Published: 14th May 2019
1051 United fans traveled north for the first leg of the semi-final of the Premiership play-offs and went home happy as Neilson put out a strong team which went back down the A9 with a one goal advantage.
By Alasdair Marnoch
First Half: Both teams started nervously but as the game progressed it began to open up. After some nice build up play from United in the fifth minute Sow attempted to thread the ball to Safranko from inside the box, however he was intercepted by the home side’s defence who were given the chance to counter. Caley managed to get the ball into United’s half only for Reynolds to clear the ball upfield.
Three minutes later Pawlett played a through ball from the half way line to Sow who ran to the edge of the penalty box and shot low straight into the keeper’s arms.
By the 25th minute United where lucky not to be behind as Joe Chalmers crossed the ball into Jordan White who headed the ball off the left post which allowed United to clear the ball from the six-yard box.
Minutes later Caley were given another chance to go ahead as they were gifted an open goal, Siegrist being off his mark. White took too many touches and by the time he’d passed the ball to Liam Polworth United’s defence was there to clear the ball away.
Throughout the rest of the first half United failed to capitalise on the chances that they were creating. Butcher set McMullan up to take the lead on the 27th minute from inside the box but his powerful close-range shot was parried by Caley’s keeper and put out for a corner. On the 29thminute McMullan set up Harkes who was at maximum stretch but also missed from six yards out.
Second Half: The action came quickly in the second half, Thistle’s midfielder Polworth being shown the red card for a high footed tackle on Connolly who was lucky not to obtain an injury. Sow took the resulting free kick from 30 yards out, but his initial effort rebounded off the wall and so did his second attempt.
On the 59th minute of the game Sow received the ball at the back post but his weak shot didn’t trouble the keeper and it was collected easily by Ridgers. Sow was replaced by Clark ten minutes later who had failed to make an impact.
Clark was quick to make an impact, registering two shots on target within a short amount of time within being brought on.
On the 77th minute Clark hit the post from the inside the post from inside the box after a short pass from McMullan, but McMullan was there to collect the rebound and he slipped the ball into the back of the net, giving United the lead for the first time in the game.
Summary: Both teams started nervously, but as the game went on both teams began to take more chances which for the most of it where not capitalised. United where lucky not to go behind a couple of times in the second half, but McMullan made the difference giving United the advantage before the second leg at Tannadice.
Man of the Match: Once again McMullan was the best player on the pitch, constantly driving the ball forward and scoring the winning goal.
Inverness CT: Ridgers, Rooney, Chalmers, Donaldson, McCart, Polworth, Doran (Harper, 72’), White (Austin, 81), McKay, Trafford, McHattie
Subs not used: MacKay, McCauley, McDonald, MacGregor, Gunn
Dundee United: Siegrist, McMullan (C Smith, 85’), Sow (Clark, 68’), Safranko (Booth, 45’), Robson, Butcher, Reynolds, Watson, Harkes, Pawlett, Connolly
Subs not used: Laidlaw, Frans, M Smith, Bouhenna,
Referee: Nick Walsh
Attendance: 2604 (1051 DUFC fans)