The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
In a dress rehearsal for our Scottish Cup tie at Tannadice a week later, we visited a rain-soaked Easter Road deprived of the services of Paul Sturrock, a victim of the flu. Graeme Payne was brought in for his first start since October, and Derek Murray came in for Derek Stark.Both sides began at high speed but play was confined mainly to midfield. The first thrill of any sort came after 16 minutes when Ally MacLeod, looking well offside, took advantage of a slack Payne passback to bear in on goal, but Hamish McAlpine raced from his line to dive at the strikers feet. United took the lead after 27 minutes when Bobby Flavell stopped a fierce net-bound shot from Ralph Milne on the goal line with his hands. Eamonn Bannon duly despatched the inevitable spot-kick past Jim McArthur. Billy Kirkwood went close to doubling the lead, but his shot from 12 yards out went inches past the post.United's defence dealt with everything that Hibs threw at them in the second half, much to the frustration of the Hibs support. There was, however, one scare for the tangerines late on in the game when Hamish McAlpine kept out a Rae pile-driver from close range to ensure the spoils of victory were United's. Just before the final whistle, former Hearts player Malcolm Robertson replaced Graeme Payne as he made his debut for United after signing on Thursday, gaining special attention from the Hibs fans. The result saw United leapfrog Hibs into 4th place on goal difference, although United still had four games in hand.