Dundee 3
Ross County 1
League (First Division)


Dundee
3 - 1
Ross County 

League (First Division)
Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,380
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Alex Rae (73)
Derek Lyle (77)
Andy McLaren (84)
Hugh Robertson (65)

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Scott Leitch

Starting Eleven
1. Ludovic Roy
2. Gary Smith
3. Bobby Mann
4. Greg Strong
5. Paul Dixon
6. Kevin McDonald
7. Scott Robertson
8. Alex Rae
9. Robert Campbell
10. Derek Lyle
11. Andy McLaren
Craig Samson .1
Hugh Robertson .2
Gary Irvine .3
Sean Webb .4
Andy Dowie .5
Martin Scott .6
Michael Gardyne .7
Jason Crooks .8
Kevin McKinlay .9
Derek Adams .10
Craig Gunn .11

Bench
12. Callum MacDonald
14. Bryan Deasley
15. Brian McGinty
16. Jon Boggan
17. Scott Gates
Joe Malin .12
Mark McCulloch .14
Neal Hooks .14/5
Daniel Moore .16
Amick Ciani .17

Substitutions
Bryan Deasley for Robert Campbell (70)
Brian McGinty for Andy McLaren (86)
Neal Hooks for Jason Crooks (77)
Amick Ciani for Craig Gunn (77)

Cautions
None. Martin Scott (82)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Mike McCurry (Referee)
Thomas Robertson & Steven Duff (Assistants)


Match Report


Dundee came from behind with a scintillating last twenty minutes performance to chalk up a first ever league win over Ross County, and that revival was all the more notable as the Dark Blues had struggled to break down the Highlanders defence before former Dee Hugh Robertson gave County that lead.

There were shocks in the starting line up for the home support with Danny Griffin and Gavin Swankie missing through

injury, the latter's absence with a hamstring injury prompting Alex Rae to phone Andy McLaren on Friday to ask "Do you fancy a game of football" - The veteran not having trained at all this week after his son was assaulted.

And how Andy enjoyed his afternoon, Dundee's most lively and accomplished player, he was a constant thorn in Ross County's side and he capped the comeback by celebrating the excellent. final goal with his watching boy.

The first chance of the afternoon came in ten minutes when Mclaren and Lyle combined with the latter feeding the ball into the path of Scott Robertson 22 yards out, his rasping shot appeared net bound until visiting keeper Craig Samson snaked out an arm to save.

County struck back three minutes later as on loan Celt Michael Gardyne jinked along the edge of the penalty area before firing in a low shot which went narrowly wide.

On the quarter hour McLaren fired in a twenty five yard free kick which Samson saved but couldn't hold, Greg Strong being inches away from applying a final touch as the ball was scrambled behind for a corner.

There was to be little to warm the fans in the rest of the half though, as the game settled into a spell where both sides regularly gave the ball away, McLaren tried his luck in 33 minutes, racing onto a lofted pass from Kevin McDonald to lash a drive just over the bar.

The two teams would have been glad to see the break, giving them a chance to regroup and bring to life a game which appeared to have fallen victim to blustery conditions, albeit aided by some poor passing on both sides.

In the early part of the second half it was Robert Campbell who looked as if he might make an impact, three minutes in he did well to get to the bye- line and fire in a cross which McLaren just couldn't get to.

Dundee were pressing but still struggling to beat Samson, though the keeper appeared to have given them a great chance when he picked up a back pass on the edge of the six yard box Rae fed the free kick to McLaren but Samson blocked his effort, and Scott Robertson's follow up effort was charged down by the combined ranks of the County defence.

County broke in 55 minutes and Hugh Robertson and Craig Gunn combined with the former firing a long range effort over the bar, but Dundee were on top and McLaren tried his luck again with a shot on the tum which Samson saved.

Just before the hour it looked for a moment as if Dundee would break the deadlock when Lyle found Campbell 25 yards out, his low shot beat Samson but cannoned off the inside of the post and across the face of goal.

It was at the other end that a goal came four minutes after that Campbell effort, Jason Crooks found Robertson with a neat reverse pass and he despatched a first time shot past Roy with that trusty left foot.

