The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
After one of the harshest winters on record, normal service finally resumed at Tannadice by way of a Scottish Cup tie, where Hibs were our 'First Foots' of 1982 in the second week of February! Paul Sturrock was back after missing the last two games with a flu bug, and John Holt was also back in the side, at the expense of Iain Phillip and Malcolm Robertson.Playing into the wind and the sunshine, United dominated the early stages, however it was Hibs who threatened the most when Ralph Callachan fired a half-volley just off target from an Ally MacLeod corner, and MacLeod brought out a spectacular save from Hamish McAlpine. However, United went into the lead in the 10th minutes. Paul Sturrock recieved a Richard Gough throw-in, wheeled round and sent in a tantalising cross which John Holt prodded into the net. After some great play, Sturrock saw a shot well saved by McArthur. United came close to adding a second in the 36th minute, when Paul Hegarty headed a Ralph Milne corner back across goal, but Davie Dodds' header came off the crossbar. Sturrock's artistry and running was tying the Hibs' defence in knots and both Brazil and McNamara were booked for fouls on the international striker. Billy Kirkwood went close with a header for United before Callachan all went close for Hibs, seeing his shot into the top corner well saved by McAlpine.After being dominated in the first half, but only a goal down, Hibs gained confidence in the second half, and got back on level terms just after the hour mark. Gordon Rae resisted the challenges of both Dave Narey and Maurice Malpas before slamming a low shot past Hamish McAlpine in the 65th minute. There were few scoring opportunities from then on, but there was a feeling in the Tannadice camp that Hibs had been let off the hook with a perilous midweek replay at Easter Road to contemplate.
It has been so long since I last had the opportunity of communicating with you through this column that I could probably fill this entire new programme with comments on the past couple of months. However you will be delighted to learn that I will simply restrict myself to a few words concerning the most recent events concerning the club. Naturally I have been extremely disappointed in many aspects of the side's performances since the end of the "freeze-up", a restart made worse for ourselves by the allocation of so many consecutive series of league games away from Tannadice - and now at home! Those travelling fixtures now completed it has become clear that we are currently hampered by an apparent drying up in the "goals for" column in comparison with what was on offer prior to the winter closedown. So often in the past clubs with too many irons in the fire have found themselves with little to show for their efforts in the end, and our most recent league disappointments appear to indicate that it is now going to require something drastic to occur elsewhere for us to maintain any real challenge in that direction. Tuesday night's defeat at Airdrie came as a bitter blow, especially aswe spent more than half the game placing relentless pressure on the home men - but with no goals to show for it! And the two goals we lost to them are better forgotten, as long as we learn from our errors! Today's clash against Hibs being a cup-tie, there will be no second chances. Obviously our recent lack of goal threat will be the biggest hurdle, a problem we simply must get right this afternoon.