The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Newly promoted Montrose proved themselves a very tough nut to crack. Marshalled by the experienced former Dons pair of Rougvie and Dornan, the First Division side restricted our scoring opportunities to a minimum in the first half. The exceptions followed the first of a series of Billy McKinlay inswinging corners when both Mixu Paatelainen and Michael O'Neill missed from good scoring positions. We also went close to taking the lead when Billy McKinlay's first time shot from a comer which had been cleared to him almost beat Larter who grabbed the ball on the line at the second attempt. Larter again came to Montrose's rescue coming out to block Dave Bowman's angular drive with his legs. Little had been seen of the Gable Endies as an attacking force, but they opened the second half in more attacking mood and shocked us in the 55th minute. Self confessed United fan, Eddie Wolecki pounced on a through ball to flick the ball past Guide Van De Kamp before poking the ball into the empty net. Twice within a minute, Mbcu Paatelainen was denied by Larter as we pushed hard for the equaliser. John Clark struck a fierce drive, but straight at the keeper. Things were beginning to look somewhat ominous until co-manager Doug Rougvie made a fatal error. His lofted back-pass evaded his 'keeper, leaving Mixu Paatelainen the simple task of tapping the ball into a vacant net. Three minutes later we went ahead when Michael O'Neill headed in a cross from Andy McLaren at the second attempt. Only a last ditch save by Larter prevented Darren Jackson making it 3-1, but Montrose weren't finished yet. Three minutes from time, Doug Rougvie rose to head a free-kick into the top corner to atone for his earlier error of judgement. However, within a minute John Clark emulated Rougvie when he climbed to head in an Andy McLaren corner and secure victory without the tie going into extra-time.
To say that we are satisfied with the with the way in which we have started the season in view of all the injuries and other problems would in fact be to delude ourselves. I am most disappointed with our performance at McDiarmid Park las Saturday. The performance was nothing short of diabolical. The players wanted everyone else to do their running for them which is completely unacceptable, I have no doubts that some members of the side don't want to know when the going gets tough. They simply refuse to push themselves beyond the pain barrier and this is an attitude all too prevalent these days. After every game managers and coaches review the build up to matches. Every aspect is scrutinised. Were the players over-trained or given too much time off? In this instance I am sure that no matter which team played at Perth would have proved that something is wrong with the current attitude. Having said that ten man St. Johnstone deserved their share of the spoils. These notes are being penned shortly after Saturdays match and it is difficult to disguise the anger and disappointment I feel. Put simply, too many players want far too much, for far too little and it is a lesson the players never seem to learn. Tonight we face Montrose in the Skol Cup. I saw them recently against St. Johnstone and they thoroughly deserved their victory and are well organised. However, if our players buckle down to the job in hand and show the right attitude we should overcome the problems Montrose will undoubtedly cause. Whilst injuries and suspensions have enforced far too many changes in the side to strike a proper rhythm, I still can't accept that as an excuse for the poor showing against St. Johnstone and we cannot afford a repeat of that tonight, nor indeed, in the future.