Thursday, 30 June 2011

Dundee United - Tannadice Park

25th April 1998

Dundee United 0-2 St Johnstone

Some years ago I recall watching a documentary recalling Celtic’s three 1967 World Club Championship battles with Argentinian side Racing Club.  There is a quite surreal moment when Celtic’s John Hughes seemingly without provocation, first punches the Racing goalkeeper, then kicks him as he lies squirming on the turf.  A sending off – fair enough, but what makes the incident so weird is Hughes’ account of his actions.  Interviewed many years later, he relates how at the time he had managed to convince himself he could somehow, in front of 80,000 fans, the TV cameras, and three eagle-eyed officials, smack the goalie and maybe, just maybe, no-one would notice. 

I can only imagine Dundee United’s Erik Pederson was afflicted with the same irrational feelings of unassailability this particular afternoon.  The Dane had been irked when Saints’ Leigh Jenkinson had failed to return the ball after United had knocked it out of play for an injury to be attended to, so casually smacked him in the face with an elbow in the passing.  Unfortunately for Pederson, referee Kevin Bisset saw through his Cloak of Invisibility and sent him packing.

And, perhaps inevitably, it was the unsporting JENKINSON who opened the scoring for St Johnstone in the 66th minutes, after being set up by George O’BOYLE – the little Irishman grabbing one of his own in injury time.

Tannadice Park from the east.

The Saints repel a United corner-kick.

Tannadice Park, Dundee.

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