The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
It was a very strange looking Celtic line-up which faced United for the final match of the season. No less than six of the home side were in the Hoops' starting line-up for the very first time and their exuberance was the telling factor as a hugely disappointing second half of the season finished in like fashion. After a quiet opening ten minutes, Stephen McConalogue was first to threaten with an angled drive which Gould turned round his near-post. Alan Combe emulated this five minutes later to deny Lynch. There was an even better chance for Celtic three minutes later when Burchill broke through, but the Scotland striker shot into the side-netting. On the half-hour mark, Alan Combe pulled off yet another of the saves which have made him Tannadice's Player of the Season by not only saving, but, albeit it at the second attempt, holding onto Burchill's diagonal drive. Best chance of the opening half undoubtedly fell to United when David Hannah picked out Atex Mathie in space, but the striker could do no better than shoot straight at Goutd when Stephen McConatogue was better-placed. If the Tangerines spurned that chance, then Celtic passed up an even better opportunity of grabbing a half-time lead when Alan Combe was harshly adjudged to have brought down Burchill. Justice was served when Alan Combe saved Berkovie's softly-struck spot-kick! There was. however, no such salvation seven minutes into the second half! A free-kick into the box felt to Simon Lynch and the youngster finished clinically from twelve yards. Ten minutes later and a well worked move on the right saw Alex Mathie whip in a cross which Stephen McConalogue knocked narrowly past, but that was effectively the last seen of United as an attacking force, Celtic got a second two minutes later when Berkovic played McCann in on the left and although Alan Combe deflected the youngster's low drive, Burchill was on hand to drive the ball into the far corner from close range. With Henrik Larsson making his return from injury, Celtic dominated the last quarter of the match and but for a post coming to the rescue to keep out a Burchill shot and Tony Smith, within seconds, twice making goalline clearances from Lynch and Larsson, the final score could have been a great deal worse. So it was with relief that everyone of Tannadice affiliations greeted the final whistle to end a frustrating campaign.