1 - 0
1 - 0
League (Premier Division)
Frank Kopel (1)
George McCluskey for Alfie Conn
Peter Mackie for Johannes Edvaldsson
Bill Anderson (East Kilbride) (Referee)
United were unchanged from the midweek draw at Ibrox, although there was a reshuffle of the starting eleven. Walter Smith dropped back to defence, with Dave Narey pushing forward to a central midfield role, and George Fleming was used in an unfamiliar centre forward position.
A sensational opening burst saw United take the lead in the first minute. After good play from Derek Addison and Billy Kirkwood, United's full-backs combined, with Frank Kopel collecting a Ray Stewart cross, and the defender fired low past Peter Latchford from 15 yards and the ball went in off the post. Celtic were desperate to get back into the game quickly, and Bobby Lennox had an appeal for handball turned away. Paul Sturrock headed over a Fleming cross, and at the other end Roy Aitken went close with a couple of efforts. United then had their own penalty claim when Kirkwood came down in the box, but the referee played on. Narey thundered through from his midfield position, beating several players including the keeper, but saw his shot go past when a goal seemed certain. Then Stewart had bad luck with a long range drive, and at the other end Alfie Conn curled a shot around the wrong side of the post. There was controversy in the dying minutes of the first half when Billy Kirkwood beat two defenders and with just Latchford to beat, was crudely hacked down by Roddie MacDonald. The Celtic defender wasn't even spoken to and the free-kick came to nothing.
The restart was held up when cans that had been thrown on the pitch had to be removed, but when play got under way, Kirkwood was again charging through the Celtic defence, and twice came close to doubling the home side's lead. Sturrock was booked in the 55th minute for a foul on Aitken, and then Celtic's MacDonald nearly equalised when he headed past. George Fleming was the second player booked after a foul on Tommy Burns. A goal scoring shot from Graeme Payne was unfortunately blocked by Paul Hegarty, and Latchford made a brilliant save from Kirkwood. In the final 10 minutes, Celtic exerted tremendous pressure, but United held firm for a notable victory.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||30||13||-||339||3|