St Mirren 1 – 1 Dundee Utd 26/01/11

Paul Barnes reports…..

Some have suggested lately that Dundee United’s players have been invited across the pond as guests on David Letterman’s Late Show. Their hypothetical auditions continued apace at St Mirren Park this evening. They’ve now scored in the last five minutes to equalise in six SPL games this season.

As Garry Kenneth did four days ago against Kilmarnock, David Robertson equalised for the Arabs in the dying embers of the game to salvage a point. St Mirren had opened the scoring in the first half, a first SPL goal for summer signing Darren McGregor.

A poor crowd of just over 3,000 braved a chilly January Wednesday in Paisley to take in the action, and it took only four minutes for them to witness what could have, and probably should have, been the opener. Craig Conway, making his second successive start for the visitors after a lengthy spell in the treatment room, darted down the left and whipped a ball across the home side’s six yard box. Johnny Russell, lively throughout the game, clipped the ball at the back post and Jim Goodwin was on hand to clear to safety.

At the other end, defender Marc McAusland fancied himself to break St Mirren’s dry scoring run – coming into this game they had failed to score in the league since Boxing Day – with a twenty yard swipe that sailed high and wide after a neat lay-off by Paul McGowan.

The visitors’ best chance of the first half fell, once again, to Russell. As the ball was fired into him twelve yards out with his back to goal, he spun his man and fired towards Gallacher’s net. Throwing out his legs instinctively, the Saints goalkeeper made a fine save.

Gallacher put in a good performance

It was the home side, however, who made the breakthrough seven

minutes before the interval. Jure Travner whipped an inswinging corner across the United box, and Darren McGregor rose unchallenged to head to the far post. Morgaro Gomis desperately tried to skelp the ball off the line but not in time for whistler Craig Thomson to award the goal.

The visitors appeared with more urgency at the start of the second half and could have equalised not long after the restart. Youngster Stuart Armstrong floated a hopeful ball into the box and Goodwillie’s glancing header was palmed for a corner by an alert Gallacher. From the resultant set piece United had what looked like a strong appeal for a penalty waved away by Thomson. McGregor and Garry Kenneth bundled to the ground as the ball floated over their heads and when the ball was fired back across goal the St Mirren defender appeared to hold down his opposite number.

Kenneth was forthright about the legitimacy of his claims: “Of course it was a penalty. The boy pulled me to the ground. If he didn’t I’d have had a tap in.”

Still fizzing with the apparent injustice, Kenneth was booked for dissent a minute later after appealing once again for a spot kick, although this time his protests appeared to be more in hope than expectation.

United pressed relentlessly for a leveller as the second half wore on. Morgaro Gomis and Prince Buaben wasted little in midfield and provided Conway, Goodwillie and Russell with ample opportunity to stretch their legs and run at the St Mirren backline. As the minutes ticked by the hosts gradually found themselves pinned back on their own 18yard line, with few opportunities to gain territory in United’s half.

In the 73rd minute the pressure applied on the Saints almost saw United draw level. When Paddy Cregg was dispossessed cheaply in midfield Johnny Russell was fed wide, bearing down on the box. His sprayed centre was met by Goodwillie who couldn’t adjust his feet quickly enough and ended up tapping upwards onto Gallacher’s bar.

Sensing vulnerability in the hosts’ rear-guard, United manager Peter Houston used his three substitutions in an attempt to galvanise his fatigued side, Danny Cadamarteri, David Robertson and Andis Shala being introduced to the action. His enterprising decisions paid off.

Just two minutes left on the clock and United scored their now customary late equaliser. St Mirren’s defence came out in unity to meet David Goodwillie’s cross, but substitute David Robertson evaded the offside trap. Sneaking in behind Jure Travner at the back post, he divert a well guided header over the helpless Gallacher and into the far corner.

Robertson hit United's late leveller

Cue a shake of the head from Travner’s manager Danny Lennon: “He could have done a lot better for me with the ball at the back post. You’ve got to defend for your life at that stage of the game.”

For United manager Peter Houston, Robertson’s last gasp equaliser was scant consolation for a dominating second half display. “If it was a boxing match they would have stopped the second half. We absolutely battered them.”

If success was measured on perseverance and strength of character, United’s Late Show stars have certainly earned their stripes.

 

St Mirren – P Gallacher 1, L Mair 5, J Potter 6, S Thomson 8 (Dargo 90), M Higdon 10, J Goodwin 11, D McGregor 14, J Travner 16, M McAusland 17, P McGowan 19, P Cregg 27 (Murray 80)

Subs: C Samson, C Dargo 9, P McQuade 15, K McLean 45, A Mooy 33, M Lamont 40, H Murray 7

Dundee United – D Pernis 1, S Dillon 2, C Conway 6 (Shala 86), P Buaben 15, M Gomis 16, B Douglas 17, G Kenneth 18, K Watson 23, D Goodwillie 25, J Russell 27 (Cadamarteri 73), S Armstrong (D Robertson 73)

Subs: S Banks, D Cadamarteri 10, D Robertson 12, R Smith 34, A Shala 20, R Dow 30, M Lee 38

Ref: C Thomson

ATT: 3095

One Response to St Mirren 1 – 1 Dundee Utd 26/01/11

  1. Pingback: Midweek action « The Commentary Box

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