2 - 2
League (First Division)
Ivo den Bieman (8)
Hamish French (39)
Gary McSwegan (23)
Craig Brewster (76)
Guido van de Kamp
Ivo den Bieman
Stewart Petrie for Derek Fleming (67)
Greg Shaw for Allan Moore (81)
Robbie Winters for Rab Shannon (46)
Sandy Robertson for Owen Coyle (83)
Ray McKinnon (13)
Christian Dailly (47)
Owen Coyle (50)
Christian Dailly (48)
Willie Young (Clarkston) (Referee)
BBC Cameras were there to cover a First Division match for the first time this season and the two leading protagonists for the title served up a compelling match which was a tremendous advert for the First Division. Dunfermline made the better start in the driving sleet with John Clark soon having something to celebrate as he faced his former colleagues in what was his home debut for the Pars. Only 8 minutes were on the clock when Ivo den Bieman collected a headed clearance from Maurice Malpas to crash a right-footed drive into the corner of the net. United quickly recovered from what could have been an early body blow to force the pace and were rewarded with a richly deserved equaliser in the quarter of an hour later. Breaking quickly out of defence, Grant Johnson slipped the ball into the path of Gary McSwegan who ran some forty yards before despatching a low shot past Guido van de Kamp from the edge of the box.
The pace continued unabated and Ally Maxwell had to use both hands as John dark hammered in a free-kick from 35 yards. The United keeper was kept busy and tipped over a Tod header nine minutes before the intervals the Pars bombarded the Tannadice goal. Nine minutes from half-time the home side's pressure paid off. A corner was only cleared as far as Hamish French and the former United man hammered in a low shot through a ruck of players.
If Dunfermline ended the first half on top, then United's response at the start of the second couldn't have been more positive. Robbie Winters with virtually his first touch after replacing the injured Rab Shannon as play resumed in the second half set up an opening for Grant Johnson whose delay in shooting enabled the Pars defence to close him down. Two minutes later and another great move, this time down the left, saw Gary McSwegan somehow contrive to scoop an Owen Coyle cross up on to the bar from point-blank range.
The explosive start to the second period continued when Christian Dailly was booked for a foul on Moore and then sent off for a rash showing of dissent. There was no let up by ten man United though. Robbie Winters sent Gary McSwegan away, but the centre dragged his shot wide of the target. And all this within the first five minutes of the second half!
Tod came to the home side's rescue in the 61st minute when he blocked Gary McSwegan's angular drive with Craig Brewster poised to pounce at the near post. Two minutes later, United's rally brought them a spectacular equaliser. Owen Coyle laid the ball into Craig Brewster whose lightening left-foot shot on the turn crashed over the line off the under-side of the bar with Guido van de Kamp helpless. Dunfermline staged a late onslaught during which Ally Maxwell made a fine save from a Shaw snap-shot and Ivo den Bieman's raking 25 yarder in the dying minutes smashed off the face of the bar to bring a quite incredible game to, from a United stance, a satisfactory conclusion.
|Ally Maxwell (GK)||31||31||-||31||-|
|Sandy Robertson (sub)||24||8||-||8||-|
|Robbie Winters (sub)||21||33||8||46||10|
|League results since United's last match|
|10th February 1996|
|13th February 1996|
|17th February 1996|
|24th February 1996|
|St Mirren||1-3||St Johnstone|