Dundee Utd 3
St Mirren 2
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
3 - 2
St Mirren 

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, January 22nd, 1983
Tannadice Park. Att. 6,714
3:00 PM Kick-off

Billy Kirkwood (10)
Davie Dodds (17)
Davie Dodds (19)
Frank McDougall (45)
Doug Somner (87)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Rikki McFarlane

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Derek Stark
3. Maurice Malpas
4. Richard Gough
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. John Clark
8. Ralph Milne
9. Billy Kirkwood
10. John Holt
11. Davie Dodds
Billy Thomson .1
Tommy Wilson .2
Steve Clarke .3
David Walker .4
Mark Fulton .5
Billy Abercromby .6
Billy Stark .7
Lex Richardson .8
Frank McDougall .9
Frank McAvennie .10
Ian Scanlon .11

12. Ian Britton
14. John Reilly
Doug Somner .12
John McCormack .14

John Reilly for John Clark (61)
Doug Somner for Ian Scanlon (61)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

David Syme (Rutherglen) (Referee)

Match Report

Prior to this Scottish Cup "rehearsal" against St Mirren, United had only picked up one point in their last three matches, dropping five points behind league leaders Celtic. Already without Eamonn Bannon who had picked up a leg strain, United also ruled out international striker Paul Sturrock due to an overnight virus. His place was taken by youngster John Clark, a prolific scorer in the reserves who was making his starting eleven debut. Derek Stark, Billy Kirkwood, Ralph Milne and Maurice Malpas also came in, with Iain Phillip, Ian Britton and John Reilly making way.

United took the lead in fine style in ten minutes. An interchange between Narey and Gough allowed Holt to send a fine ball to Dodds. His knock down was brilliantly lifted over Billy Thomson by Billy Kirkwood. Minutes later, Clark almost made a a dream start, but his header was well held by Thomson. Davie Dodds netted number two for United when he side-footed a Kirkwood cutback past Thomson in the 17th minute. Within a minute United grabbed a third, and it was Davie Dodds once more, his touch being deflected into the net. Clark was causing all sorts of problems in the Saints defence, twice going close with headers, but it was St Mirren who scored just before the break. After McAlpine failed to reach a Richardson corner, Frank McDougall volleyed in off the post with the last kick of the half.

A second-half fade out by United almost cost a point with Doug Somner scoring Saints second a couple of minutes from time up, but United finished with a much needed victory, keeping them within touching distance of Celtic and Aberdeen.

Squad Statistics (as at January 22nd, 1983)

1982-83 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)35 36 - 5613
John Holt26 22 - 21916
Derek Stark24 34 - 1893
Richard Gough20 363855
Maurice Malpas20 332582
Dave Narey26 37843333
Paul Hegarty28 37338656
John Clark18 2 - 2 -
Ralph Milne21 331414241
Billy Kirkwood24 34725554
Davie Dodds24 371921286
John Reilly (sub)20 166318

League Table (as at January 22nd, 1983)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 21 17 2 2 +35 36
2. Aberdeen 22 15 4 3 +29 34
3. DUNDEE UTD 21 13 5 3 +29 31
4. Rangers 21 6 9 6 +3 21
5. Dundee 21 6 7 8 -1 19
6. Motherwell 22 8 1 13 -19 17
7. Hibernian 22 3 10 9 -13 16
8. St Mirren 22 3 9 10 -15 15
9. Morton 22 4 7 11 -17 15
10. Kilmarnock 22 2 8 12 -31 12

League results since United's last match
22nd January 1983
Dundee Utd3-2St Mirren

Manager's Programme Notes

There is an old adage in football that you have to be daft to be a goalkeeper. However, in tne modern game I am of the opinion that the saying should be attributed to strikers. The tackle from behind is an aspect on which I have always held strong beliefs, but increasingly I see this tactic being utilised by managers eariy 111 a match in order to upset the rhythm of a side. Recently I have been astounded by some of the treatment meted out by defenders.Strong arm tactics such as these dictate the pattern for the rest of the match and will upset the rhythm of any side, denying the paying public full entertainment value. Unfortunately our front players appear to have suffered more than most as opposing defenders attempt to stifle our threat by kicking. I have been reticent to comment on this subject but the situation has deteriorated rather than improved, so much so that one manager, after a recent game, even boasted that his side had deliberately set out to kick us off the park ! This is not sour grapes on my part following our recent bad run for unfortunately it is part and parcel of the game but similar retaliatory tactics are not the answer. Having said this, I have been disapoointed at the way we have coped with the robust treatment received by our strikers and it is one of the leasons we have been toiling recently. I was amazed and angered when some opposition supporters accused some of our players of cheating. I never ask my players to cheat and you only have to look at the back of Paul Sturrock's legs to confirm the punishment he has had to take week in and week out. I am sure most of you will have been as disapoointed as everyone within the club by successive defeats by Aberdeen and Rangers. However, no club is immune from a sticky patch but trophies are awarded to those sides who suffer fewest bad patches.

The dropping of five points out of six must be rectified immediately otherwise the difficult task of winning the league will enter the realms of impossibility. Until New Year's Day everything appeared rosy, and whilst it is easier to look back in hindsight, I wish I had made changes when we were winning rather than being forced to make wholesale changes after the bad result at Ibrox. It was for this reason I have delayed playing John McNeil as I would prefer to introduce him into a winninq side. It is unfortunate that we have to face Saints on two consecutive Saturdays. Remarkably this is the third consecutive occasion that we have faced our Scottish Cup opponents on league business the previous Saturday. Neither side can benefit from such circumstances. This afternoon I anticipate a difficult match, for St Mirren are a side I admire, possessing players with ability, skill and flair. Both sides will no doubt be looking forward to this match in which skill will be the deciding factor and not the strong arm tactics discussed earlier. Rikki McFarlane's side must be denied space and time otherwise they will cause us undoubted problems in a match we desperately require to win.