Just before kick off on Saturday, Dundee United sent congratulations to celebrity fan Lorraine Kelly after she was awarded a CBE.
However, by the time referee Bobby Madden had blown the full-time whistle, the club’s players had made it onto a ‘dishonours’ list after suffering a demoralising defeat to Peterhead.
Premiership United were left red faced as they were beaten at home by Jim McInally’s League 1 part-timers, with the shock loss even more remarkable when taking into account the fact this was the Blue Toon’s first competitive fixture since March 7.
Peterhead won thanks to a solitary Steven Boyd goal, scored just after half-time.
United had almost 40 minutes to recover but struggled to manufacture a response.
That summed up what had been a dismal day for the Tangerines with home skipper Calum Butcher admitting it was simply not acceptable.
The 29-year-old midfielder said: “We all take responsibility for the performance.
“It wasn’t good enough and we know that as a team.
“It is days like this where you have to stick together. Whatever noises from outside, you need to stick together and bounce back from this. We have done it before and I am sure we can do it again.
“I think frustration has been creeping in and we are a bit low on confidence. It is a bit of both really and it culminated in everything going wrong against Peterhead.
“But you have to be a man and stand up to it. You have to take it when it is bad and also when it is good.
“Like always we are never too low and never too high.
“We just have to roll our sleeves up now as we know we have big games coming up. We just have to push ourselves on for them.
“We know what happened against Peterhead was not acceptable for Dundee United and we need to be better.”
Butcher insisted the fact United were playing a part-time team two divisions below them had not resulted in complacency setting in.
He said: “No, I don’t think so. Teams come here and set up a certain way and we have to be better at breaking them down. But fair play to them, I thought they were brilliant.
“They did a job on us and we didn’t match them at all.”
The United players will now look to make amends when they play Kelty Hearts tomorrow night with Butcher admitting the cup tie cannot come quickly enough.
He said: “We want a game straight away. We would have played on Sunday if we could to get it out of the system but we just have to take it on the chin.
🗣 "I know we're a club who have just come up a level, but I would've been expecting to see more from a lot of the boys today."
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) October 10, 2020
“We know we are going to get some stick for it but we just have to pull ourselves together in the dressing-room because these are the tough times where we will really see what matters to us.
“It is a very disappointing result and we need to have a look at ourselves individually and collectively.
“But as I said, we have to stick together at times like this. They will happen through the season. There will be other low points but we have to bounce back from that.
“It is about us and going into the Kelty game with the right attitude. You have no right just to go out and win a game, you have to turn up and make it difficult for teams. We didn’t do that at all against Peterhead.
“We have Kelty, then the Aberdeen game and other big ones after that.”
Clear-cut chances were few and far between for United on Saturday with Cammy Smith having arguably the two best opportunities, one in either half.
However, Peterhead also had opportunities and when it mattered most, they took it with aplomb as Boyd calmly steered the ball past the helpless Deniz in the United goal.
The expected home response was not forthcoming and after a lengthy spell locked in the dressing-room with his players, United boss Micky Mellon did not pull his punches over the performance and the result.
He said: “I am angry. That’s my personal emotion.
“I am also frustrated as there were a lot of people given an opportunity today.
“But we have to be better at everything and it was a thoroughly disappointing afternoon.”