Part 14 - Dundee United (H)

It's A New Dawn, It's A New Day, It's A New Life, For Killie... And We Still Got Beat

On 3rd December, a change in the boardroom saw Ronnie Hamilton taking over from Jim Moffat and also saw a change in manager. Totten was gone - a footnote at the bottom of a press release about the changes in the boardroom.

As contemporary newspaper reports said:

"The directors felt that a younger man should be put at the helm and, coupled with the three younger directors taken on board this year, now was a time to make this change, given the club's present position. We felt we should have made progress from last year. I take on board the fact that last season was our highest-ever position in the premier division, but we were looking to improve on that.

Apart from Rangers and Celtic we feel we have the best set-up and our position does not mirror that. That was the deciding factor to make the change."

For Totten the decision came as a surprise... as did most things.

"I am extremely disappointed, I was called by Ronnie Hamilton in the morning and told that I had run out of time. It came as something of a shock, because I felt we were only two wins away from moving well up the league."

Bobby Williamson, reserve team coach, was due to take interim control of the team. "The players are very upset, and so am I. We've all worked hard for Alex for the last two-and-a-half years and none of us saw this coming. We are all stunned."

Supporters' chairman, Sam Stowe, welcoming Totten's departure, called for the board to approach Jimmy Nicholl. "I would love to see the club show a bit of ambition and go for Nicholl, who has shown he can do it in Scotland, we can't afford to take a chance on an untried manager."

Williamson indicated he wants the job permanently but wasn't told how long he had to prove himself and if the board had itchy trigger fingers, his first result certainly didn't cover him in glory.

It was all United early on and it took only 22 minutes to break down our defence. A corner kick wasn't defended the best it could be, the ball finally making it out to 78 year old Maurice Buspass at the edge of the box, who hammered his shot off the underside of the bar. The ball bounced out and the man with the unspellable first name - I'm sure there's some sort of J in there, somewhere - Olofsson, in acres of space, rose up to head the ball home.

Our only chance, worthy of the highlights was Gary Holt having a header straight at the hands of the visiting keeper. Soon, Gary. Soon.

The visitors rounded off the scoring a few minutes into the second half. Andy McLaren... name sounds familiar... beat his markers to fire in a perfect cross for that man Olofsson again. This time it was a header of the diving variety. Show off.

2-0 at full time. Work to do for the interim boss.

One last meander back through the press of the time brings up an interesting stat. After 13 games of the season, Killie had the same number of points they had after 'last week's' defeat to Raith. Totten went on to take the club to seventh by the end of the season. 11 points clear of the play-offs. Clearly, the new board did not think he could repeat that feat.

Team: Meldrum, MacPherson, Kerr, Monty, McGowne, Lauchlan, Bagan, Reilly, Wright, Holt, McKee

Subs: Brown, Mitchell & Findlay for Bagan, Holt & Monty.

Attendance: 5,814

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