Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Saturday August 18 2007
Something amazing happened at Tannadice this afternoon, as Dundee United managed to play a full 90minutes without having a player sent off.
In the previous 3 matches, Dundee United have been harshly dealt with by the Scottish referees, but surprisingly Mike McCurry managed to keep his cards in his pocket in the SPL match against Hibernian.
Willo Flood was sent off against Aberdeen for falling over, Christian Kalvenes saw red for daring to tackle Steven Naismith and Flood sent packing again in a reserve against Kilmarnock on Tuesday night for taking a free-kick too quickly.
Dundee United were unable to appeal Willo Flood`s sending offs, because they came as a result of 2 yellows - but the club successfully had the red card against Christian Kalvenes over-turned, after referee Brian Winters realised his appalling mistake which turned the match in Kilmarnock`s favour last Monday night.
Willo Flood returned to Craig Levein`s starting line-up after his suspension from the 2-1 defeat at Rugby park and Christian Kalvenes took his usual place in the United defence.
Defender Kalvenes believes referee Brian Winters deserves respect for realising the error of his ways and giving him the chance to play against Hibs this afternoon.
"I`m just relieved its over and I`m available to play" admitted Kalvenes to the Daily Record before the match.
"Everyone makes mistakes, we all do at some point - players, managers and referees - so its good the ref came out and admitted he got it wrong."
"He deserves respect for that because he`s been big enough to tell the SFA it wasn`t a red card."
"He took a lot of criticism, but we all get things wrong at times - its happened, there`s nothing we can do to change it now and its time to move on."
Unfortunately, despite the return of Flood and Kalvenes to the 1st team squad, Levein was unable to mastermind a victory over high flying Hibs, in an exciting 0-0 draw.
It was goalkeeper Grzegorz Szamotulski who heroically kept United in the match with some great saves to keep a 2nd clean sheet of the season.
Meanwhile, Noel Hunt was unlucky to see a great 2nd half chance cleared off the goal line and Willo Flood wasted a few good chances infront of goal - but it was Hibs Ma-Kalamby who passed up the best chance of the match after a rare Szamotulski mistake.
Szamotulski slipped when attempting to clear the ball upfield and gave Ma-Kalamby the ball inside the area, but the Hibs striker hesitated and gave the Polish keeper a chance to recover and block the eventual shot.
Despite the hype about John Collin`s side, Dundee United acquitted themselves admirably and easily deserved the draw - but the best result of the afternoon was still managing to end the match with 11-men on the park.
Date:Saturday August 18 2007
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