The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Thirty Vietnamese Boat People from the centre near Montrose were our guests for the visit of Hibs. Manager Jim McLean made two changes from the tough midweek European match in Belgium, with Billy Kirkwood back from suspension and Derek Murray coming in for Iain Phillip, who dropped to the bench after collecting a knock in Genk.Hibs missed two good chances inside the first five minutes, with Ralph Callachan shooting high over from 18 yards, and then Gary Murray was gifted a golden chance when Gavin Rae dummied a Callachan cross, but his shot hit the top of the bar. Hibs defender Billy McLaren managed to scrape the post whilst trying to clear for a corner. Duncan shot in to the side netting before Milne found himself in a good position but shot over. The chances at both ends continued, with Davie Dodds mis-kicking in front of goal, and then Rae saw McAlpine pull off a fine save. Just before half-time, a Billy Kirkwood shot from the edge of the box skimmed just over.McLean brought on former Youth international Maurice Malpas at the interval, and the young full-back impressed greatly in the second half. A mysterious no penalty decision when goalkeeper Jim McArthur barged Paul Sturrock off the ball angered the home fans, but justice was served when Eamonn Bannon did get the opportunity to score from the spot when Ally Brazil handled a harmless looking Dodds cross with 15 minutes to go. Although United had most of the play, Hibs always threatened, but despite that our narrow victory was well deserved. United's impressive League form had now hoisted them up to joint second in the table.
Once again the ever changing aspects of this game we are involved with were brought to the surface during the past seven days. There we were, completely shattered after the Hampden final last week, and giving serious thought to what effect it was going to have to our attitude in the vital European tie in Belgium three days later. And I honestly believe that had the events taken place a couple of years ago, then the players would not have been capable of coping with the lift they simply had to provide themselves with - in double-quick time.Therefore I could not have been more proud or delighted for them after their fine showing in the most difficult of circumstances in Genk last Tuesday. But back to last Saturday and that final defeat by Rangers. I feel that we should lay the blame for losing the trophy fair and square at our own doorstep. We can and should have played better on the occasion - much better! And with that in mind I had already intended changes in the weeks following the final - win or lose! To be blunt I do not believe that we have found the right blend yet, and that's the aim. The recent hectic and vital weeks have not allowed us to bring about changes, but you can be assured that they will be tried in the weeks ahead, whether or not they are found to be successful.