Dundee 2
Alloa Athletic 1
Challenge Cup (1st Round)

2 - 1

Challenge Cup (1st Round)
Saturday, July 24th, 2010
Dens Park
Attendance: 1,522
3:00 PM Kick-off

Colin McMenamin (86)
Sean Higgins (90)
Scott Walker (74)

Team Managers
Gordon Chisholm
Allan Maitland

Starting Eleven
1. Scott Fox
2. Gary Irvine
3. Craig McKeown
4. Kyle Benedictus
5. Craig Forsyth
6. Nicky Riley
7. Brian Kerr
8. Gary Harkins
9. Stephen O'Donnell
10. Leigh Griffiths
11. Mickaël Antoine-Curier
Stevie Robertson .1
Mark Brown .2
Mick Dunlop .3
Scott Walker .4
Billy Gibson .5
John Grant .6
Kevin McDonald .7
Darren Smith .8
Stuart Noble .9
Bryan Prunty .10
Andy Scott .11

12. Robert Douglas
14. Eric Paton
15. Paul McHale
16. Colin McMenamin
17. Sean Higgins
Jamie Ewings .12
Jamie Hay .14
John Lister .15
David Gormley .16
Declan McAvoy .17

Colin McMenamin for Nicky Riley (69)
Sean Higgins for Mickaël Antoine-Curier (69)
Paul McHale for Brian Kerr (81)
John Lister for Stuart Noble (67)
David Gormley for Bryan Prunty (67)
Declan McAvoy for Andy Scott (83)

Mickaël Antoine-Curier (58)
Gary Irvine (90)
John Grant (37)
Mark Brown (63)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Euan Norris (Referee)
Gordon Middleton & Mark McHendry (Assistants)

Match Report

AImost exactly two years ago Alloa Athletic were the last team to beat Dundee in the Alba Challenge and once again came very close to repeating that feat. However, Dundee rescued themselves with late goals from McMenamin and Higgins to deny a battling Alloa side the victory they would have deserved.

Dundee made two changes from the team that started last week's friendly at Arbroath. New signing Gary Irvine replaced Eric Paton at right back, and Brian Kerr came into the midfield, with Craig Forsyth moving to left back, in place of the departed trialist, Jason Talbot. Gordon Chisholm again decided to use Antoine-Curier as a solo striker, with the width being provided by Riley and Griffiths.

The formation gave Dundee plenty of possession in the first half, but although we saw some neat passing there was little penetration.

Stephen O'Donnell lashed the best chance of the half over the bar from 12 yards, and Alloa keeper Robertson was able to see out the half with surprisingly ease.

Dundee were in charge, but in an aimless manner. Moves continually broke down through mistimed passes and players being caught in possession.

Alloa may have posed little threat in the first half, but their confidence was surely boosted by the ease with which they were holding out. After half time they started to attack more eagerly and made the home defence look nervous at times.

Alloa's more positive approach was freeing up space for Dundee to attack, and O'Donnell should have done better than shoot weakly wide after a good attack down the left by Forsyth and Griffiths.

Griffiths again worked free on the left and fired a tempting low cross into the goalmouth. Antoine-Curier seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball and it flew past him. Irvine returned the ball and Griffiths volleyed into the side netting.

Antoine-Curier's miss summed up a frustrating afternoon for the striker and it was no surprise when he was replaced along with the tiring Riley after 69 minutes. Higgins and McMenamin came on, Dundee switched to 4-4-2 and immediately looked more dangerous.

However, it was Alloa who took the lead when the Dundee defence fell asleep. A free kick from deep on the right was overhit and floated beyond the far post. Whilst the Dee defence snoozed Dunlop caught the ball before it ran out and hooked it back into the middle where central defender WALKER had time to guide his header just the post. 74 minutes gone and Dundee were staring at an embarrassing early exit from the Alba Cup.

Alloa were nearly two up only a minute later when a Scott snapshot from 25 yards came back off the bar.

To their credit the heads of the Dundee players didn't go down, but the attempted fightback seemed doomed.

Dundee had had little success opening up the Alloa defence when the visitors were looking for a goal, and looked even less likely to score once Alloa started to play out the game.

However, it was this instinct to sit back that gave Gary Irvine far too much time on the ball 35 yards out on the right touchline. The defenders held back rather than challenging him. Colin McMenamin called for the ball to be swung over to the far post, and Irvine delivered a perfect outswinging cross exactly as per the order. McMenamin got ahead of his man, and used the pace on the ball to glance a powerful header inside Robertson's right hand post. Robertson got a glove to it, but couldn't keep it out.

Four minutes to go, and the Dees were out of jail! The relief could have turned to despair because Alloa were immediately on the attack and McDonald's powerful drive from the edge of the box looked on target till it struck McKeown.

In the 90th minute McMenamin gave Griffiths the chance to break into the box and shoot. His shot was charged down. McMenamin flicked it to Higgins, who crashed a ferocious shot into the roof of the net off the unfortunate keeper from close in.

Harkins should have sealed victory with a thoroughly undeserved 3rd goal in injury time, but he shot straight at Robertson.

Dundee played poorly and will be extremely relieved to get through. The new players need time to settle in, but they all looked as if they have something to contribute. Clearly there wasn't a good understanding at times, but that should improve. In the meantime the management will be happy that Dundee are through, and that the players were able to pull the game out of the fire rather than give up on a game that seemed to be lost.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at July 24th, 2010)

2010-11 All Time
Scott Fox (GK) - 1 - 1 -
Gary Irvine25 1 - 1 -
Craig McKeown25 1 - 34 -
Kyle Benedictus18 1 - 24 -
Nicky Riley24 1 - 1 -
Gary Harkins25 1 - 4618
Brian Kerr28 1 - 441
Stephen O'Donnell27 1 - 1 -
Craig Forsyth21 1 - 396
Mickaël Antoine-Curier27 1 - 5027
Leigh Griffiths19 1 - 4021
Paul McHale (sub)28 1 - 884
Colin McMenamin (sub)29 118524
Sean Higgins (sub)25 11338

League Table (as at July 24th, 2010)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

With pre season training out of the way we kick off the season with today's Alba Challenge Cup match against Alloa Athletic FC. After the summer break it will be good to get back into the competitive games with earnest.

We welcome Alloa Athletic manager Allan Maitland, his staff and players. We know they will provide us with good opposition and we look forward to a good game for both sets of supporters.

Billy and I are still working away at building up the squad and putting together the best team we can. for the season. We want to progress in both cup competitions, especially as we are the current holders of the Alba Challenge Cup.

We look forward your backing in achieving our goals of cup success and promotion to the SPL.

Get behind the boys.