Ayr United 1
Dundee 1
League (Division One)

Ayr Utd 

1 - 1


League (Division One)
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Somerset Park
Attendance: 1,375
7:45 PM Kick-off

Danny Lafferty (42) Gary Harkins (38)

Team Managers
Brian Reid Jocky Scott

Starting Eleven
1. Craig Samson
2. Andy Aitken
3. Martyn Campbell
4. Ryan McGowan
5. Danny Lafferty
6. Chris Mitchell
7. Steve Bowey
8. Ryan Borris
9. Alistair Woodburn
10. Tam McManus
11. Mark Roberts
Robert Douglas .1
Eric Paton .2
Gary Mackenzie .3
Craig McKeown .4
Eddie Malone .5
Andrew Shinnie .6
Brian Kerr .7
Maroš Klimpl .8
Gary Harkins .9
Leigh Griffiths .10
Sean Higgins .11

12. Stephen Grindlay
14. Junior Mendes
15. Daniel McKay
16. Dean Keenan
17. Kenneth Connolly
Tony Bullock .12
Bob Malcolm .14
Richie Hart .15
Colin McMenamin .16
Ben Hutchinson .17

Daniel McKay for Alistair Woodburn (79)
Dean Keenan for Chris Mitchell (82)
Kenneth Connolly for Ryan Borris (90)
Bob Malcolm for Sean Higgins (77)

Tam McManus (60)
Chris Mitchell (61)
Dean Keenan (89)
Maroš Klimpl (40)
Eric Paton (40)
Brian Kerr (64)
Eric Paton (75)
Bob Malcolm (87)

Red Cards
None. Leigh Griffiths
Eric Paton (75)

Match Officials

Brian Winter (Referee)

Match Report

Dundee were held to a 1-1 draw away to Ayr United despite a late flurry of chances at the end of an evening when every player worked his socks off. Gary Harkins had given Dundee the lead in 37 minutes but the Dark Blues couldn't hold out until half time with Ayr hitting back four minutes later via a Danny Lafferty free kick.

Neither side found a way through in the second half and Dundee finished the match with 10 men after Eric Paton saw red after two yellows. Dundee did have the ball in the net through Leigh Griffiths right at the death but the striker was offside.

Jocky Scott promised changes after Saturday's disappointment, and Klimpl and Shinnie duly replaced Hart and Forsyth, with Craig McKeown making his first appearance for almost a year in place of Jim Lauchlan. Although the performance was better than in recent weeks, the changes weren't enough to allow Dundee to dominate an eager Ayr side who were full of confidence after their recent good run. A draw was a fair result at the end of a tough and bad tempered match that saw seven bookings and a sending off.

For most of the first half there seemed little prospect of an entertaining game, and less chance of a goal, till Gary Harkins conjured up one of his trademark goals out of nothing.

After 37 minutes Brian Kerr picked up a loose ball in midfield, found Harkins running in from the left and the prolific midfielder drilled a fierce, low 22 yarder just inside Samson's right hand post.

Ayr's response was immediate. Bowey picked up a flick from McManus and was tripped by Paton on the edge of the area. The home fans screamed for a penalty, but referee Winter awarded Ayr a free kick just outside the box. There was a shoving match involving both side and the referee, which ended with Klimpl and Paton being booked. Ayr's full back Lafferty ignored the yells from the home dugout to leave the ball to Mitchell and took the free kick as if it was a penalty from 18 yards, battering the ball past the wall and Douglas to equalise.

The second half didn't see much improvement in the football on offer till the game exploded into life in the last 20 minutes.

Gary Mackenzie seemed sure to give Dundee the lead when Eddie Malone headed the ball back across goal after a corner, but Gary knocked the ball over the bar from a couple of yards out.

The referee was struggling to keep control as the pressure of life at either end of the table seemed to get to the players. Almost every decision was challenged, and as the tackles start to crunch in it seemed inevitable that at least one player would see red. Eric Paton was the man to go, when he fouled Borris out on the touchline after 75 minutes. It may have been a harsh booking, but it was a poor decision on Eric's part to make a heavy challenge when there was no danger and he'd already been booked.

Jocky Scott's response was to send on Bob Malcolm and take off Sean Higgins, who'd been struggling to make an impact. This looked like Dundee settling for a point, but far from it!

The sending off was the signal for both sides to cease hostilities and start playing football. Ayr sensed that this was their chance to win the game and tried to push forward, but Dundee's ten men had their best spell of the match as they attacked at every opportunity, trying everything to get the winner.

Leigh Griffiths was outstanding in this spell, but he showed poor judgement when he raced onto a through ball and rounded Samson. The keeper forced him wide, and instead of cutting the ball back to Shinnie who was screaming for a pass, he chose to bring the ball back in himself, which gave a covering defender the chance to block his shot.

Andrew Shinnie then ran to the byline and hit a strong ball across the face of goal, which Gary Harkins couldn't quite reach for a tap in.

Both Griffiths and Harkins saw shots fly over the bar in the last few minutes, and Griffiths finally managed to knock the ball past Samson after a corner had been cleared and played back in. He seemed well offside, however, and the linesman's flag was up before the ball reached the net. Deep into injury time Ayr's substitute Danny McKay forced Douglas to tip a rasper over from a narrow angle.

Surprisingly the referee played three minutes injury time in a game he must have been glad to see the end of. The Ayr supporters applauded their side's efforts, but the Dee fans left quietly, knowing that their side had missed a great chance to take three vital points. A draw was fair, however, and Dundee now go to Airdrie on Saturday knowing that their supporters will be demanding a win. They will have to do so without Eric Paton, They though they can take heart from Craig McKeown's sound performance in his first match of the season.

The midfield was an improvement on recent games, but failed to dominate their opponents in the way league leaders should. Leigh Griffiths skill and determination were admirable, but Dundee need to harness his talents more effectively. In particular, the service he received from midfield left him with too much to do, and he still does not have a settled partner he can play off.

There was no doubting the effort and the will to win tonight, but in the remaining games Dundee will require more composure and discipline. It's now time for the more experienced players to take a lead.

* Leigh Griffiths received a red card after the end of the match

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at March 17th, 2010)

2009-10 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)37 19 - 190 -
Gary Mackenzie24 2911112
Craig McKeown25 1 - 23 -
Maroš Klimpl29 17 - 17 -
Eddie Malone24 3621024
Eric Paton31 361705
Gary Harkins25 35163516
Brian Kerr28 341341
Andrew Shinnie20 5 - 261
Leigh Griffiths19 34193419
Sean Higgins25 225225
Bob Malcolm (sub)29 1 - 1 -

League Table (as at March 17th, 2010)

No league table has been added for this season.