Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Monday January 1 2007
For the second time this season, Dundee United were humbled by the "mighty" Falkirk by a 5-1 score line.
The last time the 2 sides clashed at the Falkirk stadium, it was a result which signalled the end of Craig Brewster's managerial career at Tannadice.
Craig Levein's future at the club isn't under threat, but he wont be happy at the way his side lost to Falkirk, especially after such an impressive 3-1 win over Aberdeen just a few days earlier.
Levein stuck with the same starting line-up that beat Aberdeen, with Christian Kalvenes failing to even find a place on the bench after recovering from flu just a few days earlier.
Falkirk's Alan Gow also recovered from a bug and was named as Anthony Stokes replacement in the visiting side's starting eleven - after Stokes, the SPL's top scorer, returned to Arsenal the day before, when his loan deal at Falkirk ended.
Stokes being unavailable was great news for Dundee United, since he scored a hat-trick in the last match between the sides.
Unfortunately his replacement, Alan Gow, also had his shooting boots with him and netted a hat-trick of his own to inflict another 5-1 defeat on United.
It's the heaviest defeat United have suffered since Celtic beat them 5-1 in November 2003, but you don't expect to be beaten so convincingly by a non Old Firm side - twice in the same season, by the same score.
Falkirk took the lead from the penalty spot in the 17th after a debateable decision from referee Dougie McDonald.
Garry Kenneth appeared to have made contact with the ball when he tackled Patrick Cregg inside the area, but McDonald waved away the furious protests of the United players and gave Cregg the opportunity to send the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of Stillie's goal.
Captain Barry Robson equalised for United with 5 minutes of the first half remaining, when he got onto the end of a Stuart Duff cross from the left wing and headed in the leveller from 12 yards out.
Although, former United player Russell Latapy once again came back to haunt his old side, setting up Stephen O'Donnell with the chance to put Falkirk back into the lead from only 6 yards out.
Inform Dundee United recovered from going a goal down to Aberdeen at the weekend, but couldn't comeback this time and Falkirk ended their lead in the 63rd minute when Alan Gow got the first of his 3 goals.
Gow's left-foot shot from 12 yards out, beat Stillie and nestled into the bottom left-hand corner, after an assist from the head of Jack Ross.
Things then got even worse for United in the 75th minute, when Gow popped-up to make it 4-1 with a shot from 18-yards, following a pass from Russell Latapy.
Craig Levein had already subbed on David Goodwillie for Grant Smith before Falkirk's 4th goal, but decided to give French midfielder Morgaro Gomis his debut for the club on the day he signed from Cowdenbeath.
Even the former Chelsea youth player could do nothing to change the outcome of the match, with Alan Gow completing his hat-trick in the 89th minute, firing in from close range to end a miserable afternoon for Craig Levein's side.
Perhaps the United players were still groggy from seeing in the New Year, but it was a pathetic performance from a side which beat 2nd placed Aberdeen 48hours earlier.
Tannadice has been a difficult place for visiting sides to take points away from since Levein's arrival - with Hearts the only side to beat United in the last 6 home matches....that was until Falkirk dropped in to spoil United's New Year.
Dundee United 1-5 Falkirk
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Date:Monday January 1 2007
|United hit rock bottom
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