Dundee Utd 3
Hearts 1
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
3 - 1

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, September 30th, 1978
Tannadice Park. Att. 6,312
3:00 PM Kick-off

Billy Kirkwood (12)
Frank Kopel (40)
Billy Kirkwood (44)
Eamonn Bannon (54)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Willie Ormond

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Ray Stewart
3. Frank Kopel
4. Bobby Robinson
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. Walter Smith
8. George Fleming
9. Graeme Payne
10. John Holt
11. Billy Kirkwood
Ray Dunlop .1
Walter Kidd .2
Cammy Fraser .3
Jim Jefferies .4
Frank Liddell .5
John Craig .6
Malcolm Robertson .7
Eamonn Bannon .8
Willie Gibson .9
Drew Busby .10
Denis McQuade .11

12. Davie Dodds
14. Paul Sturrock
Lawrie Tierney .12
Jim Brown .14

Paul Sturrock for Walter Smith (70)
Davie Dodds for Graeme Payne (88)
Lawrie Tierney for Jim Jefferies (46)
Jim Brown for Drew Busby (46)

None. Frank Liddell (25)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

A McFall (Glasgow) (Referee)

Match Report

Still looking for their first league victory at Tannadice, United relegated Davie Dodds and Paul Sturrock to the subs' bench from the side that disappointed against Standard Liege. Bobby Robinson returned to the midfield and George Fleming took over from the injured Derek Addison.

As expected, the experienced Fleming took up a striker's position, but it was an iauspicious start by the home side, who seemed to be suffering a European hangover. Penalty appeals were waved away after Holt tumbled to the ground after weaving his way into the box, but minutes later United took the lead. A long throw on the left by Frank Kopel was headed down by Dave Narey, and Billy Kirkwood was on to the ball in a flash to send a crashing shot low into the corner of the net. At the other end a Gibson net-bound effort was diverted over the bar by the ever-alert Narey, and a long range swerving shot from Robertson required a good save by Hamish McAlpine. Liddell is first given a stern talking to and then later booked after fouls on Payne and Kirkwood. Just before the half-hour Kirkwood had a chance to make it two from a Kopel cross, but fired over the bar from a few yards out. Five minutes later another Kopel cross was met full on by Fleming, who's diving header was pushed past the post by Dunlop. In the 40th minute a through ball from Payne found Kirkwood unmarked on the left, and as he ran towards goal Frank Kopel appeared on his right and fired a first time shot into the net. On the stroke of half-time, Ray Stewart ran over 40 yards to collect a through ball by Payne, whose inch-perfect centre was headed home by the diving Billy Kirkwood.

In the second half, Hearts resorted to some rough stuff in an effort to keep the lively home forwards at bay. At the other end, a solo run by Eamonn Bannon into the home penalty box ends with the Hearts inside forward stroking the ball into the net to give the Edinburgh side some hope. United bet back on the offensive, and a clever lob shot by Payne is kept out by a desperate Dunlop dive. Sturrock is introoduced to the game in place of Smith, with Narey dropping back to defence. After a few half chances at both ends, Dunlop makes a tremendous save from a Sturrock header, clutching the ball at the post to prevent United putting the final seal on the match.

Squad Statistics (as at September 30th, 1978)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)30 11 - 3373
John Holt21 10 - 644
Walter Smith30 5 - 1743
Dave Narey22 11120315
Ray Stewart19 9 - 181
Frank Kopel29 912838
Paul Hegarty24 11216835
Billy Kirkwood20 935315
George Fleming30 8127232
Bobby Robinson27 6 - 331
Graeme Payne22 11 - 1768
Paul Sturrock (sub)21 9114037
Davie Dodds (sub)20 52216

League Table (as at September 30th, 1978)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 7 6 0 1 +12 12
2. Hibernian 7 3 4 0 +3 10
3. Aberdeen 7 3 3 1 +8 9
4. DUNDEE UTD 7 3 3 1 +4 9
5. Partick Th 7 2 3 2 0 7
6. Rangers 7 1 4 2 0 6
7. St Mirren 7 3 0 4 -1 6
8. Morton 7 1 3 3 -4 5
9. Hearts 7 1 2 4 -9 4
10. Motherwell 7 1 0 6 -13 2

League results since United's last match
30th September 1978
Aberdeen1-1Partick Th
Celtic2-1St Mirren
Dundee Utd3-1Hearts

Manager's Programme Notes

Sad to report that we did it again on Wednesday night, didn't we. For the umpteenth time in recent seasons we failed to respond to the high hopes held by you, our supporters, and slipped ingraciously out of the E.U.F.A. Cup. And even more sadly the task faced by us in mid-week was as you will have seen, a far from impossible one against a Standard Liege side which, if highly organised, was nevertheless anything but brilliant. Once again it was our same old failing up front which cost us the passport through although, if the media had its way, one would suspect that lack of goal punch is exclusively a Dundee United problem. Take it from me, it's not, as a glance at the current Premier League goals-for column will testify, with only three clubs topping our own record of seven goals from six outings. Nevertheless, that takes a little away from what is undoubtedly a pressing necessity here at Tannadice and one which I can assure you has caused me more sleepless night than any other.

Although Wednesday night once again illustrated the problem, I do not entirely fault just our front men for the disappointment, the mid-field department was equally to blame. My biggest regret comes when comparing our recent flawless defensive performance against the heart searching displays of those ahead of them in the side. Once again I point out to you the work carried out in attempting to sort out just exactly what goes wrong for us in the opposition goal area. Three simple points have been passed on to all our forwards with monotonous regularity over the years. The first concerns the fact that the crosses simply must come in earlier. There are too many occasions when the break has been made and then time wasted before die ball is despatched into the area where it can do most damage. Secondly the strikers are getting into the area far too early to achieve anything while and most seriously of all, they are just standing about when they get there. In training, markers are even set down to direct the players into finding the correct route inside the box. However, when real live defenders are in opposition on match days, the knowledge passed on appears to get forgotten. Today, we greet Hearts on Premier League business for what will be no easy task. Home sides are now being pressured into commitment in front of their own fans and often pay the penalty for it. Let's hope as we search for today's crucial points that we do not fall into that category.