Dundee 1
Gretna 3
League (First Division)

1 - 3

League (First Division)
Saturday, November 4th, 2006
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,938
3:00 PM Kick-off

Brian McGinty (28)
Colin McMenamin (pen) (35)
Steve Tosh (77)
Allan Jenkins (90)

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Rowan Alexander

Starting Eleven
1. Ludovic Roy
2. Danny Griffin
3. Bobby Mann
4. Greg Strong
5. Paul Dixon
6. Ross Harris
7. Kevin McDonald
8. Scott Robertson
9. Gavin Swankie
10. Brian McGinty
11. Andy McLaren
1. Alan Main
2. Martin Canning
3. Chris Innes
4. Danny Grainger
5. Derek Townsley
6. Gavin Skelton
7. Erik Paartalu
8. David Nicholls
9. Steve Tosh
10. David Graham
11. Colin McMenamin

12. Callum Reidford
14. Callum MacDonald
15. Jon Boggan
16. Scott Gates
17. Bryan Deasley
12. Greg Fleming
14. James Grady
15. Kenny Deuchar
16. Matthew Berkeley
17. Allan Jenkins

Bryan Deasley for Brian McGinty (75)
Callum MacDonald for Paul Dixon (83)
Scott Gates for Gavin Swankie (83)
Matthew Berkeley for Derek Townsley (70)
Allan Jenkins for Erik Paartalu (79)

Bobby Mann (43)
Andy McLaren (65)
Andy McLaren (67)
Chris Innes (65)
Colin McMenamin (86)

Red Cards
Andy McLaren (67)
Match Officials

Brian Winter (Referee)
Derek Nicholls & Roddy Cobb (Assistants)

Match Report

The absence of player boss Alex Rae through suspension was keenly felt as Dundee went down to Gretna at Dens, the visitors greater experience in midfield being a telling factor as the Dark Blues recent poor run continued. In particular the visitors' Steve Tosh showed grit and the ability to play simple football well, something which Rae excels at and which was missed in this match.

It was the visitors who set the early pace and Ludovic Roy had to be in fine form to deny Tosh, Colin McMenamin and Gavin Skelton in the first quarter of an hour. Dundee were struggling to get into the match but they forced a corner on 18 minutes and when Harris curled it in Bobby Mann got his head to the ball, that effort was blocked and half cleared before Greg Strong lashed in a volley his effort too being charged down.

Eight minutes later Dundee were ahead and as in the previous match at Firhill the move started with a long ball forward from Griffin to McLaren, the veteran striker cut inside and slid a ball into the path of Brian McGinty who fired a low shot on the turn past Alan Main.

Dundee looked more comfortable once they had taken the lead, but it wouldn't last long as a Graham cross hit Greg Strong's hand in 34 minutes and referee Brian Winter pointed to the penalty spot. Ludovic Roy went the right way but Colin McMenamin's penalty was well struck and found the net to level the scores.

Gavin Swankie had a volleyed attempt to restore a Dundee lead three minutes after McMenamin's counter but fired wide of the target.

Both sides had chances in the opening minutes of the second half with Paartalu failing to take advantage of a fine Graham cross from the left and at the other end McGinty coming close to doubling his goal tally with a flashing header across goal

Dundee were looking more likely than they had at any point so far and a good cross from Swankie picked out McLaren who hit the target with his header but failed to seriously trouble Main.

The former Morton man had looked the most impressive of Dundee's forwards but his participation was about to end dramatically with two bookings in the space of a couple of minutes leading to his dismissal, the first came after he'd been the victim of a kick from Chris Innes, the referee taking exception to McLaren's reaction and booking both players. The second came after a challenge in the 67th minute and left Dundee without one of their most experienced and influential players for the second week running.

Gretna pushed forward with the man advantage and Tosh came close in 76 minutes running onto McMenamin's cut-back and firing. just over. The Gretna midfielder wouldn't be denied though and two minutes after that chance he got on the scoresheet as he picked up a ricocheted clearance and curled a delightful shot beyond Roy and into the top corner.

Things went from bad to worse for Dundee as Paul Dixon limped off with an instep injury and then Kevin McDonald left the action with his nose splattered across his face after a challenge from McMenamin, who was fortunate to escape with just a yellow card for his part in the clash. Dundee though were left with just nine men, having used their substitutes in a bid to force a leveller.

Roy was in action again with two minutes left as Gretna picked apart the nine men, doing well to save a Jenkins' shot. The Gretna sub, a target for the Dark Blues before moving from Stranraer to Raydale did get on the scoresheet though, wrapping up proceedings with a low shot in the final moments to complete a miserable and costly afternoon for Dundee.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at November 4th, 2006)

2006-07 All Time
Ludovic Roy (GK)29 8 - 8 -
Bobby Mann32 91865
Paul Dixon19 14 - 532
Greg Strong31 131131
Scott Robertson21 13 - 662
Ross Harris22 121121
Kevin McDonald18 141474
Andy McLaren - 9292
Danny Griffin29 11 - 11 -
Gavin Swankie22 143173
Brian McGinty29 3131
Callum MacDonald (sub)23 7 - 821
Scott Gates (sub)18 9 - 17 -
Bryan Deasley (sub)18 7 - 263

League Table (as at November 4th, 2006)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Each passing week at the moment seems to involve in a promotion battle which indicates just how tight things are at the top and today's game with Gretna is very much another in that mould.

Despite dropping two points to Hamilton and losing at Firhill last week, we are still not too far off the pace.

On another day against Hamilton, as we had done the previous week at Dingwall, we lost another sloppy goal, failing to defend a simple cross into the box.

And it does seem to take us to go a goal down to get us to respond and get some tempo into our game, but the lads took a lot of credit from the way that they fought back.

In the second half we had them penned in and showed a lot of hunger and desire.

On another day we could have gone on and won it.

The only complaint I can have about last week's game with Partick Thistle was with myself!

The lads competed well, but I let them down by getting myself sent off.

I felt it was a very harsh decision because I've not had a tackle in the game, and I haven't sworn nor did I made any offensive gestures at anyone, but I've ended up being red-carded.

I don't think that's right and I don't like the way they are taking any discussion with referees out of the game, but I also know that I am not going to change the way things are and from now on I just have to live by the way things are rather than they should be.

And, however hard done by I feel, I know I let my team down because I am absolutely convinced that having just equalised we would have gone on to draw, or even win, if we had kept 11 men on the park.

Partick winning 3-1 may make it look as if there was a big gulf between the teams, but I didn't see it that way at all.

At the risking of repeating myself, I would again stress that our biggest problem is our lack of strength in depth and, as has been shown already, we can't afford to lose players through injury and suspension.

Unfortunately that applies to me this afternoon, but with John Boggan now on board and Bryan Deasley back from injury plus Derek Lyle free from suspension, we go into today's very important game better off squad-wise than for sometime.

Our last meeting with Gretna saw us impressively record our biggest win of the season, and whilst beating them by four goals again would be asking a lot, there is no reason why we can't again bag the three points that would put us right back in the thick of the championship race.