Dundee Utd 2 - 1 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, October 4th, 2008, 3:00 PM at Tannadice Park, Dundee
Attendance: 6,279
Referee: Iain Brines
Dundee Utd Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Jon Daly (40)
Lee Wilkie (65)
Lee Wilkie (o.g.) (90)

Team Managers
Craig Levein Craig Brewster

Starting Eleven
Lukasz Zaluska
Sean Dillon
Lee Wilkie
Darren Dods
Paul Dixon
Willo Flood
Scott Robertson
Morgaro Gomis
Craig Conway
Jon Daly
Francisco Sandaza
Michael Fraser
Richard Hastings
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
Jamie Duff
Roy McBain
Ian Black
Don Cowie
Iain Vigurs
Dougie Imrie
Andrew Barrowman

Bench
Michael McGovern
Daniel Grainger
Garry Kenneth
David Goodwillie
Roy O Donovan
Daniel Swanson
Prince Buaben
Ryan Esson
Phil McGuire
Lionel Djebi-Zadi
Barry Wilson
Dale Gillespie
Garry Wood
Adam Rooney

Substitutions
Roy O Donovan -> Francisco Sandaza (59)
Daniel Swanson -> Craig Conway (76)
Barry Wilson for Ian Black (46)
Adam Rooney for Roy McBain (71)
Garry Wood for Andrew Barrowman (84)

Bookings
Willo Flood (45) Barry Wilson (78)
Grant Munro (85)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Michael Fraser (GK) 67 apps -
Grant Munro 249 apps6 goals
Richard Hastings 345 apps4 goals
Jamie Duff 7 apps -
Ross Tokely 450 apps30 goals
Ian Black 116 apps5 goals
Roy McBain 308 apps19 goals
Don Cowie 51 apps11 goals
Iain Vigurs 12 apps2 goals
Andrew Barrowman 9 apps2 goals
Dougie Imrie 25 apps4 goals
Barry Wilson (sub) 348 apps83 goals
Adam Rooney (sub) 9 apps1 goal
Garry Wood (sub) 6 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (20 years 155 days)
Oldest Player:Dougie Imrie (2010 years 66 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 52 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (20 years 155 days)
Oldest Player:Lionel Djebi-Zadi (2010 years 66 days)
Average Player Age:29 years 120 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Brewster Beaten on Return:

In the week that saw Peter Mandelson make his third return to the Cabinet, Craig Brewster hoped for a successful return to his former stomping ground.

It wasn't to be as Caley Thistle went down to a defeat at Tannadice, with Dundee Utd prevailing 2-1. United continued their good run, securing their fourth win on the bounce - after a tepid start to the season Craig Levein's men showed the form that made many tip them for third spot pre-season.

The travelling Highland fans will reflect on what was undeniably a poor performance from their team, with a fortnight to ponder before hosting the league champions at Caledonian Stadium.

There were two changes to the starting line up from the previous weeks home win over Kilmarnock with Russell Duncan failing a late fitness test and Phil McGuire dropping out after having several days off midweek for the birth of his child. Jamie Duff slotted into the back four in place of McGuire and Don Cowie was promoted from the bench to fill the gap left by Duncan. Under 19 Scotland cap Dale Gillespie was given a place on the bench in favour of Rory McAllister. United were unchanged from the XI who demolished Hearts last week. Caley lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Andy Barrowman as the lone frontman. Early exchanges were relatively tame until Don Cowie flashed a snapshot over the crossbar from ten yards out. United pushed forward, showing the confidence of a team in form and captain Lee Wilkie was given a free shot on goal after a Conway free-kick fell to him after the visiting defence failed to clear. Fortunately for the Jags backline, Wilkie's finish was that of a centre-half as the ball flew high into the old Shed end. Michael Fraser was then called into action to produce a superb save from a corner as Craig Conway's delivery was met by Jon Daly.

