Dundee 2
Raith Rovers 1
League (Division One)

2 - 1
Raith Rovers 

League (Division One)
Saturday, October 24th, 2009
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,156
3:00 PM Kick-off

Colin McMenamin (15)
Gary Mackenzie (35)
Darren Smith (20)

Team Managers
Jocky Scott
John McGlynn

Starting Eleven
1. Tony Bullock
2. Eric Paton
3. Gary Mackenzie
4. Jim Laughlan
5. Eddie Malone
6. Paul McHale
7. Maroš Klimpl
8. Brian Kerr
9. Craig Forsyth
10. Leigh Griffiths
11. Colin McMenamin
David McGurn .1
Mark Campbell .2
Dougie Hill .3
Grant Murray .4
Craig Wilson .5
Robert Sloan .6
Darren Smith .7
Allan Walker .8
Graham Weir .9
Johnny Russell .10
Grégory Tadé .11

12. Derek Soutar
14. Chris Casement
15. Gary Harkins
16. Sean Higgins
17. Pat Clarke
Gary O'Connor .12
Craig Wedderburn .14
Mark Watley .15
Mark Ferry .16
Lee Bryce .17

Gary Harkins for Maroš Klimpl (71)
Sean Higgins for Leigh Griffiths (83)
Mark Ferry for Darren Smith (55)
Lee Bryce for Graham Weir (85)

Craig Forsyth (64)
Darren Smith (18)
Mark Campbell (57)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Colin Brown (Referee)
George Drummond & David McKenzie (Assistants)

Match Report

undee finally reached pole position in the 1st Division today with a narrow 2-1 victory over a determined Raith Rovers.

This was a match for which the phrase "dreich day at Dens" was coined. The heavens were dark grey and tipping their contents over the pitch as the match kicked off. The attendance would surely have been higher in decent weather, but 5,136 is not a bad crowd in the 1st Division.

Fortunately for the drookit supporters the match got off to a lively start with both sides eager to press forward. Eric Paton missed a good chance after 12 minutes when he failed to keep his shot down from a Forsyth cutback.

We had only three minutes to wait for the opening goal though. Paton played a marvelous first time pass out to McHale on the right. Paul looked up and whipped in the sort of cross that strikers love and defenders hate. The ball came skiting off a defender's head and keeper McGurn pulled off a brilliant save to prevent the OG. Colin McMenamin was first to the ball, but was hauled down as he was about to score. As the crowd were screaming for the penalty the Dundee striker reacted quickest to force the ball home. Great reactions from McMenamin, and good refereeing from Mr Brown who waited just long enough to see if he could play the advantage instead of awarding the penalty and flashing a red card.

Just as Dundee were starting to look comfortable they gave away the sort of goal that gives managers nightmares.

Eddie Malone carelessly lost possession to Gregory Tade wide on the left. The Raith player took full advantage, driving into the box and setting the ball up for Weir to shoot from the edge of the area. The fierce shot was going wide, but Darren Smith got a touch to deflect the ball past Bullock and tie the match up at 1-1 after 20 minutes.

When the Dee gave away a bad goal against Rovers in August they lost their way. Today they kept grafting and got back on top without ever looking convincing. The winning goal arrived from a corner on 34 minutes.

Leigh Griffiths had peeled away beyond the far post, and when McHale's hard driven corner came right through to him he controlled the ball quickly, skipped past a defender to the line and drove the ball across the goalmouth for Gary Mackenzie to score with a cheeky wee backheel flick from point blank range.

Apart from the goals the highlight of the first came when Paul McHale won the ball with a great tackle on the half way line giving Leigh Griffiths the chance to tear through the heart of the Raith defence, his fine run ending with his shot being deflected out for a comer. The fans were on their feet cheering that one!

McHale nearly grabbed the third goal just before half time when his volley from a McMenamin flick whistled just past the post.

Dundee badly needed that goal to give themselves some breathing space. They deserved their half time lead, but Rovers were very much in the game, and the fans know this was a match that could go either way.

The nervousness in the stands seemed to be transmitted to the Dundee players who gave the ball away constantly in the opening period of the second half. The midfield couldn't retain possession and the balls out of defence weren't good enough. Griffiths and McMenamin were in fine form, however, and looked fully capable of grabbing a third goal.

However, it was the defence who were needed most, and it took a tremendous tackle in the box from Klimpl to knock the ball away as Walker was about to shoot. Tade then got in behind the defence again and his fierce cut back was turned onto his own post by Jim Lauchlan.

After these scares the Dundee defence and midfield began to assert themselves and too many of the Raith attacks ended with optimistic high balls from poor positions. With 20 minutes to go Harkins replaced Klimpl who had been having a good game and presumably had taken a knock.

Leigh Griffiths was taking some fierce punishment from the Raith defenders and, after his second spell of treatment from the physio, Jocky Scott decided to replace him with Sean Higgins for the last 10 minutes. Sparky was clearly still feeling the effect of the last challenge, and every Dundee fan will be desperate to see him fit for the Rangers game.

Higgins nearly had a dramatic entrance to the game when he was sent clear. Just as he was about to shoot he was barged off balance, and the shot was saved. Surprisingly the referee didn't award the penalty that might have allowed the nervous home fans to relax for the last few minutes.

In injury time Raith nearly grabbed the equaliser they were frantically chasing. Alan Walker's header seemed set for the top corner, but Tony Bullock pulled off a marvellous save to keep the points at Dens. Calum Melville was watching the match in the Bobby Cox, right behind the goal and must have enjoyed that one!

Yet again this was a hard fought win in which the Dees failed to turn on the style. However, they showed plenty of determination and some great pieces of skill, mainly from the charismatic Leigh Griffiths. I'd have to go along with the sponsors' choice of Gary MacKenzie, not for the flashy finish, but for the dogged and far from flashy defending in the second half as Dundee kept the Rovers at bay.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at October 24th, 2009)

2009-10 All Time
Tony Bullock (GK)37 17 - 17 -
Maroš Klimpl29 9 - 9 -
Gary Mackenzie24 131952
Eric Paton31 16 - 504
Jim Laughlan32 10 - 27 -
Eddie Malone24 161823
Paul McHale28 14 - 834
Craig Forsyth20 123163
Brian Kerr28 15 - 15 -
Leigh Griffiths19 16111611
Colin McMenamin28 1355719
Gary Harkins (sub)24 167167
Sean Higgins (sub)24 143143

League Table (as at October 24th, 2009)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Last week at Greenock saw us finally win away from home in the league. We should take confidence from this result, as Cappielow is never an easy place to come away from with maximum points.

We are now into the second quarter of games and find ourselves in a decent position before today's game against

Raith Rovers FC. I welcome John McGlynn, his staff and players to Dens Park today. They have enjoyed a return to the First Division this season with some excellent results.

We know from our game at Kirkcaldy that they are a good hardworking team who like to pass the ball.

We both come into this game on the back of good victories so it should be a good game.