Well, that went wrong in a hurry.
After a dominant first half performance (including a well-taken goal by Craig Curran in the 14th minute) from the visitors, a resurgent Aberdeen side came out of the halftime break to run rough-shod over County in the second half, resulting in a defeat that, coupled with Hamilton’s second half comeback against Dundee United, sees County drop to sixth place. County are now a point behind fifth place Hamilton and a point ahead of seventh place Dundee F.C.. The only good news is that Caley got pumped by Celtic earlier today.
I don’t know that it would have made a difference- Aberdeen were well up for it in the second half- but I can’t help but feel that manager Jim McIntyre waited a little too long to get his subs on in the second half- particularly De Vita and Schalk. It seems to me that if you’ve given up two goals in the first eight minutes of the second half you’ve either got to batten down the hatches by bringing in some defensive-minded players and play for a draw, or bring on some attacking players with plenty of time left for them to do their work. Waiting half an hour to make any changes at all seems wrong no matter what the intent.
Let’s hope next week against St. Johnstone brings a better result- and it will need to if County hope to remain in the top half of the table for another week. It will also require some players to step up their games as Michael Gardyne will be out at least one more week (according to himself on Twitter) with an ankle injury.
On a wholly unrelated topic, when I saw that Partick had put five past Kilmarnock yesterday I assumed I would read the match report and see that Kilmarnock had finished the match with nine men or something along those lines- nope. Why was I shocked? Because in the previous 15 matches of the season Partick had a total of 12 goals…and then they scored five yesterday.
Finally, I took some heat from a commenter a few weeks (months?) back for suggesting that, perhaps, the Dundee United ownership/administration/management (under Jackie McNamara, at least) had made some bad decisions over the past few seasons (like selling off/failing to re-sign all of their talent!) that were crippling the club on the pitch this season. I was more or less accused of having an axe to grind for pointing this out. Not only is this not true- I was hoping a revitalize United might actually mount a challenge against the Old Firm in the near present/future- but, well, the facts speak for themselves: the club has only 8 points from its first 16 matches and are not only in last place, but in danger of being left completely behind by even the clubs just above them in the Premiership table. If things keep going this way former United striker and current manager Mixu Paatelainen is either a) going to make a himself into a player-manager (despite being 48 years) or b) have a stroke during a press conference. I feel for the guy.