The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
The League Cup holders began their defence of the trophy at Methil, with new signing Joe Ward's inclusion the only change from the League opener against Kilmarnock, and Eamonn Bannon swapping places with him on the bench.The Fifers were awarded a penalty in their first attack when Billy Kirkwood handled a Willie Herd cross in the box, and Robert Thomson hammered home from the spot in the second minute. United drew level three minutes later, when Ralph Milne headed home from a Paul Sturrock cross, after good work by Derek Stark and Joe Ward. The East Fife keeper made a good save from Derek Addison at his near post but in the 17th minute United took the lead. Milne's cross was punched out by Gorman and Dave Narey nodded the ball back in for Joe Ward to score his first goal for the club with a flying header. Gorman made another good save from a Ward header, and Milne went just past with another attempt before United eventually scored their third in the 25th minute. Good play from Addison and Sturrock resulted in Ralph Milne grabbing his second of the night with another header to see United go in 3-1 up at half-time.East Fife pulled one back just after the interval when Willie Herd raced clear as the United defence appealed for offside, and he beat McAlpine with a low angular shot from 18 yards. Their hopes of a comeback were reduced when United were awarded a penalty in the 56th minute after defender Jim Scott palmed away a Derek Addison shot and Paul Sturrock made it 4-2 from the spot. Ward had the ball in the net with another header but was adjudged to be offside, but United tied the match up in the 67th minute when Dave Narey finished off a wonderful move from Sturrock and Payne by firing home from 20 yards. Substitute Eamonn Bannon looked to have scored with his first touch after coming on for Sturrock, but the goal was ruled offside. United had further chances, with Payne seeing his shot saved and Ward hitting the bar, and East Fife substitute was close twice, seeing Hegarty clear off the line and McAlpine saving at his feet. After an exciting match, United had a comfortable three goal lead for the 2nd leg at Tannadice.