Falkirk late show leaves United scratch­ing heads

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL -

THE idio­syn­cra­sies of the Lad­brokes Cham­pi­onship en­sured that Dundee United had been fore­warned of the po­ten­tial per­ils they would face in the divi­sion.

Their man­ager, Ray McKin­non, in-par­tic­u­lar has first hand knowl­edge of the sec­ond tier from his time in charge at Raith Rovers.

De­spite this, United have still been found want­ing. In their sec­ond league game, the Tay­side club were un­done at Dum­bar­ton, a venue that is renowned for cre­at­ing up­sets; just ask Hiber­nian af­ter they were beaten twice at the Cheaper In­sur­ance Di­rect sta­dium last sea­son.

And in Sat­ur­day evening’s tea-time kick-off at Falkirk, United suc­cumbed to a trade­mark late flour­ish by the Bairns, los­ing two goals in the fi­nal three min­utes in a 3-1 de­feat.

Last-gasp win­ning goals were the hall­mark of Falkirk clinch­ing sec­ond place and a play-off semi-fi­nal spot last term. United are yet to claim suc­ces­sive league vic­to­ries this sea­son af­ter fail­ing to build on last week­end’s win at Dun­fermline, and have sub­se­quently dropped to fifth in the stand­ings be­hind the Bairns.

“It’s a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult for us,” said Tope Obadeyi, who lev­elled the game in the 33rd minute af­ter John Baird headed the hosts in front af­ter 18 min­utes. “We thought we could take the pos­i­tives from last week. It’s a tough one to take.

“The man­ager has been drum­ming it into us. He knows the Cham­pi­onship from his time at Raith Rovers and he told us that teams aren’t go­ing to just let us get on the ball and pass teams into the ground. It’s show­ing right now be­cause our con­sis­tency isn’t there.

“Falkirk came out on top and we know what they’re all about go­ing into the 90th minute. They keep go­ing un­til the fi­nal whis­tle.”

Both teams went into the match know­ing it was a chance to make in­road in the league af­ter ti­tle favourites Hibs lost at home to Ayr United ear­lier in the day.

“Is it a missed op­por­tu­nity?,” asked Obadeyi. “Def­i­nitely. Just in the warm-up we found out that Hibs lost. That was a mas­sive in­cen­tive for us to go and get the vic­tory but it wasn’t to be.”

With the game seem­ingly des­tined to end in a draw, Myles Hip­polyte re­stored Falkirk’s lead in the 87th minute when his front post shot de­flected off United de­fender Wil­liam Ed­jenguele.

Sub­sti­tute Lee Miller added a third two min­utes later when he headed in Hip­polyte’s cross.

For Hip­polyte, he is reap­ing the re­wards of a forth­right chat with man­ager Peter Hous­ton ear­lier this sea­son.

He said: “The gaffer has said to me that I have all the abil­ity but he wants a level of per­for­mance where I’m a six or a seven week af­ter week. I can be an eight or a nine ev­ery now and again but I can’t re­ally drop be­low the five mark.

“I think it’s a com­ing of age thing. I wasn’t as fo­cused when I was younger and I need some­one on my shoul­der. The gaffer has helped me with that.”

MY BALL: United’s Tope Obadeyi in con­trol on Sat­ur­day but it was the vis­i­tors who left with noth­ing af­ter Falkirk’s late flour­ish clinched the points.

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