involved, this time supplying an inch perfect pass to Aaron Dunsmore who shot low past the advancing Siegrist. This seemed the spur United on and four minutes later they were extremely close to equalising when a thunderous shot from Shankland hit the underside of the bar. The ball was then cleared for a corner which Butcher headed but the keeper tipped over. On the stroke of half time McMullan laid the ball into the path of Stanton but his looping effort just drifted wide of the far post.
Six minutes into the second half the League One side extended their lead. A fine ball was played through to Liam Watt who despite the presence of McMullan was able to turn and curl a fine shot into the bottom corner of the net. United then brought on Robson and Appere for Sporle and Banks and within a few minutes Appere was involved when his shot was blocked by the home defence. East Fife's goal scorers then combined with Dunsmore laying the ball to Watt who shot over. United then won a corner at the other end which McMullan took and Clark nodded over. With 13 minutes remaining United had a glorious chance to get back in the game. Appere picked out Robson on the left and his great cross was met by Shankland who volleyed over. A minute later United were thwarted by a fantastic one handed save by Hart from a Stanton header. East Fife then went straight up the other end and Siegrist did well to save from Dunsmore. United were trying to get back in the game and twice Smith had long range efforts saved by Hart. With five minutes left it was almost three when the visitors once again had the ball in the net but the linesman had already flagged for offside. The final chance of the evening was a free kick for United but Hart handled well from a shot from McMullan.
Match report written by Gareth Scott
|Benji Siegrist (GK)||27||3||-||41||-|
|Jamie Robson (sub)||21||3||-||99||2|
|Chris Mochrie (sub)||16||1||-||2||-|
|Louis Appéré (sub)||20||4||1||8||1|
No games played.
Welcome back to Tannadice for our first home matches of the season in the Betfred Cup. We go into the double header with Cowdenbeath and East Fife in fine fettle after drawing with Hearts and our victory at Stenhousemuir last Tuesday. I was delighted with the performance at Tynecastle and the work-rate of the players and I thought the fans were again sensational. Taking a support of just under 1200 for a televised match on such a wet night was nothing short of phenomenal. It was good to come away with a point and if disappointing not to have claimed the bonus point via the penalties, at least we scored one! That was a bit of getting the monkey off our back after drawing a shoot-out blank in the Play-off final last May. I am sure that the majority of teams outside of the Old Firm would have been absolutely delighted to come away from Tynecastle with a point. And it was good to get the three points last Tuesday at Stenhousemuir. Games like that are always hard, we are still in pre-season and the Astro adds to the difficulty. We made life hard for ourselves with a bit of slackness in certain areas which gave them a lift. But taking everything into account it was three points and we are sitting with four points from two hard games.
And that puts in a good position to earn us a place in the last 16 and then with a decent draw can make the quarters, which would be good because we want to get as far as we can in this competition. But that is jumping the gun because we must win these two games to stay in contention.
The two Fife clubs whom we welcome over the next four days are ones I know realty well, having played for both. I had a great time when I was on loan to Cowdenbeath for half a season when as a 17-year-old. It was a great experience. Quite a bit later, actually towards the very end of my playing career, I was assistant manager at Methil, but also played a handful of games before retiring. So these are two clubs of which I have fond memories, so am looking forward to playing them. Though these are our last competitive games before the league starts next month, the way the fixtures have panned out has been good as it gives us a break before meeting Inverness Caley Thistle here a week on Saturday. And our final preparation for that will be the friendly at Shrewsbury which I am sure our fans will enjoy and sets us up well for that first league game in an exciting start to the new term with away games at Partick Thistle and Dunfermline before the derby at the end of August And hopefully that schedule will also include a second round BetFred Cup tie.