Motherwell 2
Dundee Utd 2
League (Premier Division)


2 - 2

Dundee Utd

League (Premier Division)
Saturday, October 29th, 1983
Fir Park. Att. 4,398
3:00 PM Kick-off

John Gahagan (14)
Ian Alexander (28)
Davie Dodds (8)
Davie Dodds (44)

Team Managers
Jock Wallace Jim McLean

Starting Eleven
Nicky Walker
Andy Dornan
Ian MacLeod
Joe Carson
Johannes Edvaldsson
Ally Mauchlan
Jimmy Burns
Graham Forbes
Andy Harrow
Ian Alexander
John Gahagan
Hamish McAlpine .1
Billy Kirkwood .2
Derek Stark .3
Richard Gough .4
Paul Hegarty .5
Dave Narey .6
Eamonn Bannon .7
Maurice Malpas .8
Derek Johnstone .9
John Holt .10
Davie Dodds .11

Stuart Rafferty
Rob Shaw
Ralph Milne .12
Tommy Coyne .14

Stuart Rafferty for Jimmy Burns (57)
Rob Shaw for Andy Harrow (72)
Ralph Milne for Richard Gough (30)
Tommy Coyne for Derek Johnstone (82)

Graham Forbes
Ian MacLeod
Davie Dodds
Dave Narey

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Alistair Huett (Edinburgh) (Referee)

Match Report

October has been another productive month for United, with four wins across the league and league cup whilst securing a creditable draw away to Standard Liege in the European Cup, but there is the lingering sense, in the league at least, that their attacking verve of earlier weeks has gone missing. Jim McLean has attempted to re-energise his front line in advance of the trip to Fir Park with the £60,000 signing of Tommy Coyne from Clydebank on Friday afternoon. 20 year old Coyne, who has scored 12 goals this season was given a place on the United bench whilst Derek Johnstone, who arrived on loan from Chelsea on Tuesday, kept his place in the forward line after scoring on his debut against Morton in Wednesday’s 3-0 league cup win. Motherwell recorded their first win of the season away to Rangers last weekend, a result that contributed to John Greig resigning as manager on Friday morning.

The goalmouth action was contained to a dramatic first half which United started in dominant fashion. Moving the ball from back to front quickly, Johnstone was involved early on and after eight minutes, he laid on the game’s opener for Davie Dodds who struck from just inside the box. But Motherwell responded impressively and after fourteen minutes, winger John Gahagan equalised with the game’s most picturesque goal. The winger picking the ball up inside his own half then travelled nearly 50 yards, driving in between an indecisive Dave Narey and Paul Hegarty to prod the ball past Hamish McAlpine. Gahagan was central to the next goal, as with wonderful close control he beat Richard Gough out on the left wing before setting up Ian Alexander to score. This was Gough’s last significant involvement in the match as he had to leave the pitch through injury on the half-hour, replaced by Ralph Milne, whom McLean dropped after criticising recent displays. As the game approached half-time, United got back on level terms, and it was Davie Dodds once again who scored with his eleventh of the season when he reacted quickly to a mistake from Motherwell defender Andy Dornan in the penalty area and fired the ball past Nicky Walker.

The second half by contrast was light on goal-scoring opportunity and United’s backline, missing Gough looked unsettled, but it also deprived them of that additional attacking threat he brings down the right side and from set pieces. Johnstone also faded in the second half which is not surprising given his lack of game-time in London this season. With eight minutes to go he was replaced by Coyne, but United were unable to fashion an opportunity for their new signing to claim a debut goal. The truth is a United winner would have been harsh on Motherwell, who still dropped to second bottom of the league because of St Mirren’s 3-0 win over Rangers.

The draw saw United slip to second on goal difference with Aberdeen now top following their 3-1 win away to Dundee. With Standard Liege visiting Tannadice on Wednesday, Davie Dodds rediscovering his goal scoring touch could not be more timely, but Jim McLean will be hoping that in the league, Johnstone and Coyne can ease some of the scoring burden off of Dodds’s shoulders. He will also be concerned that United’s defence appeared to be so easily unsettled by Gough’s early departure and will hope that his injury requires nothing more than a few days rest. United confirmed that Ian Britton had been released. The league winner had featured only once off the bench this season.

Written by Stewart Todd

Squad Statistics (as at October 29th, 1983)

1983-84 All Time
Hamish McAlpine (GK)35 18 - 5973
Richard Gough21 18611917
John Holt26 18225222
Derek Stark24 1422197
Dave Narey27 17 - 46834
Maurice Malpas21 15 - 912
Paul Hegarty29 18142259
Billy Kirkwood25 18628860
Eamonn Bannon25 18420756
Derek Johnstone29 2222
Davie Dodds25 1811248106
Ralph Milne (sub)22 17617554
Tommy Coyne (sub)20 1 - 1 -

League Table (as at October 29th, 1983)

No league table has been added for this season.