The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
After the major disappointment of last seasons Scottish Cup Final, United were finally able to move on from that defeat and kick off a fresh cup campaign. The draw could scarcely have thrown up a tougher tie. United faced a challenging trip to to Fir Park where they lost narrowly to Motherwell just a couple of weeks earlier. During the warm up to this game Jarek Fojut had to withdraw due to illness and Keith Watson was promoted from the bench. This meant a re-shuffle at the back with Dillon and Souttar forming the central defensive pairing. Watson and Townsend filled the full back slots. Dow stepped in for the suspended Ciftci in the lone striker role. United were backed by a large tangerine following who peppered the goal mouth with streamers, delaying the start of the match by a few minutes while the clear up took place.It was the worst possible start to this match for United as they went behind after just 6 minutes. Henrik Ojamaa worked some space 25 yards out and bent a low shot just inside the post to stun the away support behind the goal. Mackay-Steven almost replied instantly when he found himself with a sight of goal after an Erskine through ball. However, the winger struck his shot against Dan Twardzik. Motherwell were first to the majority of second balls now and United were struggling to get a foothold in the game. It looked like Motherwell would double their lead on 21 minutes when Law headed straight at Radoslaw Cierzniak from 6 yards out. Then United went agonisingly close with two great chances. First Armstrong's left foot angled shot squirmed just wide and then Dow found himself clean through but again Twardzik matched him. Erskine then fired a deflected shot just past. It was looking for ominous for United as the referee sounded half time, so many chances going a begging and still behind at the interval.United came for the second half firing on all cylinders. First to threaten was Erskine, stinging the hands of Twardzik with an angled effort that was heading for the top corner. Soon after Mackay-Steven was one on one with the 'keeper but again could not find a way past Twardzik. Ironically, having sliced open the Motherwell defence time after time with intricate passing, United found their equaliser from a set piece. John Souttar showing great desire to get on the end of a corner and head powerfully into the net from close in. It was now all United and they played some magnificent stuff to unlock the Motherwell defence on numerous occasions. Substitute Connolly fired high and over after a good run, then Armstrong somehow found himself in acres of space 20 yards out. He had all the time in the world to take on Twardzik but the midfielder let the 'keeper get a hand on the ball as he tried to walk it past him with the goal beckoning. Then with just seven minutes remaining this pulsating cup tie was settled. Townsend sent in a great right footed cross and Keith Watson powered a fantastic header into the back of the net to spark scenes of bedlam behind the goal.Manager's Comment:"We were stronger in the second half after a disappointing first half. On another day we would have scored a good number of goals. Bringing in Butcher at half time solidified the midfield and made a big difference. Delighted with the response at half time. We looked stronger as the game went on."Fan's Comment:"It looked like it was going to be one of those incredibly frustrating days. It was unbelievable the number of one-on-one's we had without converting. On another day we could have won that match 7-1. It is hard to enjoy some of the great football on show today when we were behind in the game but reflecting on it now we have won, it was a fantastic performance. Such a great relief to book our place in the next round."Away Support: 2061