The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Thistle haven't tasted success at Tannadice in the Premier Division, but they must have felt their moment had arrived in this encounter. They deservedly led 2-1 with just seconds remaining when United pounced to snatch a late equaliser which even Manager Ivan Golac admitted we didn't deserve! Grant Johnson and Freddy van der Hoorn were both omitted from the side which lost to Rangers and with Jim Mclnally suspended, that meant there were recalls for Craig Brewster, Mark Perry and Alex Cleland.Certainly Thistle featured more prominently in the early stages and were unlucky not to take an eighth minute lead when Craig and then Shaw contrived to miss easy chances with the goal at their apparent mercy. Former United midfielder Alex Taylor then snatched at a cross from Cameron and knocked the ball past the far post from a good position. It was, therefore, strikingly against the run of play when United took the lead four minutes from the interval. Andy McLaren made a thrust to the bye-line before whipping over a cross from which Craig Brewster headed past Nelson from six yards. That lead lasted a mere three minutes Callum Milne scored his first ever goal in senior football with a neat chip after warding off four challenges. Partick never aspired to the same heights after the interval, though Jamieson went close when he shot narrowly past. Compared to the opening 45 minutes. goalmouth action was at a premium, but 19 minutes from time, Thistle struck the goal which looked like ending their barren spell against United. Camerons low cross from a corner was flicked in by Roddy Grant to beat Alan Main at his near post. In an effort to salvage something from the game, manager Ivan Golac threw on Paddy Connolly for Craig Brewster and Paddy was to play our get out of jail card in the very last minute! He jinked his way inside before sending in a shot which rebounded off the face of the crossbar and Scott Crabbe proved to be our saviour with a simple tap in.
In view of last Saturday's result it may seem contradictory to say that we created more chances against Rangers than in any other game this season. The difference between the two sides came down to one thing - FINISHING! Whereas Rangers, with more than a little help from us, were clinical in front of goal from half chances, we passed up four great chances. The pleasing aspect of the game was that we dominated the game playing some very good football, and more importantly, created those clear cut chances. But in my long career both as a player and a manager I can never recall being associated with a club who gave away three goals in the way we did last weekend! It was completely unprofessional. After that it would have been an uphill battle against an amateur team, far less against the best team in the country! It certainly showed what a cruel game this can be. We created far more chances than Rangers and without taking anything away from Rangers, I felt we were the better team on the day. Indeed, had Grant Johnson scored with that header in the very early stages of the match the outcome I am sure would have been very different. Certainly there are no complaints from me regarding the effort and attitude of the players as could be seen by the way in which we fought back in the second half, but the lack of professionalism when we lost those goals is my main priority. We have been working hard to eradicate those defensive failings this week, but I still feel that we can take heart from the game with Rangers. In fact, in our last two games against Kilmarnock and Rangers we played well enough to take full points, but only have one point to show for our efforts. The battle for the League at the quarter way point couldn't be tighter and I am sure the destination of the title will go to the final day of the season. We must learn to be more ruthless and earn respect from the opposition and I know the lads will be anxious to make up for last week's disappointment. Thistle played well against us in the first meeting at Firhill, but if we repeat the quality of our performance against Rangers and eliminate the sloppiness at the back and improve our finishing, then I have no doubts we can repeat our victory over Partick Thistle earlier in the season.