The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Celtic's undistinguished record at Tannadice continued and it is now 7 games since they last won a league game here. Much more importantly, however, the two points opened up a six point gap over our nearest rivals for third place in the league which would guarantee a UEFA Cup place next season. In the early stages all the activity centred around Pat Bonner's goal with three minutes on the clock Jim McInally sliced a Dave Bowman cutback wide. Two minutes later Bonner rose high to save John O'Neil's lofted drive. In the ninth minute Hamish French strode on to Darren Jackson's headed knock on and embarked on a run down the left with Elliot in hot pursuit. Although Hamish appeared to be impeded by Elliot as he shot, but no penalty was forthcoming and Bonner collected easily. Celtics limited response was a series of high aerial balls none of which tested Alan Main. Tommy Coyne did have an excellent chance after Nicholas forced Brian Welsh into an error, but the former Tannadice striker miscued a volley well past the target. A few minutes later Dave Bowman skied the ball over after Hamish French had laid the ball into his path. Although Celtic stepped up their attacking efforts as the interval approached, they were to find themselves heading in for the halftime break trailing to a superb strike. A Ray McKinnon corner was only cleared to the edge of the box and Freddy van der Hoorn hit a blistering shot into Bonner's left hand corner. Bonner did get a hand to the ball but the sheer power of the shot meant he could only fractionally deviate the balls path. Five minutes after the interval Tommy Coyne scorned Celtic's best chance of the game. Miller played the ball through to him and though in a suspiciously off-side position, he was allowed to carry on but his final shot was well off target. Nine minutes later Celtic's finishing was much more accurate. Charlie Nicholas found himself in space and rifled in a shot which Alan Main parried into the air and in the rush to try and clear the danger, captain Maurice Malpas diverted the ball into the net. Soon Bonner was in action doing well to hold a well struck John Clark free-kick. Bonner then made a great one handed save from Darren Jackson to palm away the danger. Thirteen minutes from the end Ray McKinnon carved open the Celtic defence, but Bonner saved Hamish French's shot at the second attempt. Five minutes from the end Bonner pulled a 25 yard shot from Brian Welsh out of the air. In virtually our last attack we scored a tremendous goal to snatch an all important victory. Dave Bowman slung over a cross from the right and Ray McKinnon jumped to power in a header into the top corner from 12 yards out. Victory left us requiring two or possibly three points from our final five games to be absolutely certain of a 15th consecutive season in Europe.