The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United made two changes with one enforced. Injured Morris dropped out and was replaced by Dillon. Spittal dropped out with fit again Mackay-Steven back in the side. There was a full house for an eagerly anticipated New Year's Day derby match.After just 31 seconds Tannadice erupted when the hosts raced into the lead. Mackay-Steven linked up with Nadir Ciftci on the right flank before the ball was worked out to Conor Townsend on the left side of the box. The defenders low ball was met by Chris Erskine who swung in a volley which ricocheted off Stuart Armstrong's back and into the net. Despite the setback the visitors did most of the pressing during the opening quarter and equalised in the 24th minute after being awarded a free kick following a clash between Calum Butcher and Gary Harkins. Greg Stewart took the set piece at the edge of the area and his left foot shot curled into the top corner. The response from United was lethal as they retook the lead just three minutes later. Gary Mackay-Steven was given space on the right flank and he cut inside to curl a spectacular left foot shot into the top corner, outdoing the effort just witnessed at the other end. What was becoming an enthralling game then saw United move further ahead in 31 minutes. Mackay-Steven played the ball to Townsend on the left he spotted the run of Chris Erskine into acres of space on the opposite side of the area. After taking the ball under control the midfielder showed great composure before sliding the ball into the bottom corner past Schenk. Gary Mackay-Steven then rounded off a brilliant first half showing near half time as he latched onto an Armstrong through ball before confidently finishing past Schenk.Early in the half Dundee had a great chance to start hopes of a comeback after an audacious long range shot by James McPake was spilled by Cierzniak. Sean Dillon wasnt aware of Stewart closing the ball down and in the end they were fortunate to see the ball rebound off David Clarkson and out for a goal kick. Just beyond the hour mark the Dark Blues hit the woodwork as a Stewart free kick was glanced onto the underside of the bar by Thomas Konrad before Mackay-Steven was denied a hat trick following a decent save by Schenk but from the resulting corner the hosts made it 5-1. Mackay-Steven swung in the delivery which was met by the powerful downward header of Jarek Fojut who again left Schenk helpless. As the game neared a conclusion substitute Charlie Telfer also got his name on the scoresheet. Telfer showed real class in the way he took a touch before slotting a fine shot into the bottom corner for what was his 2nd goal for the club. The final goal of a memorable afternoon came at the death for Dundee when Luka Tankulic prodded the ball over Cierzniak and into the net from close range. This couldnt take any of the shine off a memorable afternoon which ended with all associated with United celebrating.Manager's Comment:Delighted for everyone connected to the club. It's a great start to the year for us.There were some good goals and some good play as well. I always felt we would carve them open today with our pace and movement and that's how it turned out. The goals all came at good times for us today. We treated it as 0-0 at half-time and went again in the second half. When we lifted our tempo Dundee couldn't get near us."Fan's Comment:A fabulous result and a great way for the team to bounce back from the disappointing defeat in Perth. There are no better attacking four than Ciftci, Armstrong, Mackay-Steven and Erskine when they are on top form like today. Some of the goals were simply stunning. A great start to 2015, but we must find the formula to ensure we perform like than much more consistently than we did in 2014. If we can, then silverware may not be far away...Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:Dundee United Official Flickr Page
Photography by DUFC Official
Firstly can I wish everyone a very happy new year. Unfortunately, last Saturday's defeat at Perth put a damper on what had been a great result against Celtic just before Christmas. I was delighted with the effort and commitment with the players giving their all. Indeed, they were absolutely knackered. Several of the players hadn't trained because of illness so we were up against it for energy and Calum Butcher in particular was outstanding considering he'd been unable to train on the previous three days. Celtic put us under a lot of pressure, at times, we caused them problems and we got the goals. As well as scoring the opener, Nads set up Stu's headed goal. You can see what a big an asset he is when on song. When he does things properly, things properly, he's a handful. I thought he was excellent along with everybody. As a team, in complete contrast to the previous week's performance against Aberdeen, when we were very disjointed, we were together and got our rewards in the end. However, we rode our luck as they hit the post twice and had a goal debatably chalked off. But you need a little bit of luck when you're playing Celtic, given that you're competing against a team full of international players. Leigh Griffiths' goal late on made it a bit of a nervy ending, but it was great for me personally to put one over my old club for the first time. After the heroics against Celtic it was doubly disappointing to allow St Johnstone to come from behind and beat us at the weekend. We had gone into the Celtic game on the back of a poor performance against Aberdeen in which we didn't do ourselves justice. So having got such a good result against Celtic to put us on their coat tails, we wanted to build on that, so it was extremely disappointing that we failed to do that. Unfortunately it wasn't to be as the inconsistency of recent weeks continued to plague us. As far os I am concerned. after the boost of Calum Butcher's opener just before the break, it is game that we should have had wrapped up, but we were guilty of foiling to finish the job off. I was also disappointed with their equaliser because I felt there was a handball in the build up to them scoring. The second goal was also disappointing as we allowed Chris Miller to run so far and eventually get his shot away! The lads were all disappointed after the chances we wasted especially as it cost second place and being right on Celtic's tails. So as we approach this third derby of the season, we must ensure that we are a bit more resilient and less open than last Saturday when we needlessly chased the game in the second half when we were in control. There couldn't be a better way to start the New Year than a derby against Dundee because it is a massive game for us and one which we must win.