Manager McGhee dropped Clarkson and gave Paul Quinn the left midfield slot. The change worked fairly well and Quinn forced himself into the opposition box several times. His defensive qualities were called into action too, especially at set pieces.
We made our intentions clear right from the beginning and Sutton came close after only two minutes when he tried a curling left footed effort just wide of the post. We had taken advantage of Kenneth's absence for running repairs and made the best of the extra space in their back line.
At the other end the threat from United's big men became evident when Wilkie managed to miss the target when a headed goal looked more likely.
O'Brien took control of the left wing and caused their defence problems all afternoon. He set up the opener when his cross eventually landed at the foot of Sutton and his side footed placement found the net. We kept the one goal advantage until the break althoug
United made two substitutions for the second period and their reward came after six minutes. Sandaza and Swanson provided the stimulus and combined with our deep defence the visitors piled on the pressure. The goal came following a corner and the Sandaza poked it home after a scramble. Their set pieces caused panic at every turn and it was no surprise that we lost the goal.
The loss caused another change in the pattern of play and we pushed forward at last.
Smith earned his bonus when he produced a wonderful flying save to deflect a fine effort from Swanson.
A first half corner
The game should have been sealed when a terrific counter attack involving Quinn, Clarkson and finally Sutton left the striker with the keeper to beat but his poked effort ran wide. There were tense final minutes as the visitors threw everything into attack but we held firm for an important three points.