The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Jim McLean made three changes from the Dundee derby victory. John Holt and Iain Phillip both returned from injury, replacing Derek Stark and Richard Gough. 19 year-old Maurice Malpas was handed his first team debut, coming in for the injured Derek Murray. A discount voucher offer for United's upcoming UEFA Cup tie swelled the crowd slightly, with one onlooker being Winterslag's coach Mathieu Boltem who must have left feeling impressed as United served up a vintage display to easily dispose of Airdrie. A mere 55 seconds were on the clock when a Davie Dodds' diving header from a Ralph Milne cross slipped past Alan Davidson at the post. Eamonn Bannon came close with a 25 yard drive, then at the other end Dave Narey cleared off the line after John Flood had chipped Hamish McAlpine. Davidson produced two great saves from Bannon and Dodds in the 18th minute, and four minutes later Airdrie were awarded a penalty when Paul Hegarty was adjudged to have fouled Sandy Clark in the box. However Clark's effort was brilliantly saved by Hamish McAlpine. A minute from the interval, Paul Sturrock scored our second with a fine goal, sending a 35 yard shot high into the Airdrie net after a Dodds though ball.If our start to the match had reaped early dividends, then the second half brought even speedier reward. Just 25 seconds after the restart, Milne was fouled by Jim Rodger and Eamonn Bannon scored from the spot. Paul Sturrock completed the scoring with a another breath-taking rocket shot from 35 yards in the 51st minute as United ran out comfortable winners. With five consecutive victories under their belt, United were now in great form going into the following weekends League Cup Final.
As I have inferred before on many occasions in this column - isn't football a crazy, crazy game? I say that in the knowledge of recent events which turned completely around to afford us the great pleasure of weeks of excitement ahead. Just think, it was almost a month ago to the day when St Mirren called in at Tannadice and found us completely incapable of displaying even the basics of the game in what turned out to be a 2-0 Premier League reverse. Since then everything has changed for the better, starting with our League Cup comeback success against the odds at Pittodrie, a night which not only restored confidence but also pointed us on the way to next weekend's third successive final appearance, this time at Hampden. Then came the European night we all dreamed about and that too has provided the stepping stone for further involvement at the highest level in the weeks ahead. But as always it is the Premier League which attracts most of my attention and the fact that we have surged upwards in the table in that spell has delighted me. That defeat by St Mirren on October 24 meant that we have accumulated only seven points in the league -with a position of sixth in the table. Now we have managed to double that tally from the four league outings since, a much healthier state. Therefore the weeks ahead do not just simply contain League Cup or European highlights, the job on hand is threefold, with further league advances to be made in that time. Today Airdrie are visitors and their result against Hibs last weekend proves that they will be a hard nut to crack. However a continuation of our recent determination to succeed will hopefully tip the balance our way.