Dundee Utd 3
Rangers 0
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
3 - 0

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, December 9th, 1978
Tannadice Park. Att. 15,247
3:00 PM Kick-off

Davie Dodds (3)
George Fleming (21)
Dave Narey (pen.) (84)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
John Greig

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Ray Stewart
3. Derek Stark
4. George Fleming
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. Davie Dodds
8. Paul Sturrock
9. John Holt
10. Graeme Payne
11. Billy Kirkwood
Peter McCloy .1
Alex Forsyth .2
Ally Dawson .3
Sandy Jardine .4
Colin Jackson .5
Alex MacDonald .6
Tommy McLean .7
Bobby Russell .8
Derek Johnstone .9
Gordon Smith .10
Davie Cooper .11

12. Derek Addison
14. Graham Honeyman
Kenny Watson .12
Derek Parlane .14

Derek Addison for Graeme Payne (75)
Kenny Watson for Bobby Russell (45)
Derek Parlane for Davie Cooper (55)

None. Derek Johnstone (84)
Alex MacDonald (84)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

D Murdoch (Motherwell) (Referee)

Match Report

United went into this match sitting proudly at the top of the table and therefore were in confident mood tackling Rangers at Tannadice. A large crowd of over 15,000 were in place for what was expected to be a thrilling match. Graeme Payne returned to the United side, and was joined with Davie Dodds and John Holt, with Derek Addison and Graham Honeyman moving to the subs bench and Robinson missing out.

It took just three minutes for United to prove that they are not at the top of the table by default. When Colin Jackson fouled Davie Dodds out on the right, Payne lofted his free-kick into a crowded goal area. 19 year-old Davie Dodds out-jumped Sandy Jardine to head into the top corner of the net with Peter McCloy static on his line. United got a fright in the 17th minute. Bobby Russell was left clear from a Derek Johnstone header 12 yards out but he lashed his shot against the bar with only Hamish McAlpine to beat. Three minutes later that move was punished with the move of the match which brought one of the best goals of the season. Fleming sent Paul Sturrock scurrying away for United on the left and his low cross on the run was side footed home first time by George Fleming who had run through the middle for the return at the edge of the box. McCloy didn't have a chance. A John Holt header from near the by-line had McCloy scrambling to push the ball for a corner at the near post. A minute later United had the ball in the back of the net, when McCloy and Hegarty rose to challenge for a Payne cross and the ball dropped over the line, but referee Murdoch ruled that there had been a foul on the goalkeeper. Rangers were coming off second best in most departments, yet they could have pulled one back a minute from the interval. A corner from McLean was knocked down to Johnstone by Jackson, but the big striker's hook shot was headed off the line by Kirkwood.

Rangers who had already pushed Sandy Jardine into midfield, resumed with Kenny Watson on for Bobby Russell in the middle and a 3-3-4 formation that suggested a desperate campaign of all-out attack in the second half. A Jackson header was punched off the line by McAlpine, and Hegarty and Johnstone are spoken to after an off-the-ball incident. Cooper was also replaced by Derek Parlane in the 55th minute but it was to no avail. Frustration showed as Tommy McLean and Raymond Stewart clashed on the touchline and when Johnstone was booked for a foul on Holt in midfield. Sturrock continued to trouble McCloy with several efforts throughout the half, but the Tannadice men finally grabbed a third when Derek Addison, a 75th minute substitute for the tiring Payne, was obstructed by Forsyth in the penalty area eight minutes from time. The referee pointed to the spot and Dave Narey made no mistake as he converted United first successful penalty in five attempts. The final whistle was greeted by elation, and a pitch invasion by young United fans, as the Terrors maintained their lead at the top of the Premier Division.

Squad Statistics (as at December 9th, 1978)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)30 20 - 3463
Paul Hegarty24 20217735
John Holt22 12 - 664
Dave Narey22 20321217
Derek Stark20 11 - 12 -
Ray Stewart19 181272
George Fleming30 17228133
Billy Kirkwood20 1866218
Davie Dodds20 104268
Graeme Payne22 1911849
Paul Sturrock22 18114937
Derek Addison (sub)23 181749

League Table (as at December 9th, 1978)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 16 7 6 3 +8 20
2. Partick Th 16 8 3 5 +3 19
3. Aberdeen 16 6 6 4 +12 18
4. Celtic 16 7 4 5 +6 18
5. St Mirren 16 7 3 6 +4 17
6. Rangers 16 4 8 4 +1 16
7. Hibernian 16 4 7 5 -3 15
8. Morton 16 5 5 6 -4 15
9. Hearts 16 5 4 7 -10 14
10. Motherwell 16 3 2 11 -17 8

League results since United's last match
9th December 1978
Dundee Utd3-0Rangers
Partick Th2-1Morton
St Mirren4-0Hearts

Manager's Programme Notes

Despite our somewhat disappointing spell before the weather conditions hit football last week-end, we nevertheless greet Rangers to Tannadice, still holding our leadership of the Premier League. That situation cannot be bad although a quick glance at the so-tight table illustrates only too clearly that we are also just four points clear of the relegation area. Therefore, if we have any honours-winning ambition here at Tannadice — and we most certainly do — then success this afternoon simply must be achieved. Even in the middle of all the Premier pressures, when every single game is a tough one, most critics delight in naming the next few weeks as the 'crisis period' where titles are won and lost. Well, as far as we are concerned, that could well be the case with fixtures against Celtic, Hibs, Thistle, Aberdeen and Morton to follow on to-day's clash with Rangers.

As you know only too well, our record against both Old Firm clubs has proved to be a poor one over the years, and I am looking to the players to put that record straight in the coming week. In my view there is absolutely no reason why our results against Rangers and Celtic should not have been a lot better against the big two, especially over recent seasons. Because there is no way that we are inferior player-wise, with those on the staff nowadays matching the best that any other club can muster. Still, although victory to-day is doubly important to our current title chances, I see us as having the slight psychological advantage after having taken a point from our earlier draw at Ibrox. But it will be far from easy and only a top-class performance is ever good enough to prise any reward from the Ibrox side. Therefore, on a personal note, I am looking to brother Tommy being on the breadlind next week without his bonus.