The only thing that Lawrence Shankland’s wonder goal lacked was the adulation of an audience.
The striker’s skill and expertise deserved to be experienced in person by thousands of Dundee United supporters.
At one time, that looked likely to happen. This 2-1 victory over St Mirren was the fixture at that, least for a little while, we expected spectators to be allowed back into Tannadice to witness.
It was not to be, however, as the powers-that-be decided not to give the go-ahead.
Now, there are some things about fan-free football you can learn to live with.
For a lot of the time you can shut out the empty sidelines and focus on the passing and movement on the pitch, nearly forgetting that the action is taking place in the midst of a global pandemic.
Even sitting with your mask on your face and hand gel in your pocket, there are times when it could almost be the good, old, pre-coronavirus days.
However, the aching absence of people in the stands hurts most when a worldie goes in, a sublime strike like the one supplied by Shankland after 33 minutes.
There was no noise explosion, while the leaping and jumping around was left to the few on the park rather than the many.
You missed the shock on supporters’ faces that is usually followed by sheer delight as the realisation sets in that their hero has just scored an absolute cracker.
Shankland’s brilliance deserved better. It should have created a cacophany of sound that echoed far and wide.
Instead, the silence was only broken by the United coaches and players in the technical area.
It is a shame but until the virus is vanquished or even controlled then we will all just have to accept the special roar that greets a great goal is on mute.
The diminished celebration, though, didn’t detract from the volley’s value.
It heralded the return of Shankland from injury in spectacular style, gave the player his first ever Premiership goal, earned his club’s first victory at Tannadice this season and eased the Tangerines’ pain after back-to-back 4-0 drubbings from Kilmarnock and Rangers.
It also helped blank out the preceding half-an-hour or so, with the visitors looking the better team during that time.
United, to their credit, were a different beast after the break.
They went on to dominate the second half, creating a barrowload of opportunities.
Nicky Clark smacked the inside of the post with a shot, while there were oh-so-close strikes from Adrian Sporle, Shankland, Ian Harkes and Logan Chalmers. Apologies to anyone left out but there were a few.
United boss Micky Mellon was spot-on when he said: “I think in the second half we played some unbelievable football.
“The one-touch football, the amount of chances that we had, I think we have to say that we deserved the win.”
Buddies boss Jim Goodwin, who has a well-earned reputation for his honest appraisal of matches, freely admitted the home team deserved the three points, citing their dominance from half-time onwards.
Mellon’s men scored a second goal on 52 minutes from the aforementioned Sporle.
The Argentinian was the picture of composure when, after both Harkes and Shankland has shots blocked, he sidestepped a challenge before curling the ball into the net.
It was all United now and St Mirren looked to be in even deeper trouble when, on the hour, Richard Tait flew into a bad tackle on Chalmers.
Again, much to his credit and without equivocation, Goodwin accepted the red card for his player was deserved.
The hosts should have been on easy street but, with echoes of the opening-day match against St Johnstone, a blunder by an experienced central defender opened the door to 10-man opposition.
Back then it was a Mark Connolly sliced clearance but this time captain Mark Reynolds was at fault when he seemed to have the ball under control but was caught out by St Mirren substitute Dylan Connolly. He couldn’t believe his luck and clipped a low shot past United keeper Benjamin Siegrist to make it 2-1.
The Tangerines still kept attacking, though, and it was they who looked the likelier side to score again in the closing stages.
Mellon’s side now find themselves with 10 points after eight games in a campaign that has already been a bit of a roller-coaster.
Their remaining matches in the first quarter are away to Hamilton Accies on Saturday, home to Livingston on Friday, October 2 and a Tannadice meeting with Aberdeen on the 17th, which follows a batch of Betfred Cup group games.
The Tangerines won’t be setting any targets publicly but in private you imagine a points haul of six from those three games would be acceptable.
That would mean the long-awaited and hard-earned return to the top flight is going pretty well.