Dundee 0
Raith Rovers 0
League (First Division)

0 - 0
Raith Rovers 

League (First Division)
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,532
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. None.

Team Managers
Gordon Chisholm
John McGlynn

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Eric Paton
3. Craig McKeown
4. Milan Mišun
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Jamie Adams
8. Stephen O'Donnell
9. Gary Harkins
10. Leigh Griffiths
11. Njazi Kuqi
David McGurn .1
Laurie Ellis .2
Grant Murray .3
Iain Davidson .4
Willie Dyer .5
Craig Wilson .6
Stephen Simmons .7
Allan Walker .8
Mark Ferry .9
Grégory Tadé .10
John Baird .11

12. Scott Fox
14. Gary Irvine
15. Craig Forsyth
16. Colin McMenamin
17. Sean Higgins
Andy McNeil .12
Iain Williamson .14
Graham Weir .15
Craig Wedderburn .16
Jamie Mole .17

Colin McMenamin for Njazi Kuqi (58)
Craig Forsyth for Stephen O'Donnell (69)
Sean Higgins for Nicky Riley (76)
Jamie Mole for John Baird (67)

Milan Mišun (34)
Craig McKeown (73)
Craig Wilson (44)
Stephen Simmons (85)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

David Somers (Referee)
Steven Craven & Steven McFaulds (Assistants)

Match Report

No goals, and not much excitement.

It might have been a fine sunny afternoon in Dundee, but the football on offer at Dens today was dull and dispiriting.

Dundee and Raith Rovers played out a poor goalless draw that should have left both managers frustrated. The disjointed Dees lacked confidence and cohesion, while Raith seemed to lack the belief that could have brought them three points.

Gordon Chisholm made only two changes following the defeat at Dunfermline. Rab Douglas returned in goal after suspension, and with Rhys Weston injured Dundee fielded 20 year old Czech defender Milan Misun, on a month’s loan from Celtic.

Dundee passed up two great chances to score in the first half. Griffiths spun cleverly into space on the right and chipped a fine cross over the keeper to the far post. Adams managed to muscle his way onto the ball, but under pressure couldn’t turn the ball back inside the post. Harkins then sent Griffiths racing into the penalty area, but the young striker got the ball tangled up between his feet and scooped the ball just wide.

Raith gradually came more into the game, looking particularly dangerous from set pieces. Tade’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by Riley. However, it was a mistake by Misun that gave the visitors a great chance to take the lead. Ten minutes from half time the new boy was caught in possession as he tried to bring the ball out of defence. Adams seemed to have recovered the situation by driving the ball off Tade and out of play, with the Raith striker tumbling over under the challenge. To the surprise of the home side Mr Somers awarded Raith a penalty.

John Baird stepped up to confront the huge, confident hulk of Rab Douglas and hit a tame shot to Rab’s left. It was highly saveable, and Rab did the needful, turning the ball round the post for a corner, for his second consecutive penalty save this season.

The escape lifted the Dees and they should have taken the lead a minute later when Harkins wasted a great chance by thrashing the ball over the bar from 12 yards.

The game looked like it was coming to life, but sadly that was the end of the excitement. The second half was a dreary non-event, with Dundee looking incapable of scoring, and Raith seeming to lack the confidence to go for a win.

The visitors continued to look most dangerous from set pieces, and came closest when Walker’s free kick was parried by Douglas against McKeown and out for a corner. They seldom seemed inclined to commit enough men forward, or break fast enough to threaten Dundee. Misun was caught in possession one more time after the penalty incident. Apart from those lapses, admittedly serious, he looked a good, composed central defender. Perhaps he needs to learn that in the Scottish First Division attempting to stroll out of defence with the ball is asking for trouble.

Throughout the second half Rovers were largely untroubled at the back, however, and seldom wasted possession unlike the careless home players. Dundee’s midfield continually made bad passes and bad decisions. The malaise was summed up when three Raith players closed down Harkins, who managed to wriggle free and find O’Donnell in space. He immediately returned the ball to Harkins, who was still under pressure and had little option but to send the ball back to Douglas.

If Dundee didn’t just give the ball to Harkins or Griffiths and hope for something special, they were hitting the ball long to Kuqi, which proved a pointless exercise. The Raith defence were comfortable in the air, and prepared to challenge Kuqi vigorously. When the Dundee centre forward tried to resist the challenges he was usually penalised by the referee. Not surprisingly he was replaced by McMenamin, who was more mobile, but no more productive.

A draw was a fair result. Raith were much better organised, and played together far better as a team. However, their lack of ambition means they can’t claim a win was deserved. Dundee on the other hand never managed to repeat the effective passing game that encouraged the fans in the last home game against Falkirk. In open play they handled the Raith attacks well and had the most skilful players on the pitch in Harkins and Griffiths. They looked most likely to grab a goal with a flash of skill from that pair. It nearly paid off, but Dundee’s poor teamwork and the poor quality of their passing meant that a win would have been thoroughly undeserved.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at September 18th, 2010)

2010-11 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)38 7 - 198 -
Matt Lockwood33 5 - 5 -
Craig McKeown25 10 - 43 -
Milan Mišun - 1 - 1 -
Eric Paton32 7 - 835
Jamie Adams23 7 - 7 -
Gary Harkins25 1025520
Stephen O'Donnell27 9191
Nicky Riley24 9393
Leigh Griffiths20 1044925
Njazi Kuqi - 2 - 2 -
Craig Forsyth (sub)21 9 - 476
Colin McMenamin (sub)29 1019424
Sean Higgins (sub)25 91418

League Table (as at September 18th, 2010)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

We welcome Raith Rovers to Dens Park today as leaders of the First Division after their excellent start to the season.

It is no surprise that they are in such a position as they had done very well last season and reached the Scottish Cup semi-final and have now carried that into this season. They went up to Ross County last week and got a battling draw. Their confidence is up and they are playing well and I believe they will be up challenging for the title in May. We had them watched last week and one thing we know is that everybody will work for the team and that has been instilled by John McGlynn. John has done an excellent job and after bringing much needed stability to the club has kicked on to make them title challengers.

Since my last notes before the Falkirk game we have added two new players to the team. I thought David Witteveen did very well on his debut against Falkirk as did Njazi Kuqi last Saturday considering it is both players first real competitive game for a while. David Witteveen felt his hamstring before the Dunfermline game and we had to be careful that a strain did not turn into a tear so we did not play him last week. However with the squad we have now there are options when players are out and that is a vital thing to have in a team to make sure players feel there is competition for their places.

We have a great video analysis set up at the club and this week we went over the Dunfermline game to show the players where they went wrong. It's a great tool because sometimes when you point things out to players after matches they don't take it in. The players have worked hard in training and we have worked on one or two things from last week and will be ready for the match today.

We are at home once again where we have an excellent record. I do not have the same concerns for us playing at home as we do away but in every game the players must give their all from the very first whistle and I believe they have done that this season at Dens. We have already played three teams who have ambitions to win the League and we have won two of those games and drawn against Ross County, which is a decent start.

Today will be another difficult match, as they all are in this League, and although we have not lost a goal at home this season and Raith have only conceded one goal in their five matches I believe it will be a cracking match. We know Raith are a very solid unit, both in defence and midfield and they will bring a good support through but our own support has been tremendous this season and once again turned out in great numbers last week. We have needed your support to help us through the games this season and hope once again to rely on your vocal backing today.

Enjoy the game.