The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Normally New Firm encounters are a bit like chess matches, studious and thoughtful moves planned well in advance. Well this one didn't follow that familiar pattern as both sides fought out a good old fashioned Cup tie, in which apart from a brief spell in the first half, we almost completely dominated. Even against a howling wind and some heavy snow showers, we commanded play from the first whistle. Billy McKinlay, returning after a back injury, was heavily involved in the early play getting in a coupie of snap shots. Mixu Paatelainen then had a good shot well saved by Snelders, John Clark saw a volley blocked from a nod down by Mixu Paatelainen and all this after only seven minutes play! It took the Dons until the 20th minute to get near our goal, when Charlie Nicholas volleyed wide. Connor, Saturday's Aberdeen marksman then tested Billy Thomson, who turned his long range effort round the post. The United 'keeper then made a fine save at the second attempt from a dangerous Hewitt corner. At the other end Mixu Paatelainein found himself in space but Snelders made a fine save from his well struck shot. Having faced the wind in the first half and had as much if not more of the play there was great expectation for the second half. Jim Mclnally came desperately close to breaking the deadlock when he exchanged passes with Raphael Made and broke into the box, but the ever alert Snelders got down quickly to block Jim's shot. The required flash of genius failed to materialise and so it was into extra-time. Only two minutes of that had gone when a cross from Paul Sturrock was handled by Alex McLeish and Mixu Paatelainen did a repeat performance from the spot, only hitting the ball harder and higher past Snelders than on the previous Saturday. Just when Aberdeen looked to be counted out Brian Grant popped up to head the ball down and past Billy Thomson from a John Hewitt corner with eight minutes of extra-time left and ensured once again stalemate was the order of a new firm clash.