Dundee 2
Falkirk 0
League (First Division)

2 - 0

League (First Division)
Saturday, August 28th, 2010
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,557
3:00 PM Kick-off

Stephen O'Donnell (43)
Nicky Riley (45)

Team Managers
Gordon Chisholm
Steven Pressley

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Eric Paton
3. Craig McKeown
4. Rhys Weston
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Jamie Adams
8. Stephen O'Donnell
9. Gary Harkins
10. Leigh Griffiths
11. David Witteveen
Bobby Olejnik .1
Jason Marr .
2Brian McLean .3
Tam Scobbie .4
Marc Twaddle .5
Mark Millar .6
Burton O'Brien .7
Ryan Flynn .8
Jack Compton .9
Kenny Deuchar .10
Mark Stewart .11

12. Scott Fox
14. Gary Irvine
15. Brian Kerr
16. Sean Higgins
17. Colin McMenamin
Jamie Barclay .12
Mhedi Khalis .14
Chris Mitchell .15
Carl Finnigan .16
Kallum Higginbotham. 17

Scott Fox for Leigh Griffiths (55)
Colin McMenamin for Gary Harkins (62)
Sean Higgins for David Witteveen (74)
Carl Finnigan for Mark Stewart (46)
Kallum Higginbotham for Jack Compton (46)

Jamie Adams (34)
Jason Marr (18)

Red Cards
Robert Douglas (55)
Match Officials

Willie Collum (Referee)
Alastair Mather & Colin Brown (Assistants)

Match Report

Now that's more like it!

Dundee put the disappointment of Tuesday night behind them in impressive style at Dens Park this afternoon with a richly deserved 2-0 win against Falkirk. In sharp contrast to recent weeks the players left the park to a standing ovation after a win that showed skill, teamwork, determination and sheer hard graft.

Gordon Chisholm made four changes to the team that lost at Brechin. Paton, Riley and O’Donnell came in for Irvine, Grant and the suspended Forsyth, and new signing David Witteveen started at the expense of Colin McMenamin.

The changes worked a treat and Dundee totally dominated the first half, creating all the danger, and playing all the good football.

Gary Harkins was on the left wing, where he was a constant menace to Falkirk in the first half. Riley stayed wide on the right, cutting in frequently to join attacks and have a shot. Adams and O’Donnell put in a sterling shift in the middle. Without doing anything fancy they won the ball and kept moving the ball on and out wide.

David Witteveen clicked immediately with Leigh Griffiths, and found his partner repeatedly with accurate flicks and passes.

Falkirk lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation that seemed designed to flood the midfield but allow players to break forward in support of the solo striker, Kenny Deuchar. It didn’t work out that way. The massed ranks of Bairns midfielders look like a disorganised primary school team in the first half as Dundee passed their way around and over them.

Perhaps Falkirk were expecting Harkins to play in central midfield, rather than the left, but they completely failed to react to the threat that was coming down their right flank. Time and again right back Jason Marr was left exposed as Harkins, Griffiths and Lockwood rampaged down the hill towards him.

Riley and Griffiths each had two good shots blocked or saved, Adams headed a good chance too close to the keeper, and a Stephen O’Donnell chip seemed to be sneaking under the bar till Olejnik managed to tip it away with the Dundee support already jumping to celebrate.

Frustratingly it looked like the Bairns’ goal would survive until half time, but Dundee thrilled their supporters with two goals right at the end of the half.

After 43 minutes. Gary Harkins controlled a long McKeown free kick out to the left wing by cushioning the ball with his head and driving into the penalty area. As the defence closed in, he slipped the ball across to O’DONNELL in space beyond the far post, and the midfielder drove a low shot past Olejnik to give Dundee a lead they thoroughly deserved.

It’s always good to score just before half time, but it’s far, far better to follow up with a killer second deep into injury time. Harkins yet again found Griffiths in space on the left of the penalty area. Sparky looked up and chipped the ball beyond the far post, where RILEY carefully looped his header back over Olejnik and inside the post before racing off to celebrate in front of the delighted South Enclosure.

Dundee seemed in the mood to pick up the second half in the same style as they finished the first. Leigh Griffiths had a fine run, which finished with him flashing the ball over the bar.

