Terrific Ten-goal Thriller at The Rec
Report courtesy Lewis Rodger, St Andrews United FC
Photography by Matt Hooper
I must have watched hundreds of St Andrews United home games in my time and don't think I've seen two teams having such trouble in defence.  Saints eventually came out of a pulsating game with all three points, which perhaps suggests that they were the better team, though the standard of defending will need to improve against stronger opponents in the weeks ahead.  
Of course, it was a great game to watch, especially the second half, and it was fantastic to see United earn a first home league win of the season.  St Andrews United got off to a great start when new boy Kevin Stanfield raced clear at the top end of the park and calmly stroked the ball past Arniston goalie Cameron Dudgeon in the fifth minute.  The visitors then created a couple of chances at the other end of the park but the home players actually defended fairly well throughout the first half.  Saints also broke clear a couple of times before half time yet poor finishing meant there was no further scoring by the break.  
As such, the fans at The Clayton Caravan Park Recreation Ground were not expecting a glut of goals during the second half.  The first of those goals was an equaliser from Billy Linton as he rose highest to head home a crossed ball from a corner kick.  However, Stanfield restored United’s lead in the 54th minute by converting a superb cross from Kieran Lindsay and he completed his hat trick moments later by pouncing on a poor clearance.  
Those strikes could have knocked the stuffing out of Arniston but the men in maroon pulled a goal back on the hour-mark when Mikey Johnston scored from very narrow angle.  His shot somehow found the net via the far post and the home players were even more shocked three minutes later when Ty McLean equalised with a great shot from the edge of the box.  Thankfully, the St Andrews United lads promptly rallied and trialist Jaimie Murie from Bridge of Earn made the score 4-3 following good work by Fraser Anderson.  
The action was raging from end to end as the clock wound down and it perhaps came as no surprise that Arniston Rangers equalised for a third time when Ryan Moore smashed the ball past United goalkeeper Kyle Moran in the 85th minute.  The home supporters therefore feared the worst at that stage yet their despair quickly turned to joy when referee Andy Strang pointed to the spot because Scott Waterston handled a shot from Lindsay inside the box.  The Arniston captain received a second yellow card for his troubles and Stanfield confidently blasted the penalty kick high into Dudgeon’s net to make the score 5-4.  
The St Andrews United players thus raced towards debutante Stanfield in celebration and they could relax two minutes later because Lindsay put the result beyond doubt.  The young loanee from East Fife cleverly danced through a tiring Arniston defence prior to slipping the ball past Dudgeon and the final whistle sounded a few seconds later.  
The home supporters consequently left the ground in high spirits and they were delighted with the effort, comradery and determination shown by their heroes.  What a second half!  

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