1 - 2
League (Premier League)
|Mixu Paatelainen (22)
Willie Falconer (62)
Willie Falconer (91)
13. Nick Colgan
2. Derek Collins
5. John Hughes
14. Martin McIntosh
17. Tom Smith
7. Stuart Lovell
10. Russell Latapy
11. Pat McGinlay
20. Kenny Miller
9. Mixu Paatelainen
16. Dirk Lehmann
Robert Douglas .1
Craig Ireland .34
Steven Tweed .5
Lee Sharp .15
Barry Smith .2
Steven Boyack .7
Gavin Rae .8
Javier Artero .18
Hugh Robertson .14
Willie Falconer .11
James Grady .10
1. Olafur Gottskalksson
26. Ian Murray
12. Paul Hartley
6. Shaun Dennis
34. Grant Brebner.
Jamie Langfield .13
Lee Wilkie .20
Shaun McSkimming .12
Graham Bayne .22
Eddie Annand .9
Eddie Annand for Lee Sharp (46)
Shaun McSkimming for Hugh Robertson (89)
Kenny Clark (Referee)
Kings of the road, Dundee, last night came from behind to notch their seventh away win of the season and take a potentially significant step towards avoiding finishing bottom of the SPL.
And the man who blasted them out of a malaise that had seen them bag just five points from eight matches was top scorer Willie Falconer who ended a personal scoring drought, stretching back to December 27, with a brace.
Their win moves the Dark Blues who've won just once at Dens Park this term but now boast more victories than losses on "foreign" soil to within three points of St Johnstone whom they meet in Perth this weekend. But even more significantly they've opened up a five-point gap on both Kilmarnock and Aberdeen.
The result was a triumph for manager Jocky Scott who looks to be on the way out come the summer. A goal down at the break, Scott threw on an extra attacker in Eddie Annand, and that paid rich dividends as the whole pattern of the game altered.
"Thinking about it now, with Javier Artero making his debut, Barry Smith having had to pass a fitness test after getting hurt in training yesterday, and Craig Ireland only just back from injury, taking a defender off at that stage was probably stupid!" laughed the Dens boss, reflecting on events.
"But we needed to do something because, in the first-half, we really didn't take part in the game-too many players just kicking the ball anywhere and too few of them showing any composure."
Scott wouldn't be drawn on his future. Asked what the result meant to him personally he responded tersely, "Another three points and, hopefully, a bonus."
He was more expansive on its possible impact on Dundee's season.
"We seem to respond to adversity," he said, "It was this time last year that we started to pick up, and maybe we'll do the same thing again.
"Last season, we took 27 games to get 27 points. This time, we've got that total from 26 games. Now the opportunity is there to go to St Johnstone on Saturday and apply some pressure on the teams above us."
The icing on the cake last night was the performance of Javier Artero, one of the three Spaniards whose signing by chairman Peter Marr provided the first hint that Scott's tenure may be drawing to a close.
Artero, who started as a wing back then an orthodox right-back, looked an accomplished player, easily one of the Dark Blues' best performers. The only blemish was a booking for diving.
"I thought Artero did well consider ng the situation we were in because this was a big result for us," said Scott.
Hibs, flying high following wins over Hearts and Celtic, led at the interval by virtue of a Mixu Paatelainen goal midway through the half.
But, with far less possession and far fewer scoring attempts than their opponents, Dundee could conceivably have been ahead, after twice going desperately close to netting.
Paatelainen forced the ball home at the far post after James Grady failed to pick up Tom Smith, allowing Russell Latapy to roll a short free-kick into the full-back's path and Smith to curl in the kind of cross which is almost impossible to defend.
And, playing down the Easter Road slope, Hibs kept Robert Douglas busy, peppering his charge with a series of long range shots.
But Dundee had their chances, and very decent ones too.
As early as the sixth minute, they threatened when Falconer flicked goalwards a near-post Hugh Robertson cross only for Nick Colgan to block on the line, and Pat McGinlay to hack the loose ball to safety.
And Colgan denied them an equaliser with a fantastic stop from Grady, somehow getting a hand to the little striker's brave back post header after Falconer knocked a Steven Boyack free-kick into his path.
The half-time reshuffle saw Annand take over from Lee Sharpe and the Dark Blues switch to 4-3-3.
They nearly went two down when Latapy played the ball in behind Craig Ireland, restored to the side just three weeks after cartilage surgery, for Miller to race on to.
However, McGinlay, at full stretch, could only direct Miller's tempting cross straight at Douglas. Then, with 62 minutes on the clock, Dundee equalised.
A Boyack free-kick from out on the right really ought to have been cleared-but the Hibs defence was static as Falconer rose to head the ball across Colgan and into the far corner.
Hibs came within inches of nosing back in front when Miller got in between Ireland and Barry Smith and lifted the ball over the advancing Douglas, only to see his effort clip the top of the bar.
However, Dundee would have taken the lead themselves but for another fine save from Colgan, denying Grady at the expense of a corner after the front man jinked away from two defenders before unleashing a netbound shot from 18 yards.
And Ireland wasted an oustanding chance when, eight yards out and with a clear sight of goal, he sliced the ball high and wide after a Robertson volley broke to him in space.
Before a minute into stoppage time Boyack picked out Falconer with a cross and the big striker squeezed a header inside the back post.
The winner took 33-year old Falconer's tally for the season to 13-his best since the days when he was starting out with with Aberdeen.
"Hibs had us penned in during the first-half but when we went to three up front we got a bit of joy," he said.
Asked about Scott's position and the dressing room reaction to it, Falconer added, "Jocky's situation has nothing to do with us players but tonight shows the team spirit we have at Dens and it would be fair to say everyone gets on with the management team that's there at the moment."
Dundee's Ireland, Shaun McSkimming and Boyack were yellow-carded along with Derek Collins.
And they were joined in the book by Hibs sub Paul Hartley even though he never actually left the bench!
In a bizarre incident Hartley, who had been warming up behind the home goal, was cautioned for stepping on to the park to kick the ball back upfield in the mistaken belief play had not resumed after a stoppage while Falconer got treatment for a head knock.
Match report written by The Courier
|Robert Douglas (GK)
|Shaun McSkimming (sub)
|Eddie Annand (sub)
No league table has been added for this season.