Dundee United midfielder Calum Butcher is seeking redemption when he walks out to face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park this afternoon.
Butcher, then a central defender, hit a real low point when he was sent off after just four minutes of this corresponding fixture on December 29 last year.
Not only did he leave his team a man down, his foul on Stevie May gave the Perth side a penalty, which was scored by the man he had just brought down.
That gave the home team the breeakthrough and they never looked back, eventually dishing out a 3-0 defeat to the toiling Tangerines.
The whole day was one to forget for United. with manager Jackie McNamara’s decision to make eight changes to his team coming in for criticism at the time.
Two days short of 12 months on, though, both Butcher and the Tannadice club appear ready to make up for it.
They go into the fixture on a real high in second spot in the Premiership thanks to their thrilling 2-1 home win over champions Celtic last Sunday.
Butcher admitted that victory was the best of his career thus far and he is looking to keep the good times rolling by exorcising the ghost of last year’s game at McDiarmid.
“Yeah, that wasn’t a great one for me because I was sent off and we lost the game,” recalled Butcher.
“If I get play against St Johnstone this time then I want to put that right.
“I am determined to put in a good shift and performance to make up for what was a really bad moment for me.
“There is a real determination on my part to have a better experience than I did a year ago.
“Everything started to fall apart for me after that sending-off because I was out of the team and then suffered a lot on injury problems.
“I never really got back in the reckoning last season after that but now everything is looking up again.
“I have my new role in midfield, which is where I have wanted to play since joining the club.
“When I was coming back from injury I spoke to the manager and he has given me the chance in midfield.
“I love playing there and just want to keep playing well.
“I am really thankful to him for listening to what I had to say and hopefully he has seen that I can do a job there.”
There is, of course, no better preparation for the trip west to play in-form Saints than a win over the Hoops.
Butcher added: “It was a really good result and excellent team performance.
“It was definitely a career highlight for me because to beat Celtic in my first game against them was great.
“They had a few chances but we made our own luck.
“We worked hard to nullify what they were trying to do.
“In that sense, getting the first goal really helped us because we had something to hold on to then.
“It was a special result and everyone has been buzzing all week.
“What happened against Celtic was great but it’s behind us now and we move on.
“We have St Johnstone now and we just have to keep our run going.”
The question on a few peoples’ lips – although notably not those of manager McNamara – after a result that put them just four points behind the Hoops has been: “Can United challenge Celtic for the title?”
Butcher wasn’t making any rash predictions or promises, saying: “It is crazy to think that we are even as close to Celtic as we are when you think of their budget and the players they have.
“We are just taking it game by game and if we can come out of the festive period strongly and playing well then you never know.”