Dundee 2
Aberdeen 0
League (Premier League)

2 - 0

League (Premier League)
Saturday, September 20th, 2003
Dens Park
Attendance: 7,887
3:00 PM Kick-off

Tom Cowan (28)
Nacho Novo (82)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Steve Paterson

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
23. Tom Cowan
3. David Mackay
19. Lee Mair
6. Lee Wilkie
26. Garry Brady
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
8. Gavin Rae
7. Fabian Caballero
17. Nacho Novo
9. Juan Sara
David Preece .1
Kevin McNaughton .17
Michael Hart .2
Russell Anderson .5
James McQuilken. 3
Markus Heikkinen .29
Fergus Tiernan .16
Steve Tosh .8
Scott Muirhead .22
Darren Mackie .11
David Zdrilic .19

12. Jamie Langfield
27. Callum MacDonald
2. Barry Smith
30. Mark Fotheringham
25. Steve Lovell
David Hutton .43
Eric Deloumeaux .4
Leigh Hinds .7
Michael Bird .20
Paul Sheerin. 10

Barry Smith for Garry Brady (80)
Steve Lovell for Juan Sara (83)
Leigh Hinds for David Zdrilic (72)
Paul Sheerin for Steve Tosh (72)
Michael Bird for Darren Mackie (76)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Andrew Seymour & Jim Dunne (Assistants)
John Gilmour (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Jim Duffy rang the changes after the poor display against Celtic with Tom Cowan, Garry Brady and Juan Sara all coming into the side as Aberdeen came to Dens trying to keep up their enviable record here.

Jonay Hemandez, Barry Smith and Steve Lovell were the three to drop out, although the last two named found places on the bench, which also included young Callum Macdonald for the first time.

Aberdeen started well and pushed Dundee back in the early stages, but lacked a cutting edge, and it was Dundee who came close to opening the scoring after quarter of an hour.

Juan Sara spun in the centre of the field and clipped a lofted pass out wide to Rae who took on McQuilken before laying a low ball across the edge of the area. Sara had made up the ground and found space with a fine tum before curling a left foot twenty-yarder inches wide of Preece's fingertips, but also just off target.

Caballero was getting room to show off his skills whenever he came deep, and his delightful ball might have led to a goal if Novo's first touch had been better, but Preece was out quickly to deny him the opportunity.

Sara should have opened the Dees account with his next chance in 23 minutes. Novo and Rae combined delightfully on the left, the former curling in a great left foot cross which begged to be despatched into the net. Sara controlled the ball well enough on his chest, but with the goal gaping, dragged his shot wide of the target.

Three minutes later Dundee were ahead as Tieman scrambled clear after blocking a Caballero effort, but the ball fell to Tom Cowan thirty five yards out and he let fly with a strike, which had both real pace and bend on it, as it screamed past the keeper and into the postage-stamp comer.

Just on the half hour, the veteran full back came to the rescue at the other end as Julian Speroni slipped when trying to clear a Wilkie back-pass, leaving the goal wide open for Markus Heikkinen, but Cowan got in a fantastic blocking tackle to deny the Finnish international.

Aberdeen had a real chance to get level in 35 minutes when Tieman went down under Wilkie's challenge for a somewhat soft penalty award, but Australian international David Zdritic crashed his

effort off Julian Speroni's left hand post. The Aussie had another chance five minutes later as a corner from the right evaded everyone, but the striker fired his shot from five yards into the side netting. Caballero again showed great skill when he jinked in from the right to fire in a 25- yarder which Preece parried with Sara's follow up effort going over the bar.

Seven minutes into the second half, Gavin Rae brought the best out of Preece as he pulled off a magnificent one handed save to keep out his left foot shot. Gavin should have extended Dundee's lead with twenty minutes to go as Sara played him into space with a fine pass, but the Scotland midfielder thrashed a shot wide of the target from 15-yards.

Aberdeen were pressing with Dundee beginning to sit too deep, and it took a great Wilkie tackle to deny substitute Hinds with 12 minutes left. Jim Duffy brought on Barry Smith moments afterwards to tighten things up, and it was a substitution with immediate impact.

Sara was downed as he challenged for a high ball and Smith took the free kick quickly, catching out McNaughton, which allowed Novo to race in on goal. Preece advanced, but the magical silver boots worked again as Nacho slid the ball under the keeper to make sure of the points which finally brought Aberdeen's fifteen year unbeaten league run at Dens to an end.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at September 20th, 2003)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 8 - 75 -
Tom Cowan - 2121
David Mackay22 6 - 672
Lee Mair22 8 - 421
Lee Wilkie23 81984
Garry Brady27 7 - 401
Giorgi Nemsadze31 8 - 915
Gavin Rae25 8223525
Fabian Caballero25 6 - 10425
Nacho Novo24 875116
Juan Sara26 619735
Barry Smith (sub)29 813183
Steve Lovell (sub)22 814316

League Table (as at September 20th, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

In the past, even recently, only losing 1-0 to Celtic might have seemed a reasonable result, but last week, I was disappointed with the outcome.

The sending off of Didier Agathe was undoubtedly a turning point because I thought we actually did better when it was eleven v eleven.

The game was much more open then and we had two or three chances.

A combination of us not being as slick as we might have been, and Celtic defending so well which denied us the space in which to play.

For all that, I have no complaints about the attitude of the players, it was once again first class, but we just didn't get the breaks in front of goal that you need to pierce such a strong defence as Celtic's.

And the testing period which we have on our plates right now continues today with the visit of Aberdeen.

It hardly needs me to tell you how difficult they have made life for us over the years.

Under Steve Paterson,

Aberdeen has a new-look side with higher ambitions that wants to do well.

In addition, they carry a large travelling support which guarantees another difficult afternoon is in prospect.

Having said that, looking at the matches in the first third of the season and they are all ultra competitive.

To counter that we must ensure that we establish ourselves in the game as quickly as possible and be as creative as we can, otherwise a tough match like this, is even harder to win.