Steven Fletcher’s stunner fails Dundee United in St Mirren draw
Steven Fletcher put the home side ahead after just three minutes with a brilliantly executed volley, but a Mark O’Hara penalty after the break gave the Saints a deserved point in the game’s tally.
However, United will be disappointed after squandering some glorious chances on death, hitting the post Kai Fotheringham, Trevor Carson thwarting Mathew Cudjoe with a brilliant save and then knocking down Ilmari Niskanen on loose ball.
Here are three talking points from a tense affair at Tannadice…
EVERGREEN FLETCHER CRUCIAL TO UNITED SURVIVOR
One bludgeon Fletcher has had throughout his career is not scoring enough goals and as much as he brings to this United side that has been the case again this season.
When he hits the net, however, it’s usually spectacular and that’s how it was here as he displayed his wonderful technical ability to score the opener after just three minutes – and his seventh goal of the season.
A long ball was flown into the Saints area and continued by Fletcher, one of many headers he won during the game. Richard Taylor’s attempted header only landed on the United striker, who set it up with a right touch and then volleyed his left low past Carson for a delicious one.
VAR A BEAUTIFUL AND A SAINT FOR THE SAINTS
There were two crucial second-half calls for Craig Napier and the VAR team at Clydesdale House as St Mirren pressed for the equalizer their game deserved.
The first of those two long reflections came when Saints centre-back Taylor went home at the end of a Ryan Strain free-kick, his celebrations curtailed by the offside flag. It looked like a minor decision, reflected in the time it took for the review, but the decision was on the pitch.
Then, when Curtis Main snuck in on the blind side of home defender Loick Ayina and hit the deck, Napier pointed to the penalty spot and judged the defender clumsily knocked out the Saints’ forwards.
There may have been minimal contact, but after what seemed like an endless wait, the referee’s call came on again and O’Hara lobbed the ball in the middle to restore the equalizer.
RYAN EDWARDS STEP BACK
The United captain had largely had a season to forget and manager Jim Goodwin had removed him from the line of fire for the Livingston tie after another errant performance in the Aberdeen defeat.
With Charlie Mulgrew absent from the squad for this time, Edwards was thrown back to the back row and he showed great strength of character to put his recent troubles behind with a more than decent performance.
St Mirren had the upper hand from about the middle of the first half and seemed sure to equalize when O’Hara got in late from a Greg Kiltie cross. His lateral foot volley was destined for the net, but Edwards positioned himself accurately to thwart the visitors with the clearance.
Small acorns maybe, but here he looked a lot more like old Edwards and that could be a deciding factor if United are to avoid relegation.
https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/23396279.steven-fletcher-stunner-not-enough-dundee-united-st-mirren-draw/?ref=rss Steven Fletcher’s stunner fails Dundee United in St Mirren draw