The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Three early goals ended United's lean spell. Billy Kirkwood opened the scoring and Davie Dodds chipped in with two in two minutes between the 17th and 19th minutes. Frank McDougall pulled one back just on the half-time whistle. A second-half fade out by United almost cost a point with Doug Somner scoring Saints second a couple of minutes from time up. John Clark made his debut.
There is an old adage in football that you have to be daft to be a goalkeeper. However, in tne modern game I am of the opinion that the saying should be attributed to strikers. The tackle from behind is an aspect on which I have always held strong beliefs, but increasingly I see this tactic being utilised by managers eariy 111 a match in order to upset the rhythm of a side. Recently I have been astounded by some of the treatment meted out by defenders.Strong arm tactics such as these dictate the pattern for the rest of the match and will upset the rhythm of any side, denying the paying public full entertainment value. Unfortunately our front players appear to have suffered more than most as opposing defenders attempt to stifle our threat by kicking. I have been reticent to comment on this subject but the situation has deteriorated rather than improved, so much so that one manager, after a recent game, even boasted that his side had deliberately set out to kick us off the park ! This is not sour grapes on my part following our recent bad run for unfortunately it is part and parcel of the game but similar retaliatory tactics are not the answer. Having said this, I have been disapoointed at the way we have coped with the robust treatment received by our strikers and it is one of the leasons we have been toiling recently. I was amazed and angered when some opposition supporters accused some of our players of cheating. I never ask my players to cheat and you only have to look at the back of Paul Sturrock's legs to confirm the punishment he has had to take week in and week out. I am sure most of you will have been as disapoointed as everyone within the club by successive defeats by Aberdeen and Rangers. However, no club is immune from a sticky patch but trophies are awarded to those sides who suffer fewest bad patches. The dropping of five points out of six must be rectified immediately otherwise the difficult task of winning the league will enter the realms of impossibility. Until New Year's Day everything appeared rosy, and whilst it is easier to look back in hindsight, I wish I had made changes when we were winning rather than being forced to make wholesale changes after the bad result at Ibrox. It was for this reason I have delayed playing John McNeil as I would prefer to introduce him into a winninq side. It is unfortunate that we have to face Saints on two consecutive Saturdays. Remarkably this is the third consecutive occasion that we have faced our Scottish Cup opponents on league business the previous Saturday. Neither side can benefit from such circumstances. This afternoon I anticipate a difficult match, for St Mirren are a side I admire, possessing players with ability, skill and flair. Both sides will no doubt be looking forward to this match in which skill will be the deciding factor and not the strong arm tactics discussed earlier. Rikki McFarlane's side must be denied space and time otherwise they will cause us undoubted problems in a match we desperately require to win.