Dundee Utd 2
Motherwell 1
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
2 - 1

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, March 31st, 1979
Tannadice Park. Att. 5,675
3:00 PM Kick-off

Derek Addison (86)
Derek Addison (89)
Willie Irvine (78)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Ally MacLeod

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Ray Stewart
3. Derek Stark
4. George Fleming
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. Derek Addison
8. Paul Sturrock
9. Davie Dodds
10. Billy Kirkwood
11. Graeme Payne
Stuart Rennie .1
Ian McLeod .2
Joe Wark .3
Bobby Carberry .4
Jim Dempsey .5
Gregor Stevens .6
Joe Smith .7
Paul Wilson .8
Mike Larnach .9
Willie Irvine .10
John Donnelly .11

12. Bobby Robinson
14. John Holt
Ian Clinging .12
David Meikle .14

John Holt for Davie Dodds (45)
Bobby Robinson for Billy Kirkwood (80)
Ian Clinging for Paul Wilson (57)

None. Jim Dempsey (86)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Alan Ferguson (Giffnock) (Referee)

Match Report

Jim McLean brought back Graeme Payne for this top v bottom clash between United and Motherwell at Tannadice. Derek Addison, who was a sub in midweek was brought into the starting line up and Robinson moved to the bench.

United went straight onto the attack and Joe Work sliced a clearance out for a corner within the opening minute. Sturrock swung in the ball but Rennie punched clear. Payne then crossed for Fleming at the near post. However, the ball just brushed the midfielders head before crossing the goal and running wide. Fleming then made good contact with a shot from the edge of the box but Rennie was equal to it and smothered the ball. Motherwell began to come back into the game as the first half progressed and United were finding it hard to settle. McLeod earned a talking too from the referee after he nudged Sturrock into the crowd at the edge of the park. With just seconds remaining, Dodds rushed a chance in front of goal and the ball went over with the goal at his mercy.

Substitute John Holt produced United's best goal attempt up to that point with a header in the 69th minute that flew narrowly over the bar. Sturrock then hit the side netting from a Rennie fumble. It was all United but in the 78th minute the inevitable happened. Larnach took two corners in a row and from the second, as the ball bounces on the six yard line, debut boy Willie Irvine poked the ball into the roof of the net. With United fans grumbling from the terraces, the home side retaliated. From a free-kick, United equalise. Payne floated over a free-kick and Hegarty threw himself at the ball at the back post and headed across goal. Rennie failed to hold the dropping ball and it fell at the feet of Derek Addison about 8 yards out and he blasted home. Then right on full-time, the United men sensationally snatched the full points. Payne found Sturrock running to the by-line and his cutback found Derek Addison who swirled to score. McAlpine made a good save from a Stevens free-kick to ensure United held on.

Squad Statistics (as at March 31st, 1979)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)31 33 - 3593
Dave Narey22 33522519
Paul Hegarty24 33319036
Derek Stark20 241251
Ray Stewart19 302393
Derek Addison23 2538111
Billy Kirkwood20 3187520
George Fleming30 29429335
Paul Sturrock22 30716143
Graeme Payne23 26219110
Davie Dodds20 235399
John Holt (sub)22 241785
Bobby Robinson (sub)28 11 - 381

League Table (as at March 31st, 1979)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 28 14 7 7 +16 35
2. Rangers 24 11 8 5 +10 30
3. St Mirren 27 12 5 10 +7 29
4. Hibernian 27 9 11 7 +2 29
5. Morton 28 9 9 10 -4 27
6. Aberdeen 25 8 10 7 +17 26
7. Celtic 22 10 5 7 +9 25
8. Partick Th 25 9 7 9 0 25
9. Hearts 24 6 7 11 -14 19
10. Motherwell 28 4 5 19 -43 13

League results since United's last match
31st March 1979
Dundee Utd2-1Motherwell
Partick Th3-1St Mirren

Manager's Programme Notes

I apologise for repeating myself but — what a strange, strange game of conflicting fortunes we find ourselves involved in. A week ago, prior to our game against Morton at Greenock, everyone here at Tannadice was sitting on top of the world with four successive League wins behind us and the ring of confidence glowing all round the camp. On top of that we had learned that three of our players had been nominated amongst the players' choice of their "Player of the Year," Paul Hegarty, Dave Narey, and Raymond Stewart for "Young Player of the Year" As you can guess, all that was then required to complete the perfect week-end was the two points against Morton, because 24 hours later Paul Hegarty and Ray Stewart were deservedly announced as the winners of the two major awards at a P.F.A. dinner in Glasgow. But alas, the occasion was somewhat dimmed for me by our disappointing defeat at Cappielow, a setback which I freely admit we had coming after our under-par display. Once again, however, the disappointment we all felt at the performance was for me anyway overshadowed by the regret that once again we had let down our travelling support. once again we had let down our travelling support.

The fans who travelled to Aberdeen two weeks ago and Greenock last Saturday could not have backed us more solidly and it came to the stage after that Morton result that I wished that we had failed at Pittodrie the previous week-end, so badly did I feel about the let-down. But defeat it was, in a display in which several of our players let not only the club down — but themselves also. It proved to me that no matter what may be achieved throughout the remainder of this current season, there is still room for improvement in the side. I have long felt that to be the case, and last week-end's let-down just emphasised the point. However, I hasten to add that any improvement necessary to the side simply cannot be bought — the events of the recent past have proved that to be quite out of the question. The game appears to have been taken over by finance and we have found out that even the best of players from the lower divisions of Scottish football are being priced out of bettering themselves by their clubs. Today we greet Ally MadLeod's Motherwell here to Tannadice. Recent results have gone against the Fir Park side as their new manager experiments to find a blend. However, we have found that nothing comes easy in this Premier League and we will have to be at our best to earn the full reward.