The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Two nothing up and cruising at half time, only what Manager Ivan Golac described as amateurish defending prevented us claiming both points from a match which was there for the taking. Apart from Andy McLaren hitting the side netting in the seventh minute, Raith enjoyed the bulk of the early play, but despite winning a string of corners failed to force a save from Alan Main. Indeed it was midway through the half before we had a shot on target - Craig Brewster directing a low shot too close to Scott Thomson to unduly trouble the former United keeper. The same could not be said about the next effort on goal. A cute flick from Billy McKinlay into the path of Dave Bowman and he unleashed a terrific angled drive from 25 yards way beyond the reach of Scott Thomson to put us in front. Seven minutes later and the Tangerines scored another great goal. Andy McLaren's penetrating run from virtually the half way line culminated in his cross cum shot taking a deflection to completely beat Scott Thomson. Raith threatened briefly before the break as Peter Hetherston scooped the ball over after latching on to a cross which Alan Main punched out. Only Freddy van der Moorn's late intervention then prevented Gordon Dalziel from being through on goal. These warnings went unheeded though and 12 minutes into the second period, Raith pulled one back when the ball travelled from Dalziel into Jason Dair on the left and he was calm and collected as he stroked the ball into the far corner. This only served the Tangerines into retaliation and the Raith goal was to lead a charmed life as United struck the woodwork three times in as many minutes! A free flowing move down the right was started by Christian Dailly and Andy McLaren took the return pass and released a perfect cross to the head of Craig Brewster whose effort was tipped on to the bar by Scott Thomson. Christian Dailly then headed a Brian Welsh high ball against the foot of the post before Craig Brewster turned to crack in a 25 yarder which Scott Thomson touched on to the bar. When George McGeachie and Dave Bowman squared up to each other with ten minutes left both were booked, but the Raith defender had already been booked and was consequently dismissed. Undaunted Raith pursued an equaliser with renewed vigour and got their reward when Jimmy Nicholl's corner was headed on by Graham at the near post and Stephen Crawford, Raith's other Under 21 call up, nodded in the equaliser with just four minutes remaining.
Our November programme began at Tynecastle last Saturday and heralds an interesting and very important month for the Club. Undoubtedly our main objective is to string a few wins together and at the same time adhere to a settled formation. There is obviously a lot of hard work ahead of us, but the spirit amongst the players is very good as was demonstrated by the way in which they stuck to their task to secure a result against St Johnstone in the last match at Tannadice. It was heartening to see the confidence return in the second half and we played some very good possession football after scoring two excellent goals. The last quarter of the game with St Johnstone was how I like to see my sides playing football with confidence and a touch of arrogance. Keeping a clean sheet was also very important, so all in all it was a very satisfactory afternoon's work. It certainly was an improvement on what had been a black October for me. It felt as though there were more bad weekends last month than in the whole of my footballing career. The manner in which we gave away so many preventable goals was a nightmare and I want us to start keeping clean sheets as we did at the start of the season. One of the reasons we didn't lose a goal was the form of Alan Main who brought off two magnificent saves against St Johnstone and both at crucial times. Another very pleasing aspect of that game was the form and attitude of Christian Dailly. He again had the confidence to take opponents on and beat them as he was doing in pre-season games when he proved to me what a great prospect he is. When we met Raith at Starks Park they deserved a draw despite the fact it took a last minute Nichol goal for them to secure a point, but as always I will be looking to learn from that as we get used to the habit of winning during thisCrucial month.