The almost requisite Setanta Shield tinkering gave manager Garry Haylock the chance to give a start to keeper Delroy Preddie and skipper Nevin Saroya who are both returning from injury. He also gave a first start of the season to Peter Collins in the left back slot and a second start to Staforde Palmer in the forward line.
With the home side also making changes it took a while for any action in or around either area, when it came though United were fired ahead by the aforementioned Palmer with 15 minutes played. A neat one-two with strike partner Kieran Knight gave Palmer the ball just inside the Saints area and he duly fired past Paul Bastock's dive.
This was to be a false dawn as regards goalmouth action because apart from a Paul Hakim shot a couple of minutes later the next real goalmouth action came a minute before the break. Danny Allen-Page ferreted the ball to Palmer just outside the Saints area but his curling effort was just off target. Preddie kept United's lead intact in stoppage time when Jonathan Hunt cut inside and fired through a crowd, the United stopper reacted well to block the ball and Tom Cadmore was on hand to clear away the follow up effort.
The second period was to show a little more spark than the first, Saints went close just a couple of minutes in when Ben Martin rose highest to meet a corner but could not keep his header down. Former United man Simon Martin then went close with a header from a James Fisher cross and minutes later a surging run from Gary Cohen saw Cadmore half block his shot with Preddie on hand to grasp the ball as it looped goalwards.
Just after the hour mark James Mulley and Knight combined to move the ball into the Saints area, having held off his marker, Knight pulled the ball back to Palmer but he was denied by a perfectly timed sliding tackle by Gordon Reick. The resultant corner was met by Cadmore but his effort was too high to trouble Bastock.
Preddie was soon in action again, firstly he received a yellow card for a clash with Cohen as both chased down a long upfield punt. Having been awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, Hunt curled his effort around the wall only for Preddie to dive to his right and push the shot away to safety. Almost immediately United raced forwards themselves, Palmer raced past Ben Martin and battled into the box despite being pulled back by the defender. As the ball loose rolled towards Josh Scott on the edge of the box referee Mr Williams played an advantage rather than award a spot kick, and the shot went over the crossbar.
An eight minute break in play then ensued as a replacement assistant referee was required, the task being taken on by Saints substitute keeper Chris Adams, who is a qualified referee. Three minutes of normal time remained when a long Preddie punt bounced over Ben Martin and was well read by Scott Fitzgerald who got his toe to the ball only to be denied by a full stretch fingertip save by Bastock.
Despite almost ten minutes of stoppage time neither side could find the net and it was United who progressed to the second round with a seventh consecutive victory.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Website United Man of the Match: Danny Allen-Page.