3 - 0
3 - 0
League (Premier Division)
Paul Hegarty (18)
Paul Sturrock (45)
Ralph Milne (80)
John Reilly for Ralph Milne (88)
Paul McStay for Dom Sullivan (12)
David Moyes for George McCluskey (50)
Hugh Alexander (Kilmarnock) (Referee)
United went into this match knowing that anything except a win would mean Celtic would win the title on their home turf. On top of that, they also desperately required at least a point in their final home game of the season to be able to catch St Mirren in fourth spot - sitting with a point more and a game in hand.
Paul Hegarty got the opener with a close-range header in the 18th minute — his second in successive games — as the Celtic defence stood rooted, nipping in front of Pat Bonner to head home a Ralph Milne corner. Celtic's only real counter was a Murdo McLeod shot which rattled off the post.
United struck just 20 seconds into the second half for the second. There seemed little danger from a bouncing ball on the edge of the penalty area. But, suddenly Paul Sturrock let fly with a shot which angled past Bonner. With ten minutes remaining United rounded off a fantastic performance when Ralph Milne took a pass from Iain Phillip, swerved around Roy Aitken and hit a blistering drive past Bonner for the third.
This huge victory for United saw them jump into fourth place, a point above St Mirren who had lost heavily against Aberdeen. The Paisley side still had their game in hand coming up in midweek, again against the Pittodrie side, before facing Celtic in the final weekend of the season, with the Glasgow side desperate for a point to win the Premier title.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||34||57||-||524||3|
|John Reilly (sub)||20||12||1||14||1|
In this the final club programme of the current season I could not possibly ring down the curtain in this column without passing on my sincerest thanks to you our fans for your backing this term. I find it unbelievable that at a time when virtually every club's attendances have dropped drastically, we have enjoyed a remarkable upsurge in interest on the terracings. Therefore, I see no sense at all in attempting to kid anyone amongst you that the season almost ended has been a successful one. True, there were moments at League Cup and European level, but the fact remains that things have not been the same performance wise since that enforced winter break.
Sadly the one major thing I have learned this season — all be it too late — is that too few players in the modern game have the in-bred pride and motivation to go out in ALL games and give of their best.
I know full well that I will not upset anyone by admitting that I have not been blameless, especially concerning several team selections lately. However I am adamant that, if as appears possible we are not in Europe next season, only a handful of the regulars like Hegarty, Gough, Stark, Sturrock and Dodds can be excused. The remainder of the staff, especially the fringe players, must carry the can for the disappointments because of their lack of challenge to the regulars. Fringe players, as they are known today, can make or break a club's success rate. The economic situation being as it is each club has had to trim to the bare minimum, making it all the more imperative that every single player is vital — all of the time!
Unfortunately that does not seem to apply to younger players nowadays who appear to me anyway to be happy collecting their rewards each payday without even a thought for you, the people who make the pay cheques possible. Their attitude appears to be ... 'what I don't get today I can get tomorrow'. Well, the message I have for them
is... I want both — NOW!