Dundee Utd 1 - 1 Motherwell

League Cup - Section 4
Wednesday, August 26th, 1981, 7:30 PM at Tannadice Park
Attendance: 4,484
Referee: Alex McGunnigle (Glasgow)
Mascot: Ewan Darling
Dundee Utd  Motherwell

Goalscorers
Willie Pettigrew (55)
Graeme Forbes (42)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
David Hay

Starting Eleven
Hamish McAlpine
Paul Hegarty
Dave Narey
George Nicol
John Holt
Billy Kirkwood
Eamonn Bannon
Ralph Milne
Paul Sturrock
Graeme Payne
Willie Pettigrew
Hugh Sproat
Joe Wark
Ian MacLeod
Chic McLelland
Joe Carson
Brian McLaughlin
Graeme Forbes
Brian McClair
Gordon Soutar
Willie Irvine
John Gahagan

Substitutes
Frank Kopel
Alex Taylor
Ian Clinging
Bruce Cleland

Substitutions
Alex Taylor for Graeme Payne
Frank Kopel for George Nicol
None.

Bookings
None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Hamish McAlpine (GK) 473 apps3 goals
Paul Hegarty 295 apps49 goals
Dave Narey 344 apps22 goals
George Nicol 1 app (debut) -
John Holt 151 apps12 goals
Billy Kirkwood 172 apps40 goals
Eamonn Bannon 92 apps21 goals
Ralph Milne 56 apps13 goals
Paul Sturrock 282 apps81 goals
Graeme Payne 270 apps17 goals
Willie Pettigrew 87 apps35 goals
Frank Kopel (sub) 396 apps13 goals
Alex Taylor (sub) 1 app (debut) -

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Ralph Milne (20 years 110 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (33 years 226 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 323 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Alex Taylor (19 years 79 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (33 years 226 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 319 days
Domestic Players:13 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts
George Nicol(Signed August 3rd, 1981)
Alex Taylor(Signed June 1st, 1979)

Milestones

Going into the final group stage match having already clinched the top spot, manager Jim McLean changed things up a bit. After making his return to first team action as a substitute against Partick, Paul Hegarty was given a place in the starting eleven for the first time since the Scottish Cup Final in May. Recent new signing from Stirling Albion George Nicol made his first team debut. Billy Kirkwood, Graeme Payne and Willie Pettigrew were also in, with Frank Kopel, Derek Stark, Ian Phillip, Richard Gough and Davie Dodds dropping out. 19 year-old Alex Taylor was handed a place on the bench.

Motherwell went into the game with David Hay standing in as caretaker manager, after Ally MacLeod had been sacked that day. United began in whirlwind style, with a Ralph Milne header from an Eamonn Bannon cross bringing out a save from Hugh Sproat. Three minutes later Graeme Payne sent Willie Pettigrew clear, but he shot too high to trouble his former team-mate. After eight minutes, Pettigrew did find the net, but was ruled offside after Milne's pass was delayed just too long. Inevitably, Motherwell then broke away and Graeme Forbes scored from an Willie Irvine cross to record a shock interval scoreline.

It took United only ten minutes into the second half to find an equaliser. Milne outpaced Joe Wark down the right touchline and crossed to Willie Pettigrew who turned to rifle the ball under Sproat's diving body to pull United level. United failed to grab that winning goal that would have given them that 100% record throughout the group stage, but they were already in the quarter finals. Alex Taylor came on for Graeme Payne to make is first team debut for United.

A start to the new season of five straight League Cup wins might satisfy some, but why should I tarnish my image as a perfectionist by including myself amongst those completely pleased by what has gone on so far? No, I'll be frank and admit that I have been anything but happy about what has occurred outside of the end results!

Sure, it's a tremendous feat to have come through five potentially difficult ties without dropping a point, but they have brought with them problems. Naturally the retention of the League Cup is high on the list of priorities but these opening section games would have, I had hoped, allowed us to work out a settled formation for the hard Premier League start we must face. And, as last Saturday showed, we seem to be no nearer our aim because of certain inconsistencies in the side regarding attitude and work-rate. As far as I was concerned, the only outfield player excused from criticisms on those scores was John Holt.

I fully realise that early season injuries haven't helped consistency of selection, but those given their opportunities so far have tended to fall short on occasion despite the fact that the rewards for success here at Tannadice have seldom been greater. What we seem to be lacking at this particular time is a leader out there on the field. A player who can talk his way through 90 minutes goading and advising others into greater effort. Sadly, the only one capable, I feel, of carrying out those duties is Hamish McAlpine and unfortunately his duties of goalkeeper keep him away from where his assets could best be used vocally.

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Programme cover / Team sheet