Dundee Utd 2
Rangers 1
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
2 - 1

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, February 7th, 1981
Tannadice Park. Att. 14,528
3:00 PM Kick-off

Billy Kirkwood (19)
Davie Dodds (57)
John McDonald (38)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
John Greig

Starting Eleven
Hamish McAlpine
Frank Kopel
Dave Narey
Paul Hegarty
Derek Stark
Derek Addison
Eamonn Bannon
Billy Kirkwood
Graeme Payne
Davie Dodds
Paul Sturrock
Peter McLoy
Sandy Jardine
Ally Dawson
Gregor Stevens
Colin Jackson
Jim Bett
Willie Johnston
Bobby Russell
Tommy McLean
Ian Redford
John McDonald

Iain Phillip
Willie Pettigrew
Davie Cooper
Alex Miller

None. Davie Cooper for Bobby Russell
Alex Miller for Tommy McLean

Billy Kirkwood
Gregor Stevens

Red Cards
None. Gregor Stevens (82)
Match Officials

Brian McGinlay (Balfron) (Referee)

Match Report

With United looking to close the four point gap with third placed Rangers, Jim McLean's only change from the line-up that defeated Airdrie was with Derek Stark swapping places with Iain Phillip in the starting eleven, with Phillip dropping to the bench.

The Tangerines had a number of attempts as they dominated the early stages against the wind, and took the lead in the 19th minute with a goal that the Sporting Post described as 'A real gold-plated, chateau-bottled humdinger of a goal!". Frank Kopel slid the ball into the path of Billy Kirkwood, who smacked a 20 yard shot low past the stranded Peter McCloy. Soon afterwards, Davie Dodds had a chance but McCloy saved well from his close-in shot. Rangers then looked to have equalised when John MacDonald finished well after controlling a long wind-assisted kick-out by McCloy, but a discussion between referee Brian McGinlay had his linesman saw the goal disallowed for handball. Eamonn Bannon was then heavily involved, firstly seeing his shot marvellously saved by McCloy, then clearing a Gregor Stevens effort off the line soon afterwards. The equaliser came minutes later, when John MacDonald nodded over Hamish McAlpine after Stark had failed to deal with a Willie Johnston cross.

Now with the wind at their backs, United were stung into action by that equaliser, and had the ball in the net immediately on the resumption of play, but it was chalked off. In the 57th minute United took the lead once more. Bannon thundered in a fearsome free-kick which slid under McCloy' sbody but stopped short of the line, and the ever alert Davie Dodds knocked it home despite close attention from Johnston. Eight minutes from the end, Gregor Stevens, who had been booked in the first half for a foul on McAlpine, was sent off after being booked again for something that was said to the referee.

The 2-1 victory meant that United were now just two points behind Rangers, but the Glasgow side still had a game in hand.

Squad Statistics (as at February 7th, 1981)

1980-81 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)33 40 - 4493
Derek Stark22 2611083
Dave Narey24 38132221
Paul Hegarty26 40727846
Frank Kopel31 33 - 37313
Eamonn Bannon22 3786812
Derek Addison25 16212914
Billy Kirkwood22 29615334
Paul Sturrock24 401825973
Graeme Payne24 32426217
Davie Dodds22 271610538

League Table (as at February 7th, 1981)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 24 17 2 5 +24 36
2. Aberdeen 24 14 7 3 +28 35
3. Rangers 23 10 10 3 +22 30
4. DUNDEE UTD 24 10 8 6 +14 28
5. St Mirren 23 8 7 8 +4 23
6. Partick Th 24 8 7 9 -7 23
7. Morton 25 8 7 10 -11 23
8. Airdrie 23 5 8 10 -14 18
9. Hearts 23 3 5 15 -22 11
10. Kilmarnock 23 2 5 16 -38 9

League results since United's last match
7th February 1981
Dundee Utd2-1Rangers

Manager's Programme Notes

Good afternoon and welcome back to Tannadice for our first afternoon of first team action for over a month. It was away back on January 3 on the occasion of our 7-0 hammering of Kilmarnock that we last performed here, although having completed since a hat-trick of away fixtures in both league and cup. Needless to say a repeat of that type of display would of course delight us all, but being realistic fully appreciate that today's visitors Rangers are of course an entirely different proposition. Still, following those couple of sub-par performances against both Celtic and Brechin City, it was indeed heartening to get back on the rails with a vengeance at Airdrie last weekend when the side played really well.

But again I repeat, this afternoon will be a completely different story with Rangers having been clearly boosted by their win over title leaders Aberdeen last Saturday. As far as our own chances of bettering our present fourth top spot is concerned I have to concede that the trio above us would have to suffer dramatic slumps of form to allow us to step back in as realistic championship contenders. But remember, we are proud of what has been achieved here, and that pride makes us all the more determined to have a real say in where the flag eventually ends up. As you will probably have seen we had a couple of continental players guesting with us during the past week, a clear indication that we are still determined to strengthen our squad. And that will continue here at Tannadice despite
honestly we are somewhat overstaffed at present.