0 - 0
UEFA Cup (3rd Round 1st Leg)
Jean-Paul de Bruyne
Eric Van Lessen
Will Van Woerkum
|Matthieu Denier for Pieter Denier (76)||
Frank Kopel for Iain Phillip (79)
Bruno Galler (Switzerland) (Referee)
United's preparations for this game were not ideal. Already suffering from the massive disappointment from the weekends League Cup final defeat, McLean had to quickly draft in John Gardiner after reserve keeper Andy Graham had to be sent home with jaundice as the team prepared to fly out from RAF Leuchars. Arriving in a waterlogged Genk, Winterslag's weekend match had been called off due to the rain, and United's training sessions were badly effected. With everyone expecting the match to be delayed 24 hours, the referee amazingly passed the pitch as playable. To make matters worse, a marching band took to the field before kick-off.
With Billy Kirkwood out through suspension, Richard Gough's introduction was the only change from Saturday. In the seventh minute, Eamonn Bannon brought out a save from Winterslag keeper de Bruyne, and the keeper had to react quickly to prevent Bannon scoring with a free-kick moments later. Gough should have done better from the corner, but scooped the ball over the bar. A Houben drive failed to trouble McAlpine as the game progressed into a string of fouls until half-time.
The best chance of that match fell to Gough on the hour mark, when Milne's cross was knocked inside by Bannon, but from only eight yards out, Gough struck a defender with the ball. As the players tired on the terrible pitch, Narey and Hegarty managed to keep Winterslag at bay, until McAlpine pulled off a marvellous save from Billen in the last minute.
Not one of United's most memorable performances, but a highly respectable result considering the appalling surface didn't help the quality of the game. After the match United put in an official protest to UEFA regarding the referees decision to go ahead with the game in such dreadful conditions.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||33||27||-||493||3|
|Frank Kopel (sub)||32||16||-||405||13|