Dundee Utd 4
Morton 1
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
4 - 1

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, March 10th, 1979
Tannadice Park. Att. 6,033
3:00 PM Kick-off

Paul Sturrock (13)
Derek Stark (15)
Paul Sturrock (27)
Billy Kirkwood (58)
Derek Stark (o.g)(24)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Benny Rooney

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Ray Stewart
3. Derek Stark
4. Iain Phillip
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. John Holt
8. Paul Sturrock
9. Davie Dodds
10. George Fleming
11. Billy Kirkwood
Roy Baines .1
Davie Hayes .2
Jim Holmes .3
George Anderson .4
Neil Orr .5
James Rooney .6
John McNeil .7
James Miller .8
Bobby Thomson .9
Alistair Scott .10
Andy Ritchie .11

12. Graeme Payne
14. Derek Addison
Billy McLaren .12
Barry Evans .14

Derek Addison for Iain Phillip (51)
Graeme Payne for Billy Kirkwood (85)
James Rooney for Billy McLaren (15)
James Miller for Barry Evans (56)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

K Stewart (Glasgow) (Referee)

Match Report

Having been knocked out of the Scottish Cup in the previous round, United had a free weekend as the fifth round fixtures took place, so this League match against Morton that had been postponed back in January was quickly re-arranged, giving United their first home League match in eleven weeks. United made just one change from the 13 on duty at Fir Park, with Derek Addison replacing Frank Kopel on the subs bench. Ben Rooney's men, who had so far won both games against United this season, had newly-signed ex-Celtic keeper Roy Baines in goal.

United pressed hard from the off, and after four minutes Paul Sturrock attempted to lob Baines as he came off his goal-line, but the brisk wind at United's backs helped the ball over the bar. United went ahead in the 13th minute, when Kirkwood laid off to Paul Sturrock, and with his back to goal and Hayes in close attendance, he wheeled round and sent a low shot past the diving Baines. Three minutes later the Tannadice supporters were cheering another cracking goal, when Sturrock crossed from the right, Fleming laid off to Derek Stark who crashed in a rocket shot high into the net from 25 yards. The visitors pulled one back in the 24th minute with an own goal, when and Alistair Scott challenged for an Andy Ritchie free-kick from the left, and the defenders header sneaked past McAlpine. Within four minutes United regained their two-goal advantage, when John Holt fired in a chest-high cross from the right corner flag that Paul Sturrock met at the far post to head home. Holt himself had a chance four minutes from the interval, trapping a cross in the box, but his effort goes over. Right on half-time, a rare Paul Hegarty mistake presented Scott with a chance, but the Morton No.10 went high and wide.

The second half started with a Ritchie free-kick that is blasted well over, and Holt fired over again after controlling a Hegarty header. United's fourth goal came in the 58th minute, when Sturrock's perfectly flighted cross from the left was met by the leaping Billy Kirkwood who easily headed past Baines. In the 67th minute a spectacular dipping drive by Thomson from 25 yards was diverted on to the post by McAlpine. In the 75th minute, a Holmes pass-back goes beyond Baines for a corner, which Hegarty heads strongly from the edge of the box, but goes just over. Davie Dodds had a penalty appeal in the 79th minute, when he collided with Evans in the box, but the referee was having none of it. Near the end, Fleming sent Sturrock clear on the left wing, and his mishit cross almost caught out Baines but dropped the wrong side of the bar. With St Mirren winning 3-0 at Motherwell, both teams remained at the top of the Premier Division, with United edging it on goal difference.

Squad Statistics (as at March 10th, 1979)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)31 28 - 3543
Paul Hegarty24 28218535
Ray Stewart19 262353
Dave Narey22 28522019
John Holt22 20 - 744
Iain Phillip28 7 - 7 -
Derek Stark20 191201
Billy Kirkwood20 2677019
George Fleming30 24228833
Davie Dodds20 184348
Paul Sturrock22 25615642
Derek Addison (sub)23 211779
Graeme Payne (sub)23 25219010

League Table (as at March 10th, 1979)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 23 10 7 6 +13 27
2. St Mirren 23 11 5 7 +9 27
3. Aberdeen 23 7 10 6 +11 24
4. Rangers 21 8 8 5 +6 24
5. Partick Th 21 8 7 6 +2 23
6. Hibernian 22 6 10 6 0 22
7. Morton 23 7 8 8 -7 22
8. Celtic 19 8 5 6 +6 21
9. Hearts 21 6 5 10 -13 17
10. Motherwell 24 4 5 15 -27 13

League results since United's last match
10th March 1979
Dundee Utd4-1Morton
Motherwell0-3St Mirren

Manager's Programme Notes

Welcome back to Tannadice for to-day's rearranged Premier League visit of Morton, a fixture which was one of the many which fell victim to the weather during the first two months of the year. And that long break for us and others has proved costly. It is really amazing what a transformation in fortunes can occur in a couple of months. Prior to the freeze-up we were sitting pretty at the top of the pile, having remained there far over 100 days as leaders. Then, just as quickly as it took everyone to get babk into action again, we were, prior to midweek, down in amongst it again. As I have stated publicly, luck or rather the lack of it, has played a major part in that downward trend. Mind you, I do not claim that that is the only reason. Neither the players nor myself are entirely blameless for the results of late, but giere again we have never claimed to be. For as far as I am concerned I firmly believe that we quite simply have not been gettiffg even a fair share of the breaks. For instarice, Weather conditions being what they were, the fixtures that were managed^to be fulfilled were all but our Cuptie, away from home. That Wednesday night clash against Motherwell at Fir Park was in fact our fourth successive Premier Tannadice. Motherwell at Fir Park was in fact our fourth successive Premier League game away from Tannadice.

And when I think that in those games and the Cup-tie here against St Mirren we managed to dominate for at least 75% of the time, we therefore should have made better use of our advantages, i We have created numerous scoring opportunities throughout that spell without making! them count, but there again I feel that the run of the ball has not always gone for us on those occasions. However, despite these setbacks, we simply must keep at it with the players themselves, hopefully shrugging off the disappointments and returning to the form they showed prior to the upheaval. One thing is certain — there is still an awful lot to play for this season despite our Cup exit, and I look to everyone to give that little bit extra to achieve it. To-day's visitors, Mofton, had strung togeAer a series of fine results prior to their Cup elimination earlier this week, and our task to-day will be far from being an easy one — but there again, it never is in Premier League company.