The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United threw away a two-goal lead to leave Pittodrie with just a point this afternoon. Despite going 2-0 up after two goals from Jon Daly in eight and 24 minutes, Aberdeen were level by half time through a Zander Diamond header on 32 minutes and a Michael Paton penalty in first-half injury time after ex-United man Stuart Duff went down in the box.The game started brightly as the sun shone on Pittodrie and it was the home team who chalked up the first effort on target – Derek Young forcing Dusan Pernis into the punch with a curling free kick after four minutes. At the other end, United could have taken the lead after seven minutes when a lovely Jon Daly knock-down gave Prince Buaben the chance to shoot at goal but, although his strike was on target, it didn’t have the pace to beat Jamie Langfield in the Aberdeen goal.Less than a minute later, United did take the lead. Daly used his strength to muscle himself beyond Zander Diamond on the edge of the box before firing a right-foot shot past Langfield and in at his right-hand post.United were in control now and good work from Gomis allowed Buaben to square for Craig Conway whose shot on the run went just wide from 10 yards. A minute later a quick break from Gomis put Daly through the middle. He played in the unmarked Danny Swanson on the right but he fired his shot over.On 24 minutes, United doubled their lead. Danny Swanson crossed in a free kick from the right touchline and Daly rose highest in the box to head past Langfield’s outstretched left hand and into the net to put United cruising.Aberdeen were offering little threat at this point, their only outlet appearing to be the set pieces of Charlie Mulgrew and United were guilty of giving him opportunity after opportunity. On the half-hour mark he attempted an ambitious 35-yard free kick that curled just wide of the top right-hand corner although Pernis in the United goal easily had it covered. However, two minutes later, Mulgrew had more success. This time he crossed in a free kick from the left and Zander Diamond beat the United defence to the ball and bulleted a header past Pernis into the roof of the net to get the home side back into a match that they had been struggling in for long periods.Mulgrew free kicks continued to be Aberdeen’s attacking route of choice and his effort from the edge of the box on 41 minutes was well gathered by Pernis.The sides were to go in at the break on level terms. As the ball arrived high into the box, ex-United man Stuart Duff found himself surrounded by three United defenders and went to ground. Referee Iain Brines was very close to play and immediately pointed to the spot to the dismay of Sean Dillon. Michael Payton stepped up to the penalty spot and fired his shot into the bottom corner to restore parity with the final kick of the half.Mark McGhee’s men understandably came out all-guns blazing in the second half and Mihael Kovacevic was lucky to see his clearance go over the bar after Derek Young fired a ball into the box at pace. The big defender was then saved by Andy Webster as Sone Aluko broke past him and cut the ball back across the box only for the United captain to clear. It wasn’t all one-way traffic though as substitute Davide Grassi, on for the injured Jim Paterson, made a superb saving tackle on Daly to prevent him getting a shot on goal. From the resultant corner, United saw headers from both Webster and Daly blocked on the goal-line before Morgaro Gomis hooked a half-volley past the post.United should then have regained the lead as Goodwillie broke through the middle, beat his man and played the ball into the path of Daly but his shot was parried by Langfield at point-blank range and the ball spun wide for the corner. A minute later the ball was in the Aberdeen net. Kovacevic crossed to the back post where Garry Kenneth rose to put the ball past Langfield but the assistant referee’s flag was up for a very tight offside call.As the game entered the final quarter, Peter Houston freshened things up, first replacing Swanson with David Robertson before bringing on Francisco Sandaza and Jennison Myrie-Williams for Goodwillie and Buaben respectively.However, despite no lack of endeavour from both sides, clear-cut chances in the closing stages were hard to come by and the teams remained locked together at the full-time whistle.