Dundee 1
Stranraer 1
League (First Division)

1 - 1

League (First Division)
Saturday, October 15th, 2005
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,417
3:00 PM Kick-off

Andy Ferguson (82)
Murray Henderson (50)

Team Managers
Alan Kernaghan
Neil Watt

Starting Eleven
1. Derek Soutar
2. Stuart McCluskey
3. Bobby Mann
4. Adrian Madaschi
5. Callum MacDonald
6. Scott Robertson
7. Barry Smith
8. Kevin McDonald
9. Scott Gates
10. Simon Lynch
11. Tam McManus
Barry John Corr .1
Craig Higgins .2
Alex Keddie .3
Derek Wingate .4
Murray Henderson .5
Alan Jenkins .6
David Hamilton .7
Andy Dowie .8
Michael Moore .9
Paul Walker .10
Lee Sharp .11

12. Scott Murray
14. Paul Dixon
15. Garry Brady
16. Andy Ferguson
17. Steven Robb
Alan Morrison .12
Leigh Hinds .14
Stephen Aitken .15
Ian Ross .16
Colin Marshall .17

Steven Robb for Scott Gates (54)
Andy Ferguson for Simon Lynch (65)
Garry Brady for Adrian Madaschi (76)
Ian Ross for Lee Sharp (66)
Colin Marshall for Craig Higgins (76)

Stuart McCluskey (18)
Ian Ross (74)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Colin Hardie (Referee)
Paul Cheyne & Morag Pirie (Assistants)

Match Report

Alan Kernaghan thought that Dundee should have made more of their possession after they had come from behind to draw with Stranraer "We dominated but didn't create enough chances" he said "I thought our shape was OK but once we lost a goal it didn't look as if an equaliser would come. Stranraer did what they do well, and it was hard to break down.

"That's why we made the substitutions, we had to change something, and as soon as we introduced Robb he got past the full-back a couple of times. It wasn't that young Gates wasn't doing OK, just that we needed a change.

"We managed to put them under a fair bit of pressure, their keeper had a great save, Bobby hit the bar and we won the penalty. When Tam missed it you feared that a goal wasn't going to come, he looked confident enough before stepping up to take the kick. "Thankfully we kept pressing and Andy got the goal that saved a point, we had a talk with him (Ferguson) about what we expected after we arrived at the club and he's buckled down and done progressively better since then."

Kernaghan had Derek Soutar in for the injured Kelvin Jack and Tom McManus in for ankle injury victim Steven Craig, but otherwise stuck with the same starting eleven that had beaten Brechin.

The first half though lacked any consistent sparkle from the Dark Blues and little from the visitors either. Kevin McDonald showed some nice touches and Gates got away from some tight marking a couple of times to show an impressive burst of pace, for much of the half though, he and the strikers were starved of service and the game lacked real urgency.

That changed after the interval but not initially in the way that the home support wanted for the Ferrymen took a fiftieth minute lead though who scored it depends on which report you read. No doubt that it was former Dens man Lee Sharp who whipped in the comer from the right, but here is where the confusion comes.

We'll go with the Stranraer Official Website, which states:

"It took a slight deflection off Michael Moore and Murray Henderson challenged the keeper for the ball and it seemed to make contact with his head and go in to the delight of the away players."

Either way, Derek Soutar maintained that he had been impeded as he attempted to get to the cross, but referee Colin Hardie waved away his protests.

In the immediate aftermath of the goal Dundee tried to press, but without much success and manager Kernaghan made his first chance to try to build some momentum. Steven Robb replaced Gates and immediately made his presence felt with a couple of runs that took him beyond the defence.

Another change came with top scorer Simon Lynch being replaced by Andy Ferguson and as the Dark Blues began to turn the screw they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Scott Robertson with quarter of an hour to go, the loose ball actually being lashed into the net by McDonald as the whistle blew. Tam McManus looked confident as he stepped up for the kick, but although his effort was well struck, it was an ideal height for Barry John Corr to make an excellent save.

The heads could have gone down, but Kernaghan made another change to maintain the momentum, Garry Brady making his return to top team action when he replaced Madaschi just moments after the missed spot kick.

The Dark Blues continued to pile on the pressure with Bobby Mann leading by example, going close to equalising on three occasions. First he hammered a free kick just wide, then threw himself at a loose ball and fired it off the face of the bar from six yards. Finally in 82 minutes he lashed a volley towards the top corner only to watch in horror as Corr pulled off a quite magnificent save, tipping the ball over for a corner.

If that was cruel for Mann, what followed was just as hard on the Stranraer custodian, for from that corner Dundee equalised, Ferguson heading his first competitive goal in Dundee's colours, although even then Corr got a decent hand to the effort, but just couldn't keep it out.

Stranraer rallied again after the equaliser and with just moments left Soutar was called into action and had to be at his best to dive at full length to keep out Colin Marshall's twenty yarder.

Stuart Millar, Stranraer assistant boss was in buoyant mood after the final whistle.

"This is probably the hardest place in this league to come and get a result, it's a wonderful arena. We could have snatched it in the last few minutes and this performance shows how far we've come in the last couple of years."

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at October 15th, 2005)

2005-06 All Time
Derek Soutar (GK)24 1 - 42 -
Callum MacDonald22 3 - 451
Adrian Madaschi - 13 - 13 -
Bobby Mann31 132452
Stuart McCluskey - 4 - 4 -
Barry Smith31 13 - 4014
Scott Gates17 2 - 2 -
Kevin McDonald16 4 - 4 -
Scott Robertson20 121221
Simon Lynch23 138138
Tam McManus24 111255
Garry Brady (sub)29 10 - 1152
Steven Robb (sub)23 7 - 714
Andy Ferguson (sub) - 111111

League Table (as at October 15th, 2005)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Good afternoon and welcome to Dens for today's visit of Stranraer - Hopefully we can get back to winning form at home after ending a thirteen month run without an away win in our last competitive outing. That win at Brechin also saw us gain our first three points from a match since I took charge. I said after the match "That's got the monkey off our back" and I was delighted with the attitude and application of the team.

It came via a vastly improved performance, the two games prior to our visit to Glebe Park had seen us defend well but show little in a creative sense, at Brechin we combined a solid defence, apart from one lapse, with a much better attacking performance.

Part of the praise for that improvement in creativity should go to the two youngsters we gave a start to in that match, Scott Gates did very well on his first top team outing, and Kevin McDonald, who was making his first start at this level impressed me a lot. He looks as if he's been playing in the first team for years, remarkable for a sixteen year old. This pair and the presence of the other youngsters named in the squad that day, Craig O'Reilly, Graham Hay and Mark Allison, gave the side a much needed 'jag in the arm' and players throughout the side responded in the correct way.

We are still keen to get another player in, but it has to be a player who will go straight into the first team, and because of the way the young boys have been performing, there isn't the same urgency as there was a few weeks ago. We're gradually beginning to get players available again after injury, Callum MacDonald has a game and half under his belt now, Garry Brady and Steven Robb might be able to play some part today, Gavin Swankie and maybe even Stephen McNally will be back soon and that will add a lot to the squad.

I was also pleased to see both Simon Lynch and Steven Craig on the score-sheet in the Brechin match, it's important that strikers get goals, and Simon's double will have raised his confidence after a little dry spell. In fact both of them could have had more goals that day. Steven has been struggling with an ankle injury he picked up in that match. Obviously I want him fit because his partnership with Simon Lynch has just started and they have been scoring. To be forced to break it up would be a blow.

As we strive to keep that winning feeling a big help could come from your support, please get behind the team today and you'll hopefully see the players respond to your encouragement.