The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
The writing was on the wall in the last twenty minutes when the Tangerlnes simply stopped playing after taking the lead and failed to kill off the opposition. Matters were only compounded by yet another serious injury to a striker with Paddy Connolly being led off with what transpired to be a broken collar-bone. From that moment on Airdrie, who had rarely been seen as an attacking force, surged forward. That the game should end in such a fashion was in complete contrast to how the opening seventy minutes had unfolded.Within the opening ten minutes, John Martin was tested three times as shots from Billy McKinlay, Andy McLaren and Robbie Winters all tested the Alrdrie keeper. The latter then missed a great chance, failing to make proper contact to Mark Perry's cross from the right and gave United their best scoring opportunity. Maurice Malpas played the ball up to Paddy Connolly whose first time square ball left Billy McKinlay in the clear, but the midfielder side-footed the ball past the post with Martin diving the wrong way. It took just four minutes of the second half for United to get their noses in front. Andy McLaren crossed from the left and Mark Perry headed the ball just inside Martin's left hand post from ten yards to make it 1-0.Only a brilliant save by Martin kept out a 20 yarder from Andy McLaren as United continued to press forward and Paddy Connolly then found himself with only the keeper to beat but overran the ball as he tried to go past him. Worse followed for the United striker as he was sandwiched between Martin and Sandison when the trio all challenged for a high bouncing ball, leaving Paddy injured and holding his arm as he left the pitch.Ally Maxwell kept out Cooper's awkwardly bouncing header and Airdrie suddenly looked threatening and with two minutes left Peter Duffield, a Tannadlce transfer target during the summer, collected a Sandison pass and drove into the box to shoot under Ally Maxwell for the equaliser. That was calamitous enough, but it was even harder to bear the visitor's shock winner in the very last minute when Steve Cooper rose above everyone else to head home a Boyle free-klck. "To lose the game was disgraceful, but we got what we deserved" - BILLY KIRKWOOD, MANAGER