1 - 0
1 - 0
League (Premier Division)
Davie Dodds (36)
1. Hamish McAlpine
2. Billy Kirkwood
3. Derek Stark
4. Richard Gough
5. Paul Hegarty
6. Dave Narey
7. Eamonn Bannon
8. Ralph Milne
9. John Reilly
10. John Holt
11. Davie Dodds
12. Maurice Malpas
14. John Clark
Maurice Malpas for John Reilly (74)
John Clark for Ralph Milne (87)
|Willie Johnston for Donald Park (60)|
Walter Kidd (10)
Alex MacDonald (30)
Douglas Hope (Erskine) (Referee)
Pre-match predictions indicated to this being a competitive and finely balanced top of the table encounter, and the close result and six bookings proved the point. Hearts blend of youth and experience combined with no lack of style for the entire 90 minutes and only fleetingly did United produce their usual fluency.
Davie Dodds was United's match winner with a 37th minute goal. Dave Narey chipped the ball into the box and John Reilly set up the chance for Davie Dodds to beat Sandy Jardine despairing efforts to block the goal.
Six players found their way into referee Dougie Hope's notebook — Davie Dodds, Dave Narey and Derek Stark of United, and Walter Kidd, Alex McDonald and Sandy Jardine for Hearts.
|Hamish McAlpine (GK)||35||16||-||595||3|
|Maurice Malpas (sub)||21||13||-||89||2|
|John Clark (sub)||19||5||-||8||-|
No league table has been added for this season.
Last weekend produced an amazing combination of results with none of the top five sides winning. Fortunately, from our point of view, we didn't win namely because our match was postponed. As a result, although we started the day only a point ahead, the surprise results elsewhere, we ended the day still on top albeit on goal difference. That in itself was a satisfactory situation but to be honest whilst a free Saturday before a hard European tie is an unexpected bonus, I am not so happy that only Richard Gough, Hamish McAlpine, Maurice Malpas and Ralph Milne had any match practice in the ten days prior to our tie in Liege. However, I would have been even less happy had last weekend's game with St. Mirren taken place and produced a crop of injuries. These notes were penned prior to our European Cup tie in Belgium and I only hope that we achieved a good result. It would be a great boost to the club for the winter months if we were still involved in the quarter-finals of the European Cup due next March. I knew before the season started that our depth of pool was not satisfactory, and you'll no doubt be fed up with me bemoaning our failure to add to the squad. Because of injury we have been almost totally deprived of Paul Sturrock's services. Yet, after a quarter of the season, we have suffered only one defeat and still remain top of the league, I would have gladly settled for that situation given prior knowledge of the circumstances.
Paul Sturrock came through a reserve outing with St. Mirren without further reaction and I hope that Paul is now well on the road back to full fitness. The situation that Hearts have found themselves in typifies my dislike of the Premier set-up. The financial penalty that relegation has brought to Hearts, Hibs and Dundee has been far too severe. The League does have its good points, though. Witness the competitive and high class matches such as Dundee's match with Rangers last Saturday. I am certain that Alex McDonald would have been highly delighted had he known how well Hearts would start the season, especially with youngsters like John Robertson, Dave Bowman and Gary Mackay regular members of the side. A cracking encounter is in prospect this afternoon in a match which is vitally important to both sides. Hearts' presence in the top grade of Scottish football is essential with their crowd potential and the revenue that it generates. I only hope that Hearts improvement has not been sufficient to deny us both points today.