Writer: Arab Foy
Date:Wednesday July 18 2007
With only a week remaining until the Barcelona friendly at Tannadice, Dundee United continued their pre-season with an impressive demolition of 1st division Airdrie.
Goals from David Goodwillie, Craig Conway and a penalty from captain Barry Robson gave Craig Levein`s side a comfortable 3-0 victory at New Broomfield.
Several hundred travelling Arabs got their first glimpse at the 'new look' side - with Polish keeper Lukasz Zaluska shaking off an injury to take his place between the sticks and former Caley Thistle captain Darren Dods lining-up in the heart of the United defence, alongside the dependable Lee Wilkie.
Although, after celebrating his 22nd birthday on Saturday, it was Morgaro Gomis who stole the show with a commanding display from the centre of United`s midfield.
Dundee United started the brightest, with David Goodwillie heading himself onto the score sheet less than a minute into the match - after the impressive Gomez pouched onto a loose ball in the middle of the park.
Gomez passed the ball to youngster David Goodwillie, who sent Craig Conway down the left, before making a run towards the Airdrie goal.
Conway`s inch-perfect cross from the left wing, found Goodwillie at the front post and he headed United into a 1-0 lead with only 40 seconds gone.
10minutes into the 2nd half, Conway turned from provider to goalscorer, blasting United into a 2-0 lead with a thunder-bolt from just outside the penalty box.
Conway beat several Airdrie players and cut inside on his right-foot to create space for a shot, before unleashing an unstoppable effort that flew into the postage stamp of the Airdrie goal.
Goalie Lukasz Zaluska had very little to keep him occupied during the match, but guaranteed United left New Broomfield with a clean sheet with a great save 20minutes into the 2nd half.
Airdrie had a great chance to pull themselves back into the game, when they found themselves 1-on- with Zaluskam, but a stunning dive from the Polish goalie prevented the ball from ending up in the far corner of the net.
Barry Robson completed the scoring late in the game, when he scored from the penalty spot after a United substitute had been hauled down inside the area.
Robson confidently slotted the ball into the left-hand side of the open goal, sending the Airdrie keeper the wrong way.
Overall, it was a positive performance from Dundee United, who managed to contain Airdrie without breaking much of a sweat.
The gruelling training sessions of recent weeks have definitely made a difference to the United squad, who appeared fitter and far more energetic than their 1st division opponents.
Lee Wilkie and Darren Dods bossed the defence, winning almost everything in the air and limiting Airdrie to a couple of long-range efforts.
David Goodwillie played well upfront on his own, with Barry Robson getting forward at every opportunity to support the 18-year-old and Craig Conway`s crossing from the left causing all sorts of problems for the home defence.
Despite only playing a handful of games last season, following his arrival from Cowdenbeath, Morgaro Gomis looks like a great find and definitely one-to-watch this season.
He was strong and confident in the middle of the park, controlling most of the game with some accurate/positive forward play but was also willing to trackback when necessary.
Gomis outshone the more experienced Mark Kerr, clearing up when Kerr`s first touch let him down, and was an easy choice for Man-of-the-Match.
Then only disappointing thing for Craig Levein was the loss of Lee Wilkie to injury midway through the 1st half, after he landed awkwardly and limped off to be replaced by young Garry Kenneth.
United continue their pre-season away to Raith Rovers on Sunday 22nd July (3pm kick-off).
Lukasz Zaluska (GK), Sean Dillion (RB), Darren Dods (CB), Lee Wilkie (CB), Stuart Duff (LB), Steven Robb (RM), Mark Kerr (CM), Morgaro Gomis (CM), Craig Conway (LM), Barry Robson (SS) and David Goodwillie (CF)
Airdrie 0-3 Dundee United
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Date:Wednesday July 18 2007
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