Robbie Raeside's reign off to the perfect start

Arniston Rangers………...1St Andrews Utd…….……….3

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 11:46 am
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2022, 9:43 am
St Andrews United's players enjoy their win at the weekend. Report and pic by Donald Gellatly
St Andrews United's players enjoy their win at the weekend. Report and pic by Donald Gellatly

Robbie Raeside took charge of St Andrews United for the first time at Arniston Rangers and his reign began with a deserved win. However, his players took a while to find their feet during the first half because they struggled to match a physical Arniston outfit on a big pitch. The opening minutes were quite scrappy as a result, though Scott Russell and Ross Cunningham wasted decent opportunities to score by passing instead of shooting. Matthew Hutchison and Scott Reekie also missed the target from promising positions and the United players gave the ball away on several occasions due to careless passing. The home team therefore created good chances in front of Ben Swinton’s goal but Elliot Grieve headed one effort straight at the ‘keeper before Michael Kennedy lashed a wild shot into the bushes behind the old terracing. Grieve then forced Swinton into making a good catch right on the stroke of half time and the big goalie remained busy at the start of the second period as he produced a wonder save from a thunderous shot by Ian Ballantyne. Tyron McLean subsequently found the net from the resulting corner yet referee MacKinnon blew for offside since there were several players blocking Swinton’s view. Thankfully, the introduction of Lewis Sawers changed the balance of play in Saints’ favour thereafter and the substitute immediately presented Hutchison with a great opportunity. Alas, the young winger somehow blazed the ball over the crossbar from close-range so the score remained at 0-0 for a little while longer. The first goal of the afternoon eventually arrived in the 54th minute when Sawers sent a delightful cross towards Russell and the striker flicked a terrific header over James McQueen. That moment of magic certainly seemed to give the boys in white much-needed confidence and they received a further boost a few moments later when Grieve received a red card for a cynical challenge on Russell as the last defender. Fraser Anderson then sent a glorious free kick past McQueen to make the score 2-0 and the visiting fans could relax as they soaked up the Midlothian sunshine! Those supporters have not enjoyed their away trips very often this season but they were treated to some free-flowing football throughout the second half and the impressive Sawers was at the heart of the action. Indeed, Sawers earned a penalty in the 65th minute when he was felled in the box and Ballantyne received a straight red card for disgraceful comments made to Mr MacKinnon. Anderson thus converted the spot kick in a calm manner to make the score 3-0 and the hard-working Tom Milne almost added another goal following a mesmerizing solo run. Raeside then made four substitutions with Kieran Lindsay, Adam Davidson and two trialists entering the fray yet those changes seemed to disrupt the flow of the game. However, both trialists forced McQueen into making saves towards the end of the contest and the goalkeeper also did well to tip a powerful header from Reekie over his bar. Unfortunately, Arniston managed to spoil Swinton’s clean sheet in the dying stages because Darren McGlashan converted a clever cross by Kennedy but St Andrews United deserved to claim all three points from an entertaining encounter.

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