The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Eamonn Bannon dropped out of the eleven that started against Dundee in midweek, with Ian Gibson coming in to face his former club and his first start of the season. Billy Kirkwood recovered from flu to come back into the side, with Iain Phillip joining Bannon on the bench.As early as the second minute, a superb Paul Sturrock through ball let Ralph Milne in but Alan Rough was smartly off his line to save. A minute later Sturrock flicked on a Richard Gough throw into Kirkwood but his angled drive found Rough excellently positioned to save. United made the breakthrough in the ninth minute, when a Kirkwood cross from the left was played into the path of Davie Dodds by Paul Sturrock, and the striker's close-in shot was aided into the net via a deflection. United edged further ahead in the 20th minute when a John Holt cross from the right found Davie Dodds, who out-jumped the Partick defence to head past Rough from six yards. In the 22nd minute Gibson fired home from 16 yards and the referee originally gave the goal, before a consultation with his stand-side linesman saw an offside decision given instead. However, United's third was only delayed a few more minutes, when Richard Gough headed a perfectly floated Milne free-kick in at the far post. The Scotland keeper managed to keep the score down before half-time arrived, brilliantly saving a Derek Stark drive from 10 yards, and Dodds could have claimed his hat-trick but scooped the ball over.Six minutes into the second half Partick defender Dave McKinnon managed to chip over his own keeper to put United four ahead. Alex O'Hara pulled one back for Thistle just after the hour mark with a header, but Davie Dodds completed his hat-trick from a Ralph Milne cross with quarter of an hour left to complete what, without Alan Rough, would have been a total rout. After a bit of a goal drought recently, this was a morale-boosting outing ahead of the trip to Serbia for the second leg of the UEFA Cup quarter final tie with Radnicki Nis. United still sat 6th in the table after this victory, but were now just 2 points from 4th place, with a game in hand over St Mirren. Partick replaced Dundee at the foot of the table.
Good afternoon once again and welcome to the column many people claim to be the Jim McLean "complaints file". Mind you, on this occasion they are not a mile off the mark. The midweek derby clash against neighbours Dundee was yet another game which I felt was virtually thrown away. I could scarcely believe it possible at the end that a side so much on top of the opposition could come out at the end of it all with just a share of the points. Sadly it was the failure of the front men which once again cost dear. The goal supply has dried up alarmingly in recent games as far as Messrs Dodds, Sturrock and Milne are concerned, and it's worrying. Even more worrying however is the fact that so few others on the staff appear capable of challenging those out-of-form regulars - and that is indicative of the remainder of the playing staff. Several weeks ago, when this problem was first becoming apparent, I had the choice of turning selections upside down in an effort to freshen things up or allow the regulars the time to play their way out of their spells of inconsistency. I would probably now make the same decision of leaving well alone, but the time is fast approaching when the matter has to be examined more closely. For instance, it has only been in the last month or so of his career here at Tannadice that former Thistle man lan Gibson has shown me the type of form of which I always suspected him capable of. Therefore it is almost certain that he will be given his opportunity to make a place for himself in the side against his old teammates today. Others have been given their chance of late-and failed! Like our midweek visitors. Dundee. today's opponents, PartickThistle, are involved also in the lower reaches of the Premier League. Therefore they are unlikely to be "easy touches" as they battle for survival and we simply must regain our true form if we hope to take anything from the clash.