The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
For the first ever competitive meeting between United and Meadowbank, Skipper Maurice Malpas returned to duty after injury, but Miodrag Krivokapic was unavailable due to a groin strain. Meetings with any side from a lower division, even one struggling at the foot of the First Division are never easy and any thoughts of a trouble free passage were quickly dispelled when the visitors took a 5th minute lead. There was an element of luck in the creation of the goal as Jim McInally's clearance was diverted back upfield, dropping into the path of Paul Rutherford. Alan Main made a partial stop from the former Falkirk striker's shot, but couldn't prevent the ball from rolling over the line. Only a spectacular goal-line clearance from Williamson five minutes later prevented us equalising after Jim McInally had met Andy McLaren's cross at the far post. The visitors still posed a threat at the other end though and it took a late intervention by Billy McKinlay to deny Rutherford a second in the 22nd minute. It wasn't until the 37th minute that we finally broke Meadowbank's stubborn resistance. John O'Neil's cross from the left was headed back and Billy McKinlay steered a low volley into the far corner from 15 yards. As at the start, Meadowbank had opened well in the second period, but two goals in almost as many minutes were to swing the tie in our favour. In 59 minutes a John O'Neil free-kick was swept home by Brian Welsh from the edge of the penalty box. Almost immediately, Wilson fired a loose ball over the United bar and with it went any lingering hopes of the men from the capital, because within seconds they found themselves two goals in arrears. Scott Crabbe did the spadework with a run down the right and when his cross arrived in the middle Duncan Ferguson sent a header looping into the far corner. We missed a great chance to increase our lead when John O'Neil was brought down in the box by Wilson with twenty minutes remaining. Scott Crabbe stepped up to take the kick, but Ellison guessed right and beat away his first penalty for the first team. However, the miss had no bearing on the final outcome which was more comfortable than deserved or had looked possible at one stage.