With friends like Deniz Mehmet, Archie Meekison doesn’t need enemies.
The Dundee United playmaker was an emerging talent at Tannadice when goalkeeper Mehmet was on the books as understudy to Benji Siegrist.
Meekison still fondly recalls the welcome he was afforded by the amiable Englishman as he made the step up to the first-team dressing room.
However, there was no room for sentiment on Saturday when the Dunfermline No.1 produced a sensational save in the dying embers to deny the Scotland U21 international a dramatic winner.
Mehmet somehow clawed Meekison’s late curler to safety when it appeared destined for the top-corner.
“I was speaking to Deniz after the game,” smiled Meekison. “We were able to have a wee joke about it.
“I actually said to him, “I can’t believe you’ve saved that”.
“He just told me: “Sorry, I couldn’t let it go in!”
“Deniz was here (United) when I was just breaking through to the first-team and he was really good to me.
“He’s a good guy and it was nice to catch up with him. We’ve both been injured this season, so it was good to have a chat and reflect on how we were both doing.”
Meekison: I want to earn Goodwin trust
Seeking to break down a stoic, organised Dunfermline resistance, Meekison was the most impactful of United’s substitutes during a frustrating 0-0 draw at Tannadice.
He fired one left-footed drive over the bar following a smart line-breaking run – of which there were not enough from the hosts – before bringing out the best in Mehmet late on.
The heartening cameo followed a similarly bright showing in Inverness on his comeback from injury, winning the ball in midfield in the build-up to United’s decisive goal.
Amid a fierce fight for game-time in midfield, Meekison hopes he can earn the “trust” of Goodwin.
“Goals and assists are something I’m trying to add to my game – to get involved in games and try to win them,” Meekison told Courier Sport.
“The manager knows that I can play in the two in front of a sitting midfielder, or as a No.10. I think I’m quite clever in the positions I take up and the runs that I make.
“So, he wants me to create as many chances as possible, whether for myself or others. That’s what I enjoy the most.
“I want to create chances and be dangerous – and I want him to trust that I can do that for the team. It’s down to me to build that trust, and I’ll try to do that in the coming weeks.”
United’s failure to breach the Fifers’ rearguard meant they have now picked up 19 points from a possible 33 at Tannadice. They have failed to win six of their 11 Championship fixtures on home soil.
It is a record that irks Meekison as much as the paying punters.
“We want to take as many points as possible at Tannadice and really make this our fortress; for teams to be afraid to come here,” he continued.
“But we didn’t move the ball as quickly as we want. As the second half went on, we were better at that. In the final stages, it gets a bit scrappy, and they were holding on.”
While Meekison understands the frustration of those Arabs who made their feelings known at the full-time whistle on Saturday, he insists an underwhelming display is not indicative of a lack of invention or ambition.
“We know what we work on in training,” continued Meekison. “Our strength is moving the ball quickly. We have really good players on the ball; clever players who will make runs.
“The squad has brilliant strikers who can get on the end of deliveries. So, it is about us being disciplined, while still moving the ball fast and trying to get a cross into the box or a shot away.”