The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
After the narrow squeak at Bayview, it wasn't anticipated that this replay would prove any easier than that initial meeting. In many ways the second match was a mirror-image of the first. East Fife again played their bustling, containing game and even took the lead at exactly the same time as they had done the previous Saturday! The major difference this time was that we gave a far more disciplined display which brought us an equaliser within ten minutes of the Filers going ahead, although it took us until extra-time to finally breakdown the Fifers brave and stubborn resistance. For the replay, manager Jim McLean made two changes. Michael O'Neill came in for Brian Welsh whilst Duncan Ferguson took over from Christian Dailly up front. The two displaced players were on the bench. Although we had a few openings in the early stages East Fife once more tried to frustrate us and did so with more than a modicum of success. On the half hour mark the Fifers, as they had done on Saturday, shocked us by taking the lead. Cowell, Saturday's goalscorer sent over a cross which Stuart Wilson met on the volley and directed a shot just inside the post. Immediately we were stung into retaliation and Duncan Ferguson blasted over, and then Freddy Van Der Hoorn shot narrowly past after a neat interchange of passes with John Clark. Unlike the previous match, there was only a short period of anxiety before the equaliser came. Five minutes before half-time Darren Jackson sent over a cross which Duncan Ferguson headed down which allowed John Clark to blast in the equaliser from just inside the box. East Fife's resistance was far from broken, however, and Crolla sent Scott clear down the right, but Alan Main blocked his shot as he cut inside. Shortly after the interval neat shot on the turn by Duncan Ferguson went narrowly over. Ten minutes later the young centre embarked on a run down the left and Darren Jackson met his cross into the middle, but Charles blocked and then held his header. East Fife were only just holding on midway through the second half as we piled on the pressure. Paddy Connolly did net but was ruled off-side, substitute Christian Dailly's shot was then cleared off the line and then Charles saved from Miodrag Krivokapic. As the match entered the final stages Charles made further saves from Christian Dailly and two minutes from time somehow kept out Darren Jackson's header. So the tie went into extra-time, but within three minutes we'd taken the lead for the first time in the match, Miodrag Krivokapic made a run from the back and his diagonal pass split the Fifers defence allowing Duncan Ferguson to neatly beat the advancing keeper. We might well have added to our talley in the remaining minutes but had to be content with that narrow victory,