Dundee Utd 1
St Johnstone 1
League (Premiership)

Dundee Utd
1 - 1
St Johnstone 

League (Premiership)
Saturday, August 1st, 2020
Tannadice Park (Behind closed doors)
3:00 PM Kick-off

Nicky Clark (pen.) (6)
Liam Craig (55)

Team Managers
Micky Mellon
Callum Davidson

Starting Eleven
1. Benji Siegrist
5. Mark Connolly
6. Mark Reynolds
17. Jamie Robson
2. Liam Smith
18. Calum Butcher
23. Ian Harkes
30. Lewis Neilson
8. Peter Pawlett
10. Nicky Clark
24. Lawrence Shankland
Elliot Parish .12
Jason Kerr .5
Liam Gordon .6
Jamie McCart .4
Danny McNamara .15
Ali McCann .18
Liam Craig .26
Callum Booth .24
Michael O'Halloran .11
Callum Hendry .22
David Wotherspoon .10

19. Deniz Mehmet
3. Adrián Sporle
20. Luke Bolton
15. Logan Chalmers
21. Declan Glass
26. Chris Mochrie
4. Dillon Powers
11. Cammy Smith
27. Louis Appéré
Ross Sinclair .45
Wallace Duffy .2
Scott Tanser .3
Craig Conway .7
Stevie May .14
Isaac Olaofe .16
Shaun Rooney .19
Cammy Ballantyne .23

Luke Bolton for Lewis Neilson (65)
Cammy Smith for Nicky Clark (76)
Logan Chalmers for Jamie Robson (90)
Stevie May for Callum Hendry (64)
Craig Conway for David Wotherspoon (73)
Scott Tanser for Callum Booth (74)

Jamie Robson (43)
Liam Craig (6)
Michael O'Halloran (14)
Dan McNamara (82)

Red Cards
None. Michael O'Halloran (45)
Match Officials

Kevin Clancy (Referee)
Dougie Potter & Sean Carr (Assistants)
Greg Aitken (Fourth Official)

Match Report

The 2020/21 season started like no other. United, back in the Premiership after four seasons also had new manager Micky Mellon taking charge of his first league game. The Covid Pandemic made for a uniquely unusual opening game preceded by closed doors title celebrations. Captain Mark Reynolds unveiled the Championship flag as the trophy sat below. Cardboard cut outs of supporters and giant flags (including one displaying “Thank you NHS and Key Workers”) filled the Tannadice stands. Fans got their first taste of having to be content with watching from the comfort of their own homes as the players adjusted to the unusual lack of atmosphere.

The starting eleven largely resembled the team that competed in the last of the curtailed 2019/20 campaign. There was a starting debut for the exciting Academy graduate Lewis Neilson in the five man defence and new loan singing Luke Bolton started on the bench. Fellow Academy graduates Declan Glass, Logan Chalmers, Louis Appere and Chris Mochrie were also among the substitutes. Callum Booth lined up against his former side and United Scottish Cup winning hero Craig Conway began his St Johnstone career on the bench in Callum Davidson’s first game as manager for the visitors.

A guard of honour welcomed United on to the pitch as they looked to start the season off positively. This was ensured after a great opening five minutes, Ian Harkes drove forward after a deftly weighted through ball from Peter Pawlett. The American looked to be in but Callum Booth did well to force him away from goal. Harkes persevered and, still in possession, set up Liam Smith for a shot at goal from the edge of the box which was blocked by the hands of the Liam Craig. The referee pointed immediately to the spot. Nicky Clark stepped up to take the penalty and he dispatched in to the far left hand corner despite Parish diving the right way. United continued to be lively and a great move involving Harkes, Lawerence Shankland, Clark and Jamie Robson saw the latter have an angled effort saved by Parish. Robson was looking dangerous in
attacking down the left creating further chances for shots at goal for Shankland and Calum Butcher. As the first half drew to a close a rash Michael O’Halloran challenge resulted in a second booking and Saints faced playing the entire second half with ten men.

Shankland looked in the mood to open his account for the new season just under ten minutes into the second half. A twisting, turning run that fans have been so accustomed to from their star striker led to him fashioning an opening. His shot cleared the bar with Liam Smith perfectly poised for a tap
in. Despite being a man down Saints got themselves back on level terms when a clearance from the off balance Mark Connolly fell to Liam Craig. He made amends for his earlier error by lashing a volley past Benjamin Siegrist. United had Siegrist to thank as the ten man visitors, spurned on by their equaliser, had two attempts saved in quick succession. David Wotherspoon’s deflected attempt was clawed away before the United goalkeeper quickly got back on his feet to produce an even better save to parry a low drive from Danny McNamara on the rebound. There were chances for United too as Harkes ran almost the entire length of the pitch from deep inside his own half to the edge of the St Johnstone box for a shot on goal that ended up comfortably in the hands of Parish. Saints had McNamara to thank for a last ditch sliding tackle that prevented Peter Pawlett getting a shot away after a one two with Shankland. Substitute Luke Bolton looked lively on the right and he played a great low ball in to the box. Only a block from Craig stopped Shankland from stabbing home. It was a strong finish to the game for United who were unlucky not to get a winner but on balance both sides deserved a point each with the home side unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage.

Written by Stewart Graves

Squad Statistics (as at August 1st, 2020)

2020-21 All Time
Benji Siegrist (GK)28 1 - 72 -
Mark Connolly28 1 - 381
Mark Reynolds33 1 - 50 -
Jamie Robson22 1 - 1262
Liam Smith24 1 - 35 -
Calum Butcher29 1 - 755
Ian Harkes25 1 - 523
Lewis Neilson17 1 - 1 -
Peter Pawlett29 1 - 383
Nicky Clark29 115923
Lawrence Shankland24 1 - 3428
Luke Bolton (sub)20 1 - 1 -
Logan Chalmers (sub)20 1 - 173
Cammy Smith (sub)24 1 - 487

League Table (as at August 1st, 2020)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Hibernian 1 1 0 0 +1 3
2. Rangers 1 1 0 0 +1 3
3. St Mirren 1 1 0 0 +1 3
4. DUNDEE UTD 1 0 1 0 0 1
5. St Johnstone 1 0 1 0 0 1
6. Kilmarnock 1 0 0 1 -1 0
7. Aberdeen 1 0 0 1 -1 0
8. Livingston 1 0 0 1 -1 0

League results since United's last match
1st August 2020
Dundee Utd1-1St Johnstone
St Mirren1-0Livingston