Dundee Utd 1
St Mirren 1
League (Premier Division)

Dundee Utd
1 - 1
St Mirren 

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, November 25th, 1978
Tannadice Park. Att. 6,896
3:00 PM Kick-off

Billy Kirkwood (4)
Robert Torrance (19)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Jim Clunie

Starting Eleven
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Ray Stewart
3. Derek Stark
4. George Fleming
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. Graham Honeyman
8. Paul Sturrock
9. Bobby Robinson
10. Billy Kirkwood
11. Derek Addison
Billy Thomson .1
John Young .2
Iain Munro .3
Tony Fitzpatrick .4
Andy Dunlop .5
Jackie Copland .6
Lex Richardson .7
Billy Stark .8
Jimmy Bone .9
Robert Torrance .10
Billy Abercromby .11

12. Derek Frye
14. Ralph Milne
Derek Hyslop .12
Mark Fulton .14

Derek Frye for Bobby Robinson (75)
Derek Hyslop for Billy Stark (71)

Ray Stewart (70)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Mike Delaney (Airdrie) (Referee)

Match Report

United started with the same eleven which kicked off against Motherwell. Graeme Payne, a substitute last week, was not listed for the game, with Derek Frye and Ralph Milne on the bench.

United opened with a corner, where Paul Sturrock's kick was pushed goalwards by Bobby Robinson. St Mirren keeper Billy Thomson fumbled the ball before smothering the danger on the goal-line. In the fourth minute United took the lead when a four-man move on the left was finished off with a powerful header from Billy Kirkwood. Robinson then had another chance, but his effort from seven yards deflected off Kirkwood and wide. The first 15 minutes had been all United, but St Mirren forced two corners in succession, levelling via a close in Bobby Torrance header. Ray Stewart went close after George Fleming touched a free-kick to the full-back, and Billy Stark had a chance at the other end but hit his shot straight at Hamish McAlpine. The same pair were involved again in the next opportunity, when the keeper dived full length to touch a Stark volley over the bar. United had a penalty appeal turned away nine minutes from the break when Fleming goes down after a challenge from Young.

The second half was almost 10 minutes old by the time the Tangerine threatened, with two Kirkwood efforts coming close. Paul Hegarty flicked on a Sturrock corner which forced Thomson into a brilliant reflex save. United had a let off in the 58th minute when Stewart appeared to foul Torrance in the box, but the referee gave a free-kick on the edge of the box. The match was now played at a furious rate, with play raging from end to end. Stewart received a yellow card for a foul on Abercromby, before Jimmy Bone flashed a volley over the bar from a corner. United had been hanging on as the game drew to its conclusion, but in the final minute it was the Terrors that missed a glorious chance to steal the points. Sturrock played in the overlapping Stark, whose cross into the six yard box is missed by Kirkwood, only to land at the feet of Honeyman. With just the keeper to beat the forwards half-hit shot struck the post and bobbled tantalisingly along the line before being cleared. The hard fought and highly entertaining game ended a deserved draw for both sides. United went a point clear at the top of the table, with Partick losing to Celtic, but only three points separated seven teams.

Squad Statistics (as at November 25th, 1978)

1978-79 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)30 19 - 3453
Derek Stark20 10 - 11 -
Paul Hegarty24 19217635
Ray Stewart19 171262
Dave Narey22 19221116
Graham Honeyman25 3 - 3 -
Derek Addison23 171739
Bobby Robinson28 9 - 361
Billy Kirkwood20 1766118
George Fleming30 16128032
Paul Sturrock22 17114837
Derek Frye (sub)22 101101

League Table (as at November 25th, 1978)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. DUNDEE UTD 15 6 6 3 +5 18
2. Aberdeen 15 6 5 4 +12 17
3. Celtic 15 7 3 5 +6 17
4. Partick Th 15 7 3 5 +2 17
5. Rangers 15 4 8 3 +4 16
6. St Mirren 15 6 3 6 0 15
7. Morton 15 5 5 5 -3 15
8. Hibernian 15 4 6 5 -3 14
9. Hearts 15 5 4 6 -6 14
10. Motherwell 15 3 1 11 -17 7

League results since United's last match
25th November 1978
Celtic1-0Partick Th
Dundee Utd1-1St Mirren

Manager's Programme Notes

Despite the fact that we managed to get back on the winning way again when Motherwell were our visitors last Saturday, the seven days since then have been a mixture of good and bad here at Tannadice. It is extremely satisfying to see us still sitting top of the Premier Division considering the Injuries and other problems to have troubled us over the season so far. However, such as the continuation of our ill-luck concerning John Holt tends towards the disappointing aspect, with the midfield man having suffered another setback in the reserve game at Fir Park last Saturday. And then we faced a transfer setback when failing to get Ayr United's Walker McCall early this week after already having agreed terms with the club — at the right price ! I felt confident at the time that with the right attitude, the former Aberdeen marksman could have provided us with exactly what has been lacking — finishing power.

However, things started to go wrong in the negotiations when the player himself indicated his intention of returning to the United States next summer where he apparently spent a successful time of it during last close-season. Well, as far as I am concerned, that was out of the question. Players here at Tannadice have been prevented by me in the past from such close-season adventures in the States, and to change that policy would just have opened the door for others apart from losing the respect of those already refused permission. As far as I view it, the position is that every single Dundee United player must — and does — give 100% to the club here, and I do not see several months of their rest period in America as aiding that cause. In every case I want our players to use each summer to get away from it all, especially the demands I place on them throughout each long season. Unfortunately, Walker McCall had his heart set on going — and that was that! Following that in and out display against Motherwell last weekend, we greet St Mirren here to Tannadice today. If we can manage to sustain our form of the opening half-hour of last week's game, then we should have no fears. One thing is certain, anyone viewing this afternoon's game will be in a fortunate position of seeing around half a dozen of the country's best players in action.