Moments after this whistler Iain Brines infuriated the home fans by refusing to award a penalty when a cross from the right flank appeared to strike the hand of Caley skipper Grant Munro. The Arab faithful saw reason to concur with the decision to dump Brines from the FIFA refereeing list as they howled with derision. Several United players were lucky to escape a caution for their continuing protests. To be fair to them, it was hard to see why a penalty had not been awarded - a generous observer would perhaps note that both Brines and his assistant were unsighted. Cowie also found space on the left to fire in a volleyed cross which eluded the efforts of Barrowman as the United defence looked on. Barrowman had little luck against the solid United defence all day and perhaps should have done better with this chance. A lone striker away from home can't expect to be handed too many opportunities and it looked to some in the away support that the former Ross County hitman could have thrown himself at the ball with more gusto. Seconds after this Barrowman was handed the chance to redeem himself when a long clearance by Michael Fraser somehow eluded the home defence but Barrowman couldn't pull himself clear and was forced to settle for a corner. A good move ten minutes later saw a glorious chance squandered by the visitors. Dougie Imrie played Don Cowie in down the left flank and a whipped cross found the advancing Roy McBain unmarked in the penalty area. It seemed inevitable that Mcbain would add to his season's account but his shot was a sclaff which as well as slipping wide of the post also eluded Barrowman at the far post. United seemed to push on after this and began to exert more pressure as half-time approached. A Darren Dods header was cleared off the line by young stopper Jamie Duff but just before half-time the away rearguard succumbed to the pressure. Craig Brewster will be disappointed with his defenders for allowing United to score such a straightforward goal. Willo Flood released Sean Dillon the right hand flank as Richard Hastings floundered - Dillon's cross found Jon Daly unmarked in the middle and his header was well directed into the corner away from Fraser. Although the first half had been relatively even, it would be inaccurate to describe a half-time lead for United as flattering. Just before the whistle, Inverness midfield dynamo Ian Black was on the receiving end of a painful, and somewhat cynical, challenge from former Caley captain Darren Dods. Breaking from a corner Dods scythed down Black and, despite leaving the field for some treatment, Inverness' stand out player this season was substituted at half time with a painful looking shoulder knock.

Half Time 1-0

Barry Wilson came on in his place. The change necessitated a rejig in midfield for the visitors with Barry Wilson a position wide on the left and Iain Vigurs moving inside. It soon became apparent that this combination was ineffective, to say the least. Vigurs tried his best in an unfamiliar more withdrawn position but he was unable to exert the same influence on the play as the stricken Black. Don Cowie, who has suffered from a drop in his own high standards from last term, simply had a nightmare in the second half. Every pass from the former County man seemed to be misplaced, every challenge saw him emerge empty handed. United's energetic midfield, with the wily Flood and sprightly Robertson, threatened to overrun the ragged visitors and they carved out a number of chances, including a stinging drive that Michael Fraser had to look lively to turn wide. The pressure eventually told when Lee Wilkie extended the Arabs lead midway through the half. A cross from the left was headed up in the air and the towering Wilkie headed into the net to double the home advantage. The away support were downcast with a desperately poor second half showing and murmurings among the fans demanding changes were satisfied in the 70thminute when Irish Under 21 internationalist Adam Rooney was given a chance in place of Roy McBain. The change seemed to energise Caley and veteran winger Barry Wilson cut inside and hit a fierce shot which forced Zaluska to concede a corner. From the set piece Andy Barrowman found some space and his header thudded back off the post. Tokely's mishit shot looped over everyone and was knocked home from point blank range by Rooney but the travelling supports celebrations were cut short as the far-side linesman flagged for offside. This energised the team and the support but greater endeavour did not give any concrete results. United had chances to extend their lead as they continued to dominate the centre of the park. At the death Caley Thistle managed to pull the scores back with an unlikely goal as a corner whipped in by Barry Wilson rebounded off Lee Wilkie and into his own net, harsh on the big Dundonian who had a very good game otherwise. A late push from the Highlanders failed to materialise, with Dundee Utd closing the game out comfortably.

Full Time 2-1

Looking back on the game Caley Thistle fans will reflect on the very poor display in midfield in the second half. Ian Black has been the standout so far this season for the Jags but without him the midfield lacked shape and was easily controlled by United. Without Black or Russell Duncan Craig Brewster's side lacked an anchor to their play and it was only when the ball went wide that any threat was created. United's control of the midfield also allowed them to push Caley back with the result of starving Andy Barrowman of decent service. The ex-Kilmarnock and Queen of the South forward had a thankless task all afternoon fighting with Dods and Wilkie for high balls - just the way Craig Levein would have wanted it. Only in the second half when Adam Rooney was introduced did Caley manage to play the game in United's final third and by this point a Herculean effort would have been needed to take anything from the match. What will be worrying for Craig Brewster is that this deterioration seemed to result from one player being withdrawn. This will have to be addressed as the manager tries to negotiate his way through consecutive matches against last season's top three SPL sides in the next few weeks.

Match report written by CaleyD



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 8 6 1 1 21 10 11 19
2. Rangers 7 6 1 0 15 5 10 19
3. Kilmarnock 8 4 1 3 9 9 0 13
4. Hibernian 8 4 1 3 9 10 -1 13
5. Hearts 8 4 0 4 10 13 -3 12
6. Dundee Utd 8 3 2 3 10 10 0 11
7. Inverness CT 8 3 1 4 10 9 1 10
8. Hamilton Academical 8 3 0 5 8 14 -6 9
9. Falkirk 7 2 1 4 10 12 -2 7
10. Motherwell 7 2 1 4 9 12 -3 7
11. Aberdeen 8 2 1 5 7 11 -4 7
12. St. Mirren 7 1 2 4 5 8 -3 5