Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Wednesday November 29 2006
After nearly being forced into earlier retirement last season through serious injury, Lee Wilkie`s comeback has been quite incredible, but Craig Levein still wants the player to get more match practice before he can cement his place in the 1st team squad.
That`s one of the reasons why Wilkie was being offered out on loan to some of the lower division clubs, but an ankle knock a few weeks ago scuppered any immediate plans.
Against Saint Mirren on Sunday, Wilkie made an appearance on the substitutes bench, but there was very little chance he was going to be risked unless completely necessary. Then yesterday the 26-year-old made another significant step forward by playing in Dundee United`s reserve match against Kilmarnock.
The former Dundee defender had an excellent match, scoring the 1st goal and was unlucky not to get a 2nd or a 3rd, but he was denied by an arm and later in the final minutes by a great save by the Killie keeper.
United won the match 2-0, after dominating most of the precedings, with Lee Wilkie's head in the 34th minute, after a well taken free kick from Grant Smith floated into the box.
Just before half-time another Lee Wilkie header looked goal-bound until a Killie defender blocked the ball with his arm, but Grant Smith was unable to convert the resultant penalty after it was saved by the goalkeeper.
Collin Samuel grab the 2nd goal about 20minutes from the end after getting onto the end of yet another Grant Smith cross.
The goal came out of a great counter-attacking move, after Euan McLean made a fantastic stop at the other end to prevent Killie grabbing an equalising goal.
A few weeks ago, Craig Levein said about Lee Wilkie 'In my opinion, Lee is not ready to play first-team matches at this level. So I am considering putting him out on loan for about a month.'
'He needs to find some middle ground between reserve football and the first team in the SPL and it could do him a power of good to get competitive matches.'
Well, yesterdays match covers the reserve football, so perhaps Wilkie will be part of the 1st team against Hiberbian at Easter Road on Saturday to balance it out?
Although, Lee Wilkie wasnt the only player to play well against the Kilmarnock reserve squad, Grant Smith also had an impressive match and reserve team coach Tony Docherty is bound to be giving a positive report to Craig Levein on the youngsters impressive display.
David Goodwillie might no had got onto the score sheet, but also put in a good shift and so did 22-year old midfielder David Proctor.
Euan McLean (Gk)
Dundee United 2-0 Kilmarnock
Date:Wednesday November 29 2006
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