1 - 1
1 - 1
League (Premier Division)
Paul Sturrock (9)
||Ally Dawson (88)|
Louis Thow (Airdrie) (Referee)
The teams in third and fourth place battled it out at Tannadice, with United sitting three points behind Rangers in the Premier Division table. Manager Jim McLean made one change from the midweek Cup tie versus Hibs, with Derek Stark coming back into the side, and Maurice Malpas dropping to the bench. United assistant manager Walter Smith was absent from the dug-out, tasked with a trip to Yugoslavia to check out United's UEFA Cup quarter final opponents Radnicki Nis.
United started the brighter side, with Rangers looking jittery in defence. However it was a beauty of a goal that but the Terrors in front in the ninth minute. Billy Kirkwood passed to Paul Sturrock, who had his back to goal, turned and delivered a fantastic shot from 25 yards out into Jim Stewart's top right-hand corner. Stewart had four magnificent saves in the first half with the game being one-way traffic. Rangers frustrations then became obvious, with Derek Johnstone booked for dissent and John MacDonald booked for pulling Hegarty's jersey. The two players were later involved in a confrontation on the goal-line, which the referee let go without a word. Just before half-time Ally Dawson was also booked for kicking the ball away.
Rangers were better organised after the break, and United found the going tougher. The Glasgow side had an appeal for a penalty when Paul Hegarty was accused of handling inside the box on the hour mark, but referee Louis Thow waved away claims and booked Alex Miller for his protests. With the game going into the final minute, Alex Miller passed to Ally Dawson on the overlap, and the full back controlled well before squeezing the ball past McAlpine for a late equaliser.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||34||37||-||504||3|
|League results since United's last match|
|13th February 1982|
|17th February 1982|
|20th February 1982|
Needless to say the outcome against Hibs on Wednesday night left everyone delighted at our continued involvement in the competition. But the fact remains that we could have been quarter-finalists by now. We allowed the Easter Road men off the hook here at Tannadice last weekend and despite our last-gasp equaliser in midweek, I am still firm in the belief that we are the better side of the two. Two aspects of the replay pleased me. Although I was reasonably happy with our first half performance, I was absolutely delighted with our showing in the last 45 minutes of ordinary time and felt that we might well have won the tie throughout that period. The other reason for my satisfaction at Easter Road was the realisation that at last the message appears to be getting through to the players that determination and skill simply have to be allied in the modern game.
As you know from past opinions communicated through this column, I have long claimed that our players have allowed themselves to be too easily pushed around. While in no way condoning the cautions dished out in midweek, I think they may well have proved to more than myself that the message has been well and truly accepted by the players. Any side such as our own with a name for good football is open to the tag "softies" by some people, and football in the present day has no place for such outfits. Good football has to be mixed with determination equal to the opposition for success to follow. This afternoon's visit of Rangers offers a perfect opportunity for our players to confirm my midweek feelings on determination. The Ibrox side will be desperate to get back on the rails again after their disappointment at Firhill, and few sides show more determination in the game than the Light Blues.