Dundee 2
Greenock Morton 1
League (First Division)

2 - 1

League (First Division)
Saturday, September 29th, 2007
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,952
3:00 PM Kick-off

Milan Palenik (2)
Jani Šturm (74)
Brian Graham (42)

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Jim McInally

Starting Eleven
1. Craig Samson
2. Danny Griffin
3. Gary Mackenzie
4. Milan Palenik
5. Paul Dixon
6. Frédéric Daquin
7. Scott Robertson
8. Kevin McDonald
9. Gavin Swankie
10. Jan Zemlik
11. Robert Davidson
Lee Robinson .1
Stewart Greacen .2
Ryan Harding .3
Jamie Stevenson .4
Alex Walker .5
Jay Shields .6
Jim McAlister .7
Kevin Finlayson .8
Peter Weatherson .9
Brian Graham .10
Chris Templeman .11

12. Michael White
14. Jani Šturm
15. Derek Lyle
16. Paul McHale
17. Alex Rae
Scott McKellar .12
David McGurn .14
Kieran McAnespie .15
Scott McLaughlin .16
Bobby Linn .17

Derek Lyle for Robert Davidson (46)
Jani Šturm for Jan Zemlik (65)
Paul McHale for Kevin McDonald (80)
Bobby Linn for Ryan Harding (80)

Jan Zemlik (39)
Kevin McDonald (43)
Scott Robertson (59)
Paul Dixon (86)
Peter Weatherson (17)
Jay Shields (68)
Kevin Finlayson (70)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Stephen Finnie (Referee)
Steven Crighton & Alan Hogg (Assistants)

Match Report

Jani Sturm scored the winner as Dundee edged past the challenge of a lively Morton side at Dens. The Slovenian scrambling the ball home in the 73rd minute after Scott Robertson's header from Gavin Swankie's cross had crashed off the crossbar.

Jani, on as a second half substitute for Jan Zemlik opened his league account for the Dark Blues with the goal, ironically against the side he snubbed to join up with Dundee in pre-season.

Before his strike Dundee had struggled after a fine start and it was the Greenock side who had looked more likely to score as the second half progressed.

The day had started perfectly for Alex Rae's men when Milan Palenik got his head to Freddie Daquin's second minute cross, the ball dropped behind visiting keeper Lee Robinson and Palenik followed up to smash the ball into the unguarded net.

In the quarter of an hour after that goal Dundee could and probably should have put the game out of sight of the visitors, Bob Davidson had a great chance on 9 minutes but rammed his effort high, and then Gary Mackenzie netted with a crashing header only to be penalised for a push.

Morton defender Ryan Harding almost put the ball in his own net from Daquin's 14th minute cross, heading his clearance just inches wide of the post.

Gradually the visiting side came into the game and they tested Craig Samson with a 24th minute free kick before Daquin came close at the other end.

Morton were level five minutes before half time via a fine goal, some neat passing allowed McAllister to hit the byline and he cut the ball back for Brian Graham who fired home a great shot, Samson getting a hand to it but being unable to stop the ball finding the top corner of the net.

After the break Morton looked the fresher side and they played some decent football without creating many chances, Jamie Stevenson and former Dee Jay Shields performing very impressively in their midfield, and Jim McInally's men should have taken the lead in 65 minutes.

Kevin Finlayson crossing from the right and Chris Templeman cleverly losing his marker to get on the end of the cross, six yards out and right in the middle of the goal it appeared he must score but the former Brechin man's piledriver of a header went just over the bar.


It was a terrible miss and eight minutes later Sturm punished Templeman's team - Gavin Swankie got away down the left and picked out a fantastic run by Scott Robertson, the midfielder rising at the back post to power a header past Robinson but off the crossbar, Sturm was quickest to react and his four yard effort found the net despite the despairing efforts of two Morton defenders to clear it as it trundled home.

