Dundee 1
Livingston 0
League (Premier League)

1 - 0

League (Premier League)
Saturday, February 21st, 2004
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,108
3:00 PM Kick-off

Steven Milne (59)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
David Hay

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
4. Tom Hutchinson
27. Callum MacDonald
3. David Mackay
19. Lee Mair
2. Barry Smith
26. Garry Brady
30. Mark Fotheringham
21. Steven Robb
25. Steve Lovell
15. Steven Milne
Roddy McKenzie. 18
Oscar Rubio .4
Marvin Andrews .5
Emanuel Dorado .6
David McNamee. 2
Jamie McAllister. 3
Stuart Love. 17
Lee Makel .14
Burton O'Brien. 15
Derek Lilley .16
David Fernandez. 7

35. John McCafferty
16. Jonay Hernández
24. Neil Barrett
5. Sebastian Kneissl
24. Neil Jablonski
Alan Main .1
Scott McLaughlin .22
Colin McMenamin .30
Richard Brittain .25
Fernando Pasquinelli .9

Sebastian Kneissl for Steve Lovell (66)
Neil Barrett for Steven Robb (81)
Neil Jablonski for Steven Milne (88)
Fernando Pasquinelli for Jamie McAllister (69)
Richard Brittain for Stuart Love (74)
Colin McMenamin for David Fernandez (81)

Steve Lovell (57)
Neil Barrett (90)
David McNamee (77)
Emanuel Dorado (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Kevin Toner (Referee)
Stewart Shearer & Wilson Irvine (Assistants)
John Fleming (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee defeated Livingston thanks to Steven Milne's 58th minute strike. Savo, in for top scorer Nacho Novo, fired home from just inside the area after a great ball from Steven Robb had given him space.

Nacho was missing on compassionate leave and Milne took the chance to score his first competitive goal of the season, he last struck at Northampton in a pre-season friendly on August the 2nd, before having an operation on his left knee which left him sidelined until the New Year.

Partnered by Steve Lovell in a 4-4-2 formation he was one of four changes from the side who had lost to Dunfermline, with Steven Robb, Mark Fotheringham and Calum MacDonald coming in for Sebastian Kneissl, Neil Barrett and Jonay Hernandez, who took a seat on the bench after his long journey from Venezuela.

Livingston were the more likely in the first period, but the West Lothian outfit were by and large restricted to long range efforts, Makel, Fernandez and McAllister all narrowly missing the target from distance. Indeed, Tom Hutchinson came closest to breaking the deadlock with a sliced clearance which Speroni scrambled away for a corner. At the other end Milne was looking the most dangerous of Dundee's strikers having had a fourth minute header tipped away by McKenzie.

On the resumption in the second half, Dundee upped the pace considerably, but there was a scare when Speroni sciaffed a clearance straight to Lilley, and the Argentine keeper was grateful to grab the rebound off the former United hitman.

Steven Robb was guilty of a bad miss in 50 minutes when Milne picked him out with a fine cross, but the winger failed to realise that he had loads of time, volleying his effort well wide.

That miss could have rattled the youngster, but instead Robb began to shine on the left of midfield, and he produced an outstanding run and cross which Andrews did well to clear as Lovell waited to pounce.

Fittingly, Robb was involved when Dundee scored the decisive goal. The outstanding Mark Fotheringham danced though a couple of tackles in midfield before feeding the ball to Robb wide on the left. He cut inside to clip a lovely pass to Milne who had found the proverbial acre of space and Savo' took a touch, steadied himself and rammed a low shot into the bottom corner of the net before setting off to celebrate a special moment after his injury worries.

The match became a little more physical than had been the case before the goal as Livi' showed they can mix it as well as play a bit, but Dundee stood their ground and apart from a Pasquinelli shot on the turn, and a deflection off Calum Macdonald's boot, Speroni was little troubled.

Instead, it was Dundee who had the best opportunity, Fotheringham again showing silky skill before picking out Brady who slid a pass through for substitute Kneissl to fire a drive over the bar from twenty yards.

That effort came in injury time, and the final whistle went with the Dark Blues back to winning ways after three defeats on the bounce. After recent shaky displays at the back. the defence will be delighted to have kept what was only their fourth clean sheet of the league season, but no one could have been happier than match-winner Milne who left the field in 88 minutes with the cheers of the Dens crowd ringing in his ears.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at February 21st, 2004)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 34 - 101 -
Tom Hutchinson21 111241
Callum MacDonald20 3 - 3 -
David Mackay22 32 - 932
Lee Mair23 321662
Barry Smith30 3423444
Garry Brady27 31 - 641
Mark Fotheringham20 193193
Steven Robb21 91211
Steve Lovell23 1825317
Steven Milne23 9110418
Neil Barrett (sub)22 6161
Sebastian Kneissl (sub) - 3 - 3 -
Neil Jablonski (sub)20 7 - 9 -

League Table (as at February 21st, 2004)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

If the most painful result this season was the defeat by Livingston in the semi-final of the CIS Insurance, then last week's defeat by Dunfermline last week has to be the most disappointing.

As far as I am concerned, in terms of the performance, it has to go down as one of the poorest in a long, long time. Given their efforts over the season, however, I wouldn't like to be too harsh on the players. All I can ask of them is to get back to competing the way they have in the vast majority of matches this season.

Having said that it will take a marked improvement to overcome this afternoon's visitors' Livingston who have been one of the most improved teams in the league this season.

No manager can ever guarantee a victory, but there is no reason why managers shouldn't expect 100% from his players and that is certainly what I will be asking of the players this afternoon.

As I have said before though, success requires the combined efforts of the players and the supporters, and last week I felt that the fans, too, were a bit flat.

There is still a lot of work to be done and to play for before the end of the season, and the players need the same kind of vocal backing that they have become accustomed to this term.

No one gets more frustrated than me when things aren't going right, but it is imperative that we all get behind the players.

You only have to look at the effect it had on the side in the recent derby match, and whilst appreciating that it would be difficult to generate the same kind of atmosphere this afternoon, it is vital that we get as much vocal backing as possible this afternoon, so that we can put last week's disappointment against Dunfermline well and truly in the past.