At that point some of the home support decided to call it a day, seeing Dundee struggle to make an impact and then fall behind on a freezing day too much for them, indeed in the next couple of minutes County pressed and could have doubled their lead How those fans must have regretted that decision on hearing the final score though, for Dundee simply moved up through the gears and took County apart in the remaining time.

That revival started with the introduction of Bryan Deasley for Robert Campbell, it seemed a strange decision at the time Campbell had been lively after the break, but the change saw the whole Dundee side begin to pass the ball with pace and precision, and look likely to equalise.

The youngster had only been on the park two minutes when he was involved in the leveller, McLaren cut inside from the right fed the ball to Deasley and he slid a simple, yet delicious pass into the path of Alex Rae who hammered a low left footer across Samson into the bottom corner of the net.

It took only three more minutes for the Dee to forge ahead, Deasley's low comer from the left was met by Greg Strong who battered in a low shot which Samson couldn't hold, Derek Lyle was lurking and napped the loose ball into the net.

Dundee were running riot and with seven minutes to go they sealed the points with the goal fitting reward for an all action display from McLaren, Ludovic Roy bombed a clearance forward and McLaren pulled it out of the air with a wonderful touch before ramming his shot low past Samson.

It could, and should have been four with five minutes left, Kevin McDonald and Deasley combining delightfully for the former to have a clear sight of goal, but the young midfielder skied his left foot 18 yarder.

It was in some ways a strange aftermoon, the first hour of the match was generally dull, but after Robertson had given County the lead it broke into life and the final twenty minutes saw Dundee play some of their best football of the season to earn a thoroughly deserved win.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme



Squad Statistics (as at December 2nd, 2006)


2006-07 All Time
Age
Ludovic Roy (GK)29 12 - 12 -
Gary Smith35 3131
Paul Dixon20 17 - 562
Greg Strong31 171171
Bobby Mann32 131905
Scott Robertson21 17 - 702
Kevin McDonald18 161494
Alex Rae37 163163
Andy McLaren - 113113
Robert Campbell - 12 - 12 -
Derek Lyle25 106106
Bryan Deasley (sub)18 11 - 303
Brian McGinty (sub)29 6161






League Table (as at December 2nd, 2006)


No league table has been added for this season.


Manager's Programme Notes


There is no doubt that last week's match with Airdrie United was extremely hard fought, but the result was particularly gratifying on two counts.

Firstly, and most obviously, because it was much needed to keep us in touch with the teams above us.

Probably the most satisfying aspect of it was that we cut out the mistakes that have been costing us so dearly to grind out a result.

And that's the first time that I can recall that we have not been at our best, but still battled to get the three points.

I have to say that I don't think that I've been more satisfied with any other win since I took over here.

Yet in some quarters of the press much was made of the fact that this was our first win at home for two months and that has been a problem with this club.

Too often the spotlight has been what has gone wrong.

Whilst I can't deny that we must win more home games, we can be more positive about the effort that is being put in.

There is no getting away from the fact that we have drawn too many games, but conversely, we have only lost once going back a lot longer than two months.

So the way I prefer to look at last Saturday's victory is that it was our second win from our last three games, because it is time that we accentuated the positives.

If we are going to climb the table, winning games even when we are not at the top of our form is essential, and what pleased me was that I always felt we were in control. Had we taken our chances, we would have won very convincingly.

The goal that won the game came from an unlikely source. When I signed Gary Smith, I knew what I was getting defensively, but hadn't exactly bargained on his goalscoring qualities.

As he showed on his debut last week, he's got vast experience; you don't play at the top level for more than a decade if you can't perform. His goal was a bonus, but a deserved bonus as far as we were concerned.

Whilst several players missed training at the start of the week, I expect most of them to be fit in time for this afternoon's game against Ross County.

Ludo Roy and Danny Griffin missed Monday, but were back training Tuesday, and whilst Derek Lyle had a sore neck after last Saturday's match, I'm confident that he'll be in his usual place.

This game is going to be equally as difficult, or possibly even more so, against the League Challenge Cup winners, especially as although they are four points behind us in the table, they have lost the same number of matches as us.

Consequently, without taking any other aspect into consideration, we'll require the same level of commitment from the players that earned us three points last week.