The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
FH may have been making their debut in Europe, but only 263 hardy souls paid to watch them do so and little wonder in view of the icy wind which swept across the stadium. On the morning of the match the pitch had several pools of water on it, so the wind, though so cold, did have the effect of drying out the playing surface. European debuts were not confined to the entire ranks of the lcelandic side because Raymond McKinnon, Brian Welsh were making their European debuts and neither Paddy Connolly nor Scott Kopel, both on the bench, had played in a European tie before.The match had barely got into its stride when we lost a goal which was as bizarre as the condition and circumstances of this tie, in one of Europe's most northerly outposts. Hilmarsson's free-kick into the wind held up so much that it deceived Brian Welsh and Freddy Van Der Hoorn and allowed Bjorn Jonsson, a librarian, in to studiously hook the ball home to give FH a shock lead. Almost immediately we retaliated and Alex Cleland hit the post and Brian Welsh scooped a shot over. Darren Jackson then shot narrowly past as we continued to battle back well. The pressure around the home goal intensified and we were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Darren Jackson was sent tumbling in the box by Skulason. After 32 minutes Billy McKinlay hit a shot which scraped past the post. Two minutes later, however, Billy Thomson had to look lively to block Sigurdsson's shot in a rare FH break. We then raced to the other end and Raymond McKinnon hit the post and Darren Jackson was on hand to net the rebound to open his European scoring account. Just to emphasise how cold it was three of the lcelanders appeared with gloves in the second half. We continued to turn the heat on the lcelanders and might well have had a penalty in the 63rd minute when the ball struck a defender's arm, but our appeals were rejected. However, we finally took a deserved lead when a cross from Allan Preston on the left evaded everyone until it fell to Alex Cleland who cooly drilled the ball into the far corner. Five minutes from time Halldorsson brilliantly tipped over a first time strike from Billy McKinlay after a cross from Mixu Paatelainen fell into his path. Right on time, however, we did get a third when Allan Preston, who had such a fine match, sent over a cross which Bjorn Jonsson diverted past his own keeper to give him the dubious distinction of having scored at both ends.