Dundee United midfielder Ian Harkes gave his watching family the perfect Christmas present – a goal.
The American was supported at Tannadice on Saturday by his mum, dad and sister, who have flown across the Atlantic to be with him for the festivities.
With timing almost as good as Santa’s, Harkes gave them a gift to remember when he scored United’s final strike in their 4-0 win over Ayr United.
He said: “My mom, dad and sister were at the game to see me.
“They are in Dundee to spend Christmas here for the first time.
“It was nice to have them here and take in the atmosphere at Tannadice.
“Before the game, they were all telling me to shoot so I was happy to get a goal for them.
“It is something I want to add to my game more often.
“I am keen to get forward more and get some strikes in.”
Then, with a wry smile, Harkes added: “I maybe picked the wrong corner – I was going for the other one! Don’t tell anyone though…”
His goal came three minutes from the end, by which time the Tangerines had already score through Sam Stanton’s tap-in, Lawrence Shankland’s penalty and Nicky Clark’s strike.
The final scoreline camouflaged the quality of Ayr’s play in the first half, when they dominated until the 42nd minute when Stanton struck.
Harkes admitted that United were slow out of the blocks.
He added: “I think Ayr are a good side and they started the game very well.
“We made a slow start and we couldn’t get close to anyone.
“At half-time, we kind of changed a few things in terms of our shape.
“We tried to get at them a little bit more.
“We then got the penalty and that changed the game.
“I think it was important to realise that even if we were not playing at our best we were 1-0 up and could continue through.”
Meanwhile, United forward Logan Chalmers is poised to move to Arbroath on loan.
The Lichties are expected to take the 20-year-old to Gayfield for the remainder of the season.