The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Johnny Russell was the star of the show as United turned in as professional a performance as you could wish to completely eclipse the SFL Two side Stranraer to advance to the Fourth Round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. The striker scored a hat-trick as well as setting up the other two goals scored by Jon Daly to make light of the long journey home for the celebrating travelling Arabs. For United's first visit to Stair Park for 17 years, Manager Peter Houston was forced into one change from the side that lost to Motherwell in midweek. Sean Dillon failed to recover from his thigh strain, so Brian McLean switched to central defence and Keith Watson returned at right back. The game kicked off with play largely confined to the Stranraer half, but with United's final ball preventing them capitalising. However, on 13 minutes came the opening goal and, for a change, it was United who got it. Barry Douglas played a diagonal ball into the box which took a fortunate deflection into the path of Johnny Russell who squeezed the ball inside the near post from six yards. United's dominance duly brought a second goal, Russell again the scorer. John Rankin sprayed a pass out to Douglas on the left. He played it in to Rudi Skacel whose cut back found Johnny Russell who swivelled to steer the ball into past an exposed Mitchell. Five minutes from the interval, the game was over as a contest as United scored a third. Barry Douglas launched a high ball into the box after a corner was cleared out to him. The ball eventually fell to Russell who had time to bring it under control before slipping it into the path of Jon Daly who side-footed home from the edge of the six-yard box.Just before the hour mark, United again went close, Keith Watson's glancing header from a Douglas corner clipping the crossbar. And a minute later, from a Douglas free-kick, only a flying save from Mitchell prevented Russell getting his hat-trick with the keeper tipping over his powerful header. But a goal was only temporarily delayed. From the corner Watson's header was blocked by the keeper, but fell to Russell whose close range effort was turned over the line by Jon Daly. Russell wasn't to be denied his hat-trick. He played Michael Gardyne in and when his shot was blocked, Johnny Russell tucked away the rebound for the fifth midway through the second half. Just a minute later, there was almost a fourth for Russell, his effort taking a deflection before hitting the outside of the post. With a minute left Russell almost got a fourth when through on goal, but his shot was deflected wide.