How much longer does this go on? Just as the manager repeats the same post-match comments week after week (today's gem being ''we need to defend better and score more goals''), his team continue to give the same level of performance, devoid of passion, skill and fight. There's just nothing there.
Three changes were made to last week's starting 11: Ryan Williamson, Tom Beadling and Myles Hippolyte coming in, with James Craigen moving from fullback to right midfield, and Malaury Martin, Aidan Connolly and Andy Ryan dropping to the bench. Hipployte had a good run and shot after 5 minutes that was to be Dunfermline's best piece of play in the entire game. United keeper Ben Siegrist did well to save Hipployte's effort; he was then relatively untroubled until an injury time save from Pars sub Andy Ryan, saving the striker's shot with his legs. Once again we did not test the opposition keeper enough.
The opening goal, in the 24th minute, came after a soft foul was awarded against Faissal El Bakhtoui, apparently for tugging a United player's shirt. From the resultant free kick, Fraser Aird flighted in a ball that was headed in by Paul McMullan, the smallest man on the pitch. It seemed as though Ryan Williamson had left McMullan unmarked and in the seconds after the goal, captain Lee Ashcroft made his feelings clear to the fullback - not for the first time this season.
The second half felt like a repeat of so many other home games this season. We were disjointed in defence and attack. Lee Robinson tried to pick a fight with Aird, doing his familiar brushing past the opponent then stopping to argue - a petulant child looking for trouble. Concentrate on the game!
The second United goal came from Billy King. Jackson Longridge gave the ball away, to McMullan, who passed to King, who worked his way into a shooting position and drilled the ball past Robinson.
Faissal then tried an overhead kick in the centre circle which found a United player. Quite what that was about is anyone's guess.
Ryan Williamson then conceded a penalty in the 81st minute. McMullan took the kick but shot well wide of Robinson's post. Dunfermline, meanwhile, continued to lump balls upfield to sub Ryan and Faissal (Hippolyte had been shifted to the wing by this point). Aidan Keena, given 10 minutes last week, was an unused sub, as was Robbie Muirhead, a player signed for reasons unknown, never used in the first team for weeks, unimpressive in the reserves, a waste of resources.
Surely something has to change.
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