Dundee 1
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1
League (Premier League)

1 - 1
Inverness CT 

League (Premier League)
Saturday, May 14th, 2005
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,691
3:00 PM Kick-off

Brent Sancho (49)
Liam Fox (88)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Craig Brewster

Starting Eleven
1. Derek Soutar
17. Callum MacDonald
5. Bobby Mann
3. Brent Sancho
2. Barry Smith
11. Iain Anderson
12. Garry Brady
18. Steven Robb
22. Scott Robertson
9. Steve Lovell
16. Tam McManus
Mark Brown .1
Ross Tokely .2
Darren Dods .4
Grant Munro .14
Stuart Golabek .3
Richard Hastings .16
Russell Duncan .12
Richard Hart .10
Roy McBain .6
Brian Prunty .19
Graham Bayne .9

24. Francois Dubourdeau
20. Stephen McNally
14. Neil Barrett
8. Mark Fotheringham
7. Glen Atle Larsen
26. Fabian Caballero
10. John Sutton
Michael Fraser .21
David Proctor .18
Ian Black .24
Rory McAllister .28
Craig Brewster .25
Liam Fox .23

Stephen McNally for Scott Robertson (37)
Fabian Caballero for Garry Brady (46)
Neil Barrett for Steve Lovell (82)
Craig Brewster for Bryan Prunty (63)
Liam Fox for Roy McBain (71)
Rory McAllister for Graham Bayne (71)

Brent Sancho (50)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Martin Cryans & Ricky Mooney (Assistants)
Chris Boyle (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Caley Thistle substitute Liam Fox's 88th-minute goal denied Dundee a win, and left Dens Park devastated. Particularly galling was that the visitors had previously only created one clear-cut chance and Dundee had spurned a host of scoring opportunities. In fact, when the Dark Blues finally scored, four minutes after the interval it was the signal for Caley to take part in a game where they had previously been cast pretty much in the role of spectators. They were helped in large part by a Dundee side that seemed to collectively go into 'hang onto what we've got mode and that, perhaps understandable; change in attitude cost the Dees dear with just ninety seconds of regular time remaining.

Jim Duffy made three changes to the starting eleven after the East End Park thrashing, but keeper Derek Soutar wasn't one of them, he'd held his hands up and accepted the blame for much of what happened in Fife and Duffy acknowledged that it had been a daft day from a custodian who had been consistently good all season. The manager's faith was rewarded with a solid display from the goalie. The men who came in were Tam McManus, who returned after suspension, Brent Sancho and young Scott Robertson.

It was the youngster who made an early impact looking cool and assured in the opening exchanges and having a good shout for a penalty in the fourth minutes as he stripped the ball from Inverness captain Stuart Golabek and was dumped to the turf for his cheek. Referee Craig Thomson had a 'should have gone to Specsavers' moment though, and barely acknowledged the appeals of the Dundee players and punters as he instead awarded a corner. From that kick Bobby Mann's header found Callum Macdonald but Mark Brown comfortably saved the full back's shot.

Scott Robertson was making his first ever start at Dens in the top team and he appeared to be the ace up Jim Duffy's sleeve, winning the ball, using it intelligently and most notably backing up the strikers. He was revelling in the first team limelight but his inexperience showed when he made a fine run to get free of the defence and run onto a McManus through ball. The midfielder was in the clear but allowed Mark Brown to advance and save his shot when he really should have scored. Dundee came even closer to breaking the deadlock minutes later as McManus whipped in a free kick from the left, Sancho threw himself at the ball, but didn't appear to get a touch, and the ball came back off the inside of the post and was scrambled clear by the visiting defence.

In 24 minutes the Dark Blues were one on one with the keeper again, and this time it was top scorer Steve Lovell, sent free by a defence splitting pass from Brady, most would have backed him to score but, although he beat the keeper, his effort was wide of target. With ten minutes to go till the break Brown had to excel himself as he dived low to his left to fingertip away a net-bound lain Anderson free kick.

Just a minute later Dundee were dealt an injury blow as Scott Robertson departed the action with a hamstring injury, the kid had been the best player on the park to that point. His replacement was Stephen McNally and Callum McDonald switched to the left back area to accommodate him. Steven Robb pushed forward into midfield with lain Anderson switching to the right.

If the changes unsettled the Dark Blues there was little evidence showing as they continued to have the bulk of the play and Caley Thistle must have been grateful to hear the half time whistle after a forty five minutes dominated by the home side.

Garry Brady had been limping in the final moments of the half after going over on his ankle and Jim Duffy went for it as the teams emerged for the second half, introducing Fabian Caballero to the action as the team changed to 4-3-3.

