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Dundee United 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Cup Third Round
Dundee United scorers: Winters 14

24/01/1998 | KO: 15:00

Full Time score
Dundee United 1 v 0 Aberdeen

Dundee United launched their Scottish Cup bid in style with Robbie Winters' 14th minute goal breaking the deadlock against Aberdeen at Tannidice. United had all the early pressure in this only all Premier Division tie of the third round with Kjell Olofsson offering the first threat by firing a 20 yard drive after just three minutes which forced Dons keeper Jim Leighton into a save to his right.

Winters spurned a good opportunity to put United ahead after 11 minutes after he was presented with a free header by a precise Andy McLaren cross, but made a mistake just 2 minutes later.

A cross by Magnus Skoldmark was touched on by Oloffson and Winters turned the ball past Leighton from close range to claim his 16th strike of the season.

An error by Skoldmark let in Aberdeen's Stephen Glass for an effort on goal after 25 minutes but the winger's angled drive was well held by Sieb Dykstra. Skoldmark almost made amends moments later when he met a Mclaren free kick with a glancing header, but the ball reached the visitors' goalkeeper Leighton at a comfortable height.

Since losing the Coca-Cola cup final to Celtic in November, United have won only once but, clearly recognising defeat would consign them to the grind of league business, they looked back to their best in the opening half-hour.

Ahead of the interval, the match lost its momentum with three bookings in five minutes with Aberdeen's Glass singled out for punishment.

Both Skoldmark and Steven Pressley were yellow carded for late challenges on the Scotland prospect who looked easily the visitors' most potant weapon. The Dons might have levelled after 43 minutes when Billy Dodds turned well in the area but his snap shot was straight at Dykstra.

Winters' powerful running freed Olofsson for a curling strike after 55 minutes but the Swede's effort lacked power and Leighton gathered the ball comfortable. United failed to make the most of a teasing Olofsson free kick which swept across the face of the goal without finding the touch it invited as United searched for a potentially decisive second goal.

On the hour mark, Aberdeen replaced Dodds whose World Cup place looks far from security after another indifferent performance to allow Mike Newall an opportunity to turn the tide towards the Dons.

In United's next attack, Winters latched on to Olofsson's neat pass, but Leighton was able to push his strike at goal past the upright.

Encouraged, and finally realising their predicament, Aberdeen at last press forward with Dean Windass' header from Paul Bernard's cross requiring Dykstra be alert.

After 80 minutes, Bernard should have made a better connection when picked at the far post but his shot was scooped away by United's Dutch keeper as United held out.

Dundee United Teamsheet
Dykstra, Skoldmark, Malpas, Pressley, Perry, Pedersen, Olofsson, Zetterlund, Winters (McSwegan 80), Jonsson, McLaren Unused Subs: Dolan, McKinnon

Bookings:  Skoldmark 32,   Pressley 37,   Jonsson 91
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Leighton, Bernard, Whyte, O'Neil (O'Neill), Inglis, Smith, Kiriakov, Jess, Windass, Dodds (Newell 59), Glass.

Unused Subs: Anderson.

Bookings:  O'Neil (30),  Newell (87),  Windass (91).
Attendance: 11,488
Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee
Referee: Kenny Clark, Paisley