Dundee Utd 2
Aberdeen 2
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
2 - 2

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, May 5th, 1979
Tannadice Park. Att. 7,822
3:00 PM Kick-off

Graeme Payne (37)
Ray Stewart (66)
Drew Jarvie (58)
Gordon Strachan (pen.) (83)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Alex Ferguson

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. Graeme Payne
Bobby Clark .1
Stuart Kennedy .2
Derek Hamilton .3
Alex McLeish .4
Willie Garner .5
Willie Miller .6
Mark McGhee .7
Steve Archibald .8
Gordon Strachan .9
Drew Jarvie .10
Ian Scanlon .11

12. Billy Kirkwood
14. Derek Frye
Dom Sullivan .12
Joe Harper .14

Billy Kirkwood for Derek Addison (70)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

C White (Clarkston) (Referee)

Match Report

Dundee United brought back Payne for their last fixture of the season. Otherwise they were unchanged from the team which lost narrowly at Parkhead the previous week.

It was Aberdeen to kicked the match off and very nearly took an early lead. Scanlon sent McLeish clear and the redhead was able to get a cross in. McAlpine came for it but missed it, letting Archibald in but thankfully for the tangerines, the striker could not connect. Hail stones started falling and it seemed to shock United into action. Narey tested Clark with a long dropping shot that needed a dive to gather it safely. There were further eager raids by both sides in the first half hour, but the lack of goals made it a bit frustrating for the fans. However, the picture changed dramatically in 36 minutes with a brilliant Payne goal. Graeme Payne took a Fleming pass 25 yards out, looked up, saw Clark off his line and curled a shot into the top left-hand corner of the net.

With an hour played, Aberdeen got a real stroke of luck. A Scanlon free-kick seemed safe, but McAlpine let it slip through his hands and Drew Jarvie was on hand to tap home the equaliser. Soon after Graeme Payne slipped a neat pass to Ray Stewart, who sent a beautifully judged shot past the diving Dons 'keeper to put United in front again. With seven minutes remaining, the ball appeared to hit Ray Stewart's hand and referee White awarded a penalty. A storm of protest by United players made him consult the linesman, but the award stood. It was Gordon Strachan who stepped up to score one of the softest penalties of all season. It was a bitter blow to United's championship hopes. United seemed to have clinched it in a tough second half, but the Dons never gave up. The result just about put the final nail in Unite's title hopes.

Squad Statistics (as at May 5th, 1979)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)31 41 - 3673
John Holt22 322866
Derek Stark20 321331
Ray Stewart19 384475
Dave Narey22 41523319
Paul Hegarty24 41419837
George Fleming30 36430035
Derek Addison23 3338911
Graeme Payne23 31319611
Davie Dodds20 30104614
Paul Sturrock22 38716943
Billy Kirkwood (sub)20 39118323

League Table (as at May 5th, 1979)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 36 18 8 10 +19 44
2. Rangers 32 16 9 7 +17 41
3. Celtic 32 17 6 9 +18 40
4. Aberdeen 34 12 14 8 +24 38
5. St Mirren 35 15 6 14 +6 36
6. Hibernian 35 11 13 11 -5 35
7. Partick Th 33 13 8 12 +6 34
8. Morton 35 11 12 12 -2 34
9. Hearts 34 8 7 19 -30 23
10. Motherwell 36 5 7 24 -53 17

League results since United's last match
2nd May 1979
St Mirren1-1Partick Th
5th May 1979
Dundee Utd2-2Aberdeen
Partick Th2-0Hearts

Manager's Programme Notes

I would like to be able to wish everyone a good afternoon to this our last Premier League game of the season, but frankly I have not been able to view anything as "good" following the events of the past week. I even find it difficult to express my sincere regret and disappointment that things should have turned out as they have during a period in which it could well have transpired to be this club's finest hour. Indeed, I have taken little comfort from the fact that all along I have stated that if we did not win the .title then whichever side beat us would not necessarily be better than us — because unfortunately that statement has been proved to be correct. However, as far as we are concerned it all came down to our failing to prove my point in the two matches that really mattered, against Rangers and Celtic. Defeats from both when the heat was on may well tempt some of you amongst our support to lay the blame on the inexperience of some of our youngsters to cope with such a tense situation this early in their careers. re been the case in a minor wav with situation this early in their careers.

This may well have been the case in a minor way with possibly our two least experienced men Derek Stark and Raymond Stewart finding the pressures just that bit harder to manage over the vital recent games. But when it came down to the bit it was a couple of the older and vastly more experienced team members who failed to act out their roles in keeping with their years in the game. But wherever the blame is apportioned, there is little doubt in my mind that the root cause of our failure to wrest the title away from the Old Firm, comes from the lack of depth of our squad. I hasten to add that we suffer from no depth of talent but when one considers that for many positions in the side the cover in the reserves is aged around 17 year old, then therein lies our problem. Finally, can I just pass on my sincere thanks to you United fans who backed us all the way this season, and especially for the .tremendous encouragement given the side at Parkhead last Saturday. Today we have Aberdeen as our guests here at Tannadice in what is a clash which normally generates an extra portion of excitement. Let's hope this afternoon proves to be no exception.