The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
It isn't only Glasgow Rangers that have a Shielfield skeleton in their cupboard. Whilst everyone automatically associates the Borderers with their famous 1967 Ibrox giant-killing act, both United (and Dundee for that matter) have suffered at the hands of Berwick in their 'C' Division days in the early fifties. They inflicted one of only two defeats on United by teams from a lower division and the way United started this latest confrontation, you'd have thought that they were trying to exercise the 1953 embarrassment as they laid an early siege on the home goal. McQueen had to react quickly to palm away a Christian Dailly header after only two and a half minutes and thirty seconds later, Gary McSwegan found space in the inside left channel, but his shot rebounded off the far post and was cleared to safety. A goal then would undoubtedly changed the complexion of the tie and indeed that was exactly the effect the opener had when it came in the ninth minute. Unfortunately it was at the wrong end! In Berwick's first foray up field, a cross from the left by Graham deflected off Grant Johnson and reared up in the air to drop just inside the far post to the consternation of the large number of United fans in the two thousand crowd. Spurred on by this the home side enjoyed a good spell of possession without ever really threatening to score again. However, another bizarre incident again shifted the balance of power. Former United midfielder Martin Neil threaded a back-pass to McQueen. His clearance was blocked by the onrushing Owen Coyle who reached the rebound first before being brought down by the errant keeper. Owen Coyle struck home what was only United's third penalty of the season. The pressure on United was further eased with a killer second goat right on the stroke of half-time. Sandy Robertson, back in the side for the first time in four months, played the ball into the box. A Berwick defender failed to clear properly and Owen Coyle sliced a right-foot shot in at the near post from a tight angle. The goal and particularly the timing of it well and truly deflated the previously buoyant home side. Although Berwick had plenty of the ball after the break, it was always United who looked like adding to their score. Owen Coyle would have had a hat-trick, but for a fine save by McQueen and both he and Robbie Winters went close with headers, but United had to be content with a single goal victory, but in the cup that is all that is needed!