Mention the name Brandon Mason to most Dundee United supporters and the likely response will reference the afternoon of January 6, 2018.
A Csaba Laszlo signing, on loan from Watford, Mason made his one and only United start in their 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Falkirk at the peak of the club’s troubles in the Championship.
He was one of many poor performers on the day at the Falkirk Stadium and was never seen again in tangerine.
Almost three years later, though, now 23, the much-maligned Mason was starring against a Premiership Tangerines side for new club St Mirren on Friday night.
The left-back, on loan in Paisley from Coventry, was a thorn in the Terrors’ side in the Ferguslie fog as the teams had to make do with a stalemate and a share of the spoils.
There was no bitterness nor revelling in revenge for the Englishman, though, despite admitting to having a tough time on Tayside and difficult relationship with Laszlo, in particular.
Instead of focusing on the past, Mason prefers to look to the future with his new club and revealed a conversation with former Buddies and current Dundee striker Alex Jakubiak convinced him to give Scottish football another shot.
He said: “I have been in Scotland before – when I was about 20 I had a really short loan spell with Dundee United from Watford.
“It was a difficult time for me personally and it didn’t work out how I’d hoped, unfortunately.
“I was young at the time but I learned a lot from it. I’m hoping this time it’ll be better.
“I had no hesitation about joining St Mirren. I spoke to Alex Jakubiak about the club and he told me to definitely make the move because he loved his time here last season.
“He said I’d enjoy it here, obviously it’s a big club with a lot of history so I’m hoping to add to that during my time here.”
He had to wait to make another go at the Scottish game, though, with his debut delayed because of a coronavirus outbreak in the St Mirren squad.
However, Mason shone on the left side of the Buddies defence and is now hoping to kick on.
He added: “I’ve only been here for five days. There hasn’t been any Zoom calls or anything to meet everyone before then so it’s all been pretty strange.
“The lads are all great though and they’ve helped me settle in quickly.
“It took a bit longer than planned to join up because I did my MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) a few months ago. I was out and then, obviously, there were the problems with coronavirus here.
“I’m glad to finally be here now, though, and have made my debut. Now it’s all about kicking on.”
Buddies boss Goodwin pleased with display
Buddies boss Jim Goodwin was happy with Mason’s debut and the character and level of performance shown by the whole team after almost four weeks without a match.
The Irishman said: “I don’t think there was one below-par performance. Every single one of them was at least a seven-out-of-ten, which is all you can ask for.
“It has been a long time since we kept a clean sheet so that was a real positive as well.
“Considering where we have been the last few weeks, with most of them not getting beyond the front door because of Covid, I’m pleased with the effort and commitment.
“The team selection was based on those guys who either did not have Covid or the ones least affected by it.
“I think the starting XI gave us the best energy levels and fitness available to us. To a man I thought they were brilliant.
“The three kids in the middle of the park along with Jamie McGrath were outstanding. They were at the forefront of everything good we did throughout the game.
“Unfortunately we had sixteen attempts on goal and were not able to test (Benjamin) Siegrist.”