The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
It was a disappointing night for United after a clear ‘offside’ goal early in the second half proved enough to send Saints through. Although never at their very best, United fought hard to equalise and came closest on 76 minutes when a Noel Hunt overhead kick was turned over spectacularly by Mark Howard.United came very close to making a nightmare start when the visitors broke upfield and they had Christian Kalvenes to thank for a last ditch challenge which prevented Craig Dargo netting from close range. The next big chance also fell to St Mirren on 17 minutes after a slip from Kalvenes allowed Dargo to run in behind and when Zaluska spilled the ball on the bye line the striker had an empty net to aim at, albeit from a very acute angle. Fortunately for United the ex Inverness man aimed his shot off target resulting in only a throw on the far side. Kalvenes repeated his feat of earlier in 29 minutes when he charged in to block Andy Dorman getting a shot away from 6 yards following good wing play by Marc Corcoran. During a half in which the Tangerines struggled to get to grips with the game they were limited to less clear cut chances, with Noel Hunt going closest when he forced Mark Howard into an excellent save diving down low to his left to turn away a curling shot destined for the bottom corner. Unfortunately for United the visitors broke the deadlock in the 48th minute in a controversial incident. Dargo was retreating from an offside position when he became ‘active’ by assisting the ball towards Dorman, who then raced in behind the home defence to prod the ball into the net with the home defence claiming offside. Despite protests, neither the referee or linesman appeared to have noticed. The hosts desperately needed a spark and almost found it 10 minutes later when Hunt latched onto a De Vries knockdown 8 yards out forcing Howard to react well to block his shot. Substitute Danny Swanson turned nicely at the edge of the area in the 73rd minute before curling a decent shot over the bar before Hunt brought out a fantastic save from the goalkeeper after 76 minutes when, following a De Vries flick on, he attempted a spectacular overhead kick which was heading for the roof of the net before Howard intervened and turned the ball over the bar. Hunt then met a Kalvenes free kick from the right, arguably his most clear cut chance of the night so far, but agonisingly his header was off target. Unfortunately it was not the Tangerines’ night and but for a Zaluska save in injury time from Marc Corcoran it would have been 2-0.