Dundee Utd 1 - 0 Falkirk

League Cup - 3rd Round
Tuesday, August 27th, 1991, 7:30 PM at Tannadice Park
Attendance: 6,737
Referee: Martin Clark (Edinburgh)
Mascot: Euan Sutherland
Dundee Utd  Falkirk

Goalscorers
Hamish French (36)
None.

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Jim Jefferies

Starting Eleven
Alan Main
Maurice Malpas
Dave Narey
Freddy van der Hoorn
Gary Bollan
Mixu Paatelainen
Andy McLaren
Billy McKinlay
John Clark
Dave Bowman
Hamish French
Ian Westwater
Neil Duffy
Tommy McQueen
John Hughes
Crawford Baptie
Brian Rice
Kevin McAllister
Alex Taylor
Sam McGivern
Eddie May
Paul Smith

Substitutes
Christian Dailly
Michael O'Neill
Martin Mooney
Neil Oliver

Substitutions
None. Martin Mooney for Alex Taylor
Neil Oliver for Brian Rice

Bookings
Billy McKinlay (66)
None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Alan Main (GK) 88 apps -
Maurice Malpas 496 apps15 goals
Dave Narey 806 apps36 goals
Freddy van der Hoorn 90 apps4 goals
Gary Bollan 3 apps -
Mixu Paatelainen 144 apps39 goals
Andy McLaren 4 apps -
Billy McKinlay 131 apps5 goals
John Clark 234 apps31 goals
Dave Bowman 197 apps6 goals
Hamish French 92 apps16 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Andy McLaren (18 years 87 days)
Oldest Player:Dave Narey (35 years 84 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 218 days
Domestic Players:9 (81.82 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Christian Dailly (17 years 312 days)
Oldest Player:Dave Narey (35 years 84 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 267 days
Domestic Players:10 (76.92 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

The syndrome of chopping and changing for whatever reasons continued yet again. In the wake of Saturday's disappointing display at Easter Road, manager Jim McLean made five changes in personnel from the starting eleven at Easter Road. The call for a more positive approach was answered as Hamish French brought out a save from Westwater in the very first minute. Generally, the opening exchanges were evenly contested with Westwater twice in action to deny Hamish French. At the other end Alan Main had to react quickly to tip over a dangerous Eddie May cross. As it turned out the re-instated United 'keeper was to be responsible for the opening, and ultimately, the winning goal after 36 minutes. Not that he was in any way to blame for the goal. Quite the opposite as he launched a long clearance down field. The ball bounced once and Hamish French headed the ball over the advancing Westwater. The goal was almost an exact replica of Darren Jackson's life-saving goal in the last minute of normal time in the Scottish Cup Final earlier this year. From then until half-time we controlled proceedings. In fact, Mixu shot just past within a minute of us taking the lead.

Falkirk proved much more of a threat in the second half and twice former United midfielder, Eddie May, directed headers only inches wide. However, between those narrow escapes Westwater rescued Falkirk with saves from Hamish French and Andy McLaren. In the last quarter of an hour we had numerous opportunities to tie match up. but Westwater again made fine saves from Billy McKinlay and Hamish French in particular. However Falkirk fought to the end and former United defender. Neil Duffy who was drafted in as an auxillary striker had a couple of chances to take the tie into extra-time. The fact that it didn't, can be put down to a remarkable last minute goalline clearance. John Clark somehow managed to back-heel a dangerous cross over his own goal to ensure our qualification for the quarter finals.

I have no doubt that like me, all of you have found the first three Saturdays of the new term very depressing. On the opening day of the season against Celtic I felt that we deserved more; at McDiannid last week, it was a case of a point dropped after playing the entire second half against ten men and last Saturday at Easter Road, I have no doubt we deserved a share of the spoils.

But, having said that our overall performance is been very disappointing. The reasons for that cannot be wholly attributable to the fact that we have had to do without so many players due to injury or a variety of other reasons. The main problem, I feel, is the lack of penetration within the club and it is a cause of major concern to me. One could argue that Andy McLaren should have started last Saturday's game against Hibs, but I opted for the experience of Darren Jackson and Michael O'Neill because of the goals they have scored so far this season.

Frankly, our form has been erratic this term. We are the third top goalscorers, but also have the third worst defensive record. Yet, Hibs rarely looked like scoring and it was a bad mistake by Guido Van De Kamp which cost us a goal and the loss of both points.
At the other end the quality of our crossing was extremely poor and the only real goal attempts came from Barren Jackson, Billy McKinlay and Freddy Van Der Hoom's last minute shot.

At this level you cannot afford to give goals away and so we must concentrate on improving all aspects of our game.

At the time of writing, I am waiting on clearance to sign someone who I think will help us turn the corner and by the time you read this, I hope all will be revealed.

Tonight's opponents, Falkirk, will be difficult ones. After some excellent performances last season, they are still finding their feet in the Premier Division, but will have four former United players in Neil Duffy, Alex Taylor, Eddie May and Paul Smith doing their level best to put one over on
their old club,

So it is up to us to put our disappointing form behind us and ensure that we make it into the quarter finals of the Skol Cup next week.

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Programme cover / Team sheet