Dundee Utd 2 - 1 Ayr United

League Cup - Section 4
Saturday, August 22nd, 1981, 3:00 PM at Tannadice Park
Attendance: 5,847
Referee: William Knowles (Inverurie)
Mascot: Stephen Simpson
Dundee Utd  Ayr United

John Holt (57)
Jim Fleeting (o.g.) (84)
Derek Frye (62)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Willie McLean

Starting Eleven
Hamish McAlpine
John Holt
Derek Stark
Frank Kopel
Richard Gough
Dave Narey
Iain Phillip
Eamonn Bannon
Ralph Milne
Davie Dodds
Paul Sturrock
Stuart Rennie
Steve Nicol
Bobby Connor
Ally Love
Ian McAllister
Jim Fleeting
Gerry Christie
Jim McSherry
Eric Morris
Brian Ahern
Derek Frye

Paul Hegarty
Willie Pettigrew
Ian Cashmore
Mike Larnach

Paul Hegarty for Richard Gough

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Hamish McAlpine (GK) 472 apps3 goals
John Holt 150 apps12 goals
Derek Stark 125 apps3 goals
Frank Kopel 395 apps13 goals
Richard Gough 8 apps1 goal
Dave Narey 343 apps22 goals
Iain Phillip 103 apps1 goal
Eamonn Bannon 91 apps21 goals
Ralph Milne 55 apps13 goals
Davie Dodds 122 apps45 goals
Paul Sturrock 281 apps81 goals
Paul Hegarty (sub) 294 apps49 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Richard Gough (19 years 144 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (33 years 222 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 67 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Richard Gough (19 years 144 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (33 years 222 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 197 days
Domestic Players:13 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


After four straight wins United entered this match knowing that one point would see them clinch section four. However, up next were their nearest challengers, Ayr United, lead by Willie McLean, brother of Jim. There was only one change from the midweek win over Partick, with Willie Pettigrew swapping places with Davie Dodds on the bench.

In the fourth minute, a prefect Paul Sturrock cut back was narrowly missed by both Dodds and Ralph Milne, and five minutes later Staurt Rennie had two distinctive saves crosses by Dodds and Frank Kopel. Ayr's Eric Morris then had a 25 yard rocket strike the underside of the bar before bouncing to safety in the 14th minute. Eight minutes later Eamonn Bannon crossed for Sturrock, but his header was just inches too high. Dodds then came close twice, with a snap shot from the edge of the box and a header from a Milne corner both just going wide.

Twelve minutes into the second half and United finally got the goal they wanted. John Holt connected to a Milne corner to score with a magnificent header from 12 yards out, his first goal in almost a year. Ten minutes later the First Division side hit back, with ex-United striker Derek Frye notching an equaliser from 15 yards. Ayr saw efforts denied by the woodwork and a clearance off the goal line, but it was United who grabbed the victory, when Jim Fleeting put through his own goal, under pressure from Sturrock with only six minutes remaining. That victory retained our 100% record in section four, and guaranteed that the holders would top the group to progress to the quarter finals.

Good afternoon and I can't tell you just how good it is to return back home again after having had to travel for three of our opening four League Cup ties this season. Clearly things have gone well so far with our 100 % record still intact going into what will be a difficult hurdle from which we must take some reward to clinch our quarter final place. Facing us will be another McLean, brother Willie, whose Ayr United side have maintained pressure on us since our victory at Somerset Park on the opening day of the term. Mind you, I cannot say I am all too pleased at Willie's reaction after our respective cup wins in midweek. Would you believe that after all the advice I have passed on to him already this season he flatly refused to divulge any information concerning his team formation for this afternoon's game. That's gratitude for you!

But joking apart and without any bias towards our family. Willie has formed a very, very talented Ayr side whose ranks contain many players who would grace the Premier League as it stands at the moment ! As far as I am concerned, our own players have done most things right at the moment, hence our record. But I would like to have seen them press home their advantages at particular stages of the games so far. And it has been especially pleasing to note that these results have been accomplished despite what in the past might have been a lethal spate of injuries.

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Programme cover / Team sheet