Last season, Dundee United and Dunfermline just couldn’t stay away from each other — the good omen for the Tangerines is they quickly turned into the Pars’ bogey side.
This time last year, it seemed like every other week the two sides, who meet this weekend in a top-of-the-table Championship clash at East End Park, were facing up against each other.
By November 12, they had already met four times — twice in the league and once each in the League Cup and Challenge Cup — before another two league fixtures after the turn of the year made it a total of six meetings.
And, despite the Pars probably going into Saturday’s game as the in-form side after seven wins from their last eight games, the Tangerines’ recent record against them has been almost perfect.
In those six games last season, Dunfermline only managed one draw, with United winning the other five.
An aggregate score of 9-2 surely gives Ray McKinnon’s men the edge ahead of the next instalment this week. So, how did it all go down last campaign?
July 31, 2016
Dundee Utd 2 Dunfermline 0
The Betfred Cup group stage threw the teams together and goals from Simon Murray and Scott Fraser saw the Tangerines into round two in Group C.
September 10, 2016
Dunfermline 1 Dundee Utd 3
Murray again was on the scoresheet with Tony Andreu’s double sealing three points after Michael Paton made it 2-1 and Paul Dixon saw red on 61 minutes.
That day, though, will live long in the memory for those who were there to witness a unique achievement.
It’ll certainly never be forgotten by goalkeeper Cammy Bell, who, remarkably, saved three penalties — one from a man who’ll be turning out in tangerine on Saturday, Paul McMullan.
November 8, 2016
Dundee Utd 1 Dunfermline 0
Allan Johnston’s Pars returned to Tannadice in the league a month after that and probably to his relief there were no penalties that day.
They still couldn’t beat Bell in the home goal, however, and striker Murray was once again their tormentor with a 79th-minute winner.
November 12, 2016
Dunfermline 0 Dundee Utd 1
Four days later, the two sides went at it again, this time in the Irn-Bru Cup.
Mark Durnan netted the only goal of the game after just eight minutes to send the Tangerines on their way to lift the trophy.
January 28, 2017
Dunfermline 1 Dundee Utd 1
Finally, the Pars had a point against the team that had become their bogey side.
Talisman Tony Andreu had given United the lead with a fine goal at East End Park before John Herron headed in the equaliser before the half-hour mark.
The Tangerines had the chances to grab another win but this time Dunfermline held on for a point.
April 11, 2017
Dundee Utd 1 Dunfermline 0
With the league campaign coming to a close and teams fighting it out for play-off places, this time it was Thomas Mikkelsen’s turn to inflict pain on the Pars.
So there can be no denying Ray McKinnon’ side certainly had a hoodoo over the Pars in what seemed like almost endless meetings last season, but things have changed since then.
United are almost a completely different side, going forward particularly, while Dunfermline have been smashing almost everyone in their path.
The players are different but the Tangerines will be hoping on Saturday it’s the same old, same old in terms of the result.