The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
A lacklustre Dundee United, perhaps with an eye on the following week’s Scottish Cup final against Rangers, finished their 1980/81 league season with a 3-2 win against a stuffy and spirited Partick Thistle. United paid for their lackadaisical start to the game in the 31st minute when Donald Park was allowed to run through the centre of the United team without any challenge from a United player, eventually laying the ball off to Alex O’Hara who finished well past Hamish McAlpine. The goal seemed to wake United up, although it took a penalty for them to get back into the game. A minute before half time, Paul Sturrock was fouled in the box by Andy Anderson and Eamonn Bannon coolly converted the penalty to send United in at the break on level terms.United then took the lead early in the second half. A fantastic team move, with Ian Philip, Ralph Milne, Frank Kopel and Paul Sturrock all involved was finished by a superb headed goal from Davie Dodds. However, after taking the lead United appeared to take their foot off the gas again and they allowed Thistle to net a late equaliser. The United defence stood and watched as Alex O’Hara had one shot which was blocked, but he managed to drill home at the second attempt. United did manage to get the winning goal almost straight from the ensuing kick-off. A pass from Eamonn Bannon was buried by Davie Dodds, who scored his second goal of the game and ensured that Dundee United would end their league campaign with a win.
As this afternoon's visit of Partick Thistle to Tannadice heralds the final league outing of the current season I would like to take this opportunity of passing on my sincere thanks to you our loyal support for the backing accorded the side since last August. But while so saying I must admit to bitter disappointment yet again at the lack of numbers at our midweek league game here against Airdrie. It really upsets me that the players should be shunned in such a fashion, especially after what they have managed to achieve for the club so far this term. The modern player as I have repeatedly passed on to you in recent years, thrives on atmosphere and in my opinion it is only that kind of atmosphere which stretches them to the limit of their potential. As far as the midweek game against Airdrie was concerned I admit to having to make one of my most difficult decisions in management — only a matter of an hour prior to kick-off time! It of course concerned young Derek Murray, who along with Richard Gough starred in last weekend's draw with Aberdeen. I make no apologies for describing his absence in midweek as a "disgrace" considering that I had little hesitation in naming him as the best player afield against the Dons. However, as you may well have guessed, our preparations for next Saturday's Scottish Cup final date tipped the balance against his inclusion as I was desperately keen to get as many of the side liable to play in action together again. Today we face Thistle in yet another step towards Hampden when I will be seeking a repeating the winning form shown last midweek.