Dundee Utd 2
Partick Thistle 1
League (Promotion Playoff 2nd Leg)


Dundee Utd
2 - 1
Partick Thistle 

League (Promotion Playoff 2nd Leg)
Thursday, May 16th, 1996
Tannadice Park. Att. 12,120
7:45 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Brian Welsh (90)
Owen Coyle (115)
Ian Cameron (pen.) (72)

Team Managers
Billy Kirkwood
Murdo McLeod

Starting Eleven
Ally Maxwell
Steven Pressley
Jamie McQuilken
Brian Welsh
Rab Shannon
Christian Dailly
Dave Bowman
Andy McLaren
Gary McSwegan
Robbie Winters
Craig Brewster
Nicky Walker
Calum Milne
Gregg Watson
Tommy Smith
Jim Slavin
Steve Welsh
Billy McDonald
Derek McWilliams
James McCue
Ian Cameron
Andy Lyons

Bench
Grant Johnson
Ray McKinnon
Owen Coyle
Mark Cairns
Nicky Henderson
Alan Dinnie

Substitutions
Owen Coyle for Gary McSwegan (83)
Grant Johnson for Robbie Winters (117)
Ray McKinnon for Craig Brewster (119)
Nicky Henderson for James McCue (82)
Alan Dinnie for Derek McWilliams (54)

Cautions
Andy McLaren (74)
Tommy Smith (54)
Ian Cameron (83)
Alan Dinnie (104)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Les Mottram (Forth) (Referee)


Match Report


For the neutral this was pure theatre, with United fans having to endure agony before the ecstasy of Owen Coyle's extra-time winner which brought Premier Division football back to Tannadice. Backed by the vast majority of Tannadice's biggest crowd of the season.

The United side which had finished with a flurry at Firhill were entrusted with the task of securing a victory in a match where the stakes were so very high. The lads in tangerine carried on where they had left off the previous Sunday. Twice within a minute Nicky Walker came to Thistle's rescue denying Gary McSwegan on both occasions. Then Craig Brewster was afforded a free header but knocked the ball wide of the target.

The Thistle keeper turned a blockbuster from Gary McSwegan round the post as United totally dominated proceedings, however, a lack of composure in front of goal, no doubt a manifestation of anxiety of the occasion allowed Thistle to hang on. Immediately prior to the interval after a Craig Brewster shot was deflected for a corner, Brian Welsh just failed to get a touch to it.

Thistle's hopes were dashed as the up raised flag of a linesman brought relief to the fraught United following after Thistle did get the ball into the net early in the second period. Thistle were once more penned back but survived the onslaught, although only Steven Pressley will know how he failed to find the net with a header.

Despite having been under the cosh for so long and to the complete consternation of everyone with Tannadice affiliations, Thistle took the lead with 18 minutes left! Henderson, who had only recently come on as a substitute was adjudged to have been pushed to the ground in the box and Ian Cameron slotted home the penalty award. The goal gave the Jags as big a lift as it seemingly deflated United. As the minutes ticked by, all too quickly, Tannadice hopes of saving the tie appeared forlorn.

Until a piece of magic by Andy McLaren took him from a seemingly impossible position with his back to goal on the right-hand side touchline to the bye-line. His cross was headed back across goal by Owen Coyle and Brian Welsh stretched to head in a life-saving equaliser! Just 40 seconds remained when that goal came and illustrates how close United came to failing to go up.

But in extra-time there was only one team in it, Walker again proved Thistle's hero with a string of saves until even he had to admit defeat five minutes from, god forbid, a penalty shoot-out. Once more Andy McLaren was the architect, with deft play on the left which took him to the bye-line and Owen Coyle swept home the cutback with more coolness than the situation demanded. There was no way back for Thistle from that promotion was secured, but only in the most nerve-racking of fashions. I am sure no United supporter would want to go through another 120 minutes of such torture again even if it turned out all right on the night.



Squad Statistics (as at May 16th, 1996)


1995-96 All Time
Age
Ally Maxwell (GK)31 43 - 43 -
Christian Dailly22 39317721
Steven Pressley22 452452
Jamie McQuilken21 13 - 13 -
Rab Shannon30 371371
Brian Welsh27 30217714
Andy McLaren22 3931207
Dave Bowman32 22 - 36912
Robbie Winters21 46105912
Gary McSwegan25 31173117
Craig Brewster29 361911247
Grant Johnson (sub)24 3669211
Ray McKinnon (sub)25 15 - 777
Owen Coyle (sub)29 349349






League Table (as at May 16th, 1996)


Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Dunfermline 36 21 8 7 +32 71
2. United 36 19 10 7 +36 67
3. Morton 36 20 7 9 +18 67
4. St Johnstone 36 19 8 9 +24 65
5. Dundee 36 15 12 9 +13 57
6. St Mirren 36 13 8 15 -5 47
7. Clydebank 36 10 10 16 -19 40
8. Airdrie 36 9 11 16 -11 38
9. Hamilton 36 10 6 20 -17 36
10. Dumbarton 36 3 2 31 -71 11