The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
The team travelled through to Glasgow for the Semi Final against Celtic at Hampden, a ground that United had recorded just one victory in nine visits as a neutral venue. After the defeat at Ibrox the week before, Frank Kopel was promoted from the bench, with Derek Stark finding a place in the dugout. Davie Dodds was back in the starting eleven after missing the last three matches, with Ian Gibson making way.In 21 minutes there was a solid penalty claim when Paul Sturrock, running in the box, went down after a tackle from Roy Aitken. Referee George Smith indicated a dive by Sturrock and waved play on. A minute later Sturrock was downed again but this time outside the box. A free-kick was awarded but came to nothing and there was little other fare in the first half.United came close in the 74th minute when Davie Dodds hit a low shot on the turn from 18 yards but the ball was deflected up and smacked off the face of the post. As the game wore on, Celtic began to pressurise United, and Dave Narey did well to dispossess Doyle at the edge of the area when the Celtic man was closing in on goal. However, twice in the closing minutes United almost clinched it. Pat Bonner was forced into two great saves from long range Eamonn Bannon efforts. A limping Paul Hegarty had to be replaced by Derek Stark near the end of the game, but it stayed level.