The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
For the second time this season we let a lead slip against Airdrie who sneaked a last gasp 2-1 at Tannadice and here came back to grab a point after being reduced to ten men before half-time. The previous week's derby defeat had its ramifications in Billy Kirkwood's team selection. Skipper Christian Dailly and Owen Coyle were relegated to the bench and two men who hadn't figured much in the starting line up of late - Brian Welsh and Craig Brewster - replaced them. The tone for this entertaining game was set in the very first minute when Harvey flicked a Duffield cross inches over Ally Maxwell's bar. There was a blow for united in the 17th minute when Ray McKinnon was forced to limp off and Christian Dailly came on to take over his midfield role. The heroics of both goalkeepers was a feature of this match. John Martin was first in action beyond the call of duty with a magnificent one-handed save from a Robbie Winters header after he met Andy McLaren's cross from the left. Not to be out-done Ally Maxwell made two outstanding saves spreading himself to deny Harvey and then Duffield, with his feet on both occasions. Between those saves, Airdrie were reduced to ten men after Cooper was booked for a rash tackle form behind on Christian Dailly - his yellow card of the match. United's insipid first half performance was the feature of manager Billy Kirkwood's half-time team talk. "In the first half, we were carrying too many passengers," said the Tannadice boss, "but there was a positive reaction to that being highlighted in the dressing room at the interval." United really stamped their authority on proceedings in the early stages of the second period. Martin was almost beaten by Jim Bett's shot from 35 yards which took a cruel deflection. Five minutes later Craig Brewster curled a free-kick off the face of the bar. So it was no surprise when United did go ahead. Airdrie were penalised for a back-pass to Martin inside their own penalty box. Jim Bett rolled it to Craig Brewster whose shot rebounded high into the air off Black and fell to Maurice Malpas who blasted a volley past Martin from twenty yards for his second goal in consecutive weeks. Christian Dailly then clipped the ball outside of the far post with a wickedly curling low shot, but instead of continuing to press, ten man Airdrie were allowed back into the game. Grant Johnson headed a Jim Mclntyre header off the line to sound a warning that wasn't to be heeded! True, Martin saved from Owen Coyle, but by now Airdrie looked as though they were in with a shout and with 14 minutes left Jim McIntyre sent the ball curling out of Ally Maxwell's reach from 15 yards to claim the equaliser and with it went our chance of going top. CLUB COMMENT - "When we went ahead, we just stopped playing and allowed Airdrie back into the game" - BILLY KIRKWOOD, MANAGER..