The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Before the visit to Broomfield, coach Paul Sturrock said that if we matched Airdrie in battling qualities then we had the ability in the side to win this awkward match. In reality that was exactly how this rearranged fixture worked out. Our starting line-up showed four changes from the one which had lost at home in disappointing fashion to St. Johnstone. Duncan Ferguson came in for Mixu Paatelainen; Christian Dailly replaced the departed Hamish French; Brian Welsh deputised for Dave Narey who was suspended and Ray McKinnon, like Brian Welsh, made his first appearance of the season, came into the side at the expense of Andy McLaren. Indeed, the under 21 internationalist was very prominent in the early stages, setting up a couple of chances for Duncan Ferguson. At the other end we had a narrow escape when Black's cross was missed by the unmarked Boyle and Guido Van De Kamp cleared the danger by kicking the ball into the safety of the stand. The 20th minute brought the closest thing to a goal so far when Ray McKinnon's corner was headed on by Brian Welsh and Billy McKinlay unleashed a tremendous volley which Martin did well to palm over the cross-bar. In the 33rd minute we made the breakthrough when Duncan Ferguson controlled a long clearance down the right by John Clark and the youngster outpaced Kidd and Sandison to send an angular shot past Martin. We almost got another a minute later but Ray McKinnon's cross had no takers. Airdrie did come more into things towards half-time and Walter Kidd felled Maurice Malpas with a blistering shot and then went tantalisingly close to equalising with a lob which caught Guido Van De Kamp off his line, but fortunately for us, hit the bar. It had been a fast and furious first half and if anything the tempo increased after the break. Black hit a 20 yarder which Guido Van De Kamp held well three minutes after the interval, but the Dutch keeper went from saint to sinner a minute later, when he pulled down Lawrence in the box. He was booked and then beaten by Kenny Black's spot kick as Airdrie drew level. That was the second successive week in which a penalty has cost us the lead. A minute later Freddy Van Der Hoorn made a late intervention to thwart Lawrence, but after that the home side slipped out of the picture. Ray McKinnon and Christian Dailly soon split the Diamonds defence, but Christian, though he rounded the 'keeper, couldn't squeeze the ball home and hit the side net. Ray McKinnon shot straight at Martin and then Maurice Malpas saw a 20 yarder tipped round the post by the Airdrie keeper as we stepped up our efforts in search of a winner. That duly came in the 72nd minute when Ray McKinnon was fouled by Black and John Clark curled a 20 yarder in off the near post. We maintained the attacking momentum when Jim McInally hammered in a shot which Martin again pushed round for a corner. However, we snatched a deserved third goal nine minutes from time when Ray McKinnon's corner was headed on by Brian Welsh and Mixu Paatelainen, who had come on for Christian Dailly, slid the ball home from six yards.