Billy Davies was able to have a good look at a few more of next season's possibles as we lost one - nil to Dundee United at Tannadice this afternoon. We lacked punch up front and rarely troubled the opposition goalie. Nevertheless many of the emerging players came out of the game with credit.
With four games left in the season Billy committed the young guns. Not only did he give a start to Connolly in goal but through choice or injury he made five changes to last week's starting eleven.
The formation was 4-3-1-2. In front of the debut goalkeeper was the relatively mature four of Okoli, Kemble, Oueifio and Hammell. The midfield of Harvey, Chiba (behind the front two), Lasley and Pearson were to supply Wood and Twaddle up front. Kevin had the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Leitch.
The first half was punctuated by good short passing moves by the midfield interspersed by silly, loose passes conceding possession. Despite the relative inexperience of the team they did not look overawed and they even had three corners in the first five minutes.
Our only scoring chance was from a sweet Chiba chip through to Twaddle - his attempted lob missed the mark. Their goal came after Chiba lost possession on the halfway line - while Hannah claimed for a foul, the ref waved play on and Buchan ran unopposed to around twenty five yards from goal when he unleashed a swerving rocket into the side of the net.
Connolly looked confident throughout and kept us in the game with a great instinctive save just on the half-time whistle.
The second half had little of interest until just before the hour. Okoli fouled Miller and his reaction to Miller's retaliation persuaded referee Underhill to show the red card. The expectation was that Miller would follow but only a yellow was produced.
As time moved on the Arabs became more and more nervous. Despite being a man short we started to press. A good direct run (one of several) from Stephen Pearson released Twaddle on the left of right of the box. His shot narrowly missed the far post.
The game petered out and Billy would be most impressed with Pearo - his direct runs and confidence on the ball will not have gone unnoticed. Team:
Okoli Kemble Oueifio Hammell
Harvey Chiba(63 Adams ) Lasley Pearson(S80 Elliott )
Wood (S58 Corrigan ) Twaddle
Subs unused:Woods McFadden
Referee J Underhill
Dundee Utd 1 Motherwell 0
28 April 2001
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