Dundee Utd 1
Aberdeen 3
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
1 - 3

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, August 25th, 1979
Tannadice Park. Att. 10,982
3:00 PM Kick-off

Paul Sturrock (90)
Mark McGhee (24)
Joe Harper (58)
Steve Archibald (63)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Alex Ferguson

Starting Eleven
1. Peter Bonetti
2. Ray Stewart
3. Frank Kopel
4. Iain Phillip
5. Derek Stark
6. Dave Narey
7. Derek Addison
8. Paul Sturrock
9. Davie Dodds
10. Willie Pettigrew
11. Graeme Payne
Bobby Clark .1
Stuart Kennedy .2
Doug Considine .3
Alex McLeish .4
Willie Garner .5
Willie Miller .6
Gordon Strachan .7
Steve Archibald .8
Joe Harper .9
Gordon McMaster .10
Mark McGhee .11

12. Billy Kirkwood
14. Ian Ballantyne
Drew Jarvie .12
Duncan Davidson .14

Billy Kirkwood for Iain Phillip (54)
Ian Ballantyne for Davie Dodds (64)
Drew Jarvie for John McMaster (71)
Duncan Davidson for Joe Harper (80)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Brian McGinlay (Balfron) (Referee)

Match Report

Dundee United reshuffled their attacking formation slightly after last week's defeat to Kilmarnock. Davie Dodds came into the side in place of Billy Kirkwood, who was on the subs bench with Ian Ballantyne.

It was a slow start to the game with the only point of note being a knock on the face to Strachan after a clash with Narey. It was the United defender who was causing problems a few minutes later. Hi pass allowed Pettigrew to turn and shoot from 16 yards, but Clark managed to save. Harper was next to have a try at goal but his header from a McMaster cross floated over the bar. In 20 minutes Harper tested Bonetti with a well-struck, 25 yard drive after a thoughtful McMaster lay-off. The keeper was equal to is and fingered the ball over the bar. Bonetti then came to United's recur when he raced off his line to save at the feet of McMaster after a long Clark kick was headed on by Archibald. Slack play allowed Mark McGhee to put the Dons ahead on 24 minutes. Sturrock tried to equalise when he cut in from the right and struck a vicious effort from 35 yards that was not good enough to beat Clark. Right on half time there was a claim for a United penalty when Kopel was pushed in the box but referee McGinlay ignored it.

Trouble broke out at half time amongst United supporters who were standing in the shed end. With bottles and cans flying, many fans were forced to jump the wall at the front and spill onto the trackside.The second half was delayed for a few minutes while the police tried to contain the fighting fans. United started better in the second half with Nary firing over the bar from Payne's cross.In 54 minutes United Manager Jim McLean sent on Kirkwood for the shake Phillip. The sub moved into midfield and Narey filled the gap in the back four. On the hour mark, the visitors went two ahead. Joe Harper was responsible for adding to that tally when he took advantage of Bonetti leaving his goal to claim a lobbed through ball and slotted it into an empty net. Aberdeen went further ahead when Steve Archibald completed the visiting scoring in the 64th minute. He headed a Kennedy cross powerfully to Bonetti's right. Despite these setbacks United kept plugging away and were finally rewarded when Paul Sturrock grabbed a late consolation goal when he converted a Payne corner.

Squad Statistics (as at August 25th, 1979)

1979-80 All Time
Peter Bonetti (GK)37 3 - 3 -
Frank Kopel30 5129810
Ray Stewart19 51526
Iain Phillip28 5 - 16 -
Derek Stark20 51382
Dave Narey23 5 - 23819
Derek Addison24 4 - 9311
Willie Pettigrew25 3 - 3 -
Paul Sturrock22 5317446
Davie Dodds20 4 - 5014
Graeme Payne23 5120112
Billy Kirkwood (sub)20 418724
Ian Ballantyne (sub)20 1 - 1 -

League Table (as at August 25th, 1979)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 3 2 1 0 +6 5
2. Aberdeen 3 2 0 1 +4 4
3. Morton 3 2 0 1 +3 4
4. Partick Th 3 2 0 1 +1 4
5. Rangers 3 1 1 1 +1 3
6. Kilmarnock 3 1 1 1 -4 3
7. DUNDEE UTD 3 1 0 2 0 2
8. Hibernian 3 1 0 2 -2 2
9. Dundee 3 1 0 2 -3 2
10. St Mirren 3 0 1 2 -6 1

League results since United's last match
25th August 1979
Dundee Utd1-3Aberdeen
Partick Th2-1Rangers
St Mirren0-3Morton

Manager's Programme Notes

The reputation of being one of the sides to watch at any grade In the game is a millstone around the neck of any aspiring hopefuls. And when it occurs at Premier League level then the pressure becomes all that much greater for the club concerned. Our form both last season and in our pre-season preparations obviously placed us in a position where critics, and of course the fans, were starting to mention the name of Dundee United as one of those set to challenge the Old Firm Premier League supremacy this season. Therefore we are finding out at an early date this term that opposing clubs are placing us alongside those clubs for whom something special is prepared. That in Itself is particularly pleasing that the club is now looked upon as one of the major hurdles in the Scottish game — but it does provide for further tests of character from the players out there on the field. Such was the case at Kilmarnock last Saturday when we were brought back down to earth with a bump following our earlier successful quests.

And let me make things crystal clear — we got exactly what we deserved in a clash in which far too many of the side fell away below their normal and expected standard. Sadly, the display once again took place in front of a splendid travelling support, and we cannot expect further backing away from Tannadice unless we can improve vastly on last weekend's performance. In this top grade of Scottish football even I as a supposed perfectionist do not expect to go all that many games without a letdown. But last Saturday's second-half display was one which took me back to wondering as to our real potential. What transpired at Rugby Park just confirmed for me my old opinion that at this standard it is easier to become a good side than to remain one. Therefore, today's east coast derby clash against Aberdeen provides the side with a real test as I have always rated the Dons as possessing probably the strongest all round squad in the country. However, such tests are part and parcel of each weekend in the Premier League and I look to the side to try and provide an apology to those United fans who were let down at Rugby Park last week.