London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 31 Jul 2011 Hearts 0 Dundee United 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth auth-> Brian Winter
[J Daly 38]
7 of 010 -----L SPL H

Hearts 0 - 1 Dundee Utd

Aug 1 2011 By Scott McDermott

SO who needs David Goodwillie? Well, apart from Blackburn Rovers, Rangers, Blackpool and seven other clubs, apparently.

Certainly, on the evidence at Tynecastle yesterday - Dundee United don't.

The striker didn't even make the trip to face Hearts as he prepared for his £2million move from Tayside to Ewood Park today.

But after Peter Houston's side recorded an impressive victory over Hearts in the SPL - thanks to Jon Daly's first-half header - it's clear the Arabs are still capable of pushing the Jambos for third spot in the league, without their star hitman.

The emergence of Johnny Russell and young Scott Allan will give the United boss loads of encouragement and if he's given the Goodwillie money to strengthen his squad with three new players, it'll be a great bit of business by the Tannadice club.

Afterwards Houston admitted he had no choice but to leave the frontman out. He said: "I decided to leave David out on Friday, with all the nonsense that was going on.

"I knew it was likely we were going to lose him and I didn't want any distractions. I told him not to come to training on Saturday because I was working on the team shape.

"David's been a fantastic player for us, he came through the youths and will make us fantastic money.

"We've looked after him and he's looked after us, by winning cup finals and scoring goals. Wherever he goes I'll be delighted for him and I'll wish him luck but I didn't want to hear anything about David.

"I told the chairman not to phone me to tell me what's going on, I know I'm going to lose him.

"Coming to Hearts is hard enough without all the distractions. I wanted to simply focus on Tynecastle and this game. I was only interested in the team who were going to play today."

United's match-winner Daly believes Blackburn are getting a £2m bargain - but after United's terrific display in Gorgie, the frontman is adamant the Arabs will be fine without Goodwillie.

He said: "We're going to have to cope without him. He's a fantastic player and for any side to lose a player like him they'd feel the effects.

"It gives guys a chance to come in and show what they're about and Johnny Russell up front today did really well. The likes of Scotty Allan was drafted in too and played well.

"£2million is a bargain, he's worth a lot more than that. But in the current climate that's obviously what we were going to get for him."

The big question on everyone's lips prior to kick-off was whether Goodwillie would start for United.

But, amidst intense speculation about his future, the sought-after hitman didn't even make the bench.

Ironically, the kid who replaced him, Allan, has had first-hand experience of Goodwillie's problems off the pitch. The pair spent a night in a Glasgow cell together back in November after a street brawl.

Houston will be praying the 19-year-old has learned from that lesson and can go on to become as big an asset on the pitch as his pal.

United made two other changes from the starting line-up that drew 1-1 with Kilmarnock last week - Scott Severin and Garry Kenneth replacing Stuart Armstrong and Barry Douglas.

The Jambos, fresh from their deserved draw in Hungary against Paksi on Thursday night, were still missing the likes of Andy Webster, Mehdi Taouil, Calum Elliot and Andy Driver through injury.

But they were boosted by the return of Czech midfielder Rudi Skacel, who looks set to sign a new deal and was named on the bench.

Their Europa League goal hero Jamie Hamill is still suspended so his place went to Stephen Elliott.

In Goodwillie's absence, Arabs kid Russell was handed a spot alongside Daly in attack and the duo combined to carve a chance in three minutes.

Russell latched on to a raking Kenneth pass and picked out his strike partner in the box. Daly's lay-off was slightly over-hit and a stretching John Rankin fired over.

Hearts then began to pile on pressure, Elliott's flick from a Marius Zaliukas' shot creeping wide before United keeper Dusan Pernis had to claw away Ryan McGowan's long throw.

But it was Houston's men who came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. They wanted a penalty when Rankin was tripped on the edge of the box by Adrian Mrowiec, but ref Brian Winter gave a free-kick.

The United midfielder seemed to take his anger out on the ball as he unleashed a ferocious effort that crashed off the bar and went out.

In 24 minutes the home side created a first gilt-edged chance. Danny Grainger's cut-back from the left was perfect for Elliott but he shot straight at Pernis.

But as half-time approached it was the Taysiders who stepped up a gear and got in front when Willo Flood picked out Daly from a corner and the striker nodded home with ease.

Hearts almost snatched a leveller in 68 minutes when David Templeton got on the end of a John Sutton flick but the winger's shot was tipped over by Pernis.

Jefferies' men huffed and puffed but even the introduction of Skacel and Ryan Stevenson couldn't produce a goal.

The latter almost stole an injury-time equaliser but Paul Dixon cleared Stevenson's shot off the line and United held out.

Taken from the Daily Record

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