The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
A mere ten days after their previous meeting, Dundee and United faced each other again in the BetFred Cup, this time in the last 16. Both Scott McDonald and new signing Fraser Fyvie were making their first start for United. Mark Durnan also returned to the team after suspension. They replaced Jamie Robson, Scott Allardice and Scott Fraser in the starting line-up.The home side, perhaps as a reaction to their defeat on penalties to United in the previous round, started the game with real intent. They nearly got an early goal when a Scott Allan corner was diverted towards the net by Marcus Haber, but the Canadian’s effort just slid past the post. Haber then spurned an excellent opportunity to give Dundee the lead as he headed the ball wide from a good position from a Paul McGowan cross. Continuing his lively start, Haber then powered through a couple of half-hearted challenges before playing the ball to Scott Allan. The former United midfielder chose to take the shot first time, but blazed his effort well over. United suffered a blow when Tam Scobbie sustained a groin injury during that move, and after a lengthy delay for treatment he was replaced by Jamie Robson. Faissal El Bakhtaoui was the next Dundee player to waste a good chance, and his miss was arguably the most glaring of the lot. A poor clearance from William Edjenguele allowed El Bakhtaoui to rob him of the ball and run unopposed towards goal. However, despite having all the time and space in the world he could only drag a weak shot well wide of Harry Lewis’ right-hand post. Dundee took the lead their pressure deserved after half an hour. Roarie Deacon’s cross was only half cleared by the United defence, and Faissal El Bakhtaoui made up for his earlier miss with a stunning finish, as he flicked the ball up and sent a stunning half volley past the helpless Harry Lewis from 20 yards out. Five minutes later, United finally created their first effort on goal, although it was a weak one as Paul McMullan hit a shot wide after a cutback from Sam Stanton. The next opportunity came for Stanton himself, as he drove forward from midfield, although again his shot was well wide of the target. Even though they were starting to get more of a foothold in the game, it was rather against the run of play when, almost out of nothing, Dundee United equalised in the 40th minute. Sam Stanton created space for himself with a brilliant turn on the edge of the area, and he drilled the ball to where Billy King was waiting at the back post, and he duly knocked in the equalising goal.As the second half drew on, Dundee continued to create chances, although United were weathering the storm. El Bakhtaoui almost got his second goal after Lewis failed to deal with a corner, seeing his goalbound shot hitting Marcus Haber. Kerr Waddell then missed with a free header from an Allan free kick, and Mark Durnan was then called upon to block another goalbound effort, this time from Roarie Deacon. However, United themselves created a great opportunity to take the lead when Paul McMullan hit a wicked ball across Scott Bain’s goal, with Scott McDonald only inches away from getting on the end of it. Hendry then had another chance for the home side, glancing another header just wide. In addition, Kevin Holt was very close to turning the ball in at the far post. After 69 minutes, Dundee took the lead again with another excellent goal. An overhit Roarie Deacon cross was retrieved by Scott Allan, and as in the previous game he was given too much time to pick a pass. He played the ball to Paul McGowan on the edge of the United area, and the midfielder guided the ball home. The goal seemed to give the home side even more energy, and they should have scored a third goal five minutes later. El Bakhtaoui broke down the Dundee right and hit a cross which Marcus Haber headed towards goal. However, Harry Lewis made an astonishing reaction save to keep the ball out and keep United’s hopes of rescuing the game alive. United spurned a great chance to level the game with ten minutes left. There did not seem to be much danger when James Keatings played a rather hopeful through ball, but somehow Scott Bain and Kevin Holt got into a muddle, allowing the ball to break to Billy King. He cut inside past the stricken Bain and had an open goal to aim at, but he was unable to sort his feet out and hit his shot wide with the goal gaping. Despite some late pressure and sending Mark Durnan to play up front as an emergency striker, that was United’s final chance of the game. In the end Dundee were able to see the game out rather comfortably, and it was the home side who progressed the last eight of the BetFred Cup. United were left to dwell on a disappointing defeat to their rivals in a game which, in truth, the United players did not do themselves justice.Match report written by Derek Keilloh
Photography by DUFC Official