Dundee United 1-1 Saints

Saturday 1st August

A fantastic second half volley from Liam Craig saw Saints earn a point against Dundee United at Tannadice this afternoon.

The hosts took the lead on 6 minutes as they were awarded a penalty after Liam Craig’s raised arm blocked a Liam Smith effort. Nicky Clark stepped up to convert the penalty.

Saints were then reduced to ten men just before half time as Michael O’Halloran was shown a red card by Kevin Clancy after picking up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Calum Butcher.

Despite being a man down Saints put in a good performance during the second half and equalised on 55 minutes thanks to a superb volley from Craig.

Next up for Saints is a home match against Aberdeen next weekend.

MATCH REPORT

The Scottish Premiership came out of lockdown today as the new season got underway. Callum Davidson was taking charge of his first competitive match for Saints following his appointment as Saints new manager in June. Saints first match of the season was a short trip along the road to take on newly promoted Dundee United who last month appointed Micky Mellon as their new manager. For his first match Callum gave a debut to Danny McNamara who joined the club last month on-loan from Davidson’s former club Millwall. Callum’s other two additions to the squad, Isaac Olaofe and Craig Conway, were both on the bench.

Callum Hendry got the match underway for Saints however, the visitors would find themselves a goal down after 6 minutes. A good ball forward by the hosts picked out Ian Harkes and he laid the it back to Liam Smith. The defender then had a shot at goal which hit Liam Craig’s arm and referee Kevin Clancy award Micky Mellon’s men a penalty. Nicky Clark stepped up to take the spot kick and he sent his right footed shot into the bottom right corner.

Dundee United then went in search of a second and on 12 minutes Clark setup Jamie Robson but Elliott Parish made a great point blank save as he turned the ball behind for a corner.

Then a minute later Saints got their first shot at goal as Callum Booth’s effort from 35 yards went wide of the target.

Saints picked up their second yellow card of the match on 14 minutes as Michael O’Halloran was shown booked for a poor challenge on Peter Pawlett.

The Premiership new boys were enjoying the upper hand in the opening period and on 17 minutes a Robson cross picked out Harkes but the midfielder couldn’t make a good connection with the ball as he put it high and wide over Parish’s goal.

Saints then started to get a stronger foothold of the game and on 24 minutes Jamie McCart sent a great ball forward to David Wotherspoon. The midfielder chested the ball down before showing good movement to create space for himself and unleashed a strike from 20 yards which went narrowly wide.

The hosts continued to create chances as on 27 minutes Pawlett saw his effort well saved by Parish and then 3 minutes later Calum Butcher’s effort from 18 yards went well over.

With 9 minutes of the first half Saints got their first corner of the match which was taken by Wotherspoon however, his delivery into the box was well cleared by the home defence. Then shortly after Callum Hendry got a half chance however, Benjamin Siegrist was out quick to smother the ball before the Saints striker could have a strike at goal.

As the match entered added on time at the end of the first half Saints suffered a setback as O’Halloran was sent off after picking up a second yellow card for a late tackle on Butcher.

A couple of minutes into the second half Clark played a good through ball to Lawrence Shankland and the Scotland internationalist twisted and turned in the box before unleashing his effort however, he couldn’t get his strike from 12 yards on target.

Despite being a man down Saints were back on level terms 10 minutes into the second half thanks to Liam Craig. Saints broke down the right as Jason Kerr passed to Danny McNamara and the on-loan Millwall right-back advanced with the ball before sending a dangerous cross into the box which Mark Connolly attempted to cut out. However, the looping ball then fell perfectly to Craig and he lashed home a great volley to level the match.

Saints were now creating the better chances and on 62 minutes Hendry setup Wotherspoon but his effort was well saved by Siegrist. The loose ball then broke to McNamara however, his fierce strike was turned behind for a corner.

Saints won another corner a couple of minutes later however, Craig’s delivery was well held by Siegrist. The United keeper then played a quick ball to Harkes’ feet and the midfielder ran from his own half and into the Saints box however, his effort on goal was weak as Parish gathered.

On 73 minutes Craig Conway came on to make his Saints debut against his former club after joining the club yesterday on a one-year deal.

With 8 minutes remaining McNamara was booked for a late tackle on Pawlett. Then on 84 minutes McNamara produced a game-saving tackle after good link up play between Cammy Smith and Shankland.

The closing stages of the match saw the hosts get back into it however, they couldn’t find a way past a well organised Saints side as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Dundee United: Siegrist, Neilson (Bolton 65), Reynolds, Connolly, Smith, Butcher, Harkes, Pawlett, Robson (Chalmers 90), Clark (Smith 76), Shankland

Unused Substitutes: Mehmet (GK), Spörle, Powers, Glass, Mochrie, Appéré

Booked: Robson

Scorer: Clark (6 pen)

Saints: Parish, Kerr, Gordon, McCart, McNamara, McCann, Craig, Booth (Tanser 74), O’Halloran, Hendry (May 64), Wotherspoon (Conway 73)

Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Duffy, Olaofe, Rooney, Ballantyne

Booked: Craig, O’Halloran, McNamara

Scorer: Craig (55)

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Craig Conway advances forward at an empty Tannadice