Well it happened. We won a game, rejoice! Yesterday’s 4-0 victory over League Two Elgin gave Csaba Laszlo his first win of the new season and hopefully gives the players a bit of a boost ahead of next week’s league opener against Dunfermline. Don’t get me wrong, I still very much have the fear ahead of next Saturday, but at least we finished our Betfred Cup campaign with a bit of a morale booster.
It wasn’t the most polished of performances yesterday and for about 55 minutes it was very much a case of “here we go again” but to be fair we probably did create more chances than in previous weeks and once we got the first goal it seemed much more comfortable and allowed us to add a few more. One very positive aspect of the trip to Elgin (apart from my bacon roll and chips at the ground) was the first glimpse of Yannick Loemba. His substitute appearance gave fans a preview of his potential and it was a very encouraging half hour or so from the winger. It is probably too early for him to be guaranteed a start next week but if he can maintain these early positive signs then he could be a good player for us this year.
Yesterday was still a bit frustrating because in many ways it wasn’t really a real test of this United side and we still don’t really know what we are going to see against Dunfermline (who are in very good form). Elgin didn’t offer anything going forward so the defence were not really under any pressure and you would imagine that in the opening game they will be tested by a very attacking Pars side. Laszlo sprung another surprise yesterday with the inclusion of Edjenguele in the heart of the defence so it could be the case that he will start the league campaign as first choice alongside Frans. You would think that the manager wanted his ideal backline playing yesterday so I would assume that Siegrist, Robson, Frans, Edgenguele and Wardrop will start against Dunfermline. That doesn’t exactly fill me with much confidence but with Watson short of fitness and Booth still injured it leaves us with little choice (Scobbie yet again missed out altogether yesterday and Murdoch was nowhere to be seen).
Talking of players completely missing out we didn’t see James Keatings in the squad at all yesterday and I wonder if that maybe signals the fact he is indeed on his way out (he gave an ArabZone interview the day before talking about being back to fitness and looking forward to the Elgin game).
All in all it was a decent second half performance and a good day out for fans like myself who hadn’t been up to Elgin before (a public bar in the main stand always helps!). It doesn’t tell us too much about the league campaign but it does at least draw a line under a pretty disastrous Betfred Cup campaign.
Roll on next week…
Player Ratings from today –
1 – Benjamin Siegrist – Had next to nothing to do yesterday but you would imagine he will start the game next week. – 5
22 – Sam Wardrop – A decent performance but not tested enough defensively. – 6
24 –William Edjenguele– Still looks very awkward at times but solid enough despite being under no real pressure. – 5
4 – Frederic Frans – Similar to his defensive partner. Looks clumsy at times but a bit more dominant than Edjenguele – 6
17 – Jamie Robson – Much more positive. Saw a lot of the ball and tried his best to get forward when possible. – 6
5 –Adam Barton– Drifted in and out of the game. Good on the ball and looked like he had much more energy than last week. – 6
12 – Sam Stanton – Used out wide again and I really think he is wasted there. Involved as always and gave everything. – 6
20 – Christopher Rabitsch – Still looking off the pace and unsure in possession. A worry if he is to be a main player for us until Fyvie is fit. – 4
33 – Fraser Aird – Another performance that doesn’t highlight his ability. Not involved enough. – 4
10 – Nicky Clark – Great penalty box striker, still too isolated at times due to the system. Took his goals well. – 7 Man of the Match
16 –Matty Smith – I want to like Smith but I think he seems to have become a bit lazier and hasn’t developed his strength on the ball. Played well in short bursts in the second half. – 5
Subs –32– Declan Glass – Came on later in the game and took his goal very well (5), 90– Yannick Loemba –Changed the pace of the game and looks good on the ball. Some very good awareness for spotting a pass. (6), 44– Paul Watson – Very late sub. Had no impact on the game (2).