Dundee 2
Livingston 1
League (Premier League)

2 - 1

League (Premier League)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2003
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,815
3:00 PM Kick-off

Nacho Novo (17)
Nacho Novo (pen.) (84)
Burton O'Brien (37)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Márcio Máximo

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
6. Lee Wilkie
2. Barry Smith
3. David Mackay
16. Jonay Hernández
19. Lee Mair
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
26. Garry Brady
7. Fabian Caballero
17. Nacho Novo
25. Steve Lovell
Alan Main .1
David McNamee .2
Oscar Rubio .4
Marvin Andrews .5
Jamie McAllister .3
Lee Makel .14
Jon-Paul McGovern .11
Burton O'Brien .15
Brian Kerr .21
Barry Wilson .7
Fernando Pasquinelli .9

12. Jamie Langfield
4. Tom Hutchinson
8. Gavin Rae
9. Juan Sara
Duncan McLean
Roddy McKenzie .18
Tommy English .24
Derek Lilley .16
Scott McLaughlin .22
Theodore Whitmore .10

Juan Sara for Steve Lovell (79)
Gavin Rae for Fabian Caballero (85)
Derek Lilley for Barry Wilson (60)
Scott McLaughlin for Jamie McAllister (62)
Theodore Whitmore for Lee Makel (85)

Jonay Hernández (41)
David McNamee (12)
Jamie McAllister (22)
Lee Makel (25)
Marvin Andrews (56)
Fernando Pasquinelli (85)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Mike McCurry (Referee)
Jim Lyon & Tom Murphy (Assistants)
Chris Boyle (Fourth Official)

Match Report

If only everything in life was as reliable as Barry Smith.

Football is a daft game at times, Dundee didn't play as well against Livingston at Dens as they had against Dunfermline the previous Sunday, and the "Lions"

were much more of a goal threat than the Fifers had been too. For while Dundee had been robbed by the Pars it was the tum of the West Lothian side to feel aggrieved, they certainly deserved a share of the spoils here, but lett with their fine start to the season in tatters.

If you can't always depend on form bringing you its reward, there are still some things and people that are 100% reliable and Barry Smith falls into that category. Here he combined with Lee Mair to make an unlikely goal-line challenge and deny Pasqinelli an eighty-second minute winner for the visitors.

Jim Duffy paid tribute to his captain's part in the 'turning point of the match', and pivotal it certainly was, because less than ninety seconds later a sweet Nemsadze pass played in Caballero who was downed by Rubio's clumsy challenge for what proved to be a penalty winner. Nacho Novo stuck that away to add to his first half wonder strike, a vicious volley into the roof of the net after 16 minutes.

Livi' could match the quality of that goal though with six minutes of the first half remaining with an audacious finish. It was a goal which Livingston's hard working display warranted, but Dundee's luck had evened out for the week and the Dark Blues were glad to accept the points.

Gavin Rae dropped to the bench as Fabian Caballero was restored to the starting line up and the Argentinean turned in a fine performance, punctuated by some heavy challenges which tested his resolve. In particular Marvin Andrews was guilty of dishing out punishment to the striker, on a day when the Livi' stopper had earlier heard his name being chanted by the home support after his 'divine' decision to turn down a move to Tanandice in midweek.

Dundee had started as if they intended making up for the Dunfermline defeat by steam rollering Livingston and for twenty minutes they gave the visitors a torrid time, Having broken the deadlock, when Novo ran onto Brady's lofted pass to ram a waist high volley into the postage stamp corner of the net, hopefully that dominance would continue, but Livi' were working hard and gradually got back into the match.

Indeed as half time approached they were looking the better side and the impressive Brian Kerr was feeding the ball neatly to danger men Pasqinelli and O'Brien. The Argentinean, in particular, caused a lot of problems and Lee Wilkie had to be alert to minimise his threat, It was Burton O'Brien though who would pull the 'Lions' level in 37 minutes when he scored a goal of stunning invention, Wilson pulled a low cross back to the striker from the right and O'Brien let the ball run across his body before flicking a wonderful chip with the outside of his left foot over Speroni.

The second half again started with Dundee in the ascendancy, Lovell and Mackay both had decent opportunities for the Dark Blues, Main was down bravely to deny the former while Mackay missed a peach of a chance as he was given a free header from a Brady corner, only to direct it past the post.

As time wore on, the visitors began to threaten again and with eight minutes to go they broke with pace and purpose. Lilley raced down the left and fired in a low cross which Pasqinelli met at the back post, the striker was no more than five yards out, but Barry Smith had tracked back to make an incredible block. Had that gone in then Dundee would likely have lost this match, but seconds later Nemsadze released Caballero for that penalty.

There was one more chance for the Dees in injury time as substitute Sara waltzed past three Livingston defenders before slapping a left foot shot wide of the target.

In our match report for the Dunfermline defeat we mused on the seven home league games without a win run and reflected that most of those games 'could and should have been won - here a win was on the fortunate side but it ended the poor sequence and got Dundee's season right back on track.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at August 23rd, 2003)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 4 - 71 -
Barry Smith29 413143
Lee Wilkie23 41944
Lee Mair22 4 - 381
Jonay Hernández24 4 - 411
David Mackay22 3 - 642
Giorgi Nemsadze31 4 - 875
Garry Brady26 4 - 371
Fabian Caballero25 3 - 10125
Steve Lovell22 413916
Nacho Novo24 434712
Gavin Rae (sub)25 4123124
Juan Sara (sub)26 2 - 9334

League Table (as at August 23rd, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Last week's defeat by Dunfermline was very hard to take given how much we had of the game.

We played some excellent stuff and controlled and passed the ball very well.

Apart from their two goals, I can't readily recall any other chances, but it is goals that win football matches and the only thing lacking was a wee bit of spark and zip in front of goal.

Dunfermline's tactics were designed to ensure they were strong and they were. Having said that, whilst, like our fans, being very disappointed that we lost, I was happy enough with the way we played.

However, our inability to cash on our chances which is something that also afflicted us on occasions last season is a concern.

Yet before the Dunfermline match, we had scored five in our two opening games both of which were away from home, so I don't think there is too much wrong.

Indeed, as I said our overall performance was highly satisfactory, and all we have to do is capitalise on it by taking our chances.

All our games against Livingston last season were very close ones and they have got off to a very good start to the season by drawing at Partick Thistle and then beating Motherwell, so this one is unlikely to be any different.

One plus point of last week's game with Dunfermline was Brent Sancho's excellent home debut and the fans certainly took to him.

However, Dave Mackay who missed the match after picking up a stomach bug has been one of our most consistent performers over a lengthy period of time and will be back in the side to face Livingston this afternoon, but he now knows that he has competition.

And that is something that now applies to every position, but it will take a little bit of time before everything falls into place.

In terms of finding the net, however, we want to try and rectify the problems of last week as soon as possible, hopefully starting today!