Dundee 2
Greenock Morton 1
League (First Division)

2 - 1

League (First Division)
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,068
3:00 PM Kick-off

Matt Lockwood (pen.) (25)
Colin McMenamin (57)
Peter Weatherson (41)

Team Managers
Gordon Chisholm
Allan Moore

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Gary Irvine
3. Craig McKeown
4. Jamie Adams
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Brian Kerr
8. Stephen O'Donnell
9. Gary Harkins
10. Leigh Griffiths
11. David Witteveen
Colin Stewart .1
Grant Evans .2
Stuart McCaffrey .3
Marc Smyth .4
Kevin McKinlay .5
Michael Tidser .6
Allan Jenkins .7
David O'Brien .8
Sean Fitzharris .9
Stewart Kean .10
Peter Weatherson .11

12. Scott Fox
14. Craig Forsyth
15. Colin McMenamin
16. Sean Higgins
17. Njazi Kuqi
Kevin Cuthbert .12
Stewart Greacen .14
Stewart Greacen .15
Kevin Kelbie .16
Brian Graham .17

Colin McMenamin for David Witteveen (15)
Craig Forsyth for Stephen O'Donnell (46)
Sean Higgins for Leigh Griffiths (80)
Stewart Greacen for Grant Evans (74)
Brian Graham for David O'Brien (80)
Kevin Kelbie for Kevin McKinlay (89)

Gary Irvine (13)
Sean Fitzharris (20)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Euan Norris (Referee)
Alasdair Ross & Alan Hogg (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Tense, emotional, but Dundee grab the points

It was a tense and emotional day at Dens Park today, but the Dundee players managed to graft their way to a hard fought win against a Morton side who looked too good to be left stuck at the bottom of the table for long.

Dundee rode their luck in the first half, before tightening up and grabbing the points after half time.

After last week's defeat at Cowdenbeath, Higgins & Kuqi dropped onto the bench and Misun didn’t make the squad. O'Donnell, Riley & Witteveen came in and Jamie Adams moved from midfield to centre back.

David Witteveen was back from injury, but he may have been rushed back too quickly, because he had to be replaced by Colin McMenamin after only 15 minutes. If it was a gamble it didn’t come off.

The visitors settled more quickly than the Dee. Their power in midfield, with the strapping Jenkins and Tidser, caused problems throughout the match.

Fitzharris and ex Dee David O’Brien provided danger on the flanks, but none of the Morton team are flashy flair players. Their assets are strength, a good balance to the team and good organisation.

Morton dominated most of the first half and should have taken the lead. Peter Weatherson came close twice, with a header, then a fierce shot from 20 yards. O’Brien’s fierce cut-back flew across the goal mouth just too far in front of the Morton strikers.

Kean was sent through and lifted the ball over the on-rushing Douglas, but his touch was so heavy that he sent the ball skying into the air and by the time it came down he was surrounded by defenders who cleared. However, it was Dundee who took the lead against the run of play after 25 minutes.

Dundee’s best attack of the half came down the left, and Lockwood crossed into the area. Griffiths volley beyond the far post sent the ball high into the air and as it dropped to O’Donnell in the six yard box he was bundled over from behind by McCaffrey. Matt LOCKWOOD stepped up to coolly convert the resulting penalty.

Morton kept attacking and deservedly equalised four minutes from half time. Gary Irvine blocked a fierce O’Brien shot with his face. He was off the field receiving treatment when the resulting corner came in Kean’s powerful header crashed down off the bar leaving WEATHERSON with a simple chance from a couple of feet out. That was the first goal that Dundee have conceded at Dens in the league this season.

Dundee reacted well to the disappointment. O’Donnell’s fine shot from 30 yards hit the bar and bounced out and Adams strong header flew just over from a Harkins free kick.

Craig Forsyth came on at half time, replacing Stephen O’Donnell, with Gary Harkins moving into central midfield. The change gave Dundee more assurance in midfield, but the Dees struggled to cope with Morton's physical strength throughout.

In open play the Dundee strikers were struggling to link up with each other and the midfield, but it was from a set piece that Dundee grabbed the winning goal. Lockwood’s corner from the left was met beautifully by MCMENAMIN to score with a fine header that flew inside the far post.

The goal gave Dundee and the support a huge boost, but at no stage were the Dees really in command. For too long they sat back and seemed happy to hit Morton on the break.

Morton's physical presence gave them plenty of possession, but they strugged to play their way through the home defence. Too many of their attacks ended with poor, harmless crosses or optimistic shots from distance that Douglas had no problem dealing with.

At last the Dundee players started to find each others with their passes as they broke forward, and they should have got a third goal before the end. Dundee came closest with a spectacular effort from Riley, whose acrobatic overhead kick was tipped onto the bar by Morton keeper Stewart.

Just before the end McMenamin carelessly sent a cut-back behind both Higgins and Riley when a goal looked on. That was the last chance for either side, and the final whistle was greeted by huge cheers of relief.

Morton will be disappointed at losing, and were certainly the better side in the first half. In the second half Dundee handled their threat far better and the visitors couldn't play their way into the penalty area and create the sort of good chances that they spurned in the first half.

This was a win that the Dundee players had to work hard for, and there was no shortage of effort, especially in midfield. Kerr and Harkins were not at their footballing best, but they gave everything as they kept Morton at bay and tried to set up attacks.

The win will be a welcome distraction for the Dark Blues’ support after a stressful, miserable week. None of the problems have gone away, but the weekend seems that little bit brighter now. The crowd of 4,038 was a disappointment, though certainly higher than it would have been normally considering Dundee’s poor form and the Dundee holidays.

However, the Dundee supporters who did turn up show they care, they care deeply. Their love for the club shone through as the parts of the ground that are usually rather sedate sang and sang, running through their favourites, most poignantly “Please don’t take my Dundee away”.

I second that. Please don’t take my Dundee away!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at October 2nd, 2010)

2010-11 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)38 9 - 200 -
Craig McKeown25 12 - 45 -
Gary Irvine25 9 - 9 -
Matt Lockwood33 7171
Jamie Adams23 9 - 9 -
Nicky Riley24 113113
Stephen O'Donnell27 111111
Gary Harkins25 1225720
Brian Kerr - 3 - 461
Leigh Griffiths20 1255126
David Witteveen - 2 - 2 -
Craig Forsyth (sub)21 10 - 486
Colin McMenamin (sub)29 1229625
Sean Higgins (sub)25 111438

League Table (as at October 2nd, 2010)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Today we welcome Allan Moore and his Greenock side to Dens. It's been a difficult week for all concerned with the club and it's up to the players to go out and give everyone a lift with a positive display in an attempt to get the three points.

We had another disappointing match at Cowdenbeath and we are under no illusion how much we need to improve today. With all the off field happenings the players need to focus on their jobs to ensure the fans are sent home with something to smile about and for the club to get some positive press.

Morton come to Dens on the back of a creditable draw with Ross County and we need to compete in every position for the right to play good football. Our fans expect us to win here at Dens Park and hopefully there will be a good crowd in the stadium today. All we ask is for you to get behind the team and accept that we're all in this together.