Nicky Clark has revealed he changed his mind at the last second when taking the penalty that could have made Dundee United’s day a lot more comfortable than it was.
The Tangerines were already leading Arbroath 1-0 at Gayfield thanks to Sam Stanton’s deflected shot on six minutes.
However, the Lichties were making life tough for the Tannadice men on a blustery afternoon down by the Angus coast.
The glorious chance to grab a second came came on 54 minutes when Clark was brought down by home keeper Derek Gaston. He picked himself up to take the kick but Gaston dived to his left to make the save.
Thankfully for Clark, it didn’t matter in the end and all-conquering United march on.
The Tangerines’ frontman said: “It was a bad penalty.
“I’m frustrated because I changed my mind at the last moment and I don’t know why.
“For the last few pens, I have stuck to my guns and I have scored them.
“I never look at goalies when I am taking penalties. I just pick a side and hit it there but I changed this time.
“It wasn’t to be but it happens in football and it won’t faze me.
“The boys managed to help me out by getting the three points and it’s a huge win for us.”
While United were certainly not at their best, they held on to make it a wonderful eight wins on the trot.
Also, the defeat for second-placed Inverness Caley Thisle at Partick Thistle meant the gap between Robbie Neilson’s men and their nearest challengers in the Championship is now a formidable 13 points.
Clark said: “Winning eight in a row is a great achievement because we have seen before in this league how everybody can beat everybody else.
“It is very tough and usually the team that goes on a run sits at the top of the league.
“We are up there and while it is nice to have won eight straight we now have two very tough games either side of Christmas against Ayr and Dundee.
“We will keep going.
“We have a good group in there and everyone at the club has the same ambition – to get back where United belong.”