The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Following last Friday’s draw with Ross County, United returned to the familiarity of a 3pm kick-off on a Saturday with the visit of Hearts. It was the same 11 that started for United with Jon Daly and new signing Gregory Vignal on the bench. Former United man Danny Grainger started for Hearts however Andy Webster missed out through injury.With four minutes on the clock United were first to threaten when they won a free kick at the edge of the penalty area but Flood floated his direct shot wide of the target. Ten minutes later Dow found Armstrong who in turn set up Russell who tested Macdonald with a shot that the keeper spilled and handed United a corner kick. Shortly after Gardyne and Armstrong combined with United’s youngster forcing another corner for the home side. With 20 minutes gone Hearts created their first chance when Carrick fired in a shot that was well blocked by Flood. Three minutes later the visitors went very close to opening the scoring when a fine Robinson turn and shot from the edge of the area was tipped round the post by Cierzniak. United then had a strong shout for a penalty turned down. Flood gathered the ball at the edge of the Hearts box and broke in to the area only to be brought down by Darren Barr however the referee waved play on. This was a crucial moment as a minute later Hearts opened the scoring. Former United man Grainger crossed into the penalty box which United failed to clear and eventually the ball landed at the feet of Paterson who drilled the ball home from 18 yards out. With United still shocked by the turn of events their visitors doubled their lead on the half hour mark. Novikovas collected the ball in the middle of the park and he was given too much time to run at the defence and send in a swerving 30 yard shot the crept just inside the post. United then showed some urgency and created a good chance when Gardyne teed up McLean who shot over the bar. Flood then sent in a corner that Gunning headed goal bound but Macdonald made a fine save. Then on the stroke of half time a Dow shot was blocked by the defence only for the ball to break to Armstrong who hit a dipping shot that was again well saved by the Hearts goalkeeper.United started the second half as the finished the first and with 47 minutes on the clock they were desperately unlucky not to pull one back. Dow took a corner from the left and Gunning rose above the defence only to see his header come back off the bar. The rebound fell to Gardyne who shot inches wide from 12 yards out. Ten minutes later and desperate to get back into the game United replaced Dow and Gardyne with Gauld and Daly. However on the hour mark Hearts effectively put the game to bed. A short back pass by Dillon was intercepted by McGowan whose shot hit the goalkeeper but the ball fell at the feet of Paterson who scored into the empty net. The visitors then had Taouil and Robinson booked for rash tackles and with the three points in the bag John McGlynn introduced Driver and Sutton with Carrick and two goal Paterson making way. Sutton then really should have made it four when Driver sent in a low cross from the right and from only six yards out the Englishman managed to miss the target. It was now all Hearts and in the closing minutes the score could have been worse for United. Firstly a corner from Novikovas was volleyed directly from the edge of the box by Zaliukas which Cierzniak did extremely well to save. Then with virtually the last kick of the game Ryan McGowan shot from the edge of the box but the Australian’s effort just missed the target. A bad day at the office for United and in the end the visitors well deserved their victory. However had the referee awarded United a penalty kick when Flood went down the result may have been different. Even at two goals down United went very close on three occasions but on the day it was not to be.