Stephen Pressley tried to turn the game round by switching to a more aggressive 4-4-2, and the arrival of substitute Carl Finnigan soon had an impact. Falkirk scrambled the ball clear from a Dundee attack, and with the Dee defence fleetingly losing concentration, Finnigan ran clear onto a pass from O’Brien, knocked the ball round Douglas, and got flattened by the keeper just outside the penalty area.

The ball was heading wide of goal, but the striker would almost certainly have had enough time to retrieve it before the defence could cover, so referee, Mr Collum, was justified in pulling out a red card for Big Rab.

With Dundee 2-0 up and in charge, it was no surprise that Gordon Chisholm decided to call it a day and try to kill the game. Scott Fox came on for Leigh Griffiths, leaving Witteveen to hold the ball up and worry the Falkirk defenders with his strength.

The plan worked perfectly. The new boy had a fine game on his own, till he tired and was replaced by Sean Higgins. Chisholm also replaced Harkins with McMenamin to introduce more movement and pace on the Dee left, the only area where Falkirk seemed inclined to attack.

Although Dundee sat back and conceded possession to Falkirk, the Bairns struggled to create any danger. Deuchar had a half chance, but it was gone when McKeown flung himself into a blocking challenge. Scott Fox didn’t have a difficult save to make, and dealt comfortably with any high balls that the central defenders left for him.

It was 10 man Dundee who came closer to another goal, with far less of the play. Stephen O’Donnell collected the ball from a throw on the left, cut inside and smashed a great shot off the cross bar from the edge of the area. Olejnik saved with his feet from McMenamin, and Riley fired across goal and wide from Dundee’s last chance.

When the final whistle want the players hugged each other and the crowd rose to applaud a fine team performance. As in the first game of the season at home to Queen of the South, the players showed great strength of character and will to win.

The central defence dominated the Falkirk forwards, the full backs defended well and supported the attacks effectively, and the midfield looked far better balanced and composed than recently. In particular, Stephen O’Donnell looked much more comfortable in the centre of the park, and would have deserved to seal the win with the great shot that hit the bar.

This was a very important win for the Dee. Falkirk are sure to be a big threat this season, though they will have to do far better than today. A good win, and an excellent performance, was exactly what the players, and especially the supporters, needed as we go into the two week international break. We’ve seen big changes in the Dundee squad this summer, and let’s hope that we saw the team start to blend together today.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at August 28th, 2010)

2010-11 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)38 6 - 197 -
Matt Lockwood33 3 - 3 -
Craig McKeown25 8 - 41 -
Eric Paton31 5 - 815
Rhys Weston29 6 - 6 -
Jamie Adams23 5 - 5 -
Gary Harkins25 815319
Stephen O'Donnell27 7171
Nicky Riley24 7373
Leigh Griffiths20 844725
David Witteveen - 1 - 1 -
Scott Fox (sub) (GK) - 3 - 3 -
Colin McMenamin (sub)29 819224
Sean Higgins (sub)25 71398

League Table (as at August 28th, 2010)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Today we welcome Stephen Pressley's Falkirk side to Dens for what should be an entertaining clash. Falkirk have the same aspiration as ourselves and will be looking to challenge for the title and be in the SPL next season.

We need to be at the top of our game to pick up the three points and we will be looking for solidity at the back, aggression and creativity in midfield and composure up front. If we can do that and everyone plays to the best of their ability there is no reason why we can't go and win today's game.

We accept that our fans will demand nothing short of total commitment and it's the least they can expect from the team.

It's important for our season that we can bounce back from results like Tuesday in Brechin and concentrate on minimising the errors and focussing on the positive. Whilst the result did not go our way we dominated the game from start to finish and should have scored a number of goals.

Football is a team game and we are all in this together, and I can assure you we have been working hard at training on getting things right as quickly as possible.

The supporters have been right to be critical but for the ninety minutes of the game today I ask that you get behind the lads and give them all the encouragement you can. We know that you are equally as desperate for success as we are and it is our intention to deliver it for you and give you something to cheer about.

Thanks you for your continued support it is our intention to earn it.

Enjoy the game.