It was United who came closest early on and an Andy McLaren header gave Gary McSwegan a chance to fire a volley inches past Jim Leighton's post. The game settled into a midfield battel until the 12th minute when Dodds cut inide and shot inches past from 20 yards. Dundee United had a chance after 21 minutes when they were awarded a free kick 25 yards out but McSwegan fired the kick straight at the wall. This almost proved costly for the home side when Julian Alsford was caught by Billy Dodds and it required a fine diving save by Sieb Dykstra from the ex Dundee striker's 16 yarder.
United again came close when a superb turn in the box almost gave McSwegan a chance from 12 yards but ex Middlesbrough defender Derek Whyte got in a superb last gasp tackle. Dundee Utd began to take control and they almost went ahead when Jim Leighton kicked a huge ball up the park and, when it was headed back by Dean Windass, Eion Jess shot just past the post. Julian Alsford committed his third foul on Windass in rapid succession and became the first player to be yellow-carded.
Windass was again in action when he dispossessed Jamie Dolan 25-yard out and when he laid the ball back, Jamie Buchan tested Sieb Dykstra with a powerful shot. Jess again had a chance when he got a square ball from Buchan but once again he failed to hit the target and his frustrations showed six minutes from the interval when he aimed a kick at Dolan and was booked. United's Dave Bowman almost gave away a goal after only four minutes of the second half, but Windass fired wide from 20 yards. After a poor effort by Andy Mclaren, who shot weakly from 16 yards, United subsitute Steve Thompson was booked for a late tackle on Aberdeen replacement Dave Rowson. It did not appear to effect Rowson, though, as he then went on a great solo run, which ended with Dodds shooting inches off target from 20 yards.
Full time score from Tannadice 0-0.