Dundee 1
Rangers 3
League Cup (Quarter-Final)

1 - 3

League Cup (Quarter-Final)
Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Dens Park
Attendance: 10,654
7:45 PM Kick-off

Leigh Griffiths (29)
Steven Whittaker (15)
Gary Mackenzie (o.g.) (57)
John Fleck (85)

Team Managers
Jocky Scott
Walter Smith

Starting Eleven
1. Tony Bullock
2. Eric Paton
3. Gary Mackenzie
4. Jim Laughlan
5. Eddie Malone
6. Gary Harkins
7. Paul McHale
8. Brian Kerr
9. Craig Forsyth
10. Leigh Griffiths
11. Sean Higgins
Neil Alexander .25
Jordan McMillan .47
Danny Wilson .66
Sasa Papac .5
Steven Smith .26
Steven Whittaker .16
Kevin Thomson .8
DaMarcus Beasley .20
John Fleck .29
Nacho Novo .10
Kyle Lafferty .27

12. Derek Soutar
14. Chris Casement
15. Richie Hart
16. Colin McMenamin
17. Pat Clarke
Allan McGregor .1
Steven Davis .7
Kris Boyd .9
Kenny Miller .18
Steven Naismith .14

Pat Clarke for Sean Higgins (70)
Colin McMenamin for Leigh Griffiths (72)
Richie Hart for Brian Kerr (79)
Steven Naismith for DaMarcus Beasley (75)

Leigh Griffiths
Eddie Malone (19)
Steven Whittaker (39)
John Fleck (84)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Dougie McDonald (Referee)
George Drummond & Gordon Middleton (Assistants)
Stephen Finnie (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee fans turned out in force for the Co-operative Insurance Cup quarter final against Rangers, and although they left bitterly disappointed with the result none could have had any complaints about the quality of the football from the Dee. 3-1 sounds a comfortable win for SPL champions, but it was only a late goal on the break from John Fleck that gave a respectable gloss to the scoreline that Rangers scarcely deserved.

Maros Klimpl failed to recover from the knock he picked up on Saturday and was replaced by Gary Harkins. The only other change from the win over Raith Rovers was Sean Higgins coming in for Colin McMenamin.

The Dundee formation looked a straightforward 4-4-2 but it panned out more like 4-3-2-1. Higgins was playing through the middle on his own, with Gary Harkins wide on the right and Leigh Griffiths on the left in front of the three man midfield, McHale, Kerr and Forsyth

Dundee started encouragingly, but after weathering early pressure Rangers came roaring back at the Dees. Whittaker flicked a corner narrowly wide of the near post and then Nacho Novo forced a good save from Tony Bullock with a fierce shot from a tight angle. When Fleck flighted the resulting comer in to the near post it was Whittaker again who got to the ball to score with a simple header.

Dundee looked to be in trouble, but quickly got to grips with the game and started to build good passing moves The midfield revelled in the chance to play football, instead of the usual trench warfare of the 1st Division. Dundee were moving the ball about smoothly and playing a succession of good passes out to the wide players and holding possession impressively as they probed the Rangers' defence.

The best move, from McHale, Paton and Harkins ended with Leigh Griffiths' shot being blocked. Dundee then had a good looking penalty claim when Forsyth just beat Alexander to a pass, knocked it wide of the keeper and was tripped by the diving keeper.

Dundee's good play eventually paid off, however, Harkins was fouled 22 yards out as he carved his way through the defence on 29 minutes. It was just to the right of the D, ideally placed for a left foot strike, and what a strike it was! Leigh Griffiths hammered a fierce curling shot round the wall, ripping into the top corner of Alexander's goal. When the celebrations started to die down, and Sparky was pulled out of the Coxy and back onto the pitch he picked up the inevitable yellow card.

The goal gave Dundee a huge lift and shook Rangers. Dundee were playing all the football now, and Rangers were struggling to contain the lively Griffiths and Harkins. Rangers couldn't keep the ball when they tried to break, and the waves of dark blue attacks kept on pouring toward the Bobby Cox stand.

Rangers manage to hang on till half time, but the second half brought no respite. Within seconds of the restart Dundee had passed their way through the heart of the Rangers defence, but Craig Forsyth's first touch let him down at the crucial moment when he was through on Alexander.

Then came the match's turning point. Gary Harkins crossed from the right and Leigh Griffiths rose for a free header 10 yards out. Whittaker pushed him from behind and the chance was gone. If the first penalty claim looked controversial, there really didn't seem any doubt about this one, but incredibly Mr McDonald waved play on.

Griffiths wasn't going to give up easily though, and had a marvellous run and shot which was well saved by Alexander. By now Rangers play had disintegrated and they were struggling to build even the simplest moves.

On 59 minutes Whittaker clipped an optimistic ball into the box from far out on the right, Gary Mackenzie stretched for the high ball, got the faintest of touches on it and sent the ball floating agonisingly over Tony Bullock, who was behind him, and gently under the bar. It was a goal out of nothing a real sickener for the home side, completely against the run of play.

Rangers gratefully accepted their get out of jail card, and grew in confidence. Dundee were never quite the same threat again. Griffiths should have done better with a header from a comer, his last contribution. He seemed to be limping and was replaced by Colin McMenamin after 72 minutes. The substitute should have equalised when he header over from a Harkins cross, and that was Dundee's last chance.

Five minutes from the end as Dundee were pressing furiously for an equaliser Nacho Novo broke at pace and played John Fleck in to slip the ball past Tony Bullock for a cruel third goal. Dundee were much better than the 3-1 scoreline suggests. This was a match they could have won, and they showed that they have the quality to take on SPL teams. Griffiths was star tonight, with Harkins not far behind, but the whole midfield looked much happier playing football against an SPL side than they have done in the grind of the 1st Division. The first two goals were very soft, and that was disappointing.

It might have been the wrong result, but it was great to see Dens packed, with the Dee faithful roaring on a skilful attacking performance. Tonight it wasn't to be, but this side will give us much more to cheer this season. I'm sure of that!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at October 27th, 2009)

2009-10 All Time
Tony Bullock (GK)37 18 - 18 -
Eric Paton31 17 - 514
Gary Mackenzie24 141962
Jim Laughlan32 11 - 28 -
Eddie Malone24 171833
Gary Harkins24 177177
Brian Kerr28 16 - 16 -
Paul McHale28 15 - 844
Craig Forsyth20 133173
Leigh Griffiths19 17121712
Sean Higgins24 153153
Richie Hart (sub)31 11 - 11 -
Colin McMenamin (sub)28 1455819
Pat Clarke (sub)24 7171

League Table (as at October 27th, 2009)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Tonight's Co-Operative Insurance Cup Quarter Final tie with Rangers is a welcome change of scenery for us away from our league fixtures.

A big crowd is assured, the atmosphere will be great and both teams will be all out to win the game. All of which should ensure a good game for all concerned.

We welcome Walter Smith, his staff and players to Dens Park this evening. This game gives us the opportunity to compete against the best in the SPL which hopefully will furnish us with a greater desire for playing against the best teams in Scotland on a weekly basis.

Your support has been great this season both vocally and in attendances. Your backing will help greatly toward the team performance tonight and can I take this opportunity to thank you again and I hope you enjoy the game.

Jocky Scott