The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Semi-finals are well renowned for being tense, nervy affairs and our eleventh such venture turned out exactly that way. Saints hustle-bustle style meant play rarely flowed, but in the end the only objective of any Cup tie is to win and that was what we narrowly achieved. If anything Saints had very marginally the better of the first half in which a bumpy pitch and swirling wind made good football extremely difficult. Saints almost grabbed an early goal when Grant pumped in a high ball which Alan Main punched over to Moore who drove narrowly wide. For long periods of the first period the ball was airborne and play duly suffered. In fact, the only danger to either 'keeper came in the form of set pieces. Indeed it was a long throw which brought about the opening goal. Dave Bowman's long throw found the head of Duncan Ferguson who flicked the ball to Darren Jackson. He in turn pushed the ball into the path of John Clark who hit a twenty yarder into the far corner to give us the lead five minutes before half-time. This goal brought the game into life and a minute before the interval Saints equalised. Again it was a set piece which reaped reward. McVicar swung over a corner which Alan Main got a touch to, but it took Jim McInally, covering at the far post, to chest the ball off the line. Unfortunately, it went straight to Harry Curran who headed the ball home. Early in the second half, Harry Curran got in another header from a Treanor free kick, but Alan Main made a fine save. However, gradually we assumed greater control of the match and a surging left wing run by Maurice Malpas almost brought a goal. The United skipper played the ball into Duncan Ferguson whose quick turn beat the Saints defender marking him, but Hamilton turned Duncan's shot away for a corner. However, the same combination were to enjoy better fortune only minutes later. John O'Neil sent over a corner from the right. Inglis cleared it, but only to Maurice Malpas whose shot found Duncan Ferguson, well on side and he hammered the ball down past Hamilton. Saints came back with Harry Curran heading past; Tommy Turner shooting wide and a Maskrey volley blocked by Dave Bowman which brought fruitless claims for a penalty. However, we also had opportunities to extend our lead. Hamilton was fortunate to get a foot to John O'Neil's shot after the keeper had failed to hold a cross and Hamish French saw his fierce drive go wide of the near post. But the closest we came to scoring again was in the very last minute when Darren Jackson swivelled on a header down from Duncan Ferguson only to see Hamilton make a fine save in turning the ball away for a corner in what was almost the last piece of action before the final whistle which brought us our passport to our sixth Cup appearance.