There was only one game in town when Dundee United visited Athlone for the first fixture of their pre-season programme.
Sadly, it wasn’t Germany’s historic and mind-blowing 7-1 defeat of Brazil in the World Cup semi-final but a rather more mundane goalless draw between the Tangerines and their Irish hosts.
The match may have lacked excitement and glamour but it could yet prove very valuable indeed to manager Jackie McNamara.
For the Tannadice boss took the opportunity to experiment and would have liked the results when he analysed them back at their plush training base at Johnstown House.
Probably the biggest success was the display up front of 18-year-old Blair Spittal, who regularly set up Brian Graham, only for the big man to miss the target.
Spittal provided a goal threat himself, while behind him was the twisting and turning Charlie Telfer.
Telfer arrived at United with a big reputationthe pick of Rangers’ youth team, some saidand he looks capable of providing at least some of the magic dust that would have been sprinkled on their play by the now absent Ryan Gauld.
Another summer signing, Callum Morris, was one of only three players who got the full 90 minutes at Athlone, the others being goalkeeper Marc McCallum and Sean Dillon.
He looked strong and comfortable at the heart of the defence and the former Dunfermline man impressed manager McNamara.
Alongside Morris until the second-half substitutions was young Darren Petrie. With John Souttar assuming an unfamiliar central midfield role, Petrie slotted into the heart of the backline without a problem and appears to have the strengthboth physical and mentalto cope with first-team football.
Czech trialist Jiri Lenko did OK when he came on for Andy Robertson at left-back, while keeper Marc McCallum saved well on the couple of occasions he was tested by Athlone.
Therefore, McNamara will have plenty upon which to reflect as he prepares for the second game of the Irish trip against Bohemians in Dublin on Saturday.