Dundee Utd 1
Morton 2
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
1 - 2

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, September 9th, 1978
Tannadice Park. Att. 5,531
3:00 PM Kick-off

Paul Hegarty (74)
Derek Frye (missed pen.) (56)
James Rooney (pen.) (66)
Robert Russell (84)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Benny Rooney

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Ray Stewart
3. Frank Kopel
4. George Fleming
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. Derek Frye
8. Derek Addison
9. Billy Kirkwood
10. John Holt
11. Graeme Payne
Denis Connachan .1
Davie Hayes .2
Jim Holmes .3
Barry Evans .4
Neil Orr .5
James Rooney .6
Robert Russell .7
James Miller .8
Bobby Thomson .9
Alistair Scott .10
John McNeil .11

12. Bobby Robinson
14. Paul Sturrock
Charlie Brown .12
David Rae .14

Paul Sturrock for Ray Stewart (45)
Bobby Robinson for Derek Frye (78)

None. Alistair Scott (47)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Kenny Hope (Glasgow) (Referee)

Match Report

Morton picked up their first league win of the season with a shock victory at Tannadice Park. Their road and miles to Dundee were doubly profitable. Not only were their first points accrued but confidence was surely created.

Morton were missing both Anderson and Ritchie for this one and their was no Paul Sturrock in the United starting eleven. For all United's abundant skills they are still at the stage of agonising public rehearsal to find a goal scorer. In this game alone, Kirkwood, Frye, Sturrock and Hegarty all had a shot up front for the home side.

After a forgettable first half, Frye missed with a penalty for United and Rooney did not for Morton. In the 66th minute the referee pointed to the spot and James Rooney stepped up to calmly slot home. It was all to play for in the final half hour and Russell took a grip of the game for Morton. However, United scored against the run of play when Paul Hegarty found the net with just 15 minutes remaining. However as the clock ticked down, man of the match Russell snapped up a clearance from his defence, Robert Russell left Narey for dead and Kopel stranded to score a late winner.

Squad Statistics (as at September 9th, 1978)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)30 6 - 3323
Frank Kopel29 4 - 2787
Paul Hegarty24 6216335
Ray Stewart19 6 - 151
John Holt21 6 - 604
Dave Narey22 6 - 19814
Billy Kirkwood20 4 - 4812
Derek Addison23 6 - 628
George Fleming29 5126932
Derek Frye22 6161
Graeme Payne22 6 - 1718
Bobby Robinson (sub)27 2 - 291
Paul Sturrock (sub)21 6113737

League Table (as at September 9th, 1978)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 4 4 0 0 +11 8
2. Aberdeen 4 3 1 0 +9 7
3. Partick Th 4 2 2 0 +2 6
4. Hibernian 4 1 3 0 +1 5
5. St Mirren 4 2 0 2 +1 4
6. DUNDEE UTD 4 0 3 1 -1 3
7. Rangers 4 0 2 2 -3 2
8. Morton 4 1 0 3 -4 2
9. Motherwell 4 1 0 3 -8 2
10. Hearts 4 0 1 3 -8 1

League results since United's last match
9th September 1978
Dundee Utd1-2Morton
Hibernian1-0St Mirren
Partick Th3-2Hearts

Manager's Programme Notes

Following the bitter disappointments of our two League Cup clashes against Celtic, we return to the equally tense atmosphere of the Premier League this afternoon when newly-promoted Morton are our visitors. Benny Rooney's Cappielow side felt .the full impact of the Top Ten pressures when asked to face both Celtic and Aberdeen in their opening two fixtures, learning this early in the season how tough the going is. But it's not our opponents that we should trouble ourselves with — it's our own form with five games now completed and not a victory to be marked up as yet. Like ourselves, you loyal fans out there must be getting thoroughly fed up of watching us lose to Celtic — and I do not for a minute blame you. What makes our most recent defeats all the worse to take is the fact that we will never get a better chance of registering victory than in the recent clashes.

Although I do not have to tell you, the finishing once again let us down with yet another penalty-kick failure to add to the long list of such misses in the home tie.When one thinks back to Paul Sturrock's miss here at Tannadice and then on to Celtic's penalty winner at Parkhead it brings the whole situation into glaring and costly perspective. At the high standard we compete in such wasted chances as were seen especially here in the home tie, can simply be marked down as criminal. And yet, for as long as I have been in charge, no aspect of the game has been worked on longer or harder during preparation than that of finishing. As I have said many .times before, the department of finishing is very much a specialised position in which practice is essential but in which all the coaching in the world cannot teach if it is not a natural talent. That is the most obvious problem at the moment but there are others in which I cannot say I am fully satisfied in the side. At least a couple of members in the current side have turned out to be luxuries in recent weeks — and that is two too many for any Premier League outfit. It simply must be eradicated, and soon if we are to force our way into any sort of contention. Today would be an ideal opportunity for everyone to get back on the rails again and produce our first maximum reward.