BelowPar

New US owner Ogren sees Tan­ger­ines close the gap at the top to just three points

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Health - BY TOM DUTHIE

FOR 80-plus min­utes at Tan­nadice on Satur­day, D u n de e Un ite d we r e pro­vid­ing a les­son in how not to make a good first im­pres­sion on your new owner.

By the fi­nal whis­tle, though, for Min­nesota mil­lion­aire Mark Ogren it was not too far from the per­fect day as he watched the Ter­rors in per­son for the first time since buy­ing the club al­most a month ago.

Be­cause, not only had his team man­aged to scrape a vic­tory over Dun­fermline, with top two Ross County and Ayr United both los­ing, the gap in the Cham­pi­onship ti­tle race had been re­duced to just three points.

And if Ogren con­tin­ues to dip his hand into his pocket be­tween now and the end of the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow to pro­vide man­ager Rob­bie Neil­son with funds for more new play­ers, there is ev­ery rea­son for the fans to feel op­ti­mistic.

With­out wish­ing to dampen the feel­good fac­tor that erupted around the sta­dium be­tween Nicky Clark get­ting the all-im­por­tant win­ner and the fi­nal whis­tle, that the Amer­i­can needs to in­vest fur­ther in his team was again clear.

Be­cause, as pleas­ing as this vic­tory was, it could not dis­guise the fact United’s per­for­mance over the 90 min­utes was again not great.

Go­ing into this match with just one win from their pre­vi­ous six out­ings, the home side looked low on con­fi­dence.

They started ten­ta­tively and, for the se­cond week run­ning, fans had to suf­fer as a vis­it­ing team had the bet­ter of the first half.

At least this time United went in at the in­ter­val level and not be­hind as was the case against Partick This­tle.

New Pars boss Ste­vie Craw­ford, not so long ago ex­pected to be­come No 2 at Tan­nadice, had set up his team to can­cel out any threat posed by the op­po­si­tion.

They did so pretty suc­cess­fully and also did enough in those open­ing 45 min­utes to feel they might have been ahead.

United, mean­while, huffed and puffed with­out ever re­ally get­ting go­ing and, i n all hon­esty, al­though the pace was stepped up af­ter the in­ter­val, for most of the se­cond half they fared lit­tle bet­ter.

Lee Robin­son in the Dun­fermline goal did have one fine stop from Pavol Safranko but that came from the striker forc­ing a mis­take from a de­fender and not a pas­sage of de­cent build-up play.

At least when the vi­tal goal did come, it in­volved good work and fine ex­e­cu­tion.

Ai­dan Nes­bitt, one of the Jan­uary ar­rivals, ini­tially played the ball into fel­low-new boy Cammy Smith and when he got it back, picked out Clark with a per­fect chip for him to head home.

It was the one real mo­ment of qual­ity from ei­ther side in that se­cond half and, thank­fully, United were able to play out time with­out any mishap.

That put a smile on Ogren’s face but let there be no doubt about it – he needs to keep his cheque book out.

In a match that will be quickly for­got­ten, the stylish de­fender strolled it. Ste­wart Mur­doch lies in a heap in­jured in the se­cond half.

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