better meddle...

wi' the de'il than the bairns o' fa'kirk

Match Report

Saturday, 1st November, 2008


Steve Lovell was reinstated to the Falkirk line-up in place of Michael Higdon and Paddy Cregg took up a mdfield berth in preference to Graham Barrett. There was a scare in the first couple of minutes when Dean Holden lost his footing to let O’Donovan clear but the United forward failed to keep control and the chance was lost. Both sides looked tactically sound and there were long periods of possession which did little to excite the crowd.

In 20 minutes, Feeney tried to show United the way to goal with a strong run and but he blazed his effort high over the bar. Then Falkirk should have gone ahead after ripping open the United rearguard. Cregg raced forward and exchanged passes with Lovell but the Irish midfielder delayed his shot and allowed Dillon to scoop the ball off his toes and away to safety.

The Bairns passed up another glorious chance in the 24th minute when McBride rattled in a shot which Zaluska spilled but Aafjes could only hammer the rebound off the grounded goalkeeper to the frustration of the home fans. A McCann free-kick caused problems as Cregg glanced a header inches wide. Falkirk were in control at the stage but United threatened again when Gomis smashed a 25-yarder at Flinders but luckily it was straight at him and he held the shot comfortably.

The Tangerines broke again on the half-hour mark and a lucky break from an Arfield tackle allowed O’Donovan a half-chance but Flinders was alert enough to block the effort at close range. It was still the Bairns who looked the likelier and Cregg was unfortunate to have a shot blocked from 12 yards. Lovell followed up but his powerful run ended with Zaluska snatching the ball on the byeline.United still refused to give ground and a great cross from Dixon was acrobatically headed clear by Holden.

As half-time approached, O’Brien had a super chip shot from 20 yards just float wide with Zaluska beaten but again United replied when Aafjes was forced to stick a foot out and deflect a pass away from Feeney on the six-yard line.


Gomis was yellow carded in 51 minutes for preventing a quick Falkirk free-kick being taken and the end result was a slick Falkirk passing move which resulted in McNamara blasting goalwards and Zaluska did well to push the shot away. But the controversy was reserved for the 56th minute when O’Donovan charged in with studs showing and upended Aafjes down in the corner. Iain Brines decided it was a red card and the player made the long walk up tunnel.

Minutes later Conway skipped past McNamara who brought him down in full flight and the visiting fans screamed in disgust when he was shown only a yellow card. Tne Falkirk player had clearly injured himself in the challenge and he limped off minutes later to be replaced by Bullen.

The Tannadice side sat back and invited Falkirk on to them but they still had enough in the tank for Conway to skip along the byeline and drive a shot past but perilously close.

A dangerous Bulen cross was palmed over the bar but Falkirk, try as they might ,could not make the breakthrough. A McBride shot was touched wide by Lovell and both officials gave a corner to the delight of the home support but the Referee courted more criticism by changing his mind following some gesturing between him and the assistant.

Cregg had a shot blocked in the dying minutes then McBride rammed a low shot well wide but United were determined to win a point and were successful despite Falkirk’s late salvo.