Dundee Utd 1
Rangers 2
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
1 - 2

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, April 21st, 1979
Tannadice Park. Att. 24,264
3:00 PM Kick-off

Ray Stewart (pen.) (57)
Ally Dawson (23)
Gordon Smith (30)

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. Derek Addison
8. Paul Sturrock
9. Davie Dodds
10. John Holt
11. Billy Kirkwood
Peter McCloy .1
Alex Miller .2
Ally Dawson .3
Sandy Jardine .4
Colin Jackson .5
Derek Johnstone .6
Davie Cooper .7
Bobby Russell .8
Derek Parlane .9
Alex MacDonald .10
Gordon Smith .11

12. Graeme Payne
14. Walter Smith
Tommy McLean .12
Billy Urquart .14

Graeme Payne for Davie Dodds (55)
Tommy McLean for Davie Cooper (64)

None. Alex Miller (20)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Tommy Muirhead (Stenhousemuir) (Referee)

Match Report

United fielded an attacking line up in this top of table clash between last seasons champions Rangers and high flying Dundee United.

It was as hectic and uncompromising start to the match as both side went for the victory. The Light Blues took advantage of the wind at their backs In the first half and relentlessly pushed into the United penalty area. Their key tactic looked to be using Peter McCloy to pump some lusty kicks to the forwards, who cut out the frills on such a decisive occasion. United looked unhappy on the bumpy surface, and finally broke under the pressure in 23 minutes. A touch from Alex MacDonald put Ally Dawson in possession, the full-back, who had another superb match, beat Derek Stark on the turn and lofted the ball over the advancing Hamish McAlpine. Seven minutes later with the big Rangers support still celebrating, John Greig's men struck again. A MacDonald throw in and some determined weaving and control from Cooper ended with a controlled pass across goal. Gordon Smith, sensing the pass, ran between the back-tracking defender to stroke the ball firmly into net.

In the second half, Rangers, with Jardine, Jackson and Dawson stubbornly frustrating the frisky Tannadice forwards, played with control and understanding. They did their work when it mattered, early in the game, then calmly handled the pressure from the home side in the second period. United scored in 57 minutes from a Ray Stewart penalty to raise hopes of a revival, but it was not to be. No doubt about the penalty as Smith clearly handled the ball while back helping out his defence. But though McCloy had two outstanding saves from Holt and substitute Payne late in the game United let their opportunity slip in those seven fatal minutes. There was a fair bit of passion in the play, with 38 fouls to prove it —but only Alex Miller got a yellow card for a foul on Derek Addison. Rangers are now in the driving seat in the title race. And on this showing they will be hard to shift.

Squad Statistics (as at April 21st, 1979)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)31 38 - 3643
Derek Stark20 291301
Ray Stewart19 353444
Paul Hegarty24 38419537
Dave Narey22 38523019
John Holt22 292836
Billy Kirkwood20 36108022
George Fleming30 34429835
Derek Addison23 3038611
Paul Sturrock22 35716643
Davie Dodds20 2784312
Graeme Payne (sub)23 28219310

League Table (as at April 21st, 1979)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 33 17 7 9 +19 41
2. Rangers 28 13 9 6 +12 35
3. Celtic 28 14 6 8 +15 34
4. Aberdeen 30 10 13 7 +19 33
5. St Mirren 32 14 5 13 +6 33
6. Hibernian 32 10 13 9 +1 33
7. Morton 34 11 11 12 -2 33
8. Partick Th 29 11 7 11 0 29
9. Hearts 30 8 7 15 -18 23
10. Motherwell 34 5 6 23 -52 16

League results since United's last match
18th April 1979
21st April 1979
Dundee Utd1-2Rangers
Partick Th2-1Morton
St Mirren2-1Hearts

Manager's Programme Notes

Welcome back to Tannadice for one of the most important occasions this ground has witnessed in many a long year, when we play host to current Premier League champions Rangers. And it is that Ibrox title that this afternoon's action is all about as we head into ninety minutes of what seems certain to be an emotional occasion for everyone. No matter what comments I make about the possible outcome today, they would doubtless be twisted round into arguments pertaining to whether we are good enough to sustain this winning run of ours to its logical conclusion. Suffice to say that I have long advocated that the current side is good enough to do so' and that each game, including today's, will continue to be taken individually and on its merits. Of course the tension and pressures associated with this afternoon's clash against Rangers will play their parts in the final decision, but these are characteristics we could stand more of here at Tannadice. For I can assure each one of you out there on the terracings that the pressures applied up here at the top of the table are a lot easier to cope with than those down at the other end of the scale — and we should know. scale — and we should know.

There was no way that anyone connected with the club enjoyed that first year of Premier League football when the tension associated with the threat of relegation was an experience none of us would like repeated. However, since then We have managed a steady improvement, taking fourth place the next season, third last term and now . . . we would be only too pleased to sacrifice that runners-up position for one better this time. So, although those connected with Rangers have had the good fortune to have had much more experience than ourselves of coping with the pressures which apply this afternoon, I feel that the current fire of ambition within our own Tannadice players can go a long way to balancing out that fact. One thing I know to be certain — today is going to be an afternoon to remember with a packed house bringing the type of atmosphere to a ground which all too seldom has to cope with such an occasion.