The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
East Fife certainly have a great Cup fighting tradition and they fully lived up to that reputation to come within a whisker of causing us our greatest Cup embarrassment of all time. It was only thanks to Paddy Connolly's injury-time equaliser that this didn't come about. East Fife fought and harried for almost the entire game to deny us space in the tight confines of Bayview. However, we might well have gone ahead when John Clark sent in a powerful 20 yarder, but the 13th minute was to prove unlucky as the ball rebounded off the bar and struck Charles' foot and went out for a corner. We dictated the early portion of play, but there was a shock in store for us on the half hour mark. A Bell throw-in was partially cleared as far as Hope. His effort wasn't hit properly, but spun to Jim Cowell who found himself unmarked and gratefully banged the ball past Alan Main. The United 'keeper had only passed a late fitness test on his back injury to enable him to play and showed no signs of his injury at the start of the second half when he dived full length to tip a Paul Taylor shot round the post. Both Mixu Paatelainen and Michael O'Neill emerged from the substitutes bench to replace John Clark and Christian Dailly respectively, as we pressed frantically for an equaliser. Mixu Paatelainen saw a shot blocked and it increasingly looked as though East Fife were to record a famous victory. Quarter of an hour from the end Alan Main had to block Scott's effort. At the other end Freddy Van Der Hoorn had a shot blocked. The minutes ticked by and in one final onslaught Brian Welsh collected the ball on the right. His cross found Paddy Connolly at the far post. Paddy controlled the ball on his chest before steering the ball home for what can only be described as a life saving equaliser.