3 - 1
League (Premier Division)
George McCluskey (39)
George McCluskey (54)
Davie Provan (87)
Davie Dodds (87)
John Holt for Derek Murray
Brian McGinlay (Balfron) (Referee)
In the days before this match, Jim McLean debated resting striker Paul Sturrock, with the Scotland man having played at the weekend, and again on Monday for the Scotland Under-21 side. However the forward was included in a starting eleven unchanged from the defeat to Hibs on Saturday.
The first goalmouth excitement came from a Roy Aitken drive which Hamish McAlpine brilliantly touched aside for a corner. A tired United side were dominated by a Celtic side on the verge of reclaiming the Premier title, and the Glasgow side took the lead six minutes before the interval. McAlpine blocked a Tom McAdam header from a Provan cross, but George McCluskey netted from a couple of yards out.
Sturrock went close for United with a smart shot which went just over the bar early in the second half, but in the 54th minute Celtic scored a second. Sullivan chipped the ball over the defence to George McCluskey who looked offside as he popped the ball into the net. McAlpine saved well from Sullivan, and then instinctively saved McCluskey's rebounded effort. Two minutes later Davie Dodds reduced the leeway with a fine headed goal from a Ralph Milne cross. But with just 10 minutes left Davie Provan made it 3-1 was a free-kick that gave McAlpine no chance.
A second successive defeat, coupled with St Mirren's victory over Airdrie, put the Paisley side in the driving seat for that fourth place that would guarantee European football.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||34||53||-||520||3|
|John Holt (sub)||25||48||5||193||16|