With nine minutes to go Sturm was inches away from doubling his tally as Derek Lyle freed Daquin on the right, the Frenchman running on to fire a low shot which Robinson parried, the ball flying just too far in front of Sturm for him to apply the finishing touch.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at September 29th, 2007)

2007-08 All Time
Craig Samson (GK)23 8 - 8 -
Paul Dixon20 11 - 872
Gary Mackenzie21 10 - 34 -
Milan Palenik - 102102
Danny Griffin30 8 - 36 -
Kevin McDonald18 113788
Scott Robertson22 113977
Frédéric Daquin29 111111
Robert Davidson21 104257
Gavin Swankie23 1025011
Jan Zemlik29 101101
Paul McHale (sub)25 91212
Derek Lyle (sub)26 713716
Jani Šturm (sub)25 9292

League Table (as at September 29th, 2007)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

We may have lost to Celtic on Wednesday evening but I am full of admiration for the players, who were outstanding. I never envisaged us getting as many chances as we did and all credit to them.

After going two behind, I thought we were down and out, but the lads kept going forward and managed to get back into the game and it speaks volumes for the performance that we ran them so close.

They put their strongest line up out and that showed a lot of respect towards us, apart from the result I'm pleased all round.

If we'd got the early goal that we came so close to getting with Swankie hitting the woodwork and then Boruc pulling off a couple of great saves then that would have given us a chance to dig in and try to get a result.

Making defeat even harder to take was that their two goals really both came from mistakes. McDonald was allowed a free header for the first and then we gave away poor possession for the second. Playing against teams at their level you get punished but it was a good learning curve, and I think the young boys came of age on the night.

Prior to the game, I said Boruc is one of the best keepers in the country and he proved that here, but we live to fight another day, and we got the boys in and got them dusted down and ready for today's game with Morton - they've seen now the stage they want to play on. It gives them a taste of what it's all about.

At the end of the day though the harsh fact is that we lost, but it is only one game and what I want to see is the players to perform like that every week.

It wasn't just the youngsters who played their part but obviously, it put them in the shop window. Having said that any approaches for their services would be most unwelcome and what I want is for them to stay with the club and help us get back in the SPL Because if they do that might help persuade them to remain at Dens.

After all the hype of Wednesday night it is back to the bread and butter of the league and this is very much our priority. Hopefully we can improve on our results in our last two league outings. Having said that, we can take confidence from the way we played against Dunfermline. While they were excellent for the first 20 minutes, just as good was the way we fought back into the game. By the end, we'd had a

couple of very good chances to take all three points. There was Derek's penalty miss and Jani (Sturm) also had a header he might

have done better with..

Last week's game at Stirling Albion, by contrast, was pretty poor. In fact, it was as bad as I've seen from us for a while and I was pretty glad just to get a point,

The manner of it was most the disappointing factor two errors for their goals, the keeper's come in and held his hands up for the first one.

Another tap in from two yards out, that's a couple of weeks on the bounce that teams have scored from something similar to that. The second one is the centre half trying to read a pass that he couldn't get to and their boy just slots the ball in, it just makes it a mountain to climb and if we play as we did last Saturday then it's always going to be difficult.

That means we have now gone behind in our last three league games, but drawn two and won the other one. Statistically, the team

who scores first goes on to win something like four times out of five, so our record says a lot about the attitude here. Of course, ideally, I want us to be scoring first, but I'm still very impressed by the way they have been reacting when something does go wrong, but hopefully that won't come into the equation this afternoon!

Fortunately the red-card shown to Zemlik was for two yellows which means he is available to face Morton. Having said that we are all a bit non-plussed because the referee said it was for dissent, yet Jan doesn't speak English. He tried to indicate to the ref that it was an accidental collision who obviously misinterpreted what Jan's reaction.

However, one unwanted legacy of the Celtic game is that David Worrell will probably miss out after coming off with a hamstring injury, which makes him very doubtful for today.