Dundee Utd 0 - 2 Partick Thistle

League - Premiership
Saturday, February 28th, 2015, 3:00 PM at Tannadice Park
Attendance: 6,517
Referee: Greg Aitken
Dundee Utd  Partick Thistle

Goalscorers
None. Stephen O'Donnell (34)
Ryan McGowan (o.g.) (41)

Team Managers
Jackie McNamara
Alan Archibald

Starting Eleven
Radoslaw Cierzniak
Jarosław Fojut
Ryan McGowan
Paul Dixon
Seán Dillon
Charlie Telfer
Blair Spittal
Paul Paton
Chris Erskine
Ryan Dow
Nadir Çiftçi
Paul Gallacher
Stephen O'Donnell
Conrad Balatoni
James Craigen
Stuart Bannigan
Steven Lawless
Frederic Frans
Christie Elliott
Kallum Higginbotham
Abdul Osman
Luke Taylor

Substitutes
Luis Zwick
John Souttar
John Rankin
Aidan Connolly
Henri Anier
Mario Bilate
Robbie Muirhead
Scott Basalaj
Callum Booth
Kris Doolan
Ryan Stevenson
Ben Richards-Everton
Gary Fraser
Declan McDaid

Substitutions
Henri Anier for Charlie Telfer (52)
Mario Bilate for Chris Erskine (76)
Declan McDaid for Kallum Higginbotham (69)
Kris Doolan for Luke Taylor (79)

Bookings
Ryan McGowan (12)
None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Radoslaw Cierzniak (GK) 122 apps -
Jarosław Fojut 30 apps5 goals
Ryan McGowan 6 apps1 goal
Seán Dillon 286 apps5 goals
Paul Dixon 150 apps5 goals
Charlie Telfer 16 apps4 goals
Chris Erskine 38 apps8 goals
Paul Paton 71 apps4 goals
Blair Spittal 20 apps1 goal
Nadir Çiftçi 70 apps28 goals
Ryan Dow 87 apps11 goals
Henri Anier (sub) 8 apps1 goal
Mario Bilate (sub) 12 apps2 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Blair Spittal (19 years 76 days)
Oldest Player:Radoslaw Cierzniak (31 years 318 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 12 days
Domestic Players:5 (45.45 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:John Souttar (18 years 160 days)
Oldest Player:Radoslaw Cierzniak (31 years 318 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 236 days
Domestic Players:9 (50.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Radoslaw Cierzniak, Charlie Telfer and Blair Spittal replaced Michal Szromnik, Callum Butcher and Aidan Connolly in the United team. Thistle made wholesale changes following defeat against Ross County, with Conrad Balatoni, Stuart Bannigan, Steven Lawless, James Craigen and Higginbotham all coming into the side at the expense of Danny Seaborne, Callum Booth, Gary Fraser, Declan McDaid, and Ryan Stevenson.

In miserable conditions both overhead and underfoot, the game was slow to start. The football on show did little to courteract the dmap atmosphere around Tannadice. Thistle had the better of the opening exchanges, but it was United who got first glimpse of goal. However, Nadir Ciftci failed to control a cut back just ten yards out. Lyle Taylor was causing problems and he played a neat backheel to the underlapping Stephen O’Donnell on the right flank in the lead up to the opening goal. Stephen O’Donnell let the ball run across his body onto his left side before curling a great shot into the top corner from the edge of the box. United looked startled and were positively reeling just seven minutes later. Higginbotham sent in a low corner that eventually bounced into the goal after striking Jarek Fojut.

The second half never really got going. Thistle looked happy with their two goal lead and United couldn't muster anything in attack. Jackie McNamara threw Henri Anier on for Telfer, and later Mario Bilate for Chris Erskine but to no avail. Bannigan had a chance to make it 3-0 when he fired a shot past the post from the edge of the box. United had a couple of late chances with Bilate starting to cause trouble. First, Anier squandered a left-footed effort from around 12 yards out. Then Ciftci did well down the right and fired the ball in low across the area. It evaded Bilate and ran to Anier at the back-post, who miskicked and the ball looped up high and wide. With all the other top eight teams losing other than Celtic, the defeat leaves United still seven points adrift of third-placed Inverness, and five ahead of fifth-placed Hamilton.

Manager's Comment:
"I thought we had one or two still feeling the effects of playing so long on Tuesday night against Inverness with just 10 men. We had a couple of chances to get back into it but all round it was quite a flat performance, like last Saturday against St Johnstone.It was disappointing because I had wanted the same energy and commitment as Tuesday night and didn't get that. But we have to move on and be positive."

Fan's Comment:
“There has been a real negative atmosphere around Tannadice since GMS and Armstrong have left. You sense the fans and players are all very much on edge and performances like today don't help much. Lacklustre on the pitch and much grumbling off the pitch. Bilate's introduction was one ray of light. He had some nice touches. Looking around the place on Saturday it is really hard to believe we have a cup quarter final and final coming up in March.”

Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:
Dundee United Official Flickr Page



Photography by DUFC Official

What a difference three days makes. Obviously everyone was low after the St Johnstone game. But the boys deserve tremendous credit for the way they battled back against Inverness three days later after going down to ten men and a goal behind early in the game. Of course, our problems were because of Michel Szromnik's early dismissal for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. I can't really argue with the decision. Initially, Watkins looked as though he might have been offside but, having seen the incident on TV, he wasn't and nereafter we had to respond the right way. When Inverness scored from the penalty, had anyone said 'would you take a 1-1 draw?' I'd have bitten their hand off! Instead with the way the game went, I ended up disappointed that we didn't get all three points. That tells you everything about the work rate and desire of everyone right through the team. I thought, to a man, we were excellent. We were the better side and had the better chances in the first half. We were also in the ascendancy after the break and went out to win it after drawing level. The least we deserved was a point. Having failed to win the first two of this run of three home games, we're desperate to get back on a winning track this afternoon as we welcome my former club Partick Thistle. Certainly, we haven't found it easy in either of the two previous encounters with them this season, so we know we are in for another tough game. Being honest, we were rather fortunate to take all three points on their lost visit here in October, with Nadir probably offside when he scored the only goal of the game.

And, after going ahead at Firhill last month, we rode our luck to go in trailing only by a goal at the interval. heaving said that, we did well enough to eventually earn a draw thanks to Nadir's late leveller. The Jags come here on the back of a disappointing home defeat to Ross County last weekend, so I have no doubt that Archie will have them fired up - and he'll be delighted that we ployed so long wifh ten men on Tuesday evening. So it has all the makings of a great game, but one that we have to win!

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