The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
United threw in new signing Ryan McGowan for his debut in this New Firm Cup semi-final. The Aussie took up the right back role while Dillon moved to left back and Townsend dropped to the bench. Butcher partnered Paton in the sitting roles and Telfer was rewarded for his two goals against Motherwell with a start in the front four.The game got off to a quick start with United looking dangerous early on. Gary Mackay-Steven had an early opportunity when he rounded 'keeper Brown but from a tight angle and running away from goal, he fired over. Ciftci was looking in the mood and he soon found space for himself to fire in a low shot that in the end was saved comfortably by Brown. United were creating the best chances in the first half but the Dons still looked dangerous on the break. Ryan McGowan had to block Peter Pawlett's shot then Sean Dillon did the same after Goodwillie gathered the rebound and drilled an effort towards goal. United's closest effort in the first half came when Armstrong curled a shot on goal that Simon Brown had to tip on to the crossbar.It was Aberdeen who started the second half with more energy and attacking intent. They pressed United in the opening minutes and were rewarded when Andrew Considine delivered a long throw into the area and Donervon Daniels head-flicked the ball over Radoslaw Cierzniak and into the far corner of the net. United were rattled and Daniels soon had another effort cleared off the line. A corner kick provided United an opportunity to level matters and Callum Morris rose powerfully to head Gary Mackay-Steven's corner into the net. Mark Reynolds then cleared a Ryan Dow effort off the line before Goodwillie contrived to put a downward header from close range bouncing over the bar. An enthralling second half culminated in mass celebration in the East Stand when Paul Paton delivered a cross into the area and Nadir Çiftçi glanced a header beyond a fumbling Brown for the match winner.Manager's Comment:"It was a hard fought game and the three goals were not things of beauty. But the most important thing is that we're in the final. I thought we were the better team in the first half, we had some good chances. The second half wasn't pretty - it could have gone either way. It's a great feeling to be in another final. Aberdeen scored, from our point of view, a very poor goal - it seemed to go in by slow motion. But I was delighted by the response."Fan's Comment:"Great desire by the team today. Love to see the defenders throwing their bodies in where it hurts to block all those Aberdeen efforts. Ryan Dow energised the team when he came on. Morris at centre back makes us look much more steady in defence and his goal was fantastic - He knocked over about four players as thundered in his header! The team is maturing now with GMS and Armstrong again big players. Still in all three competitions and this promises to be a big season. Great atmosphere created by the 10,000 Arabs. Wonderful scenes of celebration at the end. Just can't wait until March 15th for a return trip to Hampden."Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:Dundee United Official Flickr Page