The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United eased through to the fifth round of the Homecoming Scottish Cup with a comfortable 4-0 victory over third division East Stirling. First-half goals from Prince Buaben, Darren Dods and Jon Daly plus a second-half penalty from young striker Johnny Russell ensured safe passage to an away tie at Hamilton despite heavy rain and strong winds making things tricky at Ochilview.United took the lead on 15 minutes when Buaben marked his return to the first team with a well-taken right foot shot low into the corner. The lead was doubled on 40 minutes when Dods rose highest in the six-yard box to nod home a Paul Dixon corner. It was 3-0 before half-time courtesy of another close-range header, this time Daly converting a Sean Dillon cross. And Johnny Russell completed the scoring on 55 minutes when he converted a penalty after he was up-ended in the box.The game could have taken a different path when the home side had a golden opportunity after four minutes. Colin Cramb was played in neatly by Brian Graham but despite having time and space, he chose to try to chip Zaluska and the ball went harmlessly over.United then began to take control and Daly side-footed over after six minutes before Russell rounded the keeper but saw his goal-bound effort cleared by David Dunn.The first goal was coming and it duly arrived 15 minutes in. Buaben passed forward to Daly who laid it back into Buaben’s path at the edge of the box. The powerful midfielder took a touch to steady himself before firing a shot low into the corner beyond Jamie Newman in the East Stirling goal, to the delight and relief of the large United travelling support behind the same goal.The early setback did not dampen the home side’s enthusiasm and Graham again came close with a low shot after 20 minutes. Ten minutes later, Darren Dods found himself in the referee’s book after tackling Cramb from behind. Dunn struck the resulting free kick wide of goal via a United defender and, from the corner, Graham’s header hit the side-netting.Daly threatened next for United when good work down the right by Russell allowed the big striker a header at goal but it looped over the bar.Four minutes later, United got a deserved second. Dixon’s corner was flighted in from the right and Dods was the highest and strongest in a packed penalty area as he nodded home from close range.United made the tie safe two minutes before the break. Sean Dillon played a neat one-two with Willo Flood on the right touchline before whipping in an inviting cross that Daly headed low and hard into the net from close range for 3-0.The second half started with United again doing the pressing. Craig Conway was first to test Jim McInally’s defence with a powerful run and shot after 53 minutes that keeper Newman held comfortably.A minute later, Russell tried his luck at running at the defence. He dodged and weaved his way into the box before being bundled to the ground by Craig Tully. Referee Mike Tumilty didn’t hesitate before pointing to the spot and up stepped Russell himself to place the ball low to the keeper’s left. Despite getting a hand to it, Newman could not stop United going four up.A flurry of substitutions followed for both sides, with Danny Swanson replacing the hard-working Conway and Danny Grainger coming on for Dods who suffered a slight head knock.As the rain began to fall once more onto the synthetic surface, both teams were finding it tricky in the windy conditions and shots from Gomis, Swanson and David Robertson, who replaced Flood, could not find their way to the target.Both teams had decent chances in the final minute. First, East Stirling substitute Marc McKenzie found himself clean through but his shot into the wind was easily saved by Zaluska. At the other end, Daly could have grabbed his second of the game. Russell timed his run perfectly to latch onto a ball over the top before squaring the ball into the feet of the onrushing Daly whose side-footed shot was well-saved by the diving Newman who managed to direct it wide of goal.