The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
After the poor showing at Tynecastle, the Tannadice line-up showed considerable change. Into the side came Billy McKinlay, Brian Welsh, Paddy Connolly and Jerren Nixon. The Tangerines began in impressive fashion, looking to quickly atone for the defeat by Hearts. Indeed they were unlucky not to go ahead after only three minutes when Alex Cleland robbed Collins. nicked past him, leaving himself with a clear run in on goal, but Marshall advanced to save his low grounder from the edge of the box. All the early pressing was by United. After 13 minutes a quickly taken Billy McKinlay free-kick almost caught Marshall out as the ball scraped past the near post. United's luck was out when the reinstated Paddy Connolly had to limp off, the victim of a Galloway tackle from behind. Celtic gradually crept into the game with Alan Main saving a low shot from Donnelly and three minutes from the interval the United keeper pulled off an acrobatic save from Grant after McGinlay's dummy created the opening on the right. Frenetic rather than finesse would best sum up the play for most of the second half. True Celtic had by far the greater share of possession, but it counted for little when it came to making chances. Long range pop shots which at no stage troubled Alan Main was the best they could manage. Three minutes from the end, Celtic stepped up their efforts with McGinlay almost scoring when he hooked Donnelly's downward header against the bar. United players and fans barely had time to breath a sigh of relief before Celtic were to get the goal that decided the match. John Collins drifted into the corner of the penalty box from the left and superbly curled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the box. With just a couple of minutes remaining, there was no way back for the Tangerines as our Coca-Cola Cup hopes fell flat. Golac commented, "The boys did well and I have no complaints and it took a world class goal from John Collins to beat us"