The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United boss Jackie McNamara made three changes to the team that defeated Inverness midweek, Keith Watson and Brian Graham replacing the suspended Andrew Robertson and Nadir Ciftci, while Gary Mackay-Steven returned to the starting line-up at Ryan Gauldís expense. The home side made two changes to the side that drew with Ross County on Tuesday, Joe Shaughnessy and Russell Anderson replacing Alan Tate and Andy Considine.Aberdeen kicked off towards the Merkland Road end and the Dons created the first opportunity of the game, Niall McGinn cutting in from the left before finding Barry Robson, but the former United manís shot sailed well over the crossbar. But it was United who opened the scoring moments later. Sean Dillon, deputising at left back, played a long ball over the top that found Brian Graham in space on the right. The strikerís low drive into the Aberdeen penalty area was cleared, but only to Paul Paton on the edge of the box and the midfielder curled a terrific low shot past Jamie Langfieldís left to give the Tangerines an early lead. John Rankin looked to emulate his midfield partner after ten minutes with a fabulous shot from 25 yards out. But with the vociferous United crowd waiting for the top corner of the net to bulge, Langfield stretched to turn past the post. United were enjoying themselves and almost doubled their lead after quarter of an hour. Patonís free kick into the box was fumbled by the Aberdeen rear guard before the ball fell to Ryan Dow. Dow struck it sweetly from close range but Langfield again showed terrific agility, this time touching the ball over the bar. Aberdeen responded shortly after with their first strike on target. Robson was afforded too much space in the United box after a short corner and Cierzniak had to be alert to parry his fizzing drive clear. Five minutes after the interval Robson almost levelled the scores with an excellent half volley from 25 yards out before Cierzniak touched wide. But to the home crowdís delight the Reds made it 1-1 moments later, Robsonís cross from the right headed in from close range by Niall McGinn. McGinn tried his luck again in the 53rd minute, turning on the edge of the box and firing at goal, but Cierzniak held relatively comfortably. In the 64th minute Mackay-Steven hobbled off the pitch, replaced by Ryan Gauld, and Gauldís arrival appeared to galvanise the Terrors with Graham and Dow linking up just outside the Aberdeen box soon after, but the ball dropped to into Langfieldís arms. The second half was being played just as energetically as the first, but goal-scoring opportunities were at a premium until as late as the 87th minute. As the game was becoming increasingly stretched as fatigue set in, Adam Rooney found room 25 yards from goal and struck a low drive that had Cierzniak troubled but the keeper parried clear. In injury time Niall McGinn sent a set-piece deep into the United box but Cierzniak came out to catch, before referee Calum Murray ended a second half lacking in quality but enthralling nonetheless.Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:Dundee United Official Flickr Page