The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Former United striker Darren Jackson was struggling to be fit for this tie, but it was his goal after just ten minutes play which was to dump his form€er colleagues, but that only tells half the tale of what was undoubtedly United's best performance to date. Hibs almost got off to the most fortuitous of starts when Michael O'Neill's first minute cross brushed off the head of his former flat-mate Grant Johnson and forced Alan Main to tip the high looping ball over the bar. However, the goal which was to ultimately decide the tie came in the tenth minute. McAllister just inside the United half, cut inside and swept the ball into Darren Jackson's path on the left and he slammed a left foot shot into the far corner from the edge of the box, giving Alan Main no chance. Hibs almost got a second from a bizarre incident seven minutes later. The referee ruled that Brian Welsh's miss-hit clearance off his shins after a McAllister shot had squirmed out of Alan Main's hands was a Pass-back. McAllister touched the free-kick to Michael O'Neill who blasted in a shot which pole-axed Freddy van der Hoorn on the line, but he kept the ball out. Don't, however, get the idea that it was all Hibs. Far from it in fact, as United turned the screw on the Easter Road side, particularly in the period leading up to the interval. Twice Brian Welsh went close with a header and a shot. Although Alan Main had to react quickly to keep out a Keith Wright shot early in the second half, it was United who dominated play after the break and the 58th minute brought what probably proved to be the game's turning point. Alex Cleland, on for the injured Gary Bollan, centred for Andy McLaren to run in and head what looked to be a certain equaliser until Leighton stuck out a foot to divert the ball to safety. A goal then would undoubtedly have changed the course of the€ game. Brian Welsh sent a header dipping just over from an Andy McLaren corner: Leighton dropped on a full-blooded volley by Freddy van der Hoorn and in the very last minute Christian Dailly's header scraped the top of the bar, but there was to be no joy for the Tangerines who exited from the League Cup despite€ turning in their best performance of the€ season so far.