The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
In front of a very healthy attendance of 12,767, given that the match was shown on the TV, both the live and armchair audience were entertained by a fast flowing city derby, a draw was a pretty fair reflection of the ninety minutes after the proverbial game of two halves. To Dundee went the first half honours, but after the interval, play was almost exclusively towards Julian Speroni's goal. Manager lan McCall stuck with the same starting eleven who had won at Pittodrie the previous week. There was just one change in the Dark Blue ranks with Lee Mair replacing the injured Georgi Nemsadze whose midfield place was filled by Barry Smith. Whilst Fabrizio Ravanelli continued up front, Jim Duffy's other recent signing, Craig Burley, had to make do with a place on the bench. No one could dispute that Dundee started with greater gusto and had a shot on target in the very first minute. And that was to be the pattern for the opening half an hour or so as our neighbours pinned us back. Being honest, it looked to be only a case of when, rather if Dundee scored and they duly did thanks to a penalty, the award of which is still the subject of some debate. Ravanelli's precision pass put Novo in behind the defence and the Spaniard went down under the challenge of David McCracken. The aforementioned Nacho Novo sent Paul Gallacher the wrong way from the spot to put the Dark Blues ahead. Gradually, however, Ian McCall's men got their foot in the door and the half ended with us having our best spell of an otherwise disappointing half. And as had been the case when Dundee scored in the first half, it was no surprise when we equalised. Playing towards the East stand, now it was our turn to dominate with wing-backs Mark Wilson and Jim Paterson spending more time as wingers than backs. From one of his sorties down the left Jim Paterson delivered the cross from which Jim McIntyre headed the ball into Speroni's bottom left-hand corner. That may have been the end of the scoring, but not the action. Alan Archibald fired one inches over from the edge of the box, whilst at the other end, a deflected Caballero shot hit the bar. Paul Gallacher then made two brilliant saves from the same shot. Getting his hands to Nova's initial effort, he was at full stretch to push it clear after the ball spun up in the air. Over the piece a draw was a fair result at the end of ninety pulsating minutes.