Partick Thistle 0
Dundee 2
League (Division One)


0 - 2


League (Division One)
Saturday, December 5th, 2009
Firhill Stadium
Attendance: 4,453
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Colin McMenamin (44)
Gary Harkins (47)

Team Managers
Ian McCall Jocky Scott

Starting Eleven
1. Jonathan Tuffey
2. Alan Archibald
3. Ian Maxwell
4. John Robertson
5. Jamie Adams
6. David Rowson
7. Paul Cairney
8. Mark Corcoran
9. Stephen McKeown
10. Simon Donnelly
11. Steve Lovell
Robert Douglas .1
Eric Paton .2
Gary Mackenzie .3
Jim Laughlan .4
Eddie Malone .5
Gary Harkins .6
Richie Hart .7
Brian Kerr .8
Darren Young .9
Craig Forsyth .10
Colin McMenamin .11

12. Craig Hinchcliffe
14. Bryan Hodge
15. Martyn Corrigan
16. Kris Doolan
17. Chris Erskine
Derek Soutar .12
Kyle Benedictus .14
Chris Casement .15
Colin Cameron .16
Pat Clarke .17

Martyn Corrigan for Stephen McKeown (49)
Kris Doolan for Simon Donnelly (49)
Chris Erskine for Paul Cairney (69?
Colin Cameron for Richie Hart (46)
Pat Clarke for Darren Young (80)
Chris Casement for Gary Harkins (86)

Simon Donnelly (45) Colin Cameron (59)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)

Match Report

Dundee moved five points clear at D the top of the First Division today with an emphatic and impressive win at Firhill. The message that they sent out is that they are a team who can face up to the tough away games and take the points home in confident style.

Dundee's second half performance was as impressive and dominant as I have seen from the dark blues since we were relegated in 2005. The mood throughout the team was one of determination and confidence. By the end Thistle were a broken and dispirited side. When the home side had possession they were hounded by dark blue shirts and lost the ball with panicky passes. When Dundee had possession they poured forward finding space effortlessly.

The transformation in confidence in the away stand was remarkable. Before the game supporters were nervously speculating about how Dundee would cope without Leigh Griffiths, and whether the formation was too negative, and if former hero Stevie Lovell was destined to break our hearts. By the end they were on their feet singing and applauding the Dees as they cruised to victory.

The first half gave little indication of what was to come Thistle moved the ball about briskly, playing good football and probing the Dundee defence ominously. However, they repeatedly let themselves down with poor final balls, bad choices, bad passes and bad crosses. They came closest from Dundee mistakes, in particular some horrendous distribution from Rab Douglas who put his defenders under pressure with bad passes on several occasions. Gary Mackenzie lost the ball from one of these passes and Lovell should have scored. Happily for the Dees he fired wide from the sort of chance he buried so often in dark blue.

Caimey pounced on another poor clearance from Douglas and caused momentary panic in the away defence with his run along the byline and cut back. Corcoran also brought out the best in Rab who tipped a powerful 20 yarder past for a corner. For the most part, however, Dundee coped well with the best that Thistle could throw at them

The midfield was dreadfully congested in the first half, with Dundee frequently having six men there against Thistle's four. Dundee were determined to play football from the back, but their passing wasn't quite fast or accurate enough to give Thistle much trouble. The Dees greatest threat was from fast breaks. McMenamin was sent through wide on the left after 20 minutes but Tuffey blocked his shot

Two minutes before half time Young was sent clear in a similar position but took too long to line up his shot, which was blocked for a corner, When Harkins swung the ball over it was half deared to Hart who quickly switched it back from the right. Forsyth climbed to flick it on, finding McMenamin at the far post. He controlled the ball and shot past Tuffey only to see Adams acrobatically hook the ball off the line. However, McMenamin followed up quickest to hammer the loose ball into the roof of the net.

Right on the half time whistle Donnelly caught Richie Hart with a late tackle on the touchline. Hart required treatment for a good five minutes on the track after the teams had gone off, before he was carried into the stand. Not surprisingly Colin Cameron replaced him at the start of the second half.

The goal changed the game utterly. Dundee went straight for the Jags' throats right from the start of the second half. Harkins powerful shot from 20 yards took a nasty deflection and forced a fine save from Tuffey. Forsyth's corner was headed back out to him and he whipped it straight back into the box. The ball broke to Harkins, fleetingly in space by the penalty spot and he rifled it low into the net to Tuffey's right.

The Dundee fans were ecstatic, Thistle were sandbagged and it was game over. The only disappointing aspect of the rest of the game was that Dundee failed to turn their complete dominance into more goals. Partick were reduced to playing increasingly optimistic and desperate long balls forward. By the end they were struggling even to do that because of the ferocious way McMenamin and Forsyth were hounding defenders, blocking clearances and forcing them to sclaff balls hopelessly out of play.

Dundee passed up two great chance midway through the half. Harkins led a fast break for the first, but shot straight at Tuffey from the edge of the box when he could have played McMenamin in. Then McMenamin ran clear from the left wing and shot just wide.

By this point the dark blue support was in party mood, recognising that this was a big, big performance and a hugely significant win.

Gary Harkins was substituted to a standing ovation four minutes from the end. A few minutes earlier Darren Young had got another big hand when he was replaced by Pat Clarke after a very sound and effective performance in a midfield that had assumed complete control.

Although Harkins was my man of the match, for his flair, control and his goal, I do think Brian Kerr deserves a special mention too. In the second half the ball just seemed to gravitate to him, and when it left him it always found a dark blue shirt. Colin Cameron was also quietly effective in that excellent second half midfield performance. The midfield made it easy for the defence, who were rock solid after half time.

If Dundee go up this season many fans will look back to this game as the one where Jocky Scott's team finally gelled. This was a great day out for the travelling Dees, and it was a great trip back on the Perth Dees 62 bus. Thanks lads!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at December 5th, 2009)

2009-10 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)37 7 - 178 -
Jim Laughlan32 17 - 34 -
Eddie Malone24 231893
Eric Paton31 23 - 574
Gary Mackenzie24 2011022
Darren Young31 3 - 112
Richie Hart31 17 - 17 -
Gary Harkins24 23112311
Brian Kerr28 21 - 21 -
Craig Forsyth20 194234
Colin McMenamin28 2066420
Chris Casement (sub)21 5 - 5 -
Colin Cameron (sub)37 13 - 22 -
Pat Clarke (sub)24 111111

League Table (as at December 5th, 2009)

No league table has been added for this season.