Dundee Utd 5 - 0 Greenock Morton

League - Premier Division
Saturday, March 27th, 1982, 3:00 PM at Tannadice Park
Attendance: 5,333
Referee: Alex McGunnigle (Glasgow)
Mascot: StevenTkaizyk
Dundee Utd  Greenock Morton

Paul Sturrock (13)
Paul Sturrock (15)
Paul Sturrock (54)
Ralph Milne (55)
Ralph Milne (72)

Team Managers
Jim McLean
Benny Rooney

Starting Eleven
Hamish McAlpine
Dave Narey
Paul Hegarty
Derek Stark
John Holt
Maurice Malpas
Richard Gough
Ian Gibson
Ralph Milne
Paul Sturrock
Davie Dodds
Roy Baines
Davie Hayes
Jim Holmes
James Rooney
Joe McLaughlin
Jim Duffy
John McNeil
Daniel Docherty
Ian Cochrane
Roddy Hutchison
Robert Houston

Eamonn Bannon
John Reilly
Edward McNab
Eddie Gavigan

Eamonn Bannon for John Holt
John Reilly for Davie Dodds

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Hamish McAlpine (GK) 513 apps3 goals
Dave Narey 384 apps24 goals
Paul Hegarty 337 apps51 goals
Derek Stark 149 apps3 goals
John Holt 188 apps16 goals
Maurice Malpas 15 apps -
Richard Gough 37 apps2 goals
Ian Gibson 21 apps2 goals
Ralph Milne 96 apps25 goals
Paul Sturrock 318 apps99 goals
Davie Dodds 163 apps61 goals
Eamonn Bannon (sub) 134 apps34 goals
John Reilly (sub) 9 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Maurice Malpas (19 years 241 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (34 years 74 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 254 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Maurice Malpas (19 years 241 days)
Oldest Player:Hamish McAlpine (34 years 74 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 102 days
Domestic Players:13 (100.00 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Ralph Milne scored for the 25th time for the Club.
Ralph Milne scored for the 25th time for the Club.

Whilst lying in sixth place, 12 points behind leaders Celtic, United still weren't mathematically out of the title race, however a European spot was now a more realistic target. Jim McLean made only two changes from last weeks trip to Pittodrie, with Ralph Milne and Maurice Malpas in for Eamonn Bannon and Billy Kirkwood, but there was also some re-shuffling within the starting eleven. Richard Gough was moved into the centre of defence alongside Paul Hegarty, with Dave Narey pushed forward into a midfield role.

United threatened in the second minute when a slick move between Paul Sturrock, Ralph Milne and Ian Gibson set up Maurice Malpas, but the youngster's 20 yard shot was turned away by Roy Baines' fingertips. However Paul Sturrock broke the deadlock in the 13th minute, taking a Davie Dodds flick in his stride, sprinted into the penalty area and rounded Baines to score. Two minutes later and Paul Sturrock claimed his second when he headed home from close range after Hegarty had nodded on a John Holt corner. Morton's first serious chance came in the 20th minute, when Hamish McAlpine did well to clear a McNeil free-kick effort away for a corner. Dodds and Narey twice combined to create chances, but Baines dealt with both efforts. Hegarty, set up by Sturrock, missed a great chance on the half-hour mark, screwing wide from six yards, and McNeil scorned a great chance for Morton when he shot over from close-in after a mix up between McAlpine and Hegarty at a corner.

Nine minutes into the second half Paul Sturrock completed his first ever senior hast-trick when he wheeled to crash home United's third. Just one minute later, Ralph Milne rifled a 20 yarder past the heroic Baines. Ralph Milne then grabbed his second when he finished off a scintillating move in the 72nd minute to complete a comprehensive victory.

The win kept United in the chase for that fourth spot European place, just four points behind St Mirren, and ten points behind Celtic, with the League leaders up next at Tannadice.

It is extremely difficult to express the bitter disappointment experienced here amongst the staff concerning the events of the last few weeks, and in fact months. Starting away back when lost the League Cup final, on to the Scottish Cup exit and then of course disastrous elimination from the UEFA Cup ten days ago - to think of what we had on our plate! Mind you, there will be absolutely no excuse for that most recent disappointment in Yugoslavia. No side can expect to succeed without a midfield division which never at any time gets forward to test the opposition. And yet defence that afternoon was the last thing on anybody's mind. It appears that a psychological barrier was set up by certain members of the side and even a reminder at the interval failed to break it down. The lack of confidence in the refereeing hardly helped matters though. All of which proves to me~at least that we have a long long way to go to create the right mental approach for such a level of top competition. Sadly that level was not reached when it mattered and my sympathies now lie with you the fans who expected and deserved better - and a certain number of members of the side. It all boils down to the fact that for too long we have relied on too few for too much. Allow me to single out Derek Stark especially for his performance in Nis. I hope he will excuse me for mentioning that in certain aspects of the game he falls short, but where it matters one can never accuse the full-back of giving other than the maximum of effort. And the same went for the remainder of the back four on that particular occasion. Naturally our failings of late have again highlighted the need to add to certain departments of the side, namely in midfield and up front. However, concerning the class we require, the asking prices are outwith our capabilities.

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 25 16 5 4 50 24 26 37
2. Aberdeen 25 13 7 5 37 22 15 33
3. Rangers 26 11 10 5 41 31 10 32
4. St Mirren 25 12 7 6 40 30 10 31
5. Hibernian 28 8 12 8 31 27 4 28
6. UNITED 24 10 7 7 41 23 18 27
7. Morton 27 7 8 12 22 40 -18 22
8. Dundee 27 7 4 16 36 53 -17 18
9. Airdrie 25 5 6 14 28 53 -25 16
10. Partick Thistle 26 3 8 15 20 43 -23 14
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