The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Naturally, the main interest centred round the first appearance of Argentinian striker Victor Ferreyra. His introduction to Scottish Football was typical. In the first minute he controlled the ball on his chest, only to be immediately bundled off the ball by a defender. However, it was Duncan Ferguson who was held down by Chris McCart to earn us the first of two penalties during the match. Duncan took the kick himself, but unfortunately screwed his shot well wide of the post. United fans first sight of Victor Ferreyra in real action saw the Argentinian speed past Philliben only to be brought down by Billy Thomson who protested his innocence too strongly to the referee and was booked. This time skipper Maurice Malpas made no mistake from the spot to score his first goal of the season. Motherwell, however, hit us on the break in the 32nd minute when Dolan's through ball split the defence and Ian Angus ran on to shoot low past Alan Main. Their equality was short-lived, however, because we went back into the lead in the 39th minute. John Clark's free-kick was controlled by Ferreyra but he was tackled and the ball broke to Gary Bollan who immediately fired the ball past Billy Thomson for his first goal for the club. There is no doubt that if the first-half belonged to us, then the visitors dominated the second period. We did have our great chance to seal victory when Duncan Ferguson broke clear only for Billy Thomson to block his shot. However, we couldn't quibble when Motherwell did equalise late on through a Jamie Dolan header from a Cooper cross because the same Motherwell player had blazed a Joe McLeod cross over from close in only minutes earlier. Despite the second half rally, it is still over 15 years since Motherwell last tasted victory at Tannadice.
Generally speaking our form has taken a decided upturn in the past few weeks. We followed up a fine 3-0 win over Dunfermline with draws at Ibrox and Tynecastle, but although the results were the same against two sides of undoubted quality, our performances differed vastly. We played so well agamst Rangers and deservedly took a point. Indeed, it was as positive a performance at Ibrox that I can recall. Yet within seven days much of that good work was undone at Tynecastle. I would certainly agree that during the first half the driving rain and gale force wind made conditions extremely difficult. However, our second half performance was totally unacceptable. Unfortunately, the players negative attitude prevails all too often and because of this, we sacrificed a victory which was there to be taken after we had stolen the lead. It is all very disappointing, but last week's showing at Tynecastle will not be the only reason for any changes in personnel this afternoon. Horses for courses will mean that there definitely will be changes for the visit of Motherwell who always give us a difficult game. It also presents us with out first opportunity to try and exact revenge for last season'sScottish Cup final defeat. Although we have been picking up points of late, we still have a lot to do. If we want to regain a place in Europe, and there are only four places available, we are going to have a real fight on our hands because in the past, our passport to Europe has come from claiming the fourth or fifth spot rather than one of the first three. A victory this afternoon is therefore essential towards that aim.