Langlands Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8BN

Match Report

St Andrews United 2 Arbroath Vics 2

Match Report - By Donald Gellatly

St Andrews United hosted a Dundee XI for the penultimate pre-season friendly of 2023 and the Dark Blues sent a formidable-looking squad over the Tay Bridge. 

Seven members of that squad have been involved in first-team fixtures for the Dee this summer but Saints also fielded a strong starting eleven, with several players having returned from holiday the previous week. 

However, Dundee began the match as the better team and Scott Robertson’s boys dominated possession for 15 minutes without really testing Calum Brodie in the home goal.  Lewis Lorimer then forced Brodie into making the first save of the contest with a powerful drive from the edge of the box yet Dundee’s young right back endured a tough evening trying to mark Lewis Sawers.  The United winger was clearly in the mood to impress and he opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a superb dipping shot from wide on the left that completely deceived away goalie Ruaridh Lynch.  The St Andrews United players certainly seemed to grow in confidence following that goal and James Collins wasted a glorious chance to make the score 2-0 on the half-hour mark.  Sawers initiated a good passing move down the left before the impressive Micheil Russell Smith found Collins unmarked on the edge of the penalty area. 

Alas, the Saints’ midfielder blasted the ball over the bar and the only other goalmouth incident of the first half came from Dundee’s Ewan Murray when he headed straight at Brodie.  United subsequently began the second period by attacking down the Recreation Park slope and Sawers fired a low shot narrowly wide of the far post in the 54th minute following good work by Russell Smith.  The visiting players also created chances at the start of the second period as Jamie Richardson hit the outside of Brodie’s right-hand post and the lively Ross Clark shot past from a tight angle.  United manager and former Dundee defender Robbie Raeside then made a raft of substitutions and the next opportunity of the game fell to the Dark Blues’ Euan Mutale.  The young striker capitalised on a rare mistake from the otherwise solid Kyle Sneddon but he was denied the chance to shoot when trialist Roche made a superb last-ditch tackle. 

Brodie was suitably impressed with Roche’s contribution on more than one occasion yet the ‘keeper made a second save for the cameras in the 73rd minute when he pushed a rising effort from Finlay Allan over the bar.  The action was swinging from end-to-end at that point and the home supporters were not surprised to see Ryan McManus, Carter Kelly and Russell Smith pulling the strings in midfield.  All three players looked comfortable on the ball throughout the match and Russell Smith earned a free kick within shooting range in the 75th minute.  Substitute goalkeeper Thomas Welsh made a fairly easy save from that free kick but he worked harder to prevent Reece Redpath scoring a few moments later.  The final opportunity of the game landed at the feet of Mutale yet 19-year old again missed the target as St Andrews United recorded a morale-boosting victory. 

Indeed, Saints probably deserved to win the encounter despite the fact there wasn’t much between the teams and both squads will have benefitted from the exercise where the tackles were flying towards the end.

Result

1 – 0

St Andrews United

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dundee xi

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