United started the game well and for the first twenty minutes they were in control. A mix up between Craigan and Marshall almost let McIntyre in and the same player then had a few shots saved by the keeper.
In twenty minutes we had one of our few forays into the opposition half. Leitch sent a cute ball through for Adams and as he approached the touchline he tumbled ove the keeper's outstretched arms. Referee Dallas pointed to the spot immediately. Adams passed the ball to the goalie's left and we found ourselves one up.
The pattern of the game did not change and we continued to defend. Craigan and Corrigan looked particularly strong. Dair replaced Craig on the half hour after a hefty challenge. Adams made a saving goal line clearance on forty minutes and the omens looked bleak.
McIntyre kept probing though, and on forty five minutes he was awarded a penalty when Partridge fouled him. Hammell was booked for his protest and McIntyre drilled the ball low to Marshall's right. The big keeper got down quickly and made a great save. We reached the break with our lead inact though it was hardly deserved.
There was little change to the flow of the game in the second half. Most of the few chances fell to the home side as they tried to find the equaliser. McCall threw on the old heads of Dodds and Coyle (making his second debut for United) and the switch almost paid off when Owen C lashed a shot over the top when it look easier to score.
We almost sealed the win on eighty minutes when smart work by Lasley on the edge of the box ended with the ball at Clarkson's feet only two yards from the goal. The keeper held on to the ball at the second attempt.
But the best was saved till last. Hammell punted a long clearance up the park and Clarkson and the United keeper (Bullock) raced for the ball at the corner of the area. Our man got the touch and it fell to Adams. He controlled it, looked up and saw only a defender between himself and the goal. He attempted the long chip and to the delight of the away fans the crossed the line and hit the net just inside the post.
Derek waved to his fans and family in the stand as the celebrations began. A beaming Terry Butcher appeared at the post match conference saying, "We did not play well in the first half but we were one up at the break and we rode our luck. I’m delighted that we could grind out a result playing like that. It was not pretty”. But he added that he would take three points anytime.
Brilliant result lads – well done!