Dundee 2
St Johnstone 1
League (First Division)

2 - 1
St Johnstone 

League (First Division)
Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,518
3:00 PM Kick-off

Robert Davidson (59)
Kevin McDonald (90)
Paul Sheerin (pen.) (18)

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Owen Coyle

Starting Eleven
1. Craig Samson
2. Martyn Corrigan
3. Gary Mackenzie
4. Milan Palenik
5. Paul Dixon
6. Frédéric Daquin
7. Scott Robertson
8. Kevin McDonald
9. Eddie Malone
10. Derek Lyle
11. Robert Davidson
Alan Main .1
Steven Anderson .2
Allan McManus .3
Goran Stanic .4
Gary Irvine .5
Derek McInnes .6
Rocco Quinn .7
Willie McLaren .8
Paul Sheerin .9
Kenny Deuchar .10
Andy Jackson .11

12. Paul McHale
14. David Worrell
15. Jani Šturm
16. Gavin Swankie
17. David O'Brien
Kevin Cuthbert .12
Andrew Lawrie .14
John Stewart .15
Peter MacDonald .16
David Weatherston .17

Paul McHale for Frédéric Daquin (40)
Gavin Swankie for Paul Dixon (46)
Jani Šturm for Derek Lyle (83)
Peter MacDonald for Andrew Jackson (63)
David Weatherston for Willie McLaren (81)

Milan Palenik (18)
Eddie Malone (71)
Paul McHale (84)
Steven Anderson (58)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Iain Brines (Referee)
Steven George & Roddy Cobb (Assistants)

Match Report

There was a touch of deja vu as Dundee fought back from losing the opening goal for the eleventh time this season with a fight back led by Kevin McDonald - Goals from the eighteen year old and Bob Davidson secured the three points after Paul Sheerin had put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.

Craig Samson was forced into action early on as the visitors looked to close the gap between the Tayside teams to a single point. Andy Jackson's header from Goran Stanic's cross and Willie McLaren's effort from Rocco Quinn's cross in the first fifteen minutes were equalled by Samson who kept the scoreline level.

There were twelve minutes on the clock before Dundee recorded their first chance with Scott Robertson's shot failing to test Main in goal with the ball raised well over the crossbar.

Owen Coyle's men continued to pressure the Dundee rearguard, and in the 18th minute the ball was in the back of the net. Milan Palenik failed to head clear and Steven Anderson was on hand to prod the ball home but referee lain Brines pulled the ball back for a penalty kick after Gary Mackenzie defender was adjudged to have prevented Kenny Deuchar's shot from hitting the back of the net. Paul Sheerin duly stepped up to slot the ball to into the right corner, sending Samson the wrong way.

The visitor's attack petered out towards the end of the first half as Dundee looked to drag themselves back into the game. Freddie Daquin's effort brought Main into a save in the 33rd minute as the keeper rushed to extinguish the effort.

Freddie Daquin was then replaced by Paul McHale in the 40th minute with Paul Dixon making way for Gavin Swankie just after half time.

Alex Rae's half time team talk worked as the team came out a new side for the second half battle. Gavin Swankie, Derek Lyle and Bob Davidson all had chances with only keeper Main to beat, but the score stayed 1-0 in favour of the Perth side.

The breakthrough however came just fourteen minutes into the second half as Kevin McDonald showed once again why so many clubs have shown an interest in signing the teenager. Paul McHale's free kick into the area looked to have been cleared by the away defence but skill and class from McDonald to hold off three defenders while juggling the ball in the box set up Davidson who launched his shot into the top corner from twelve yards.

This gave Alex Rae's men the confidence they had lacked in the first half. In his last game for the club, Martyn Corrigan looked willing to surge forward, with clever play from the Motherwell man setting up Scott Robertson who was left holding his head in his hands after firing over from six yards in what was to be the best goal-scoring opportunity of the game.

The game could have been over in the 67th minute as Derek McInnes looked to have handled the ball in the area but referee Brines was close to the action and waved play on despite the claims of players and fans alike.

After being in the thick of the action in the first half, Craig Samson found things a little quieter in the second, although when called into action he stood firm. Willie McLaren's cross was headed out for a corner in a defensive mix-up. Paul Sheerin's corner was headed goal wards by Anderson but Samson saved with his feet from a few yards.

With the game looking to be heading for a point-a-piece, Alex Rae threw on Jani Sturm in place of Derek Lyle for the remaining five minutes. He was brought down by Rocco Quinn on the right wing with Gavin Swankie's free kick headed out for a corner.

With seconds left Davidson chased the ball down the right wing ahead of the defence. Defender Goran Stanic made two attempted clearances before Kevin McDonald picked up the ball and sent a storming shot through a packed penalty area into the corner of the net sending the Dundee fans home happy as the news of Hamilton's defeat at QOS drifted through into the stands.

There were four bookings in the game: Milan Palenik, Paul McHale and Eddie Malone for the home side, with Steven Anderson picking up the only caution for the visitors.

Match report written by Joanna Topping - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at November 3rd, 2007)

2007-08 All Time
Craig Samson (GK)23 12 - 12 -
Paul Dixon20 15 - 912
Gary Mackenzie22 13 - 37 -
Martyn Corrigan30 4 - 4 -
Eddie Malone22 1 - 1 -
Milan Palenik - 122122
Kevin McDonald18 154829
Scott Robertson22 1531017
Robert Davidson21 1472910
Derek Lyle26 1134118
Frédéric Daquin29 151151
Paul McHale (sub)26 131252
Gavin Swankie (sub)23 1425411
Jani Šturm (sub)25 122122

League Table (as at November 3rd, 2007)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

This afternoon we welcome St Johnstone for what is not just a very important game because it is a local derby, but they, like us, have promotion very much in their sights.

Although I am not making excuses for the disappointing performance that saw us only scrape a draw at Firhill last Saturday, there is no doubt that injuries are disrupting the side.

We did not pass the ball as well as we should have against Partick and, overall, it was a poor game.

I think it's important, though, to point out that if we look at our points total so far, we are where we probably envisaged where we would be at this stage. The only reason we are behind Hamilton is because of their exceptional start.

Whilst they have been able to field a settled team, we've had to chop and change because the injuries have just kept coming.

For example, we have been without our first choice goalkeeper, though I have to say Craig Samson has been exceptional since he came in, while both our central defenders and David O'Brien were all missing.

That bites deeply into our squad and I think missing the two men in the middle of the defence in particular was a major factor.

I am well aware that we can do better than we did last Saturday, but it does say a lot for the boys that they have been picking up points.

Fortunately, most of our injuries are clearing up and I'm hoping that will let us kick on.

Of the players missing last weekend, at the time of writing Milan Palenik and fellow centre-half Gary McKenzie, out with a calf strain, are on course to be fit to face Saints, while the benefit of David O'Brien getting another full week's training under his belt means that he is back in contention for a place.

St Johnstone's visit this afternoon is the start of a big month for us with Hamilton also due at Dens and provides us with the opportunity to do ourselves a lot of good.

However, we know from the first meeting with Saints how close this afternoon's game promises to be, but hopefully we can recover our best form and get all three points.