The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
The well worn cliche "a typical Cup tie" does not apply to this fourth round tie with Airdrie. The visitors rarely looked like scoring and it was really only a question of whether we would break down the Diamonds defence. This we did early in the second half and from then on there was always going to be one winner. In the opening ten minutes or so it didn't look as though we'd have to wait until the second half to edge in front. Both Hamish French and John O'Neil sent in efforts which were just off target. Then Duncan Ferguson headed a long hanging Dave Bowman cross inches over. After that early spell of pressure, Airdrie came more into the frame, but rarely threatened any danger to Alan Main. In fact the nearest they came to scoring was when Owen Coyle almost got on the end of a Freddy Van Der Hoorn pass-back. Four minutes from half-time we almost made the break through when Duncan Ferguson drove the ball across the face of the goal and John O'Neil only just failed to get the vital touch. Five minutes into the second half the Diamonds' defence was breached. Alan Main launched the ball deep into the Airdrie box and the ball fell to John O'Neil from the head of an Airdrie defender, but Martin blocked his shot which landed at the feet of Hamish French who netted from inside the six yard box despite the despairing efforts of an Airdrie defender. Playing towards the Arklay Street end, we almost completely dominated proceedings. Jim Mclnally was unlucky to see his long range efforts deflected just past. John O'Neil then squared the ball to John Clark whose first time shot was well held by Martin. In the 81st minute Airdrie contrived their only real effort on target when Balfour sent in a header from 12 yards, but straight at Alan Main. A minute later the outcome was put beyond doubt with a goal which had remarkably similar build-up to the first. Alan Main again kicked out deep into the Airdrie half. Darren Jackson sent it on to Hamish French who chipped the advancing Martin and eventually knocked the ball over the line despite Watson's attempts to stop him. Two minutes from time John O'Neil almost made it three, but both his efforts were blocked. So now it is a case of hoping our fourth post-war victory over Airdrie will have a similar pattern and we will again reach the Cup Final because that is what has happened on the previous three occasions in 1974, 1987 and 1988!