Dundee United could appeal Peter Pawlett’s red card for simulation against St Johnstone

PETER PAWLETT netted the winner and was sent off as Dundee United took all three points in Sunday’s Tayside derby against St Johnstone. 

The midfielder was firstly booked for his goal celebration before referee Don Robertson flashed him a second yellow card and subsequent red for simulation with ten minutes remaining. 

Pawlett was furious as he left the pitch and his manager Tam Courts also felt that the red card was “harsh” on his midfielder.  

Speaking after the full-time whistle at McDiarmid Park, Courts said: “The first was very harsh for an over exuberant celebration but I didn’t see that, so I was frustrated.  

“At the second I had quite a good view because it was almost in line with the dugout. Peter’s known to be quick dribbler. He ran across the St Johnstone player and there was a minimal touch which is all you need to go down and it seemed to be a very harsh decision. 

“Pete’s a big part of what we do and is the match winner and I want him remembered for that because he did very well today. 

“Once we review it we’ll decide if we will appeal but from my perspective there seemed to be a touch but always reserve the right to go back and look at things. 

“It was a really big moment, it was a counter-attack situation and the pitch started to open up. I don’t think Peter would have been looking to go down.” 

There was little between both teams in Perth but the visitors fashioned out the first real chance of proceedings. 

An inspired Marc McNulty linked up well with Nicky Clark with ten minutes on the clock, but Clark’s namesake Zander in the Saints goal produced a tidy stop to deny an early opener. 

Saints had half chances through full-backs Shaun Rooney and Callum Booth, but they ultimately failed to really test Trevor Carson in the United net. 

Carson was in for Benjamin Siegrist who looks set for a lengthy spell on the side-lines after picking up a freak knee injury in training. 

Courts explained: “We’re not sure but in training with nobody near him he picked up an injury which will keep him out longer than days. We don’t know the diagnosis yet but he’ll be sent for a scan. 

“There has been rumours, but we don’t subscribe to any notion of a cruciate. It’s far too early. There was nobody near him and he will be well looked after whatever the scan reveals.” 

The winning goal came on the hour mark when Pawlett prodded home from close range following a lapse in the St Johnstone defence. 

The 3,000 strong away support went crazy as the ball hit the back of the net and the former Aberdeen man joined them with his teammates in exuberant celebrations. 

Whistler Robertson was quick to show Pawlett a yellow as he walked back into his own half and it quickly became a costly one.  

The winger firstly got away with a late challenge on Callum Booth before he was sent for an early shower for a dive as he made his way past Saints midfielder Murray Davidson. 

Callum Davidson’s team could not take advantage of their extra man and only really tested Carson when Glenn Middleton fired a volley off from the edge of the box late on. 

The Perth outfit now welcome LASK to McDiarmid Park in a shoot out for a spot in the group stages of the UEFA Europa Conference League  on Thursday and Davidson hopes his squad can bounce back. 

He said: “I’m a bit disappointed. For me we weren’t quite sharp enough. We weren’t reacting quickly enough. Whether you put it down to Thursday as a club or not we have to deal with how do we get the best out of the players in big games because we weren’t quite at it. 

“A draw would have probably been a fair result. We gave away a sloppy goal. I don’t mind if they score good goals but we could do much better for their goal then we didn’t have enough zip up front. 

“We wanted to win the game, that’s why I changed it – because of niggles and injuries. A lot didn’t play last Sunday so they’d only played Thursday. 

“It’s hard to get the balance. I’ve seen us play a lot better this season. It’s very much in the thought process – we’ve had games where it’s been close. 

“It’s three games into the league and we need to pick up points. I’m still fizzing a little bit and I won’t think about LASK until tomorrow. I’ll look at how I can do better and how the lads can do better.” 

In an injury update, he added: “Gordon had an injury and wasn’t one we could risk. Hopefully it’ll have settled down in time for Thursday. 

“David Wotherspoon is back tomorrow so he’ll be welcomed back. Eetu Vertainen is just taking time with visas.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992