With just two games to play, United’s tally of 10 points from 26 games leaves them three points adrift of second-bottom Newburgh Juniors – 2-1 winners at Stirling University at the weekend – at the foot of East of Scotland Football League first division conference B.
“In all honesty, it was terrible errors on our part,” Gracie said of their 20th loss of the campaign. “We actually played the better football of the two teams. We were comfier on the ball.
“They looked to just play the ball in behind and play for territory. There wasn’t really any great comfort in their game, but we gave away a very soft penalty before, for the second goal, our keeper came to the edge of the box to recover a ball.
“I think he was in two minds about the guy charging him down and the ball. The ball went through his legs and the guy just ran past him and tapped it in.
“There are two drastic mistakes that shouldn’t have happened.
“There were tired legs giving away a free-kick for the third goal and the only goal of the game that they realistically scored from open play was because the guy beat the offside trap.
“I take my hat off to them for that, but again that came from a mistake on our part.”
The hosts’ sole goal at Albert Park at the weekend was scored by Lewis Swaney from the penalty spot on 89 minutes, with Ben Anthony, Jack Wilson, Jordan Galloway and Raymond Crichton on target for their visitors from Fife, reduced to 10 men by a 79th-minute red card for Wilson.
United – likely to be saved from potential relegation by league reconstruction – are away to Luncarty this coming Saturday at 2.30pm and at home to Lochore Welfare a week later at 1pm.
The Borders’ other conference B side, Peebles Rovers, also lost to Fife opposition at the weekend, 5-0 away to Glenrothes.
That defeat, their 16th of the season, leaves them 12th in the 15-team table with 19 points from 25 games.
Their remaining matches are away to Kinnoull this Saturday at 2.30pm, at home to Newburgh on Friday, May 20, at 7pm and at Lochore Welfare on Saturday, May 28, at 2.30pm.