Saints 0-0 Dundee United (3-4 pens)

Tuesday 10th November 2020

Dundee United defeated Saints 4-3 on penalties this evening after the sides had battled out a goalless draw at McDiarmid Park in front of the Premier Sports cameras.

It was an open game as both sides created chances throughout with Saints best chance falling to Shaun Rooney but United keeper Deniz Mehmet made an excellent save to deny the Saints right-back. Whilst United came close with Paul McMullan a constant threat for Micky Mellon’s side and it was McMullan who almost gave the Terrors the lead just after the half an hour mark but Saints captain Jason Kerr got back to make an excellent block.

So, the match went to penalties to decide which side would earn the extra bonus point. Scott Tanser and substitute Stevie May both saw their efforts saved by Mehmet as United won the shootout with Nicky Clark scoring the decisive penalty.

Next up for Saints is a trip to Peterhead on Saturday for their final Betfred Cup Group C game, kick off 3pm.

MATCH REPORT

Saints were in Betfred Cup action this evening as they welcomed Dundee United to McDiarmid Park. Callum Davidson made six changes to the side that defeated Kilmarnock 1-0 at McDiarmid Park on Friday evening as Shaun Rooney, Callum Booth, Craig Bryson, Liam Craig, Callum Hendry and Chris Kane all came into the starting eleven. They replaced Jamie McCart, Murray Davidson, Craig Conway and Stevie May who all dropped to the bench, whilst Danny McNamara and Ali McCann missed out as they are away on international duty with Republic of Ireland Under 21s and Northern Ireland respectively. Dundee United drew 0-0 at St Mirren on Friday evening and for this evening’s match manager Micky Mellon also made six changes to his starting eleven. Out went Benjamin Siegrist, Luke Bolton, Ian Harkes, Peter Pawlett, Jamie Robson and Lawrence Shankland, who is away on international duty with Scotland, and they were replaced by Deniz Mehmet, Adrian Spörle, Mark Connolly, Paul McMullan, Marc McNulty and Jeando Fuchs.

Before the match got underway a one minute silence was observed ahead of Remembrance Day tomorrow.

David Wotherspoon got the match underway for Saints and the Canadian internationalist created the first opportunity of the match within 40 seconds but Deniz Mehmet got down well to gather the midfielder’s strike.

A Paul McMullan corner on 10 minutes was perfect for Ryan Edwards but the powerful header from the defender went over.

On 13 minutes Callum Hendry saw his shot go wide and then 2 minutes later the striker was appealing for a penalty as he went down in the box under the challenge from Mark Connolly but referee Don Robertson waved play on.

It was proving to be an open half with both sides creating chances and on 26 minutes Calum Butcher saw his 25 yard effort go wide. Then 5 minutes later Adrian Sporle did well to beat Shaun Rooney on the byline before picking out Paul McMullan but the midfielder put his effort wide.

McMullan was involved in the thick of the action on 33 minutes and it looked like he was about to give United the lead but Jason Kerr made an excellent last ditch tackle to deny the former Celtic player.

Saints were creating their own chances and on 34 minutes Hendry put his effort wide and then 2 Tanser saw his shot from 12 yards saved by Mehmet.

On 50 minutes a good Saints move saw Hendry set up Wotherspoon but he blasted over from 12 yards. Then 2 minutes later Hendry got a great chance to give Saints the lead as Chris Kane slipped the ball into the path of the advancing striker but he couldn’t direct his effort on target as he blasted well over.

Hendry got another sight of goal on 56 minutes but again he dragged his effort wide of Mehmet’s right-hand post.

United were coming more into the game during the second half and they forced a series of corners but the Saints defence stood firm and comfortably dealt with the danger.

Saints made their first change of the game on 67 minutes as Stevie May came on to replace Callum Hendry.

A great ball into the United box by Wotherspoon on 71 minutes was met by Rooney but his header was brilliantly palmed away by Mehmet. The loose ball then fell to May but his strike was brilliantly closed down by Connolly.

More changes for Saints followed as Michael O’Halloran, Craig Conway and Murray Davidson were all introduced into the action as Saints continued to up the pressure in the closing stages.

On 89 minutes substitute O’Halloran drove forward before having a shot but Mehmet got down low to his near post to make the save as both sides had to settle for a point.

The match then went to penalties to decide who would get the bonus point. Stevie May was up first but the forward saw his penalty well saved by Mehmet who got down low to his left. Marc McNulty then stepped up to give the Terrors an early lead although Clark did get a hand to the penalty but it wasn’t enough to keep it out.

Callum Booth was up next for Saints and he coolly converted before Ian Harkes restored United’s lead.

Saints third penalty was taken by Craig Conway and Mehmet almost denied the substitute but the ball squirmed over the line after the Turkish goalkeeper had initially saved the spot kick. United defender Mark Connolly then blasted his penalty high into the North Stand to leave the sides level at 2-2 after three spot kicks each.

Mehmet was the hero again for the visitors as he saved Saints next penalty from Scott Tanser and United captain Mark Reynolds then gave the visitors the lead as he slotted home from 12 yards.

Liam Craig scored Saints next penalty and then Nicky Clark stepped up to convert the winning penalty for the visitors to earn them the bonus point.

Saints: Clark, Rooney, Kerr, Gordon, Booth, Bryson (Davidson 77), Craig, Wotherspoon (O’Halloran 74), Hendry (May 67), Kane (Conway 74), Tanser

Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), McCart, Melamed, Ferguson

Booked: Bryson

Dundee United: Mehmet, Smith, Spörle (Bolton 84), Connolly, Reynolds, McMullan (Appéré 78), McNulty, Clark, Edwards, Butcher, Fuchs (Harkes 62)

Unused Substitutes: Siegrist, Powers, King, Robson, Fotheringham, Neilson

Booked: Edwards, Butcher, Appéré

Referee: Don Robertson

Attendance: BCD

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Scott Tanser’s penalty is saved