The change appeared to be working as they continued the pressure and Tam McManus came desperately close to opening the scoring when his snapshot was deflected inches past by Russell Duncan. The goal was only delayed momentarily as McManus' corner was bulleted into the postage stamp corner of the net via the head of Brent Sancho. Sancho had scored the winner in his previous home appearance and at this point it looked as if he had repeated the trick. His celebration with the fans that had chosen to view the game from the Bob Shankly stand earned the Trinidad and Tobago international a booking, but it illustrated the relief felt by Dundee supporters. Caley now had to push forward, and they did but with little immediate effect, even after the introduction on bogeyman Craig Brewster in the 64th minutes, Sancho shackling the player/boss admirably.

In fact it was Dundee who came close to extending their lead a minute after Brewster's introduction, Bobby Mann's clearance at first appeared to be just a punt up the park but he'd controlled the flight of the ball beautifully and Steve Lovell raced onto it, controlled it superbly and fired in a screamer which beat Brown but cannoned back off the face of the crossbar.

Lovell had another opportunity as he raced clear on the right but as Brown advanced and slipped the striker went for a lob over the stranded keeper and miscued his effort wide of the target. By now the visitors had added two more substitutes to their ranks Rory McAllister and Liam Fox replacing Prunty and former Dee Graeme Bayne and with Dundee sitting deeper and deeper they would both have an impact. McAllister's effort came first with a header, which appeared net-bound until Soutar snaked out an arm to claw the ball away from the top corner. Lovell was beginning to look very tired and with ten minutes to go he was replaced by Neil Barrett as Dundee went back to 4-4-2, for a brief period it appeared that the change had stopped Caley's push forward but as the seconds ticked down the nerves of everyone were tested to the full and found wanting.

Grant Munro had launched a succession of long throws into the danger area throughout the last ten minutes and with ninety seconds left of the ninety minutes he bombed in another to the near post. A host of players from either side were there to challenge, but none got a significant touch, and the ball fell to Stuart Golabek who had anticipated that situation superbly. He had time to take a touch and slide the ball past Soutar but Brent Sancho popped up on the goal-line to make a fantastic saving clearance. On another day Brent's action added to his goal would have ensured legendary status but his clearance fell for Liam Fox and the substitute lashed the ball past Soutar to switch off the volume on the Dens crowd.

Dundee were completely deflated and although they tried to push forward in the three minutes of injury time added to the ninety it was with little conviction, Bobby Mann tested Brown with a free kick, but the keeper saved comfortably and it was at the other end that a winner nearly came.

Brewster's presence on the pitch had undoubtedly helped his younger striking partners but his individual contribution had been unusually poor, that didn't help settle the home fans nerves as Caley broke and the ball found the veteran in acres of space on the left, he advanced on goal and Dens held it's breath, a striker of his quality would surely score, but he dragged his shot woefully wide of the target and a sigh of relief could be heard around the stadium.

That let off couldn't lift the gloom as the final whistle went moments later, Dundee should have won this match and the sight of players with their heads in their hands all over the pitch told it's own story.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at May 14th, 2005)

2004-05 All Time
Derek Soutar (GK)23 39 - 40 -
Callum MacDonald21 34 - 41 -
Bobby Mann31 31 - 31 -
Brent Sancho28 292542
Barry Smith31 39 - 3874
Iain Anderson27 21317423
Garry Brady28 2811052
Steven Robb23 343634
Scott Robertson20 9 - 9 -
Steve Lovell24 35159736
Tam McManus24 134134
Stephen McNally (sub) - 20 - 22 -
Neil Barrett (sub)23 312443
Fabian Caballero (sub)27 28114126

League Table (as at May 14th, 2005)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

It doesn't need me to tell you how massively disappointing the last two results have been.

In the last few years our overall record in the derby has been fantastic, and with the situation as we went into the game with Dundee United, the right result would have a concrete step towards survival.

Unfortunately, it wasn't to be but that was in no way down to the attitude of the team, whom I thought gave their all.

Basic errors cost us dearly in the end, but I think the player's efforts were as much appreciated by our supporters, as was your backing by the players.

That took us into a difficult match at Dunfermline, where we knew we needed to be at our best.

The record books will show that we lost 5-0, but I have to repeat what I said after the game to the press that it was one of the most freakish games that I have ever been involved in, either as a manager or player.

In between the goals, we played very well. In fact, it was probably some of the best football that we have played in several months.

Individual errors were what cost us the match, but whilst it is hard to argue that Dunfermline didn't deserve to win, the margin of their victory grossly distorted the difference between the two sides.

Not that those two recent defeats are really responsible for the position that we now find ourselves in, because that is down to a combination of things over a period of time.

In the two remaining games, we still have a very good chance to turn the season around, though we can only hope to start achieving this by taking three points from this afternoon's match against Inverness Caley Thistle.

So given the importance of this game, I'd ask you to back the team to the hilt to give us the extra lift and turn recent disappointments into a victory of major significance.