John Smith celebrates his first goal of the game which gave Kirkcaldy & Dysart a 3-1 lead at half-time Photo Copyright Matt Hooper Photography 2021

St Andrews United's troubled 2021-22 season took another turn in the wrong direction with a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Kirkcaldy & Dysart on Saturday afternoon. Covid-related losses, injuries, changes in management and player availability are just some of the challenges which St Andrews have had to cope with since the season began in June.

The margin of defeat will be galling for the players given that the majority of the goals could have been avoided without the basic mistakes made at the back. Chris Ireland gave the visitors the lead after 5 minutes following a fumble from the usually reliable goalkeeper Kyle Moran.

Jake Grady then equalised for St Andrews after 21 minutes, but a simply disastrous final 10 minutes of the first half saw United crumble. 

Jake Grady played as the lone striker and worked tirelessly all afternoon, equalising after 21 minutes Photo Copyright Matt Hooper Photography 2021

After a catalogue of defensive errors St Andrews scored an  own goal to give the lead back to the visitors, then Steven Keenan was controversially sent off as he was the last man, despite appearing to make contact with the ball when tackling a Kirkcaldy forward.

John Smith then finished off a swift move from the team in red, and effectively finished off any chance of a St Andrews win. Things didn't get any better in the second half, with Smith getting his second after an hour and Jay Bridgeford finishing off the slaughter in the 75th minute.

St Andrews may well point, perhaps correctly, to the sending off changing the game to a certain extent, but if they are honest they got away with it just being 5. 
Defeat leaves St Andrews United 7 points off 10th and with just 2 wins out of 11 games in what is turning into a nightmare of a season, if it wasn't already.

Hard work, unity, team spirit and doing the basics better are going to be an absolute necessity over the second half of this season if they are to avoid finishing bottom of the division.
St Andrews United now face two away games in succession in two different Cup competitions before returning to league action on 30 October with a home game against Rosyth, 2.30pm kick-off

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